Tuesday, January 14, 2014

That's Just Nuts!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

As of the first of this year, it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon in every state in the nation as long as those packing heat have their state's necessary level of training on how to use the firearm and a concealed-carry permit.  Some yammer on about guns making us safer, but I am more inclined to the view of my late father, a rather conservative individual, who, when asked about people carrying concealed weapons, replied, "That's just nuts!"

Several years ago when the Missouri State Legislature was preparing to carry the NRA's water by passing a concealed-carry bill, a small group of thoughtful legislators managed to get the question taken away from the NRA's stooges in the legislature and placed directly before the voters.  It was a close vote, but Missouri voters turned down the proposition that would have made it legal to carry a concealed weapon.  The NRA rushed forth with cash and threats, and the legislature soon corrected the voters' mistake and made the nutty idea into law.

(For those who doubt the absurdly low levels to which the Missouri Legislature will crawl, this is the same group who put a bronze bust of Rush Limbaugh's head on permanent display in the state capitol.)

In Arizona it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon into a bar - really!

Every week dailykos.com runs a special column that lists dozens and dozens of accidental deaths that occurred during the week as a result of stupid or careless people handling guns.  Many of these sad vignettes feature a loss of life - and quite often the dead are children.

Some states have reached beyond the lunacy of concealed-carry laws and come up with homicide-enabling legalization commonly called "stand your ground" laws.  George Zimmerman, a young cop-wannabe from Florida brought these perversions of justice into the public view last year when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, and then got off without punishment by saying that he "felt threatened."  Zimmerman stood his ground - and a young man died.

This week there was another shooting, also in Florida, that already smacks of the stand-your-ground nonsense.  A retired police captain was trying to enjoy the previews at the Cobb Theatre in Wesley Chapel, Florida, but was distracted by a theatre patron in front of him who was texting on his cell phone.  Apparently they had words, and then the former policeman walked to the lobby - presumably to complain to the management.  Witnesses said that when he returned, without theatre staff, the argument resumed and the fellow with the phone threw his popcorn on the complainer.  The retired policeman then drew his concealed pistol and fired a round into the guy's chest.  The fellow died later at a local hospital.  His wife was wounded in the incident.

The Cobb Theatre has a policy prohibiting the use of cell phones or texting during the show.  The same theatre also prohibits carrying concealed weapons onto its premises.

The shooter was arrested without resistance.  He has been booked at the local jail and is being held without bail on a charge of second-degree murder.  The man's stated defense so far is that he reacted (with deadly force) after being struck in the face with an unknown object (popcorn).  It smells like a stand-your-ground defense in the offing, but this shooter may not be as lucky as George Zimmerman because the aggressive texter was white.

For those who believe the law is color-blind,  well . . . that's just nuts!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

The Missouri State Capitol sits at an elevation of 630 feet above sea level, which is 400 feet higher than the state's lowest point. Nonetheless, it seems that whichever party is in control the Capitol is the lowest point in the state's political geography. Thus it is a fecund environment in which bad ideas manage to become law.