I am very encouraged by the news that the Arkansas state legislature is considering allowing citizens who have a concealed carry license to carry their firearms in church. I’m somewhat sad to read the the biggest opponents of the pending legislation are the ministers and pastors themselves. I know firearms are a cause of concern for many people, but I do firmly believe an overwhelming majority of people who legally possess firearms are responsible with their use. I know I have been in the over 20 years I’ve owned both handguns and a rifles. There have been several cases in the US where the absence of a firearm led to a high death rate and where the presence of one saved lives, during the commisson of a crime by a criminal, but I don’t know of a case where the presence of a firearm in the hands of a citizen contributed to the death of innocent vitims . If someone does know of such a case perhaps they’ll comment here with specifics.
I like the spirit of responsible firearms owners….they’re independent and see themselves accountable for their own safety, not reliant on a government agency or police force. I am put off however by the Rambo types who view firearms as a physical extension of some body part they flagrantly whip out to impress any and everyone who happens by. Theirs is a voyeurism with weapons I don’t share, a bloated Clint Eastwood, ‘make my day’ attitude that is responsible for the negative image many people have of firearms owners. Instead I prefer those who you would never dream of possessing a firearm and being able to use one well.
I have a real problem with being told where I can and cannot carry my firearm; if I can carry it in some places why can’t I carry it in others, like churches or banks (the tellers at my local bank surely know who I am and that I’m not a violent person; they also have come to this realization from behind bullet proof glass!) and places where I have to pay for admission but aren’t allowed to carry are just as dangerous as some neighborhoods of my city. Why can’t I carry when I go see the university football or basketball game, for instance? Perhaps the problem is one of alcohol, and as a teetotaler I can’t begin to understand that one, and the fear is that once a person imbibes a little too much he/she may lose all control of their senses and return to the ‘my firearm is bigger than your firearm’ childish behavior. But there are times like that just when I need to be able to protect myself from some alcoholic who’s had more than a little too much drink and wants to impress and gets carried away at the high school Friday night football game.
I don’t like government telling me where I can and cannot go with my firearm, and that’s really the bottom line for me. I’m glad Arkansas is coming around to that realization too that that’s not government’s job. I hope that’s what they have realized, and note with a bit of tongue in cheek that Arkansas was the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But be that as it may, it’s a positive first step and long over due. I salute them and encourage all who go to church there to be as responsible with your weapon in the pews as you might be in the streets. Practice a helluva whole lot and know who the enemy is.