Constitutional Carry and Media Distortion
Ohio House poised to eliminate permit requirements for carrying concealed weapons reads the headline on Cleveland.com (née, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Czar believes).
This article is a great example of media following a template written for it by others.
The first several paragraphs are a neutral reporting of the bill sitting on Governor DeWine’s desk, awaiting signature that would bring Ohio into the growing number of states allowing Constitutional Carry or permitless carry: the ability of a citizen to carry concealed or openly with no permit, state application, or licensing of any kind.
Citizens, of course, would still need to clear any federal regulations, of course: parolees, people with known drug or alcohol dependencies, dishonorably discharged service members, and so on.
But keep reading and you start to see the template in action.
First, the vague statements of concern: the FOP (which is not a law enforcement agency but a labor union) and one sheriff have expressed doubts about the safety of this idea. No actual statements, facts, or figures to back up these concerns: just unexplicated doubts.
In nearly every story from every state entertaining the idea of Constitutional Carry, you see this same concern trolling: in Georgia, it’s going to be a terrible thing apparently, although no one can explain why. The same news story template can be found in Texas (paragraph 8 and following), Indiana (and it’s the FOP, again!), and on and on.
So every story seems compelled to explain that either Republicans, the NRA, or gun enthusiasts seem to point to the Constitution as the sole reason for having permitless carry. And here’s the crazy thing: while the Constitution stipulates that bearing arms shall be unfringed, the actual reason for permitless carry is never revealed in these stories: it freaking works and works well.
Worse, every story omits one key element common to all states with Constitutional Carry: crazy-ass shootouts do not happen. There’s this obvious myth among these doubters that the second Constitutional Carry is legal in a state, everyone will start popping rounds at each other at every opportunity: parking lots, ball games, church services, parent/teacher conferences, and even in the bathroom.
Yet, in actuality, these shooting events are nearly unheard of. As we have heard time and again from John Lott and others, violent crime invariably goes down when a populace is armed; however, put that discussion aside for a second.
Instead, consider this: 99.99% (a rough guess) of shootings that occur in these states are either (a) criminal in nature, and have nothing to do with the law, or (b) are self-defense in nature, and were legal anyway. Stories of legal gun owners resorting to gunplay over nonsense issues are rare, if not technically nonexistent.
It’s such a complete blow to the notion that either permitless carry or Constitutional Carry results in increased gunplay that none of these templates will entertain that point for fear of revealing the bias. And if you’re keeping count, over half the states in the union either have laws or have passed bills allowing the free carry of firearms.
You’d think that if a single one of these concerns were warranted, we’d have seen it years ago. And we don’t, but the media keeps pushing this:
INSERT STATE NAME has just passed a bill to allow so-called Constitutional Carry, or permitless carry, for citizens of that state. This will eliminate all permits for legal gun owners, allowing them to carry a weapon either concealed or openly without any legal review by authorities.
SELECT ONE: Republican lawmakers, gun lobbyists, gun enthusiasts point out that the Constitution does not mandate such licensing, and therefore all requirements are invalid. They add that such laws add unneeded hardship on residents.
FOP spokesperson PUT HIS NAME HERE as well as some county sheriffs have expressed concern that this new bill will make it harder for police to do their jobs, and may allow for criminals to slip through the safety net.
Last week or month, XX people were killed in a shooting when PUT SOME LOCAL CRIME STORY TOTALLY HERE, BUT REMOVE ANY ELEMENTS THAT INDICATE THAT IF THE CITIZENS WERE ARMED, THEY WOULD HAVE ENDED THE SHOOTING IN SECONDS. ALSO REMOVE ANY ELEMENT THAT INDICATES THE SHOOTER HAD AN ILLEGAL GUN DESPITE THE EXISTING LAW.
The incredibly controversial bill now goes to the governor’s desk.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.