An open carry revolution is underway in the United States, and Californians are participating in the act of exercising their constitutional rights. In fact, the second amendment of the Bill of Rights states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Yet infringement upon our gun rights is occurring at an alarming rate nationwide. Last year, a Homeland Security report was leaked labeling individuals who support the Second Amendment, own firearms, or purchase ammunition as rightwing extremists.
Perhaps Governor Schwarzenegger had this document in mind when he signed AB 962 into law this past October. The law, which goes into effect on February 1, 2011 forces handgun ammunition consumers to leave detailed personal information in addition to thumbprints with licensed ammunition dealers. Furthermore, the new law bans direct shipping to California residents who choose to purchase ammunition via the Internet or mail order.
Schwarzenegger, who in the movies often portrayed armed characters protecting citizens, suggested that AB 962 will “improve public safety”. Yet, in 2009, the state with the least restrictive gun laws, Vermont, was ranked second in the United States for safety! In stark contrast, California is ranked 14th in America for violent crimes. And in the city where our elected officials determine our federal laws, the murder rate is up 134% after Washington DC enacted one of the strictest gun control laws in our nation.
Although fans of big government would like Americans to believe that gun restrictions save lives, FBI statistics prove otherwise. In fact, economist John Lott utilized FBI crime statistics from all 3,054 U.S. counties for his 1998 book “More Guns, Less Crime”. Lott determined that violent crimes decreased when law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons.
The members of the Open Carry Movement not only agree with Lott’s assessment, but also realize that criminals, regardless of restrictions, will always find a way to obtain their weapons which are then used on victims.
So with reports confirming that gun restrictions increase crime rates, why is there propaganda suggesting otherwise in order to take away our constitutional gun rights?
Perhaps Jim Hinter, President of the National Firearms Association in Canada, is correct when he stated, “Let there be no doubt, dictators around the world hate the United States because the United States is free. They are scared of your guns and they are going to come and get ‘em.”
Our founding fathers tried to protect us from future tyranny by preserving our individual freedoms. Further, Thomas Jefferson warned citizens to protect their gun rights: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
Unfortunately citizens have been “re-educated” into thinking owning guns is only for rightwing extremists. Thankfully, the Open Carry Movement is attempting to challenge that false ideology before it is too late. Furthermore, what do citizens need to fear if guns were completely taken away? Research gun control history, which has occurred in the Soviet Union (1929), Turkey (1915 -1917), Germany (Hitler era), Guatemala (1970), and currently in Australia for the answer. There are several other examples throughout history that should cause citizens to fiercely protect their right to bear arms.
How can “We the People” ensure our right to keep and bear arms? Study current gun law legislation, call your elected officials and demand they protect the second amendment, vote for candidates who believe in this crucial constitutional liberty, and finally, educate other Americans by joining the growing Open Carry Movement.