Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stand and be judged

I have been thinking lately about the requirements to carry a concealed handgun, and there are so many things about it that I just don't like. It comes as no surprise to me that there is someone else that shares my resentment towards the whole "permit" system, AKA "CHP," "CHL," "CCW" etc.

Make no mistake; when your state, local or even federal government requires you to fill out paperwork, to be fingerprinted, to have your past life investigated, to be judged, rated or otherwise fondled by those who you have voted into office, then you are, in fact, asking for permission to exercise your right.

Now, I don't like the word "permit" either, but that's what came to mind when I walked away from the courthouse where I asked the county judge to grant me rights that I already had from the day I first drew breath. Not only that, but I had to prove that I had training to exercise this right, and had to pay a fee on top of that.

I often wonder at how we got to this point in our freedom minded society where we ask for things of which we don't need permission, pay fees for things inherited, and ask for judgment to be performed upon us to make us feel more qualified about ourselves. Peer review, it is not.

There are those who carry a firearm concealed with the lawful qualifier of the "CHP," and belittle those who lawfully open carry without the granting of a "license," as somehow their fellow man has deemed them to be superior by handing them a piece of paper. I grin in painful disdain at the very sight of these shiny things, which are sold in every gun magazine that I have ever picked up.

Somehow I can't help but to draw a parallel to many of the television shows where folks stand before a "panel of experts" and wait to be judged for their actions. Granted, they are not asking permission to exercise a right, and they're being judged for their previous actions vs. the chance of future actions, but it does highlight that they are looking to be held in higher esteem by those they find themselves inferior to.

I'm not knocking competitive spirit; I'm just pondering the idea that some feel that in order to be qualified at something, that that qualification has to be determined by someone better than themselves. Is this a self esteem issue?

In my eyes this goes along with the idea that only a cop "licensed and authorized by the state" shall be the only one professional enough to stop a criminal, as if we are all too stupid to accurately determine if our life or limb is in danger of being destroyed by some scumbag.

Remember the spin the media put on the story where Jeanne Assam gunned down a goblin in a church? Apparently she was "qualified" by being a "security guard" with a "license" to have a handgun for protection in order to lawfully engage in a firefight with the man. Good thing she was predetermined to not be crazy so that she could use her right!

We "license" police to attend to society's protection without interruption, and to that end we hold them accountable -- thought not so much these days -- for actions against individuals within the community to ensure that rights are protected, but I am under the firm belief that it is every one's duty to protect his or her community.

This is not to say that everyone in society should be a vigilante, but that everyone should be vigilant. We should intervene when it is morally right to do so, up to and including righteously gunning down a scumbag with accurate fire from defilade, in support law enforcement. To force a citizen to prove themselves worthy of this right by obtaining a permit or license beforehand is madness.

Licensing for many careers is often a laughable idea that often causes unknowing folks to be less cautious when choosing a person or business to perform a service.

In a past life I was an electrician. I am very well trained, with both formal school education and "on the job training" with two of the most professional master electricians I have ever met, and they taught me how to do quality work.

Now that I'm out of the business, it's almost embarrassing to see the terrible work performed by many of the popular "licensed" electrical companies when I do fix-it work around my house or a friends.

However did the Egyptians survive without "titled" interior designers?

Licensing sets the bar at a fixed point, and has no bearing whatsoever on the quality of the task performed, nor the principals or integrity of the person who holds it. The individual can change his or her mind at any time, and there is nothing that prior restraint is going to do to stop it.

That people who carry a concealed weapon for protection do not start blasting into crowds of innocents has nothing to do with being licensed by a judge, or shielded by these shiny things, it is because that virtually all of them have no desire to hurt their fellow man.

We need to cast out this mindset that we are all incapable of protecting or providing for ourselves unless someone better than us says we may.
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