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.


the pawnbroker said...

don't know how many of these folks in kennesaw:

are licensed for cc, but it's pretty obvious that house burglars are convinced that the homeowners are following their special law and are packin' a 12-gauge or something in there...

no reason to think the same pattern would not hold for wider personal carry...that delinquent ain't gonna grab momma's purse if he thinks she just might shoot his ass dead right then and there...and of course the morton grove illustration is a microcosm of the causeandeffects of an opposite approach...jtc

Unknown said...


Violence of action, or the threat of it, had served mankind for its entire history.

Just about everyone I know is very armed, and we all get along great!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post.

I truly believe (and I've seem some evidence to support but don't have time to dig it up right now) that many (if not all) "licensing" requirements were instituted not as "protection" against untrained persons presenting themselves as experts, but as a form of job protection.

I'm not a licensed electrician, but I've got a background in electronics and I've been doing my own electrical work for years. I know I do quality work and I do it for myself (and pass code inspections with no problem...which is another scam...but a different subject) with no problem.

Were I to decide to go into, say, law...what right does the Bar Association have to tell my prospective customers that they can't hire me? If I do a good enough job for them, why should some "organization" have any say in it?

By requiring training, apprenticeships, testing, and licensing, they effectively control the pool of available workers in their field. They control the supply of labor. By controlling one half of the supply-demand equation, they effectively control value of that supply...the wages and fees that may be charged.

If any old redneck with an voltmeter and pair lineman's pliers could be an electrician...why...electricians wouldn't get paid crap. Same for plumbers. How freaking hard is plumbing? Can you glue two pieces of plastic pipe together? Solder copper? Can you measure how far a vent is from a drain? Can you figure out that water flows best downhill?

Why the heck do plumbers rate $65 an hour??? I guarantee you that my wife's job in business administration that requires no license or mandated training and pays less than a quarter than a plumber makes is beyond the ability of your average plumber to master.

Get a government mandate for licensing of secretaries and see how quickly their wages increase...and how many small companies realize that they can make due with significantly less administrative personnel.

Anyway, I'm ranting...sorry about that, you hit on one of my sore spots.

The problem is that the perception of the common folk is that licensing is in place to protect them. Being the lazy, irresponsible louts that the majority of the public is, they think that's a GREAT thing. It means that they don't have to worry about protecting themselves.

One less thing to get in the way of their grueling schedule of American Idol and Lost.

Sorry this got so long...shoulda made a post out of it.

the pawnbroker said...

ctone, i don't think it's a matter of everyone going around armed so as to keep each other scared's more that, like i told breda in the allen story,

all but one out of a thousand strangers you meet are just people of one sort or another and have no reason or inclination to do you harm...

but knowing that the lady who is small enough to be snatched into his car or have her purse grabbed easily just might plug his forehead with a .38 is quite a deterrent for the one in a thousand who is compelled -for whatever the reason- to hurt and prey on innocents...and innocence.

and that way, the rest of us can go around, do our own thing, look others in the eye...(not acknowledging other people sure is a big price to pay to avoid the one in a thousand bad guy; and a direct stare might just do his twisted soul some good, too)...and the confidence of knowing that he can be neutralized if you do run across him becomes not only comforting but enlightening as you see others in a differnt light.

and sailorcurt, your licensing tirade is pretty straight on...while there may be some nebulous body of standards, the primary function is to limit availability, affecting supply, demand, perception, and therefore value...and one should always follow the money.

but certain licensing has also become a tool of control; ask anyone who has had a federal firearms license or a state pawnbrokers's license and they will tell you that the onerous threat of liability and punishment is inheretently this case, though, it is less about controlling the money and more about restricting access, availabilty, and control...and all that that implies...jtc

Unknown said...

I agree with both of you. I do see licensing as a tool for control, but I wish we would let good ol' capitalism lead the way as far as careers go - non government ones anyways - and let us be judged for our actions, not for what could potentially happen if we were to be fully trusted with our liberty.

I am a strong advocate for the carry of all types of arms, concealed or otherwise. The one in a thousand parable is right on, and is also the reason why I feel like I do.

Why bend the 999 over a barrel with pointless laws when the 1 miscreant is going to act against them anyways.

I just don't like asking for permission for something I already have.