Whenever I'm out and about in Oklahoma City, I always find myself thinking "Man, I wish more people could walk around with a handgun and not have to go through the bothersome process of obtaining a permit. That sure would make me feel safe."
It looks like I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Earlier this week, our right wing gun nuts in the Oklahoma legislature passed a law that would let every Bubba, Joe and Larry in our state carry a handgun without a permit. I believe it's called The Oklahoma Small Genitalia Compensation Act.
The Oklahoma House passed a bill allowing anyone over 21 years of age who does not have a felony conviction to carry a handgun without a permit.
If the bill is signed into law Oklahoma would be the 14th state to not require any certification to carry a handgun. Opponents of the bill said this would also get rid of background checks which are done through the licensing process.
The bill now heads to the Senate.
I think my liberal fans get a little too worked up over guns. Yes, guns are deadly and dangerous tools that have wrecked the lives of millions, but if a paranoid, law-abiding citizen feels the need or desire to waltz around town with a loaded handgun, that's fine. Go for it. If a cop can do it, a regular citizen should, too.
That being said, I think most people who haven't been indoctrinated by NRA propaganda would agree there's nothing wrong with some gun regulations. If you want to carry a dangerous weapon, you should probably be required to get some sort of permit to do so. Also, businesses and organizations should be able to say whether or not guns are allowed on their premises.
Oddly enough, the bill has created a bit of in-fighting in the local ruling class. The OKC Chamber of Commerce – a client of Ackerman McQueen – is fighting the NRA – another client of Ackerman McQueen over the bill:
Some of the backlash to the bill is coming from an unlikely group- the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce...
In a letter to its members the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce said the "negative economic impact of the Amendment cannot be understated."
Officials said the bill strips the rights of property and business owners to regulate who can carry weapons in their buildings and it could force large gun-free conventions to leave the state, driving away a lot of money and lowering the ability for employers to recruit out-of-state business.
But the NRA is hitting back saying the Chamber and businesses are misrepresenting the bill.
In a statement the gun makers lobby ignores business concerns saying in part, "Constitutional carry would give the most vulnerable among us the ability to protect themselves in a time of crisis."
Yeah, but what about the rights of the most vulnerable to go to the grocery store and not have to worry about whether or not some lunatic walking around the produce section with a gun has been at least somewhat vetted and trained to use the firearm? The NRA is a maniacal organization. I wish the Oklahoma City Chamber the best of luck in defeating this stupid bill. When they're done, maybe they can find a new ad agency to produce promotional videos that are openly mocked by the OKC Ad Club...