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Constitutional Carry: Are the Inmates Finally Taking Over the Asylum?

02/09/2015 08:55 am ET | Updated Apr 11, 2015
Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

Before the ink was even dry on the 2008 Heller decision, the gun lobby began to agitate for an extension of this Second Amendment right to keep a gun in the home for self-defense to carrying concealed weapons outside the home as well. The CCW movement, as it is called, spread throughout the United States but with the exception of five states -- AK, AR, AZ, VT, WY. The residents of all the other 45 states must receive a permit for CCW that is separate from any licensing required simply to own a gun.

It's estimated that somewhere around 10 million people now have CCW permits, or roughly 10 percent of the people who admit to legal ownership of guns. To listen to the gun lobby you would think that armed citizens are responsible for the continued decline in violent crime, even though it's anyone's guess as to how many people are actually walking around armed each day. In 2013, roughly 450 people used guns in what is referred to as "justifiable homicide," while that same year at least 500 people accidentally killed themselves or others with guns. The FBI and CDC numbers may be a little off, but this is the only apples-to-apples comparison that can be made about whether guns help us or hurt us -- and please don't waste my time with the nonsense about how millions of crimes are prevented each year by people walking around with guns.

This hasn't stopped the NRA from endlessly screaming that "good guys" with guns will always stop "bad guys" with guns to the point that the movement to issue everyone a CCW license has now begun to shift to the idea that we should be able to walk around with guns, concealed or unconcealed at our option, with no licensing required at all. Called "constitutional carry," as opposed to "concealed carry," the loudest and most active proponents of this new credo can be found in the Lone Star State where this nutty idea sprang from a group of dissident NRA members who took issue with the gun organization's refusal to back the open carry of handguns. And the result was a series of guerrilla-theater events at which these dopes paraded outside and inside stores and fast-food franchises toting their ARs and AKs to show that they had the constitutional right to behave like jerks.

To their credit, Shannon Watts and her ladies have begun a social media campaign about this idiocy with the target being the Raising Cane fast-food chain, which seems to be a particular favorite venue for the crazies who want to show off both their guns and their lack of brains. The leader of this lunatic fringe appears to be Kory Watkins, who briefly posted a video showing him taunting a gun-owning state legislator, accusing the lawmaker of treason, and then stipulating that treason was punishable by "death."

Posting and then quickly deleting controversial messages is a favorite tactic employed by the folks who like to lecture America about their constitutional right to own and carry a gun. Last year, the NRA posted a statement that called the Texas crazies "weird" and asked them to keep their guns out of plain sight. The text was then quickly deleted and in its place appeared an apology to open carry activists in Texas for any "confusion" that the original statement may have caused.

Let me break the news gently to my friends at the NRA: You have only yourselves to blame for spending the last 20 years angrily denouncing anyone who dares to challenge your belief that guns represent a social good. You have only yourselves to blame for shamelessly pandering to imbeciles like Kory Watkins who is probably too much of a nitwit to understand the damage he causes people who genuinely want to legally own and use guns. You accuse Shannon Watts of not representing gun owners when she asks Raising Cane to make their venues gun-free zones. Whom exactly do you now represent?