I also have no interest in slinging a rifle onto my back before taking a walk around the block, or dragging a mini-cannon into town to show off at the next festival.
Even though, according to Georgia law, I can. If our state doesn't grant the broadest gun-owner rights in the country, it's gotta be in the top two, especially since our legislators passed their Guns Everywhere law. Wanta take your gun into a bar or restaurant? Okeydoke. To the park? No problem! You might not be able to smoke a cigarette in the park anymore, but by golly, feel free to tote your favorite sidearm.
So I'm (gulp) not nervous. Nope, not a bit.
See, I don't have a problem with guns, and I'm well aware of a whole slew of famous quotes about the importance of the right to bear arms.
Like what Thomas Jefferson said about the dangers from within: The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
And having an armed population has probably saved us from dangers from without, too. Like during WW II, when Japan's Isoroku Yamamoto said, I would never invade the United States. There would be a gun behind every blade of grass.
(Especially in Georgia.)
But none of that is what prompted me to write this post. This is: a few weeks ago, a local guy (AKA gun nut) took his AR-15 to the airport. The big airport in Atlanta. You know, the busiest airport in the world. What...? You don't know what an AR-15 is? Here... I'll show you.
THIS is an AR-15:
But our local guy (AKA gun nut) wasn't satisfied with the idea of toting around an AR-15 with a standard clip, as shown in the picture. Oh no, not him. His gun was fitted with a 100-round drum magazine. Here's one of them in action:
The only difference was, the guy at the airport (AKA gun nut) had a single 100-round drum, instead of the two 50-rounders, as shown in this clip. Just the sort of thing you want to see someone carrying when you go to the airport, eh?
So why was he carrying it? Because it's his right, he said. Because, by Georgia law, he can carry a gun into the airport. Tell me, if you see somebody carrying around a weapon like that at the airport, are you gonna feel secure... or are you gonna pee in your pants a little?
Now, I will admit it. I have fired an AR-15 before... and I enjoyed it. Matter of fact, I laughed most of the time I was shooting, because it made this little old lady feel like a real badass... but I fired it under safe operating conditions at the range. And we don't even carry loaded weapons into the shooting club... weapons don't get loaded until we're actually situated at one of the shooting lanes. Again, that was at a range. Not in an airport. Not in the midst of an international crowd of travelers.
See, I don't get it. If that man wanted to bring a loaded gun into the airport, which makes me a tad nervous anyway, but if he did... why not a handgun? Something for simple self-protection, if that's what he felt he needed to do. Something he could carry in a holster, or unobtrusively in his pocket. Why such a kick-ass in-your-face kinda gun that's gonna scare kids half to death, give three people heart attacks, and make grandma tinkle in her undies? I'm just saying... why? To prove something, but... what? I get it. It's his right. How, I ask you, are the police supposed to know he's one of the good guys when they see him toting that bad boy around? See, here in Georgia, the law also says police aren't allowed to ask to see anyone's carry permit. How do ya like them apples? The game warden can ask to see fishing and hunting licenses; police can ask to see a driver's license, but as for asking to see a paper concerning the legalities of carrying a gun? Nope. Can't do it.
Here's what I think. That guy is an ass. Sure, he acted well within his rights. But were his actions really intended as a means of embracing those rights, and making the public more comfortable with him and other gun owners exercising their rights, as he said, or was it more a matter of him trying to get his stinkin' fifteen minutes of fame? More like infamy, but he definitely got... and continues to get... a lot of attention.
I think it was the latter. I think that guy (AKA gun nut) has a bad bad attitude, and I also think his narcissistic actions only served to frighten people, demonize gun-owners, and stir up a hornet's nest of anti-gun sentiment. And the people who genuinely care about the right to bear arms should be just as ticked off at his look-at-me antics as the travelers he terrified at the airport are. To be perfectly honest, gun rights aside, it saddens me to think of anyone who only feels safe while carrying a loaded gun.
What do you think?
Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other.