Nearly two-thirds of readers thought concealed guns on public transit was a bad idea. The original post, Poll: Concealed Weapons Allowed On Public Transit, has great comments on the topic.
The pro-conceraled gun argument goes something like this:
“I rarely ride transit but when I do I’m scared beyond belief about what might happen to me while waiting or en route. If a dark person tries something funny I want to be a hero with my gun.”
Ok, my characterization is a bit unfair but these folks sound like they’re frightened by their own shadow. They might be well trained to use their gun on a paper target in a controlled setting but I’m transit dependent and I can assure you the bus and train are not a shooting range. They cite a drop in crime in areas where concealed guns are allowed on transit but fail to mention the similar drop in crime in other places where concealed guns aren’t allowed on transit. I’ve yet to see one independent scientific study that says conclusively that concealed guns results in a drop in crime.
The total vote count was higher than usual (160) but the percentages stayed consistent throughout the week so I don’t think any side tried to alter the results with a campaign:
Q: Concealed guns on public transit is:
- A bad idea 102 [62.96%]
- A good idea 46 [28.4%]
- Neither a good or bad idea 10 [6.17%]
- Other: 3 [1.85%]
- Unsure/No Opinion 1 [0.62%]
The other answers were:
- Are you serious? Could we be any more uncivilized?
- Already happening.
- already happening & will continue no matter what the laws are
Drinking alcohol is legal and people drink & drive, we should make that legal by the logic of these last two. The pro-gun lobby (NRA) seems to think they should be able to carry their guns anywhere and everywhere. In 2008 the US Supreme Court declared Washington D.C.’s gun law unconstitutional but conservative Justice Antonin Scolia wrote in the majority opinion:
There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment ’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams, 553 U. S. ___ (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. Before turning to limitations upon the individual right, however, we must determine whether the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment comports with our interpretation of the operative clause. (District of Columbia v Heller)
In other words, keeping a loaded gun in your own home is protected by the constitution. That doesn’t automatically extend to everywhere outside your home. Legislators that responded to my email on this subject tell me the bill to make concealed guns on public transit in Missouri legal won’t make it out of committee…this year.
- Steve Patterson