Keep and Bear Arms
Home Members Login/Join About Us News/Editorials Archives Take Action Your Voice Web Services Free Email
You are 1 of 325 active visitors Monday, April 22, 2024
Main Email List:

State Email Lists:
Click Here
Join/Renew Online
Join/Renew by Mail
Make a Donation
Magazine Subscriptions
KABA Memorial Fund
Advertise Here
Use KABA Free Email




Keep and Bear Arms - Vote In Our Polls
Do you oppose Biden's anti-gun executive orders?

Current results
Earlier poll results
4732 people voted



» U.S. Gun Laws
» AmeriPAC
» NoInternetTax
» Gun Show On The Net
» 2nd Amendment Show
» SEMPER FIrearms
» Colt Collectors Assoc.
» Personal Defense Solutions



Keep and Bear Arms


Archived Information

Top | Last 30 Days | Search | Add to Archives | Newsletter | Featured Item

There Is No "Allow"
By L. Neil Smith

Recently we've heard astonishing fallout from an impressive study of the achievements, so far, of a growing effort -- almost amounting to a movement -- to make it easier for ordinary folks to legally carry concealed weapons. In states where this effort has been successful, crime rates (in terms of violent confrontation) have fallen so dramatically even the media can no longer deny it.

Advocates of the right to own and carry weapons rendered cynical by years of watching media act as a fourth branch of government, rather than its adversaries as Jefferson intended, are inclined to wonder why the hairsprayheads have decided, unprecedentedly, to tell the truth. I suspect an answer lies in a troubling aspect of concealed carry I've attempted to warn gunfolk about previously.

When I entered the argument three and a half decades ago, the issue where both sides were concerned was registration and licensing. Antigunners wanted every firearm in the country listed in government directories, every user required to obtain written permission to exercise his Second Amendment rights -- rights to be converted into privileges, revocable upon the whim of politicians and bureaucrats.

Antigunners were unsuccessful until 1968, when, grotesquely stampeded by the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King (I don't recall any similar outrage on the part of the media over the shooting of George Wallace), government began enforcing the registration of weapons, new and used, at the point of retail sale, under Lyndon Johnson's Omnibus Crime Control Act.

Over the next quarter-century, we managed to "live with" this law, which, with the collaboration of a criminal justice system so putrescently corrupt it shines in the dark, blatantly violated the letter and intent of the Second Amendment. It helped that guns in private hands or traded among individuals didn't enter the retail stream and remained unregistered. It also helped that, thanks to Ronald Reagan, the outlaw BATF (what else do you call an out-of- control agency that coldbloodedly murders 81 individuals -- 22 of them kids -- and whose very existence is forbidden by the Constitution?) was prohibited from computerizing forms generated under the 1968 Gun Control Act. And there was still no provision for licensing owners.

Now, the danger of a national Sullivan Act has raised its stealthy head again, brought on by well-intended but misguided efforts to issue concealed carry permits. The danger is exacerbated by the fact that this extremely circumscribed return of a fundamental liberty has produced such remarkably beneficial results. It reminds us of the way, in the Soviet Union, that the 5% of farmland privately owned produced 80% of the crops. Even from our own side, we hear how crime is falling in states that generously allow 1% of the people to carry weapons. But there can be no "allow" where an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right is concerned.

One more time, just to get it straight: there is no "allow". The word applies only to slaves, collared dogs, maybe children, and government. It does not apply to free adults. We've forgotten that, in America, unlike any other nation on Earth, "We the People" allow government to do things (too many, as we're belatedly starting to realize), not the other way around. That's the point of the 9th and 10th Amendments. Second-highest on the list of things we don't allow is interference with our right to own and carry weapons.

It's undeniable that crime has decreased wherever the right to own and carry weapons, previously suppressed, has been converted into a privilege, granted or denied by the state. Overlooked, however, is the fact that, in 1994, Vermont was named (Crime State Rankings 1994) the safest state in America. It's the only state without laws of any kind forbidding -- or allowing -- concealed weapons. Hence the term, "Vermont Carry", which I coined years ago to describe the proper way to observe the Second Amendment.

Where licensing proponents tip their hand is that, in many states, in many versions of concealed carry legislation, failure to comply with their illegal requirements becomes -- without explanation or justification -- a felony rather than the misdemeanor it was before. In other instances, the applicant -- make that, "supplicant" -- must name the weapon he or she will be allowed to carry, along with its serial number. Thus we've come, the long way around, by our own clumsy doing, to the registration and licensing we once opposed.

An unalienable right is one that can't be taken away by anyone for any reason. All rights are individual rights; no group has rights beyond those possessed individually by its members. My dictionary says a civil right is one guaranteed (not "given" or "granted") to the individual by law. A Constitutional right is no right at all, but a limit on the power of government. A human right is one you possess inherently, by virtue of being alive; it's what we mean when we say "natural" right.

The right to own and carry weapons is all of these things, not one -- not even civil rights; that's why we busted big fat segregationist sheriffs in Smokey Bear hats and mirrored sunglasses in the 1960s -- subject to government approval.

Anti-gunners are striking back, suing to expose permits lists, violate privacy, endanger lives. The law is with them: permits are a matter of public record and must be disclosed. Elsewhere, we hear of discriminatory licensing based on income or race. In terms of potential abuses, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

The Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, SAFE (Second Amendment is For Everyone), and GOLF (Gun Owners' Liberation Front) were the first to demand nothing less than Vermont Carry -- repeal of any law having anything to do with how people carry weapons. We're gratified that SWARM (Safety for Women And Responsible Motherhood) and GOA (Gun Owners of America) have followed suit.

It's time for the National Rifle Association to join us in calling for a national non-system of Vermont Carry. No prerequisites, no records, no nothing.

Then watch the crime rate start to fall.

Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author -- provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given.

Order my books at:

My home on the web, The Webley Page:

My e-zine The Libertarian Enterprise:

Printer Version

"There's no legitimate use for a gun like this." --Chicago Police Superintendent Philip Cline, brandishing a 9mm semiautomatic handgun at a news conference (Chicago Tribune, "Special unit hauling in guns, drugs" by Glenn Jeffers, January 29, 2004)

COPYRIGHT POLICY: The posting of copyrighted articles and other content, in whole or in part, is not allowed here. We have made an effort to educate our users about this policy and we are extremely serious about this. Users who are caught violating this rule will be warned and/or banned.
If you are the owner of content that you believe has been posted on this site without your permission, please contact our webmaster by following this link. Please include with your message: (1) the particulars of the infringement, including a description of the content, (2) a link to that content here and (3) information concerning where the content in question was originally posted/published. We will address your complaint as quickly as possible. Thank you.

NOTICE:  The information contained in this site is not to be considered as legal advice. In no way are Keep And Bear Arms .com or any of its agents responsible for the actions of our members or site visitors. Also, because this web site is a Free Speech Zone, opinions, ideas, beliefs, suggestions, practices and concepts throughout this site may or may not represent those of Keep And Bear Arms .com. All rights reserved. Articles that are original to this site may be redistributed provided they are left intact and a link to is given. Click here for Contact Information for representatives of is the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions used by enterprises, Web sites, and consumers to conduct secure communications and transactions over the Internet and private networks., Inc. © 1999-2024, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy