01 April 2012

Why must we have training to exercise Constitutional rights?

Here in Arizona, we have what is wrongly described as "constitutional carry", meaning that we can in most places without having to get a carry permit. As many of you know, the only way that I would consider it "constitutional" is if there were no restrictions other than maybe restricting convicted felons. Arizona's relatively new law is big hit with those that vehemently oppose having to get training to get a carry permit although one must still provide proof of training, albeit very minimal, to get a permit in AZ. (The ability for AZ residents to still obtain an AZ carry permit only benefits those that wish to enter establishments that sell alcoholic beverages by the drink and those that wish to travel to other states that have reciprocity with AZ). Those of us that work with untrained people on a daily basis understand why the states mandate it even if we don't completely agree with it.

An unintended consequence of Arizona lowering it's training standards from the original 16 hours to 8 hours and then to a minimal, token safety class is that many states may eventually realize that and drop their reciprocity agreements. NM is considering dropping AZ it as I type this. 

It is true that training is not required by the constitution but neither is taking drivers ed or getting a drivers license which very few will dispute. Is not driving and the right travel to work and to visit and help sick friends and relatives or whatever truly a part of pursuing life, liberty and happiness as enumerated by the constitution? Is not building a house or becoming an electrician a part of said pursuit? Yet we must, and do, get training, permits and inspections to exercise these pursuits.

I truly believe that we should not have to get permits and training for these things but we do and it is a fact of the life that we have allowed to be imposed upon us due to our apathy and reluctance to disturb our own comfort. If we had never allowed so much regulation and restriction in our lives, society would be more able and willing to take care of themselves today. If our society hadn't been convinced many years ago that guns NEEDED to be regulated and accepted that regulation because they were somehow inherently dangerous, society over-all wouldn't be as ignorant in gun matters as they are today. Kids that grew up on a ranch in Wyoming or a farm in Nebraska or a small logging town in New Mexico really don't need the training as bad as 95% of the rest of the nation. There was a time when those numbers were reversed but that was long ago and the majority of people nowadays NEED, desperately NEED training in many things so that are not a danger to themselves and to the rest of society.
Below is an example of inadequate training or not exercising that knowledge. The result is the same in either case.

After saying all that, I still don't believe that training should be legislated but, unfortunately, neither can we legislate common-sense and it seems that many of us, whether through ignorance, apathy or ego, cannot or will not seek training.

Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)
Southwest Shooting Authority

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