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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Volokh Finds Some Early 1800s PSH Comment
    Gregory Morris, 12/11/08 8:11:39 am
    Here.
    The Grand Jury would not recommend any legislative interference with what they conceive to be one of the most essential privileges of freemen, the right of carrying arms: But...
    Written by Paul Helmke's great granddaddy? Need more proof?
    We conceive that it manifests a hostile, and if the expression may be allowed, a piratical disposition against the human race...
    Piratical! Hah!

    It is interesting how rarely things like this surface. Indeed, there have been restrictions on the carrying of arms since man first learned how to sharpen a stick. In this country regulation of one's ability to legally bear arms has always been seen as a violation of an essential right, even if it some justification was found to enact it.

    Even when historical support for limiting concealed arms existed, it was not seen to violate the right to bear arms since open carry of arms was an accepted practice. However, in modern times, openly carrying weapons is acceptable in very few locations, which is why concealed carry has become immensely popular. It is plainly evident that one, the other, or both must be allowed in order for the individual right to bear arms to be inviolate.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Volokh Finds Some Early 1800s PSH
    Sailorcurt, 12/11/08 10:19:33 am
    I don't think this demonstrates an anti-gun mentality. In fact the opposite. What it does is embraces the concept that was prevalent back then that if you're not up to no good, you have no need to hide the fact that you are armed. Only criminals feel the need to hide it, so criminal background checks, approval and permissions are only required for lawful concealed carry here.

    That is espoused in Virginia law to this day. No one needs a permit or permission to carry a loaded firearm openly in Virginia. If you're not hiding it, you must be honorable and honest. Open carry here is relatively common...I do it almost every day, even though I have a permit to carry concealed. Open carry is just more comfortable and practical and heck, I'm not a bad guy, why do I need to be sneaky about it?

    Re: Volokh Finds Some Early 1800s PSH
    Gregory Morris, 12/11/08 10:37:01 am
    I don't think it is particularly anti-gun or anti-weapon from the context of the person who wrote it. They did seem to look at it as abridging the right to bear arms, but in a way that justified.

    However, from today's context, where open carry is not widely accepted as normal, limitations on concealed carry are clearly suspect. I agree that, in theory, limits on concealed carry are not unconstitutional as such, but only when open carry cannot exist in its stead. Just because you enjoy the ability to open carry doesn't mean that it works that way in the rest of the country. Even in my home state of WV, where there is no law against open carry, it is uncommon because you will be arrested (falsely, but arrested none-the-less) for it.

    On the other hand, I don't agree with an assumption that hiding your weapon means you are "up to no good". Even back then. There were and still are both tactical and diplomatic considerations which make concealing your weapon a good idea. Calling someone piratical for having a dirk tucked under their coat is utter nonsense.
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