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Guns: a God-given right?

Constitutional carry becomes effective in Oklahoma on Nov. 1. The “constitutional carry” bill, signed into law by Gov. Stitt in February, allows those 21 and over, and not otherwise restricted, to carry a firearm without a permit, whether or not they conceal it. 

It also allows the same for those 18 and older who are members of the U.S. National Guard, armed forces or reserves.

“It was also apparent to me that the road we were traveling down—that constitutional carry was something the people of Oklahoma wanted,” said state Sen. Kim David, a sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

Sen. David made sure to emphasize that businesses and institutions of higher education still maintained their right to restrict people from carrying firearms within their property.

Neighboring states Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas had already passed constitutional carry. 

“Because we have reciprocity in Oklahoma, those states could come to Oklahoma and carry without a permit—they had more rights than our own citizens did,” Sen. David said.

“I don’t believe you should have to pay the government in order to exercise your rights,” said state Sen. Nathan Dahm.

Our elected representatives in Oklahoma are protecting our God-given rights to life, liberty and property. The second amendment states, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This protects our right of self-defense against potential aggressors and tyrants. Although the state cannot infringe on our right to bear arms, it is the right of private property owners to choose what they will allow on their land.

A CDC study from 2013, which was commissioned by President Obama, found that the evidence for the effectiveness of restricting gun use was inconclusive, while the proof of the efficacy of right-to-carry laws also remains debated. That same study shows that the number of annual defensive gun use at least equals the number of negative use, despite estimates ranging from 108,000 to 3 million defensive gun uses.

Alternatively, the evidence that people deserve the right to self-defense is conclusive. 

In Federalist No. 46, James Madison defended the right of the people to keep and bear arms. He said, “The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.” Madison clarified that an armed citizenry would be able to defend itself against a tyrannical government.

This right to defend ourselves is a right to carry. We should not sacrifice this fundamental liberty for a false sense of security.

Graphic by Sterling Zoe Rubottom