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The Lake News Online
  • Letter to the editor: Open carry limitations is not an erosion of rights

  • Today however, not being able to amble around town with guns and ammo strapped to our waists is not a restriction of personal freedom; it’s called living in the 21st century!
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  • *Editor’s Note: This opinion is in response to a Letter to the Editor titled “ Personal freedoms threatened in Lake Ozark” by Thomas Heimbarger published in the Wednesday, May 21 Lake Sun. Heimbarger’s letter addressed the reading of a possible ordinance in Lake Ozark to limit open carry within city limits.
     
    I would like to know what century Mr. Heimbarger is longing for, it seems like it’s the early 1800s. Back then many people were armed because there was no law enforcement in many places.
    Today however, not being able to amble around town with guns and ammo strapped to our waists is not a restriction of personal freedom; it’s called living in the 21st century!
    Since we do live in the 21st century, and also in an area where tourism is our major source of income, I can think of no better way to keep tourism out of the lake area than to get the reputation as a Wild West town, where anyone with a permit can carry a gun and holster in plain view, or even have a shotgun or M15 slung over their shoulders.
    I’m sure families from far and wide would be lining up to bring themselves or their children to our “Wild West Town” so they and their children could rub shoulders with our well armed locals!
    His comment regarding our personal freedoms being legislated away is just his knee-jerk reaction to common sense legislation that is needed in a civilized society.
    Requiring that weapons not be carried in full view when out in public is not an erosion of anyone’s constitutional rights. Our right to bear arms is pretty well established, and also with few restrictions, as shown by the number of gun related fatalities each year.
    The “complainers” he speaks of are people who are not comfortable rubbing shoulders with armed individuals and who don’t want to give up their personal freedom to go out in public and feel safe.
    And, NO, Mr. Heimbarger, prayer in school was not outlawed because we were being told how to behave. It was removed from schools so as not to show a preference for any one religion.
    That means that your right to practice your religion should not infringe on my right to practice my religion. In the same way, your right to carry weapons openly in public must be tempered by my right to feel safe in public.
    Also, a permit from local law enforcement is required to own a gun and also to carry it concealed. Mr. Heimbarger apparently doesn’t have confidence in that permit process since he believes that law enforcement would be better served by seeing who’s armed and not.
    Page 2 of 2 - If he’s worried about “the bad guys” riding into town shooting the sheriff and robbing a bank, or shooting up the local saloon or bustin’ a member of the gang out of the local jail, then a well armed public might be all that would stand in the way of the mayhem.
    Unfortunately we do not live in the 1800s, we now have well-trained law enforcement officers and nobody has had to form a posse to hunt down a bad guy in many, many, years.
     
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