Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

November 26, 2012

If you carry, then stay safe

TAHLEQUAH — A couple of weeks ago, Oklahoma’s new “open carry” firearms law went into effect. And while there’s been a bit of hullabaloo in some quarters, the law hasn’t changed that much from its original status. Now, instead of carrying a concealed weapon, Okies and their licensed friends and family from other states can carry them in holsters or over their shoulders. Indeed, several business owners have told the Press they’d prefer to “see” the guns rather than wonder if each customer has one hidden.

Senate Bill 1733 strikes the word “concealed” from the original text. In general, carrying a loaded or unloaded weapon is still illegal, unless the carrier has a state-issued handgun license. Business and property owners can also carry guns openly on their own property, and they can prohibit others from carrying guns onto that same property. That latter stipulation has met with objections of some local gun owners, who believe if they have the license and latitude to carry guns, they should be able to carry them anywhere they choose. That’s a puzzling attitude. Many people who pushed for the ability to carry guns, either openly or concealed, did so because they believed it was a matter of personal liberty – a freedom they are granted and guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

If “freedom” and “liberty” are the buzz words , it seems logical they would apply to a business owner who would prefer his customers not be packing. After all, if an entrepreneur can make the demand of “no shirt, no shoes, no entry,” why can he not refuse service on the basis of gun possession? And though businesses don’t technically have to put up a sign to ban firearms, it’s prudent and courteous to customers to make that policy plain. Some gun owners have said they won’t do business in a place where their weapons aren’t welcome. In tit for tat fashion, others say they won’t enter a store where firearms are allowed. For many business owners, it’s a no-win scenario.

There are other places where firearms are banned. While some gun owners don’t like it, others see the wisdom of prohibiting guns at venues where tempers are likely to flare, or where large crowds could lead to mayhem, even if the one brandishing the weapon is among the most responsible and best-trained individuals. These include city, state and federal buildings, and places where governmental bodies or entities meet or conduct business; school properties and school buses; bars, taverns and clubs where drinking is the primary endeavor; professional sporting events or gambling venues; and colleges, universities and tech centers, except under certain circumstances.

The ability to carry guns is always going to be a hot-button issue - even in a state like Oklahoma, where most people have guns, and where a solid percentage of those who own them believe they should have the right to tote them around. But they should also respect the feelings of those who fear the proliferation of guns could be a recipe for trouble, and who can readily refute those who claim that if every law-abiding citizen carried a gun, we’d all be safer.

The public can only ask what is reasonable: that respect be accorded to all people for divergent opinions, and those who carry guns be careful with this privilege. There are stories of well-meaning people whose own weapons have been turned against them. Let’s everyone do their part to make sure we’re all safe.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014

  • Does fracking cause earthquakes? Just in case, get insurance

    There are no professional geologists on the staff of the Tahlequah Daily Press, so we can’t unequivocally say just how much damage fracking is causing to the environment.

    June 27, 2014

  • As chamber scandal expands, plenty of blame to go around

    If the proverbial buck being passed over the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce scandal were a real dollar bill, it would already be worn so thin you could read this newspaper through it.

    June 23, 2014

  • Suicide prevention bill may solve other problems as well

    A bipartisan bill signed into law recently by Gov. Mary Fallin could give schools they leverage and resources they need to help thwart suicide.
    If the initiative works, it could make giant strides in reversing an alarming trend in suicide among teens, and increasingly, among pre-teens. That’s especially important for Oklahoma, where the suicide rate per capita is the 13th highest in the nation.

    June 20, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Stocks