The editorial headlined “Gun Laws” (Herald, July 4) again presented a rationally balanced view of the Second Amendment and of the commonsense basis of recently legislated gun controls. Here, I’m taking aim at the concealed-carry ethos, as expressed by the National Rifle Association and in gun magazines.
First, concealed-carry is not entitled by the Second Amendment. There, the verb “to bear” means “to carry in a visible manner,” not to conceal in an invisible manner. Next, it’s my diagnosis that concealed carry has gone to a pathological extreme. On the covers of the most recent concealed-carry magazine, I see a palpable whacko. Within the magazines, I see adds for concealed-carry trousers, shirts, jackets, purses, even concealed-carry underpants and bras. More alarming, I read three accounts instructing “responsible concealed-carry citizens” that they must, when carrying a concealed gun, maintain what’s called “orange alert” – a constant state of heightened awareness of threats lurking in their surroundings.
I call this psychological condition “patrol paranoia.” Moreover, I maintain that it’s extremely unhealthy for ordinary citizens to go about their daily lives with the mindset of a soldier on patrol in enemy territory. This is so unhealthy even for soldiers that it contributes to post-traumatic stress disorder. On this point, I know whereof I speak.
The fact is that for a soldier or civilian to bring a gun to bear to kill requires an instant dehumanization that can, with repetition, become instinctive. Not healthy, as I say, for concealed-carry civilians! Further, I say: That way madness lies.