Writings and observations

Those of us not much into guns – that majority of us for whom guns aren’t, maybe apart from a hunting expedition or such, a part of ordinary daily life – have one kind of mindset when it comes to firearms. Even in these western states where guns certainly aren’t rare.

But there’s also the “open carry” culture. A perceptive Boise Weekly piece on a group of “open carry” (guns) advocates, by Scott Weaver, points out the view this way:

“The question is this: How do you reintroduce firearms into a culture that, as Ludlow and Carter have admitted, has rejected them as a part of everyday life? How do you push people toward the open-carry advocate’s ideal society, one in which everyone who is permitted to do so openly carries a gun. It’s often the first question you’re asked when you inquire as to why they’re carrying guns: Why aren’t you?”

Possible answers might include the potential for deadly accidents, the improbability of needing a gun (speaking personally, your scribe never has felt the need for one in more than half a century of American living and travel across 49 states) and the possibility of getting into a conflict with someone else also carrying; and that this century is the 21st, not the 19th. But that’s just one way of thinking.

Presumably the majority way, though, Idaho’s reputation notwithstanding. The Weekly story is spun around an Idaho Open Carry group’s plans to hold a dinner (at which carrying but not shooting was expected) at the Meridian Fuddruckers, which which evidently became uneasy at the idea, then at an Idaho Pizza Company, which asked them to leave their weapons outside, before finally getting a dinner with carry at a Shari’s.

An Idaho Pizza Company employee remarked, “This is supposed to be a family atmosphere. We got no problem with them coming in. We just don’t want them carrying guns. I mean, we don’t live in the Wild West, man.”

Well, evidently he doesn’t . . .

But be it noted that the Idaho diners are far from alone in their enthusiasm. Check out the website OpenCarry.org for more on the national perspective and relevant state laws.

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There’s something sad about this. Time was when communities scrambled to avoid being a “prison town” – as in, put that thing somewhere else.

Now, they can be considered moneymakers.

And money is invested. From the Twin Falls Times News, in a report on Cassia County’s commissioners’ pursuit of a new $300 million federal prison: “The contract approved Monday calls for a monthly fee of $5,000, and commissioners also set aside a monthly travel budget of up to $500 for the effort.”

The fee goes to New West Strategies, the lobbying group founded by former Senator Larry Craig and his former staffer Michael O. Ware. (In case you were wondering what the former senator is up to.)

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Idaho