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    Just Sayin’

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    I’ve been trying to understand the reasoning behind the Kentucky Senate bill signed into law this year that erased the requirement for gun owners (21 and over) to register for a concealed-carry license, allowing them to hide the guns they’re packing when they, say, take the family to a neighborhood block party or the county fair. I mean, it’s hard enough to understand how it could be lawful for anyone other than a cop to bring a gun in full view to such places.

    The logic goes, I’ve since learned, that centuries after the Kentucky Constitution stipulated in 1792 that it was OK for an 18-year-old to carry a handgun or rifle in public settings without a permit as long as it’s displayed openly for people to see, gun owners who’d rather hide their pieces than forewarn evil-doers found it unfair that they should have to register and take a safety and training course as well as pay licensing fees when the open-carriers didn’t. “It’s not the role of state government to require training or collect the recurrent fees for law-abiding citizens to exercise his or her Second Amendment right,” declared Rep. Savannah Maddox of Dry Ridge. Furthermore, she added, if you’re restricted to open-holstering your gun for all to see, some nefarious criminals in the crowd might grab it from your belt and shoot up the place. A third concern: Showing your gun might goad you into “brandishing” it — you know, love-pat it with pride or wave it around — which (technically) could get you arrested for provocation.

    The next thing we’re likely to hear is that the open-carry folks have an unfair edge because they can be not only untrained and their guns unregistered, but they get to do it when they’re 18.

    And already the bonus of hidden-handgun security isn’t proving powerful enough or even adequate, at least for internet pot-stirrers like the “Shooter’s Log” on the website Cheaper Than Dirt. “But what about those tragic incidents where no matter how big your pistol is, it’s simply not going to be enough?” the blog asks. “How can you best prepare to deal with multiple aggressive adversaries (my italics), who might be wearing body armor while armed with AK-47s?” The answer: concealable short-barreled rifles, preferably with high-count magazines. Talk about your manly bulges!

    The supreme irony here, of course, is that the gun worshippers profess to be protectors of themselves and the American way of life. It’s just that they don’t mind scaring the bejesus out of everyone else.

    This originally appeared in the August 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine under the headline "A Little Too Much Concealer." To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Illustration by Shae Goodlett,

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