Disturbing the Peace…

 

Dear Editor,

It seems the rights of our citizens, and the citizens right to peace, have been bumping heads lately. Two issues have cropped up lately that unsettled my otherwise peaceful day.

First, when the pro-life people strap megaphones to their chests and audibly dominate the Farmers’ Market, are they not disturbing the peace of the community and trampling on the rights of the majority of the people there? They are abusing the intent of the First Amendment’s “…right to peaceably assemble…” and moved into territory where laws are being broken.

Second, to be clear, I am a gun owner. Increasingly, I see guns holstered on hips and, despite it being Idaho law, it is disturbing the peace of myself, family and friends. Particular sightings were at the Festival; the other at the grocery store.

Why does ‘open-carry’ concern me like North Vietnam concerns me: I don’t know the person. I THINK, at worse, they could be depressed and close to the psychological edge of rationality; they probably live in some degree of irrational fear and feel threatened; they may be insecure; possibly they have a John Wayne fetish, or perhaps they are ultra-patriotic and only feel an imprudent need to demonstrate their Second Amendment right. Any or all of the above is not comforting in light of the fact that I KNOW any communication with this citizen would be curtailed by the fact they have chosen to carry a deadly weapon and clearly hold the option of, should there be a disagreement, using the weapon as their last word. I don’t hold that card in my civilized communication quiver. The exposed gun breaks the thread of a peaceful society by becoming the very threat they feel they are protecting themselves against. They disrupt the peace I believe we citizens have a right to.

I’m not here to fight the Idaho laws. Instead, here is an option for those that choose to be armed: you could still be that imagined hero if your weapon was concealed. Then it wouldn’t frighten the children…us.

There is also something the citizens can do: Business owners can post “no guns allowed” notices at the entrance. If many businesses did this, armed folks would be banished with no place to shop.

Pack a concealed weapon if you feel this need, but please spare us the crass display of your issues.

Christopher White
Sandpoint

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