American gun enthusiasts frequently enjoy attributing Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto with the quote, “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.” In spite of this widespread misattribution, the admiral likely never uttered those words. This quote has been used to exaggerate the strength of the individual American citizen when hypothetically faced with an invading force along with the notion that guns belong everywhere in America.
There aren’t any actual figures on the number of guns in America. A 2007 Small Arms Survey estimated that there were 270 million privately owned guns in the country, but that number has certainly increased in the last eight years. With at least one firearm for every person in the country, the 2nd Amendment rights of many Americans are being exercised on an increasing basis. However, individual citizens would still be hard pressed to defend their homes against a conventional military with tactical drone strikes and armored vehicles.
An increasingly pervasive notion in America is that guns are needed for protection during a person’s everyday life. The threat of being the victim of a violent crime drives people to obtain concealed carry permits that allow them to carry firearms with the protection of the law. Still other states continue forward with legislation that would enable Americans to carry in zones previously deemed “gun-free”. In a country that has been plagued by lone gunman shooting sprees, it remains to be seen if society has gone too far by allowing guns to be carried in these locations.
For hundreds of years, carrying weapons into a church was considered to be a sin, but in some American churches it is being actively encouraged. In 2009, a Kentucky pastor and concealed carry instructor held the Open Carry Celebration where parishioners were encouraged to come bearing unloaded weapons. Last December, Florida pastor Terry Howell was struck by a bullet fired by a recently fired maintenance worker. Thankfully, Howell managed to return fire with a weapon of his own and made it to the hospital in stable condition.
Weddings are typically a day to celebrate the love shared between a couple with their families and friends. However, it is becoming an increasingly popular trend for American brides and grooms to be pictured with large quantities of firearms, just to ensure that nobody messes with their special day. While the looming threat of violence may kill the romantic vibe, the pictures will surely be useful in future divorce proceedings. For those getting married in the near future, gun themed pictures seem to be a big hit among internet firearm enthusiasts.
8. Birthday Parties
You may think children are not the ideal candidates to carry weapons, but gun manufacturer Crickett disagrees. The company produces a line of rifles dubbed “My First Rifle” that is available in several neon colors that are specially sized for shooters aged 4-10. Tragically, the weapon was involved in the fatal shooting death of a 2-year-old in Kentucky by her 5-year-old brother. The rifle had been given to the boy as a birthday present. In Kentucky and many states, it is legal for an adult to give a child a rifle as a present.
Public libraries have long been institutions where people from the community can come to acquire knowledge and opinions from a multitude of sources available in one place. In 2013, a Michigan Supreme Court case found that these public libraries are not permitted to declare their facilities “gun-free” zones. Libraries continue to be the site of open-carry protests and local ordinances vary greatly from state to state regarding guns in libraries.
6. Texas State Capitol
In order to display their enthusiasm for House Bill 195, dozens of gun activists gathered at the Texas State Capitol. The proposed bill would eliminate the need for Texas gun owners to obtain a concealed carry permit and would allow individuals to openly carry firearms in public. Leaders of the rally espoused several popular ideologies including the notion that, “An armed society is a polite society.” The rally appears to have been a success because the bill passed and is now only two steps away from becoming an enacted law.
5. College Campus
In light of shooting tragedies at college campuses around the nation, many of these institutions have banned possession of firearms on their grounds. However, only 11 states have placed outright bans on firearms on college campuses. Many states make exceptions to allow guns to be kept in locked parked cars, but popular sentiment is building in 11 states, including Florida and Texas, that could allow “Campus Carry” laws to take effect. Colorado, Idaho, and Utah have already passed laws that allow concealed carry on campuses, while five other states allow individual institutions to determine who may carry and where they are permitted. Twenty-one states simply let the institutions decide for themselves, meaning the majority of states allow some form of concealed carry on certain college campuses.
4. Daycare Facility
When parents take their children to a daycare facility, they likely don’t expect that their children are in an environment where they could be exposed to firearms. In many areas, home based facilities are common, and while most states require firearms be unloaded and locked away, that requirement is not always followed. Last year in St. Paul, Minnesota, police raided one actively licensed home based facility and found a gun in a crib. Another arrest took place in Victorville, California which reported that guns were “easily accessible” to children. A report from the Minnesota based StarTribune found 20 gun related violations since 2006 have taken place in home day care facilities.
3. The Bar
Recently, open carry lobbyists have found success in changing state level laws regarding carrying firearms in bars that serve alcohol. One such law has been passed in Georgia and allows individuals to carry firearms in bars as long as they do not consume alcohol. House Bill 937 became law in North Carolina in October 2013, but allowed bars to apply for an exemption, yet only a few dozen applicants applied. Depending on your location, this could be extra motivation to enjoy your adult beverages from the comfort of your own home.
2. Parking Lot at Work
22 out of 50 states in America have passed laws that prohibit employers from banning firearms being kept in the vehicles of their employees. While employers maintain the right to ban the weapons from their offices and other places of business, the parking lot remains exempt from these bans. Many big name companies like FedEx, Caterpiller, and Volkswagen have fought against these regulations, but they remain on the books in many places. These “Guns in the Parking Lot” bills remain popular in the hoppers of state legislatures across the country thanks to the unyielding efforts of the gun lobby.
1. World’s Busiest Airport
One of the side-effects of Georgia’s “Guns Everywhere” bill is that it enhanced an already active law that allows licensed concealed carriers to possess firearms within the world’s busiest airport. By several metrics, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the busiest in the world, meaning it must deal with a multitude of security issues on a regular basis. While no passenger may pass through security and board a plane, they can still possess firearms within other areas of the airport. Those found in the possession of firearms are checked to ensure they are a credentialed carrier and sent on their way, but those found without proper paperwork are subject to arrest.
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