OK Governor Brad Henry Thinks Like Sarah Brady

by Larry Pratt

While vetoing an open carry bill in Oklahoma, Governor Brad Henry (D) was quick to claim that he is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the holder of an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association.”

How reassuring.  It sounds as convincing as when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who has never seen a gun control bill he did not like, says that he supports the Second Amendment.  

According to Gov. Henry, this “great defender” of the Second Amendment, he vetoed the bill because it “does nothing to enhance Second Amendment protections and could ultimately endanger public citizens and law enforcement officers.”

So, according to Henry, legalizing the open carry of handguns does nothing to enhance Second Amendment protections.  What would enhance those protections then?  A gun ban?

Additionally, the governor did not explain how armed citizens endanger other citizens, including police.  He offered no evidence of this being a problem in other states which have legalized open carry.  That might be because open carry hasn’t been a problem.

Gov. Henry, argued that “there is no compelling safety reason or Second Amendment argument to expand the existing statute” which currently provides for concealed carry permits.  Perhaps the governor did not read the Second Amendment all the way through – you know, that part at the end that says “shall not be infringed.”  Making a crime out of exercising the right to keep and bear arms sure sounds like an infringement to me.

No compelling safety reason?  How about self-defense for starters.  

But one can go back just a few months to an episode in Kennesaw, Georgia to see that open carry actually serves as a deterrent.  According to a story posted by the Examiner on February 18, 2010 by Ed Stone, two armed customers were patronizing a Waffle House when a scout for two carloads of punks came in to surveil the store for a robbery.  

On seeing the armed customers he quickly left the restaurant, but by this time the police had gotten suspicious of the parked cars.  Before they could drive away, their cars were searched and found to be full of masks and rifles.  Had the armed customers not been there, it is believed that the robbery would have taken place before the cops arrived.

The crooks themselves told the cops that it was the sight of armed customers that changed their plans to rob the restaurant.

The editorial writers at the Tulsa World came up with an additional reason to support Henry’s veto: “And surely it would make the job of law officers more difficult if they have to try to sort out who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in an armed conflict.”

A little knowledge of how crimes usually unfold can address this concern.  For example, when a wannabe mass murderer attacked the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, he came with three firearms and over a thousand rounds of ammo.  

He killed two sisters in the parking lot, but on entering the huge church of some 10,000 members, he was immediately engaged by one of the teams of church members serving as a security team.  Within thirty seconds the cretin was dead, and 6 minutes later the police arrived (which is a great response time).  

The police had no trouble sorting out who was who at New Life.  The bad guy was already at room temperature and the security team had had plenty of time to stow their guns.

But never mind the facts, the Oklahoma Governor was concerned about what people would think of the Sooner State if visitors saw folks walking around with guns on their hips.  Last time I was in Oklahoma, every cop I saw had a gun on his hip.  Obviously, the governor is clueless that the people are the sovereigns and as such it is only proper that they be armed. The fact that they have extended this right to their employees tasked with public safety doesn’t give those employees a monopoly.

Governor Henry is term-limited as governor, so he will be retiring in January.  My guess is that if he should decide to run for office again in Oklahoma, his veto and his comments will make such a race doomed from the start.