Let them have their guns.
Oklahoma's state senate and house passed a bill that would allow anyone to carry a gun pretty much anywhere in the state, without any training, tests or permits. The only people who wouldn't be invited to the state's big gun party are felons and the mentally ill.
Why do Oklahoma lawmakers see the need to arm everyone in the state? Has there been an uptick in violent crime? Have the police proven themselves unable to protect the state's citizens? Have the aliens broken out of Area 51 and headed east to invade Oklahoma?
Lawmakers are pushing the bill for a much more grand, theological reason -- God wants people to have guns, according to Republican State Rep. Jeff Coody, sponsor of the bill. Self defense is a God-given right, Coody told the Oklahoman, and the right to bear arms is enshrined in the constitution.
"If we give people some freedom, people tend to use that responsibly," Coody, a Republican, said.
Also, President Barack Obama and the liberals want to take their guns away. Or something.
“We have a government that wants to take our constitutional rights away from us," Coody explained. "This is push back."
Although the bill's been passed by the state senate and house, it still has a long way to go before it becomes law, Oklahoma's KWTV notes. Since the title was removed from the bill, it will now move to a conference committee; if the committee makes any changes to the bill, those changes will have to be approved by the state senate and house. Only then will the bill move to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to await either her signature or veto.
But Fallin is a Republican, the state senate and house are both dominated by Republicans, and Oklahoma is a deeply proud, deeply red state -- you'd have to go back to 1964, when the nation was still reeling after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, to find a presidential election when the state went to a Democrat. In the more than half century and 12 presidential elections since, Oklahomans have backed Republican candidates, according to the U.S. Electoral College's federal archives.
It would be difficult to find a state painted in a deeper shade of red, which is why Oklahoma would be the perfect testbed for the National Rifle Association's long-held contention that Americans are safer if they're packing.
That conservative dream involving an evil-doer who breaks into a house at night and the righteous, God-fearing gun owner who successfully defends his family with his weapon? Let's test it out!
Remember Bernie Goetz, the New Yorker who, as the New York Post noted, fended off four would-be muggers in the subway by pulling out his gun and shooting them? Let's see what happens when we have a state full of Bernie Goetzes! Four million Bernies!
Imagine all the dramatic videos of armed robbers getting plugged full of holes by customers, clerks, tellers and anyone else with a pulse who happens to be standing in a store or a bank when it's robbed.
The Oklahoma City Thunder -- the state's only major sports team and one of its biggest employers -- has officially opposed the legislation, joining other state business groups to argue that a Wild West Oklahoma would be bad for the state's economy, Fox News notes. But think of all the money saved on boom sticks when opposing players are at the free throw line! Instead of trying to distract sharpshooters like Steph Curry with toys, OKC's fans can simply pull out their guns and fire them into the air! That's good for at least a 20 percent dip in free throw percentage.
Of course, there are party poopers opposed to the bill. Among them are the people at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers the eight-hour training course that gun owners are required to take before carrying a weapon in public.
"OSBI is a state agency and we will do what is the will of the state legislature, however we believe a more educated public is a better public no matter what that education subject is," OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown told Oklahoma's KFOR.
Democratic State Rep. Jason Dunnington voted against the bill, saying Oklahoma "isn't the wild west."
“So you have situations where you have gun shows and they don’t do background checks, and now you have someone that could go to a gun show, buy a gun without a background check and openly carry it anywhere they wanted in Oklahoma,” Dunnington said, per KFOR.
Fallin and state lawmakers should ignore Dunnington and OSBI. Second Amendment rights trump safety concerns, and if God wants everyone to have guns, who are politicians and police to say that God-fearing Americans can't go to a gun show and walk out 10 minutes later with a shiny new piece?
As a beacon of American freedom, Oklahoma owes it to itself to pass the law and see how things go for a year or five. If no one is killed by a stray bullet, if no child finds and fires their untrained parent's gun with tragic results, if a hundred people pulling out their weapons to stop a mugger on a public street doesn't make Swiss cheese out of bystanders, and if not a single mentally unstable person goes on a rampage, well, then we'd all owe it to the NRA to apologize and concede that their vision of an armed-to-the-teeth America is the correct one.
Then we'll capture one of those delicious-looking flying pigs and roast it on a spit during the celebratory party, talking about trucks and enjoying ice cold beers as the sun sets in the east.