America isn’t the country The Washington Post says it is. It’s a big, wonderfully diverse country full of great people—along with some bad neighborhoods and bad guys—with seemingly endless rural stretches where the sheer magnificence of our sprawling landscapes means that police response times might be well above the national average. It’s a country of 50 states that grew from sea to shining sea on the gumption of the pioneer spirit grounded on individual freedom—our Second Amendment-protected rights, which can come down to a right of self-preservation, being paramount.
That may seem obvious to any person who legally carries a concealed firearm, but it is worth saying aloud if only to counter the insular worldview of media members and politicians who behave as if America is a land of 320 million dependent children who need to be taught how to act and think as their betters do.
The thing is, America is big and complicated, but we all have the same rights. That ties us together. Though state law can vary widely, we all have these same liberties protected within the U.S. Bill of Rights.
We are supposed to be able to carry this constitutional freedom with us when we travel around the country. With regards to the Second Amendment, we utilize this right to protect ourselves, to hunt, to compete in shooting competitions or just because we want to, as is our right.
But right now it isn’t so easy to carry this right with us as we cross state lines. We can drive in every state as long as we have a driver’s license from one state (or even from a foreign country). We can do this even though driving, legally speaking, is only a privilege. But currently we can’t necessarily carry concealed as we travel, even if it is legal to do so where we go and even if we have a permit to do so where we reside—despite the fact that the right to own and bear arms is a constitutional right, not just a legal privilege.
This is why the NRA has been backing federal legislation to ensure that law-abiding citizens have this right even when they travel to another state.
Self-defense when we travel is only one reason we need this legislation, but it’s a good enough reason all by itself. Americans, after all, use this right to protect themselves many times each day—though again, this is largely ignored by media outlets such as The Washington Post, as it doesn’t fit into their worldview.
Here are just a few examples that occurred, as this was being written, over the last week.
A New Orleans man who forced his way into an Amite City, La., residence was shot in the leg during a fight with one of the occupants, Tangipahoa authorities reported.
A homeowner in Del City, Okla., told police he had to shoot a man who came violently through his front door. The shooting happened at about 9:30 p.m. The suspect was taken to OU Medical Center and died at the hospital. The police did not arrest the homeowner.
A man from Poulsbo, Wash., was shot by a homeowner as he broke into her home. Deputies responded to a 911 call just before 2 a.m. and found the wounded suspect at the scene in critical condition.
A Subway store employee shot a man who police said tried to rob the Cobb County restaurant. Acworth, Ga., police responded at about 10:25 a.m., spokesman Capt. Mark Cheatham told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A robber attempted to hold up a Phillips 66 gas station in Indianapolis and was stopped by an armed store owner. According to a press release from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, they received a call around 11:40 p.m. from the storeowner. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
Frank Miniter is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide—Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood. He is also the author of This Will Make a Man of You and The Future of the Gun. He is a contributor to Forbes and writes for many publications. His website is FrankMiniter.com