- Ingvard Ashby
Zero percent. That is the odds Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, gives opponents of House Bill 2597 of getting a referendum on the ballot that would allow voters the chance to repeal the bill, according to Tulsa World. Co-authored by Echols, HB 2597 — allowing legal gun owners to open- or concealed-carry their weapons without any additional permit or training — was the first bill signed into law by Gov. Kevin “Sun’s Out, Guns Out” Stitt and will take effect Nov. 1.
Proponent Rep. Jason Lowe, D-Oklahoma City, told Tulsa World it is his “sincerest belief that there are citizens among us who should not openly carry guns, especially without a permit or training,” but clarified what the referendum would and would not do.
“This petition does not take away guns,” Lowe said. “This petition does not make tougher and more restrictive laws. This petition does exactly what it should and forces the Legislature to rethink our decision to rush a bill ... to fulfill a campaign promise.”
The referendum is definitely a long-shot bet, requiring 59,320 signatures on an approved petition delivered to the Secretary of State’s Office by 5 p.m. Aug. 29, but let us make a conjecture of our own, one we would be thrilled to be proven wrong about — 100 percent. That is the odds, we project, that permitless carry will result in a person being shot who otherwise would not be.
Perhaps it will be because an incident like the El Paso Walmart shooting will be even harder to prevent when gun-toting randos become an even more normalized aspect of daily life. Perhaps it will be because police responding to an active shooter will mistakenly shoot one or more of the many other armed individuals on the scene, possibly even the proverbial “good guy with the gun.”
Perhaps a concealed carrier with no safety training will just shoot themselves in the nards playing pocket pool. Or maybe, by some miracle, the NRA is right and more guns will, for the first time in the history of ever, result in fewer people getting shot by said guns, but are we really willing to take that bet?