Johnny, get your gun

An pro-gun activist’s plan to give away free guns to sympathetic people in Chicago is a bad idea. Then again, it’s not the first bad idea John Birch has had.

Last year there was the plan to have people carry concealed weapons to the Taste of Chicago, a city festival that draws millions every year to downtown. Then there was the suggestion that folks could get around the state’s no conceal-carry law by carrying their gun unloaded in a special fanny pack.

I have no problem with civil disobedience — it’s a healthy tradition. And certainly, it’s no accident that it’s a felony to own a gun in Chicago and 666 homicides were committed last year in the city. But encouraging people to break gun laws gives those in the middle precisely the wrong impression about legal gun owners. They are, by and large, law-abiding and extremely judicious in exercising their constitutional rights.

Yes, the fight against the gun grabbers is frustrating, but this is not the way to go about fighting it. If Birch really wants to help people protect themselves, he should do so without seeking publicity. In the meantime, making a strong case for concealed carry will eventually make a dent. Certainly, these type of stunts just reinforce the perception among the large majority of people who don’t own guns that gun owners are a little nuts.