To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Beware Oklahoma’s Time Warp



Not sure whether to launch into a satirical rant or attempt a reasoned approach. The grand and glorious occupants of the State House – some call them “Law Makers” – have once again shown themselves to be intent on racing to the past.

First it was a trip to the mid-20th Century and Father Knows Best. The Patriarchal absurdity couched within equally absurd appeals to some sort of “religious conviction” while they indulged in conceptualizing conception.

One gets the impression that the female body – particularly that area where pre-pubescent males fixate and claim to be experts in – is more like public property than the singular private concern of each and every women alive.

Oh, yeah, these are the same folks that will not make eye contact while in the liquor store or while shopping the adult section of the newsstand.

The hypocrisy and arrogance of the GOP-dominated state government, including the governor, is palpable. For any group of human beings to presume the right to legislate and dictate what is or is not a woman’s right when it comes to her own personhood is simply unacceptable. But Father Knows Best and it is the 1950s in Oklahoma.

What’s that noise? Sounds like hoof beats on a dirt road. Can it be … who is that masked man? Hi Ho Silver! Whoa there partner – it may be further back in time. Once again the occupants of the State House have resurrected the Old West. Might be we will wake up in the late 19th Century tomorrow. The old time warp seems to be pulling in that direction.

Open Carry? Now don’t get me wrong. I support the Second Amendment and have for the past eight years held a concealed carry permit. Guns are a part of my life. Anyone doubting that has not seen inside my gun safe.

That aside, the current effort at bring back an open carry measure is just dumb. It’s not like the law enforcement community doesn’t already have enough complexities to deal with. Let’s add, at least, a couple more levels of concern to their job.

Last I heard law enforcement officers [LEOs] were not especially fond of the idea of having citizens parading around with their trusty “6” guns on their hips. Especially since most who would carry will be carrying semi-automatic pistols holding 10 or more rounds.

I like guns. I do not like the idea of having Hot Head No. 1 and Hot Head No. 2 in the parking lot of the local WalMart arguing over a parking space.

Oklahoma like many other states does not screen individuals for mental health issues. Those supporting this measure will argue that the Second Amendment gives every citizen the right to own firearms. That’s a fact. It is also a fact that not every citizen needs to be permitted to own, carry or otherwise have access to a weapon.

The individual who shot former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords legally purchased his weapon, and has since been found to be too mentally ill to stand trial.

Some will argue that I am being unreasonable. That may be. However, when was the last time you were cut off by another driver and became full of rage as you gave a one-fingered salute. Road Rage is real. The anger people live with today is real.

But that’s alright. I say let’s go ahead and let ’em all strap on a gun belt. Might want to install some hitchin posts, too.

I carry. You will not know I am carrying and I will not display the fact for you. I do not carry to impress or intimidate anyone. It is solely a matter of personal self-defense.

I’ve yet to feel the need to use my weapon and hope I never do. By the same token, I out-grew my days of playing cowboys or cops-and-robbers and see no rationale for carrying a weapon for all to see.

The GOP has attacked women and done everything it can to take away their rights and is now appealing to those who want to somehow find solace in openly carrying a weapon.

Yeppers – Welcome To Oklahoma! But watch out for the time warp – you might end up in Kansas wearing ruby slippers.

Don Nelson lives in Lawton, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer


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  1. Now I do see that in Arizona that they can carry a weapon without taking a class, but that is not the case with the law here in Oklahoma, as I understand it. I myself carry a weapon and have since I turned 21 last summer. I took the class and since then, and when I carry, I am definitely more aware of my surroundings. I do support open carry…with a class of course, and I agree there should be a psychological evaluation included in carrying a weapon. Just my opinion.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.