Commentary
5:00 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Richard Crowson: A Brave Man In Sedgwick County

If I may be boastful for a moment here, let me just say that you are listening to the voice of a very brave man. I didn’t realize I was brave—in fact, I’ve lived my life fairly oblivious to my own courage for lo, these many years.

But at a recent Sedgwick County Commission meeting, Commissioner Richard Ranzau proposed allowing folks with concealed-carry handgun permits to tote their pistols into many county buildings, including mental health facilities. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn agreed, saying, “I feel safer in a building where concealed carry is allowed.”

That’s when it dawned on me that I am apparently impervious to fear. I was just at the tag office a couple of months ago, completely unarmed, and never once got the shakes! All around me were dangerous mothers holding suspicious-looking babies, senior citizens masking their hatred for me behind a façade of feebleness, and ordinary working stiffs who surely would have knifed me in the back had they been given half a chance. But I sat there with nerves of steel, nary a drop of sweat on my brow. Never once did I get the urge to creep my hand into my pocket and feel the reassurance of a Glock 17.

I guess the world is a scary place to some folks. I have to assume that, based on their need to carry a lethal weapon with them at all times, they live lives full of suspicion and dark dread of their fellow man. I can’t imagine how that must feel. Sure, sometimes I walk around with a banjo, but it’s in a case with several latches on it and I doubt I could unholster it quickly enough to defend myself against evil-doers.

Call me a brave son of a gun, but I don’t believe Sedgwick County buildings are frightening enough to warrant gun-carrying, sorry Commissioners Ranzau and Peterjohn. Besides, hasn’t it been hot enough for you this summer around here? Why do you need to pack heat into air-conditioned buildings?