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Hot in the legislature this week: House Bill 272, which would allow adult citizens in good standing to conceal their firearms without purchasing a permit.

Many support this bill, saying that no one should have to pay to exercise their constitutional rights. Others, including the Business Council of Alabama, Moms Demand Action Alabama, and the Alabama Sheriff's Association, continue to oppose this bill, claiming that gun violence will increase and funding for law enforcement will plummet by millions.

Gun violence is a great concern for younger generations, as we’ve grown up seeing horrific school shootings. I’m concerned to see that many of my peers are willing to trade long-term security and rights in exchange for temporary relief. With the current war in Ukraine, I thought some might get it through their heads why the Second Amendment is such a vital right. Yet a friend of mine went from lauding Ukrainians for standing up against invaders with their own weapons and homemade Molotov cocktails, to saying she wanted to move to New Zealand because they banned semi-automatic guns.

This seems maddeningly contradictory, yet I know that many of the youth hold a Utilitarianist mindset, based on probability. What’s the likelihood that America will be invaded or our government will oppress us? What’s the chance of me being shot by my classmate? There’s a higher chance of the latter, so why should I care about my neighbor’s right to own a gun - let alone to conceal it without being charged - when this right could threaten me. It’s not as important, so it should be sacrificed for the greater good.

Yet Democrats don’t only seek control out of fear but seem to take genuine pleasure in undermining the rights and principles they despise. If they can cause us a headache, they will, and it has nothing to do with protecting their nonexistent kids.

For instance, a ridiculous piece out of AL.com takes a dig at Republicans, accusing them of wanting to “defund the police,” since many sheriff’s departments rely on the revenue of concealed carry permit fees. Of course, if liberals had actually thought through their accusation for a minute, they’d realize we could turn around and say that since Democrats oppose this bill, they must in fact disagree with defunding the police.

But there’s no comparison between the liberal’s chaotic compulsion to financially castrate police departments until they cave to the woke mob, and a structured bill that prevents gun owners from bearing the burden of what is essentially an additional public safety tax.

Liberals commonly argue, “but it’s just a few dollars, it’s not much to you, but it adds up to help sheriff departments a lot!” Forgetting their utter hypocrisy, and the fact that they’re suddenly willing to trust law enforcement if it means putting a hole in the pocketbooks of conservatives, this is an argument dripping with middle-class carelessness.

For families struggling to even pay their heating bills, relying on Food Stamps to eat and government programs to pay their rent, and loaded down with credit card debt, $10-20 for a yearlong permit is more than they can afford. Likewise, $100 for a five-year permit, or $300 for a lifetime permit, is also out of their reach.

I can think of several reasons why having to buy a permit would deter people from exercising their rights. First, the cost. Second, the time it takes to jump through the hoops and make sure you’ve checked off all the boxes. Third, the ability to research the laws to make sure you’re doing everything right and aren’t accidentally breaking the law. Who will find these conditions prohibitive? The individual with a high school education who works 80 hours a week, and has outstanding bills piling up; will they really be able to put the concealed carry permit at the top of their priorities?

Democrats seem to say: not only should conservatives have to pay for their rights, but it’s irrelevant if poor people can’t. They might fall through the cracks, but that doesn’t really matter. When Moms Demand Action claim that gun violence will increase if citizens don’t have to pay for permits, what do they really mean? That poor people are more prone to violence? That their rights matter less? Young socialist sympathizers have the nerve to present themselves on social media as the true supporters of the poor because they vote to tax the rich. But they’ve never in their entire life talked to someone who lives in a trailer park. With this attitude, Democrats should not be astonished that Trump won working-class voters.

In the end, political parties are deciding who gets to exercise their rights easily, and who matters most. These are dangerous implications for the future. I hate seeing a large chunk of my paycheck gouged out for government spending, especially when I don’t know how it’ll be used. But at least citizens across the board must pay taxes, rather than selective targeting. Liberals act like it’s totally natural that there should be roadblocks to getting access to rights that are seen as dangerous. And these days, liberals find few things more dangerous and personally infuriating than free speech. What’s to keep them from requiring conservatives to pay greater fees if they want to take someone to court for doxing them? Or if college clubs on campuses have to pay to use public spaces if their content is considered “problematic?” What if churches have to start paying extra for police to patrol their area because they pose a greater threat for shootings?

The dangers are endless and contradictory. Liberals can’t decide whether they’d rather get rid of any authority structure that disagrees with them and replace them with puppets, or if they’re fine with these organizations, as long as they don’t have to pay into them. Just make people who are beneath me or who disagree with me be the pillar for the authorities who I don’t like. That must tickle their fancy. We’re making conservatives fine conservatives, to be protected by conservatives. So much more enjoyable than just eliminating conservative enforcers entirely. They know they can’t get rid of the NRA, so they’d rather pit the gun owners and police against each other, to weaken an alliance that’s usually strong. 

Are we getting to a point where liberal cronies will essentially receive tax breaks for being good Democrat citizens, while conservatives are weighed down by fines and bureaucratic loopholes until standing up for themselves is so stressful and financially prohibitive, that we’d actually feel freer if we caved to liberals?

I pray America never reaches such a point, but if we do, I will have the ability to stand up for myself. This is why I support Constitutional Carry, even though I’ve never owned a gun. It’s worth sacrificing some peace of mind and taxes for the sake of our rights and long-term security.

Caylah Coffeen is a Millennial in Huntsville, AL who knows how to think and speaks up for the sake of truth and a future as bright as the stars. Her column appears every Friday in 1819 News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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