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A modest proposal 

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In recognition of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's recently opining that the open carry of firearms is, as he understands it, legal now under Arkansas law as long as the person doing the carrying doesn't intend to commit a crime, The Observer is pleased to announce the next step in the ongoing fight to preserve and defend the Right to Bear Arms: The Open Carry of Large Butcher Knives, Rusty Machetes or Razor-Sharp Hatchets Movement.

At the core of our grassroots, common sense movement is this: Because the world is a terrifying hellscape full of people who don't look like you and me, nor pray, have sex, live in the same neighborhood or watch the same news channel as you and me, the law-abiding citizens of Arkansas will henceforth exercise our right to bear either a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet everywhere we go. With our self-defense tools unsheathed and at the ready, we will then go about our day-to-day lives — shopping for slacks, eating egg salad sandwiches, buying the DVD box set of "One Tree Hill," etc. — all while clutching a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet in one sweaty, white-knuckled paw, possibly while muttering to ourselves that those who protect freedom must be ever vigilant and Thomas Jefferson's quote about how the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with blood.

Now, if you're some kind of pinko, you might be thinking to yourself: Do you really NEED to carry a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet everywhere you go? Doesn't the FBI say the violent crime rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level in, like, 40 years? The better question, however, is: Why do YOU feel the need to question MY rights? What's wrong with you? Hey, get your hand out of your pocket! You're making me nervous, friend. And if there's one thing you do not want to do, it's to make a law-abiding citizen holding a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet nervous.

After you're through trying to think of ways to take away my God-given right to open carry a large butcher knife, rusty machete and/or razor-sharp hatchet in public, consider this: Imagine how safe and free people will feel at the local Red Lobster, Walmart, Toys "R" Us, shooting range, Build-A-Bear Workshop, public park, Payless Shoe Source, church, waterslide, book club and/or Container Store when they look up and see a law-abiding citizen nearby, feverishly clutching his large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet. Imagine the relief of your average citizen at that moment: seeing that silent and watchful sentinel, muscles taut, eyes scanning the crowd for aggression, ready to spring into action in a moment's notice if a non-legitimate, non-law-abiding carrier of a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet were to enter the room and start slashing and stabbing innocent people to death! It happens! Not often. But like Yours Truly always says: It's better to have a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet and not need it than to need a large butcher knife, rusty machete or razor-sharp hatchet and not have it.

Sure, if you hate America, walking into a fast-food restaurant full of people choking down burgers and chicken nuggets while gripping large butcher knives, rusty machetes or razor-sharp hatchets in their fists may look intimidating. Maybe your Lil' Patriot will make it a Freedom Teaching Moment™ by tugging on your sleeve, looking at you with those big, curious eyes, and saying, "Are they going to kill us, Grandpa?" These kids today with their questions! The True American, of course, will say to that confused child, "Don't be afraid. While I don't know any of these people from Jack Johnson, I can tell just by looking at them that they are all clearly law-abiding citizens. So be joyous! We are witnessing liberty in its most powerful and fundamental expression!"

Also, you should remind yourself that with all those self-defense tools and law- abiding citizens well within slashing distance and ready to act, you're standing in one of the safest places in the world! Unless, of course, the dude you're dining across from is off his meds and goes apeshit at some point, which rarely happens. Two or three times a week, tops, and usually far, far away from here.

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