By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- It is always interesting when a performer injects politics into their professional lives. They are inviting everyone to vote with their checkbook, credit card, or cash. The lastest such is Ray LaMontagne, a successful singer-songwriter.
In a statement canceling the show, LaMontagne said he considers himself “very open minded” but he can't support allowing guns on college campuses.
LaMontange said: “There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren't one of them.”
Perhaps LaMontange's decision has more than publicity seeking in mind. It is hard to see how allowing people with concealed carry permits to exercise the right to bear arms on a public campus will increase the number of guns in the country. Those people can already carry in most other public spaces. The number of private guns is approaching 400 million, and the numbers being sold have been breaking records for a decade.
A large segment of American voters and consumers disagree with Mr. LaMontange. They are showing it by buying firearms in record numbers. The stock of private firearms in the United States has increased by about 100 million during the Obama administration. That is a 30% increase.
As the number of private firearms has increased, so has the number of people with concealed carry permits. Those permits are close to 15 million, nationwide. As the number of carry permits have increased, crime has dropped.
To add to the lack of logic, LaMontagne gave a performance at a venue in Salt Lake City. The right to bear arms has been partially restored at that venue as well. From a press release by the Students for Concealed Carry:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 09/20/2016
Ray LaMontagne's Hypocritical Grandstanding Over Campus Carry
AUSTIN, TX – If singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is so concerned about the licensed, concealed carry of handguns that he feels compelled to cancel (https://is.gd/6EhZsU) his September 22 concert at the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas at Austin, why did he, just three days ago (https://is.gd/h65D3Q), perform (https://is.gd/UXwzk8) at Salt Lake City's Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, another venue that allows the licensed, concealed carry of handguns?
The Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theater (https://is.gd/8LBdum) in Salt Lake City, Utah, is owned by Salt Lake County. As a county-owned property, the Capitol Theater is subject to Utah's firearm ordinance preemption law (https://is.gd/X013gn), which dictates that “a local authority or state entity may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or rule pertaining to firearms.”
Perhaps Mr. LaMontange will restrict his performance to those states where concealed firearms permits are not allowed. That would be none. If he squinted hard, he might be able to perform in New York City, Maryland, Hawaii, or New Jersey, as permits in those places are restricted to the rich and well connected.
People with concealed carry permits are far more law abiding than police officers, who are considerably more law abiding than the average citizen.
Someone once said that “there is no bad publicity”.
Considering what happened to the Dixie Chicks, and Eagles-Bears ratings after Colin Kaepernick's displays, it is unlikely that Mr. LaMontange did his brand any good. That is his prerogative. He can cancel any show he wants, and people are free to stop buying his product. Using your celebrity to advance a cause you believe in is a time honored tradition.
Mr. LaMontange has shown that he hates guns, and by implication, the Second Amendment. Fans may appreciate knowing where Mr. LaMontange stands.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.