Guns Not Always Wanted

Lake of the Ozarks is a big man-made lake smack in the middle of Missouri. The Osage River was dammed up ca. 1930 to create a hydroelectric plant, and the resulting lake stretched across four counties and became a tourist attraction. I haven’t been there in a gazillion years, but when I was a young ‘un for summer vacation my family used to rent a cabin on the lake where there was fishing and swimming and boat riding. Happy memories.

There are also resort hotels with city slicker amenities like swimming pools, golf courses, restaurants, bars, and even some spas. It looks like there’s a fancy-schmancy luxury resort about where I think those old rental cabins used to be. And I’m sure there are still some cheap motels and cabins and plenty of places selling live bait and tackle. So the area draws tourists from all over the Midwest, and tourism is pretty much the whole economy there.

One of the communities depending on that tourism is Lake Ozarks, and Lake Ozarks has a problem with guns. Missouri is a gun-lovin’ state, mostly, and apparently the folks at Lake Ozarks decided that strangers walking around with rifles scared away the tourists.

The Lake Ozark, Missouri Board of Alderman voted last week to ban gun owners from openly carrying firearms, even if they have a concealed carry permit, because they were afraid that armed individuals would chase away tourists. “We’ve had a tough time over the years promoting Lake Ozark as a family area,” Alderman Larry Buschjost explained. “We want you on the Strip with families, everywhere in Lake Ozark with families. We want you to bring your kids down here and let them loose. For the life of me, I don’t understand why I would have to carry any type of gun, concealed or otherwise.”

The ban was initiated by the local police chief, in part due to concerns raised by business owners.


Lake Ozark’s efforts to keep people with guns from scaring tourists and other patrons away from local businesses, however, may be short-lived. The Missouri state legislature recently passed a bill that will allow concealed carry permit holders to openly display their guns, regardless of local ordinances. The bill is currently awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) signature or veto.

So the people of Lake Ozarks may not get to decide for themselves what’s best for their community, because freedom. I wonder also how that ordinance is going to work in Saint Louis, which is kind of like an actual city, last time I looked. I just hope a bunch of second-amendment yahoos don’t take it upon themselves to vacation in Lake Ozarks and terrorize everyone.

8 thoughts on “Guns Not Always Wanted

  1. “I just hope a bunch of second-amendment yahoos don’t take it upon themselves to vacation in Lake Ozarks and terrorize everyone.”

    C’mon maha, you know better!

    Local bans on open-carry, are like flowers to bees.
    The bee’s will have to showoff and do their special open-steel-stinger dance, for everyone to see!

    Well, not ALL of the bee’s:
    Mostly only the male ones with mental issues, and small stingers.

  2. If banning the carrying of guns was good enough for Wichita, Dodge City, and Tombstone in the old west, it’s good enough for me. In the words of the Laramie, Wyoming Northwest Stock Journal (1884): “We see many cowboys fitting up for the spring and summer work. They all seem to think it absolutely necessary to have a revolver. Of all foolish notions this is the most absurd.”

  3. It’s too bad we can’t set up a new Wild West somewhere so these people can take their guns and go shoot it out to their hearts content. I’d rather live in civilization myself.

  4. Stephen,
    They’ve already created some states and areas where it’s like The New Wild West.

    But they’re not satisfied.
    They want the entire country to be The New Wild West.

  5. There’s a question, kinds-sorta related. More than a few Tea Party gun nuts have claimed that the cop killers who were out at Bundy ranch were kicked out because they were clearly unstable and ultra-violent. Since the Bundy confrontation was about instigating a shooting war with the feds, it’s not a huge jump in logic to think these two were advocating indiscriminate violence, not just against the feds. If my assumption is flawed, why were they kicked off?

    The Tea party thinks of themselves as a heroic club out to save the Constitution. So these self-appointed guardians of democracy identified a threat and they escorted them off the ranch. Did they notify the local cops that this pair is/was planning whatever it was that signaled that they were too unstable for the Tea Party?

    Here’s the metaphor that explains my thinking. If you saw a rabid dog – no doubt what it is or how dangerous – and to keep this in perspective, there are kids in the neighborhood as well, would you

    a) close the gate to your yard, go inside and forget it
    b) call the cops and request immediate help before someone gets hurt

    c) shoot the damn dog yourself

    The Tea Party claims to be patriots and leaders. Patriotism is a trait where you place the well-being of the nation above your own individual well-being. (That’s my definition, anyway.) Leadership manifests in a lot of ways, certainly in making decisions that are fair, moral and can anticipate the consequences of the choices. So where is the leadership or patriotism in turning this pair loose on society without any kind of warning to society? (closing the gate, going inside and forgetting about it).

    The decision that the TP made was probably legal. This pair wasn’t the creation of the TP – their violence was too random, unfocussed and would only generate resentment for the revolution. But how the TP reacted was immature – it failed to consider society, regular people. They decided based strictly on what would benefit the TP – and screw everybody who isn’t TP. There’s no leadership, no patriotism there.

  6. Good point, Doug.

    Another thread ties this post with “Impulse and Ideology.” Where local businesses continue to find that having a troop of jackasses with military grade weapons strutting their stuff is bad for business, they will rely on local authorities to restore a friendlier mercantile ambiance. This will be a lot of strain on local police departments, but it will also draw the fire of “patriots,” who will quickly begin to see them as just another face of unwelcome authority, hand in hand with the feds. The recent planned, but foiled attacks on local courthouses, by sovereign citizen types, makes it clear that the target is expanding already. All it takes is a pot bust, a traffic ticket or DUI to make the “good guy with a gun” decide that the local constabulary, might just be part of the problem rather than the solution.
    I would like to see is a strict enforcement of laws regarding reckless endangerment and criminal negligence. Anyone responsible for the accidental discharge of a firearm in a public place should be charged and their “right to carry” should be permanently revoked.

  7. OT, good article by a fellow seminarian at David Brat’s alma mater, What Did David Brat Learn in Seminary?

    How is it, I wonder, that a person who won an election largely on an anti-immigration platform, and who holds to the “Republican Creed,” could have learned the Bible, theology, and Christian history at the same place I did?

    ….In fact, everything I learned at Princeton Seminary points me away from what I see as the moral laziness of libertarianism, in which I take care of me and nobody else.

Comments are closed.