The Oklahoma House has voted to do away with the state's training and licensing requirements for people who want to carry their guns openly. Here is a verbatim transcript of part of the debate:
"Is it a good idea to let anyone carry a gun, even if they don't know how to use it or even where the safety is?" asked Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman.
"The key word is 'let,'" said Coody. "Somehow we've gotten the idea that the government has to give us permission to exercise our freedoms. That is totally antithetical to me."
The bill excludes felons from open carry, but not people under protective order. This caused some concern, even among gun-rights supporters, and may be addressed when the bill reaches the Senate.
Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, noted that the state requires people to learn to drive to obtain a driver's license, and asked why a person shouldn't be required to learn how to operate a gun before carrying one in public.
"Because driving is privilege," replied Coody. "The Second Amendment is a constitutional right."
"But what about my safety?" Brown asked. "Doesn't the government have a responsibility to protect me?"
"No," replied Coody.