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Sharing Concerns About Concealed Carry

Conceal carry isn't really the answer to any of life's threats.

A lot of people seem to like this idea of being able to carry weapons whenever and wherever they want to. It just seems well ... right. And the point is made that we are talking about "law-abiding" citizens — not the bad guys — so, presumably, there is nothing to fear from a law-abiding citizen hence, no risk. That makes sense to a point.

My concerns, silly though they may be, are several.

First of all, everyone is law-abiding until they are not law-abiding. Killers aren't born, they become killers after they kill someone. I went to high school in a suburb of St. Louis and there was a kid there, a year younger than me, who was super friendly, funny, a sportsman, etc.

I read a couple years ago that he walked into the courtroom of that town and shot five people to death. We called him, "Cookie." Now, Cookie got his gun in illegally as they weren't legal in that building — but the point is, he had never killed anyone until he killed those five people. So, let's say Mr. Law Abiding is packing heat, gets into an argument with his coworkers over some ongoing problem at work — are we so sure he won't flip out?

Disgruntled employees, students who don't like getting flunked, people who are prone to angry outbursts as a means of settling disagreements, people who are drinking and may not have the full function of the part of their brain that runs "better judgement," can all legally be carrying little machines that were designed with one purpose in mind — killing people. Sounds iffy as far as a great idea goes. 

Secondly, not a week goes by that someone in some "dangerous part of town," isn't maimed or killed in crossfire. The fact is, it isn't that easy to aim and shoot someone and to hit the person you want to kill. You see, they don't want to be shot. This leads them to do all sorts of things — bob, weave, run and, worst of all, shoot back while doing all the above. Bullets are flying. Now, of course the engineers who design guns figured that out.

Take an old service revolver from WWII: they were powerful but inaccurate. So, in the decades since, the pistols went auto and can dispense a hail of bullets in seconds. You dont have to be a good shot — just hose the whole general area down! The downside here is that there is a lot of "collateral damage." Children and old people and neighbors die or are forever altered by just being nearby when people go to guns. Not good. I don't want to be collateral damage in someone elses act of individual freedom. Nope. 

It overlaps to say that the people who want to pack weapons in public will not be highly trained people, sophisticated in the fine skill of killing people in public selectively — urban combat. They are people who may or may not have some hunting experience, but want to be able to whip out a gun if someone pulls one on them. My dad is like that. He has combat experience, he was a war hero for his actions in WWII and operated a 50-caliber machine gun in the turret of a bomber. Now, seventy years later, past his eightieth birthday, he would like to be able to pull out a gun (if he had to) and send some bad guy off to wherever they go. A bit rusty, I think, and physically challenged now. He means well. By the way, in his eighty five years of life lived largely around major American cities, he has never been in a hold up, never been mugged, never had an armed break in on his homes, etc. And it had nothing to do with having an ancient shotgun in the closet. That was used on New Years Eve. 

I have a cafe. I really dont want people walking in with semi-automatic assault rifles dangling off their backs. It's just not the mood we want to set. And, what if the safety was off, accidentally of course?

The AK 47 rips a round through the espresso machine, it blows, everyone hits the floor and pulls out their pop sticks, and pretty soon we have a nasty mess on our hands.

I teach, too. College. Years ago a colleague had an odd kid show up in class and brandish an Asian sword, swinging it to halt within inches of his head. As a joke. Well by god — shouldn't that kid have a right to have a martial arts blade on him? And the teacher could have had some gun, too! Hey the students could have taken the kid out! Yeah — a scene from any of a number of action films you could watch — but is this vital to protecting our freedoms?

Who is really "free" in a public space where random people are concealing killing machines? When Joe Blow decides to defend himself, is he going to be defending me, too — or honoring my right to not be shot in a public space? And I tell you — the world is going to think Americans have lost their minds. We already have the John Wayne/Al Capone/Columbine legacy going. Wait until we dial this all back to frontier days.

Back to rights for a second. Now, recently in my state people were tossed out of the state capitol for carrying (openly) guitars and musical instruments they wanted to deploy in some protest songs. Singers are dangerous.

Later, others who carried only signs were made to leave. In the same marbled spaces someone can walk in with a man-killing weapon. What does that say about freedoms in this country, and priorities?

Speaking of which — why is it that the Canadians aren't doing what we are doing here? Is it too cold up there to have bad guys? Aren't they afraid of dying because they couldn't defend themselves? What is wrong with those Candadians? Don't they see what is going on? 

I would like to know what percentage of the people who support conceal and carry have ever been shot at in their lives in any situation. I would really like to know that. I would like to know how many of them have been mugged. I am sure there are some but my guess would be it would be under five percent and maybe much under five percent of the supporters of this law that would have had prior experiences in which they were the hapless victims. For the other 95 percent it's all about fear. Fear of something that is statistically very unlikely to happen — unless you are hanging out in stupid places at stupid times — and fear of something that will not be prevented by them shooting back. Or, that will only be further inflamed by shooting back.  

Just my opinion. 

Well, I say, keep your hunting weapons. Shoot your ducks in season, your turkeys, your deer. Hunt whatever you like — but not humans, friends. Not my kids, my family, my neighbors — and not me. 

Just my opinion. I respect your right to have your own, particularly if it's founded on logic. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lisa Kaminski December 14, 2011 at 06:58 PM
I apologize. The Wisconsin Act 35 does require training, however how much is not specified and online courses also suffice. I think that a nonspecific amount of safety training that can be completed relatively quickly online is not adequate for allowing individuals to carry a concealed weapon in public.
Charles December 14, 2011 at 10:05 PM
What do you think the standard should be? I'm curious because I've taken an 8 hour firearms class in Connecticut, a 4 hour class on pistol shooting fundamentals, 2 different 4 hour classes on Self Defense and Firearms Law, and plan on taking 3 additional sequential 8 hour classes on Defensive Pistol. That is 44 hours of class. Added to approximately 15 - 1 hour sessions at the range.
Say What? December 15, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Would you say that you are the standard for concealed carry permit holders, or something more? I would suspect that you are way above the average by about 42 hours.
Rob December 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM
If you have any questions regarding the CWP law or training contact www.e2c.us or 1-866-371-6111 and the Instructors at Equip 2 Conceal will be happy to help you.
Brian Carlson March 06, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Many takes on the situation. I appreciate the reasoned thoughts. IMO more weapons leads to more violence and threat of same. I can't offer the hard statistics on that, but I can state that over two hundred million people died this last century as a result of wars. This is an extrapolation from the lone citizen with his Glock thirteen tucked beneath the seat... But I do think we need to come up with better solutions than bigger,better weapons.

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