The unintended consequences of carrying concealed weapons

03/06/2014

 

It’s a rather fascinating as well as perplexing society we live in, with our obsession with gun culture. No matter which way one goes on the subject, there is usually little compromise. When it comes to interpreting the Constitution, however, judges seem to rule more favorably for more freedom in gun ownership than for upholding restrictions on it. That is fairly evident in the lack of any forward movement with bans or restrictions after mass shootings — legislators know it’s an uphill battle not only in passing but in upholding new laws. So it came as no surprise when the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month struck down San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s good cause requirement to obtain a concealed weapon permit, stating it violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The good cause requirement made applicants specify why they needed a concealed gun permit. Now it’s just a general reason, such as personal safety or self defense — no further explanation necessary. The ensuing flood of applications for concealed weapon permits at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department was rather predictable as well.


While the argument over the right to bear arms is ridiculously contentious, the logic in the gun debate is obvious — no matter which way one cuts it, more guns equal more gun violence, no matter who owns them, responsible citizens or ruthless criminals. To further substantiate this point, in a 30-year study — the longest of its kind — titled  “The Relationship between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010,” researcher Michael Siegel of Boston University and two co-authors reported that gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates. This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9 percent. The study concluded, saying, “Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”


While gun activists and the National Rifle Association will argue until they are blue in the face that it’s their right to own as many guns as they want and that they should be able to carry concealed guns without Uncle Sam digging into their business, there is no refuting the fact that guns kill. But what is more curious than ignoring the obvious issue of the danger that guns pose is the need for some to have killing machines on them at all times, for personal safety or self-defense. Have some people become so paranoid that they believe every person poses a possible fatal threat to their own lives? Or is this just some power play, that they know they can protect themselves with instant killing machines at the pop of a trigger? Whatever the case may be, there seems to be little sense in the urgency and demand to carry concealed weapons.


As we move forward with fewer restrictions on gun ownership — and it seems we are more than likely headed that way — we caution against purchasing more guns and especially against more people carrying concealed weapons. While there may be the best of intentions in the case of self-defense, people can be irrational and even the most good-natured person can turn a weapon of self-defense into a tool for violence under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Take for instance, Curtis Reeves, 71, a former Tampa police captain with a praiseworthy career who was arrested in January and is being held without bond for shooting and killing a movie patron over an argument about texting. Reeves had a concealed weapons permit. Further, for those who are willing to take a life for a gold watch or a wallet, a rational person may be hesitant to kill in that situation, and such a responsible gun-carrying citizen may fall prey to a crazy person who has a gun in his or her face. We hope that more freedom in gun ownership doesn’t backfire on well-intentioned innocent citizens.

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Comments

Unfortunately their is no debating with Gun Grabbers, because they don't listen. Not only do you fail to site one reference with your very thought out statistics

"no matter which way one cuts it, more guns equal more gun violence, no matter who owns them, responsible citizens or ruthless criminals'

(what's worse, most of your facts made up out of thin air). If you take a look at the increasing number of guns in our society...and compare that with the most recent FBI statistics on violent crime, you will see an inverse relationship. AN ARMED SOCIETY is A POLITE SOCIETY.

Maybe one day your perspective will change...who knows....I know that in the last 20 years, mine has evolved on many issues. Because I want to remain free - I will never surrender my guns.

Facebook.com/KeepCalmStayArmed

posted by KeepCalmStayArmed on 3/06/14 @ 07:57 a.m.

As always happens when you look at a report where the data is cherry picked to reach a foregone conclusion, you get what you intended to when you started. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime report for 2012, the numbers tell a completely different story. The report says murders declined 6.9 percent from the first half of 2012, while aggravated assaults dropped by 6.6 percent nationwide and robberies were down 1.8 percent. Forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent from the same period in 2012 and overall, violent crime fell by 10.6 percent in non-metropolitan counties and 3.6 percent in metropolitan counties.

posted by Rightful Liberty on 3/07/14 @ 05:15 a.m.

"[N]o matter which way one cuts it, more guns equal more gun violence, no matter who owns them, responsible citizens or ruthless criminals."

That's interesting, considering that the evidence presented by the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics prove just the opposite.

http://www.ammoland.com/2014/03/gun-owne...

posted by BHirsh on 3/07/14 @ 09:18 a.m.

[Take for instance, Curtis Reeves, 71, a former Tampa police captain with a praiseworthy career who was arrested in January and is being held without bond for shooting and killing a movie patron over an argument about texting. Reeves had a concealed weapons permit.]

Not so. Retired law enforcement officers go through a completely different process than concealed handgun licensees, and have different rules to follow. For instance the theater in question is a "gun-free" zone where concealed licensed carry is prohibited, but retired officers can ignore such restrictions.

And echoing the above posts on gun ownership vs crime rate, since 1985 concealed carry has been expanding from a few states to 42, while the crime rate peaked in 1993 and has been dropping ever since.

posted by LarryArnold on 3/07/14 @ 10:29 a.m.
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