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Thread: Concealed Carry

  1. #1

    Concealed Carry

    By Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner

    A two-part series on the ten-year history of reformed concealed carry in Michigan contains some blistering information about the gun prohibition lobby that ought to raise cheers among anyone who has had to explain what’s wrong with the folks at Washington CeaseFire.

    The reports appeared this weekend in the Detroit Free Press, a newspaper not known for being particularly friendly toward the Second Amendment, not unlike the Seattle Times or Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Those newspapers were split on Initiative 676 in 1997 (the P-I surprisingly opposed, the Times supported) the roundly-rejected, gun control measure that was pretty much the Titanic maiden voyage of Washington CeaseFire as a lobbying organization.

    “Ten years after Michigan made it much easier for its citizens to get a license to carry a concealed gun,” the Detroit newspaper reported, “predictions of widespread lawless behavior and bloodshed have failed to materialize.”

    That was just for starters. The story revealed that about the same number of Michigan residents – approximately 276,000 citizens – are licensed to carry as there are here in the Evergreen State, where the number hovers around 270,000 at last report. The newspaper also recalled the rhetoric that surfaced a decade ago when the reform statute was being debated. Does this sound familiar?
    “During the debate, opponents of the change warned of gun-toting, trigger-happy citizens loose on the streets.

    “But violent crimes have been rare among carrying a concealed weapon license holders. Only 2% of license holders have been sanctioned for any kind of misbehavior, State Police records show.—Detroit Free Press
    Even with that, gun prohibitionists still argue, the newspaper reported, that “changing the law was a grave mistake.”
    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Web site describes state reforms like the one enacted in Michigan as ‘a recipe for disaster.’—Detroit Free Press
    Even the president of the state’s association of county prosecutors, Ionia County prosecutor Ronald Schafer, had to acknowledge, “I think you can look back and say ‘It was a big nothing’.” He further admitted, “We were all a little too caught up imagining what might happen.”

    Anti-gunners, as history has demonstrated repeatedly, have sometimes very vivid imaginations.

    This does not trivialize tragedies like Virginia Tech or Columbine High School, because those are instances that have polarized the issue of gun rights. But to keep things in perspective, the maniacs who carried out those atrocities are hardly representative of the 80-90 million law-abiding gun owners in this country, and their acts were roundly condemned by the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and virtually every other grassroots gun rights organization in the nation.

    But there was an unexpected revelation in the second part of the series that surprised Bellevue’s Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president, not because he was not aware of it, but because the newspaper printed it:
    Some of what passes for research and analysis of the effect of permissive concealed weapons laws on crime and violence is pretty crude.

    Take, for instance, the anti-gun Violence Policy Center's Web page called "Concealed Carry Killers."

    It purports to tally the carnage that results when states, such as Michigan, authorize ordinary citizens under most circumstances to be licensed to carry concealed guns.

    Concealed carry licensees "routinely" kill cops, perpetrate mass murders and other gun homicides, writes VPC. The center counted 308 "Private Citizens Killed By Concealed Carry Killer" (sic) since 2007. A lot of them -- 78 -- were Michiganders.

    A closer look at VPC's data doesn't necessarily confirm a CCW crime nightmare scenario. The overwhelming majority of Michigan victims the center cites (62) were licensees who committed suicide. Michigan's concealed weapons law requires the State Police to report annually on deaths by suicide of license holders.

    But the reports contain no information about how the licensee died or whether a firearm was involved.

    Several other "victims" in the VPC report appear to have been criminals themselves, shot attempting to rob legally armed citizens. But with 276,000 concealed pistol license holders, even the unscrubbed VPC numbers hardly establish evidence of a crime wave.—Detroit Free Press
    Several of the VPC’s purported “victims” of these “Concealed Carry Killers” appear to have actually been criminals who were shot by their legally-armed, would-be victims. Is that not what legal concealed carry is all about?

    Washington State enjoys one of the oldest and most reliable concealed carry provisions in the nation. It has served as a model for other state’s concealed carry laws. Washington has had concealed carry since 1935, and open carry has been accepted here since before Washington became a state.

    Recent high-profile shootings in Kent, Seattle and elsewhere have involved people who were either too young or too encumbered with criminal histories to carry handguns legally, yet gun prohibitionists invariably seem determined to lump everyone together.

    The Detroit Free Press has not published the proverbial “last word” in this debate, but it has – as gun control proponents have frequently insisted – taken a “reasonable step.”


  2. #2
    What I just posted above is what many people I know feel very strongly about. I've got to admit, I've got mixed feelings on this. If I had a choice of going someplace where many of the people around were armed, or a similar place where nobody was armed, I think I'd go for the latter - less chance of being hit by a bullet accidentally fired, or fired at someone else and missed the intended target. I think of myself as walking around armed with a firearm, and the thought is pretty scary. It's all connected to the thought that if *anything* were to happen that caused me to need to draw the weapon, that might start a chain reaction that I don't know if I'm prepared to deal with. You're not supposed to ever draw a firearm unless you're willing to use it if you have to.

    I go round and round on this. Part of me knows that "concealed carry" is a good idea, and will make law abiding citizens safer. Another part of me thinks about random bullets flying around that missed their intended target, and found an innocent victim instead.

    Anyone care to comment on this?

    (I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the 'politics forum', but I think the discussion here will be a lot more civil.)

  3. #3
    I carry when not at work and at work I do not feel safe. Armed people do not alarm or frighten me behavior of people dose

  4. #4
    There are two extremes, one where nobody is armed (the 'ideal' world, as some people see it) and the other where everybody is armed.

    The first extreme is impossible to achieve, as the "bad guys" will find a way to be armed regardless of any laws. The second is possible to achieve (but unlikely). How would you feel about going "downtown" in name-your-city, knowing that just about everyone on the street was armed? Maybe I should really be asking if you would feel more or less safe than you do right now (you, with the cc permit, most others without)?
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  5. #5
    I've had a carry permit 15+ years now and never carried a handgun other than transporting it to the range or for hunting.

  6. #6
    Steve Talley
    I've had a permit since 2007, and wish I carried more. I'm not trigger happy, its just a right that I'm allowed to exercise and like that freedom. Since moving to VA and gaining a few pounds, carrying has become more of a challenge in regards to concealment. I've got 3 different fitted boosters to pick from, but usually opt for my leather OWB when I have the option. Living where we do, I know where not to go during certain times of the day, but there is always the possibility. As far as being around other armed folks or not, there is a smaller chance of a legally armed person accidentally hitting an innocent bystander than goon that caused the licensed individual to draw his weapon to begin with.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Talley View Post
    ......As far as being around other armed folks or not, there is a smaller chance of a legally armed person accidentally hitting an innocent bystander than goon that caused the licensed individual to draw his weapon to begin with.
    That's undoubtedly true, but my first concern is that most people I watch at the range can barely hit the side of a barn, and also that the more people there are around me who are armed, the greater the chance (admittedly quite small) that a bullet might come my way! It's just one more thing to be worried about, along with drunk drivers and cars going out of control for any reason.

    There's a big issue going on right now, from only a few miles from where I live, where a neighborhood watch guy shot a kid and killed him. I won't comment on that situation, but it seems obvious to me that the chances of being hit by a stray bullet will most likely increase based on the number of bullets being carried around in my general location.
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  8. #8
    After a couple of weeks of reading about the kid in Miami being shot by a neighborhood watch guy, I think something is being lost in all the discussions. Anyone and everyone is trying to put their own 'spin' on what happened, rather than waiting for the police to figure it out. There are people saying the "Stand your ground" law has gone too far.

    Any thoughts on this? It seems to me that the law is a good one, and nobody should be forced to retreat because of a criminal coming after them. That doesn't mean this was, or was not, what happened in this case. That is something that needs to be figured out, so we know who the guilty party was. One thing is for sure - it shouldn't be sorted out by mobs and social networking; good, unbiased police officers need to do what they do best, and figure out exactly what happened, and then act accordingly. ....and if the neighborhood watch guy is found to have used his weapon needlessly, he deserves the full punishment he'll no doubt receive.
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  9. #9
    Steve Talley
    I'd say that a permit is useless without a castle doctrine of stand your ground law to back you. But at the same time, a person needs to react decisively, and make sure they need to defend themself. The case in question, we have been given more details, and it would seem to me that the media took things entirely to far without all the details.

  10. #10
    Steve, it's scary to me that one's entire future might depend on a single split-second decision. I guess that's true of many things in life, but a gun gives someone a tremendous responsibility that not everyone is capable of dealing with.

    I agree completely with what you said - the "stand your ground" law is essential for so many reasons, if nothing else to let the crooks know that their intended victim might not behave like a victim.

    (...and I've got to add, that I'm also scared of being the unintentional victim of someone standing their ground, and firing a weapon, with the bullet going into someone else, not the criminal. From the pathetic shooting I get to see every time I visit the gun range, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near any of those people were they to actually try to use their gun to defend themselves.)
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