Concealed Carry: An Objective Opinion
There is no love for guns here. My brother took his life with a gun. Yet, I also don’t stand against anyone’s right to carry due to the grey area. I try to push myself to join one side of this issue. There are strong, viable reasons for and against carrying a gun.
The issue goes beyond the right to own a gun. The gun possession issue really only sets up a more serious issue. The big worry over guns is the concealed carry laws across the United States. Most every state in America allows it. Only two states won’t allow a person to carry a gun without exposing it. Its ironic laws favor people displaying guns, not concealing them.
A person with no interest in guns can quickly be involved when gun violence strikes in their life. That is how I came to this subject. My own brother took his life with a gun. Had he not owned one, that day would not have happened. Now, I consider his right to own and his right to a concealed carry permit in my own life due to violence coming closer and closer to my gun free activities.
I researched the matter and searched for those like myself. I’ve searched for gun violence prevention from neutral parties such as the Prevention Institute and the American Psychological Association. As expected, they both agree it is complex and neither has a panacea as they point out antecedents. They both offer good insight.
Perhaps creating a list of pros and cons for why concealed carry is a good idea, and why it may also be a bad thing could make a difference in this gun victim’s opinion.
THE CASE FOR CONCEALED CARRY PERMITS
The world is changing. You have a chance in a public place if the worst occurs. A lot goes into owning a gun. It is a commitment to the law for the man or woman who makes this decision. Getting a permit to carry a concealed gun is no easy or simple matter.
The question remains.
Are we doing enough to make sure the right people own a gun at all?
Consider this theory. Please hold off on judgment as if this is hyperbole. Without the existence of guns, criminals with weapons would become more emboldened. The knowledge no one could fight back on their level is too tempting an advantage for any would-be criminal. In addition, criminals would believe they risk little with great reward. that would lead to crimes on a larger scale.
That plausible argument may not be a big pro, but it makes sense.
What about me? The law-abiding citizen with good intent? If I decided to get a permit to carry a gun under my jacket, it would mean I learned a lot about the reason I’m doing it. On an educational level, this helps the argument for concealed carry. Some.
I think of family. My family. I want to level playing field in defense if the worst occurs. An example such as an intruder or assailant accosting me and my loved ones come to mind. It would be impossible to accept I didn’t do all I knew was possible to protect them in that worst-case situation.
Protecting my family is a big reason I think I could accept the position favoring a concealed carry gun permit. I don’t want to be a hero. Sure I’d protect others too, but my prime motivation would be the knowledge I have a chance in protecting those I love in an emergency.
In theory, law enforcement is okay with the concealed carry law. Police or others in law enforcement should not treat you as a criminal if you carry.
Concealed carry citizens do go through thorough training to achieve this level of weapon ownership. These types of gun owners have a better record of not being involved in crimes simply because they own a weapon. Statistics consistently show these gun owners make up the least amount of law enforcement calls and incidents. They also show themselves to be more responsible in other areas of the law such as less drunk driving arrests.
Basically, gun owners with the right to carry a concealed gun are people who understand the responsibility that goes with this level of gun ownership.
For now, there is no negative stigma associated with someone who has the right to carry a gun under out-of-sight. Personally, if someone is carrying a gun, I’d rather not know. And what I have learned is that there are a lot of people out there who own a gun and while I walk through the mall considering that could some guy burst in from an exit with a shotgun, there is most likely some other armed citizen there to offer protection and frankly, save my life.
THE CASE AGAINST CONCEALED CARRY
Just because someone gets a permit doesn’t make them stable enough to own a gun.
Should something go down, I play out the possibilities in my head. The scenario I see most is this one. I’m now a gun owner carrying a concealed weapon in the mall. What if an incident occurs I would normally run from but instead, I feel compelled to act? That incident I would have normally run from results in me being shot. I could lose a limb or suffer some life-changing injury, all because I leaned into a fight instead of ran?
I’m not looking to be a hero, but I’m the type that looks a situation for what it is, and I try to do the right thing. Owning a gun can invite trouble in ways you just don’t suspect are possible.
If I had a concealed carry permit, I think I would spend too much time involved in knowing where my gun is, how to not get arrested myself because my gun was in my car when I crossed into any jurisdiction that immediately put me at risk of being arrested for being in violation of a law I wasn’t fully aware of.
The current attitude in a liberal press media environment has those who want to legally carry a concealed weapon on defense. The laws are unenforced while judges spin anyone involved in an incident as a concern, not a victim who defended themselves properly. With that understanding, criminals don’t assume people are carrying when the commit crimes. They are not as ‘deterred’ as we may all want them to be. To this end, the current state of concealed carry is nothing I’m excited about.
Not all states have enough rules to eliminate the bad gun owners from the good gun owners. Currently, Maryland doesn’t require training at all for a concealed carry permit.
Not all states put up any roadblock to ensure the right people own a gun. Those bad eggs are Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming.
I mentioned I would rather not know if someone had a concealed gun. The truth is while I want to be protected from that person who has snapped, running loose in the mall with a shotgun, I also feel that if I saw a person carrying a gun in the open, or knew it was concealed, would also make me uncomfortable. It’s a conundrum I’ve trapped myself in.
People snap. A person who is stable today could go through such trauma and snap. A once good gun owner could become the guy who plans out a mass shooting such as the one in Las Vegas in 2017.
Yes, people with concealed carry permits kill too, and not in self-defense. It’s not just the mass shooter example above that worries me. Just having a permit is not enough. I actually think that people should be tested, examined or some sort of vetting take place every year, if not twice a year – and that does include police. Police have been known throughout history to have plenty of ‘hotheads’ on the force and they make emotional decisions in which their ‘brotherhood’ protects them through laws that give police rights to shoot without much due process for the person they killed.
Everyone should be held to the same standard and it should be enforced on a consistent basis. That is my humble position. While I hold this opinion, I’m not up in arms over the fact many will disagree on both sides of this position.
I’ve considered owning a gun in general for protection. I’ve decided against it because I think I’d be judged by friends who don’t agree with my position. I’ve also decided I would be a bit apprehensive of staying in line with the law. I believe that struggle would constantly gnaw on me and I’d be too involved with gun law to just relax and live a peaceful life. It’s bad enough that as a white male, I’m an easy target for any plausible complaint. I’d rather not give anyone ammunition to shoot me with.
If I do decide to carry, I’ve researched who I want to work with IF I get to the point of purchase. A gun shop should be a party to responsible behavior. In my research, here is one good example of what I think a good gun shop should be like. Reliance Tactical offers a concealed carry course, and the people there have a responsible background.
If you are anyone in your life is thinking dark thoughts and suicide. Here is the National Hotline. It can’t hurt just to talk to someone. 800-273-8255.