Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gun Free Zones

Are "gun free zones" really safe? This article has some food for thought and finally got me to start blogging again. I've been thinking about this issue for a little while now and have some thoughts on it. It doesn't matter if you read the article first or read my comments below first, they are related but not dependent on one another.

A number of states have concealed carry permits (often abreviated CCW) available to law-abiding citizens. There are different requirements and it varies by state to state but some form of concealed carry is currently available in about 48 states. (As of Feb 2008 according to wikipedia) Vermont and Alaska don't even require a permit, any non-felon can legally carry a concealed firearm.

But what about the shootings in the street? Complete mayhem I tell you... Some opponents of CCW tell you that there will be more violence than before but that hasn't been the case. One reason is that if you mis-use your firearm in any way, you can have your CCW taken away. And let's face it, those who are going to follow the law (by getting their CCW to carry in the first place) are more than likely going to continue following the law by not using it in an illegal manner. Those that ignore the law anyway (by carrying without a CCW) are the ones you really have to worry about.

Imagine how different Columbine or Virginia Tech would be if one teacher had a concealed firearm. Or, since Virginia Tech is a college with students eligible for CCW, one student who could have stopped the mentally ill students who felt the need to go on a killing spree. In fact at Virginia Tech, there were students who had their CCW but were not allowed to take their weapons on campus.

I'm not saying everyone should be armed, there are people out there who are mentally unstable who if they had a firearm would most certainly be a danger to themselves and others. There are also criminal types who are going to ignore the laws anyway and then there are those who are just uncomfortable with the idea of having a gun. That's fine, I can completely understand, firearms are not to be treated lightly. In the wrong hands they can be very dangerous and if you are uncomfortable handling one, I don't think you should be forced to. On the flip side, if I am comfortable in carrying a firearm to protect myself and my family, I should be able to.

But don't take my word for it, go out and do your own research. There is a lot of information on this from both sides of the argument. Keep in mind that a lot of studies (from both sides) have certain agendas they are trying to push. Look at the studies, look at the stats and come up with your own opinion.

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