After the Colorado shooting last night I’m seeing a lot of people state that they think the gun carrying laws in the U.S. are to blame, and I have to say I entirely disagree.
While I don’t think a concealed weapon in the theater last night would’ve stopped James Holmes from killing innocent people, I also think that if someone who was properly trained and legally licensed to carry had pulled a weapon on the him last night, it does present the possibility of ending the massacre early.
What a lot of people don’t understand, I think, is that gun laws in each state differ. But overall it is highly illegal in just about every state to carry an automatic rifle, which from my understanding is the weapon he used. And it’s probably the only weapon that could allow one person to get off that many rounds that quickly before police arrived.
It’s just my opinion that people who use guns in an illegal capacity will do so no matter what gun laws state. If they can get their hands on it and they have the already established malicious intention, then they’re going to try to use it.
However, for those who want to carry legally to protect themselves in a situation like that, I don’t see a problem with that. As long as the process is regulated safely. I know some states, like Vermont and Pennsylvania, are extremely lax on gun laws either not requiring any kind of registration or issueing CCW’s just about same day. And I disagree with that. In my state, you have to either have prior military training or go through a firearms safety course that requires you to also pass an accuracy test on 15 rounds minimum- though many ranges, including the one I fired at can require more and opts for 25-30 rounds. On top of that I also have to undergo a background check through the state government and have my fingerprints and photograph linked to my license.
And if you don’t think a concealed carry can stop a crime in progress, then I also disagree with that. When I first moved to Orlando my parents were extremely worried about the crime rate here, especially around Orange Blossom Trail/ downtown area. But there were actually 2-3 stories in the paper that year of armed robberies that were thwarted because a patron of that store had a legal concealed weapon and used it before police arrived. And there are just way too many instances of robberies, muggings, break-ins, etc. for me to feel comfortable not having a weapon in some situations.
I think a lot of people assume that those who carry concealed weapons make a situation more dangerous because they think of overly-enthusiastic gun nuts who just went out and registered a gun so they could carry it holstered and feel cool. In truth, depending on your state’s political leaning you are probably around a concealed weapon in public way more often than you think. If someone is obeying the law then they aren’t supposed to have it detectible in any way, showing it to anyone or using it unless in the presence of actual mortal danger. Heck, even having the outline of a firearm visible through your clothes is illegal here. The laws are often times much more strict than people think.
And I am not in favor of changing gun laws to restrict the use of concealed weapons, honestly. I think that the process to obtain a permit should be regulated and I am in favor of guns being registered by serial number. However, I think to restrict the allowance for someone to lawfully carry is frankly, naive. It won’t stop crime. Criminals, by nature, are breaking those laws anyway. The only thing I would change is that I think the concealed process should be more uniform state to state, and I think those who apply should be required to undergo a routine psychiatric evaluation. If someone has had the training, accuracy qualification, a legally registered firearm and is psychologically sound, then yeah- I am okay with that person having a firearm around me in public.
Guns don’t kill people, the person pulling the trigger does that.
Otherwise my .45 would’ve offed me in my sleep a long time ago.