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On July 29th, the new constitutional carry law in Arizona went into effect, removing all requirements that a lawful gun owner obtain permission of the state before carrying a firearm concealed.
Just as the folks from the Brady Center Against Guns and the Violence Policy Center had predicted, virtually everyone in the state has either been killed or seriously injured by gunfire in the ensuing two weeks, and drug and outlaw biker gangs are running rampant, since the police can no longer ticket them for unlicensed carry of concealed weapons.
In other news: Dewey defeats Truman, Elvis Presley is alive and Martian spacecraft have attacked New York.
In the real news, however: After implementation of the new constitutional carry law in Arizona, no one has really noticed any change. Certainly there has been no surge in firearms-related violence, accidents or general stupidity. What a totally unsurprising result.
Meanwhile, Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Bunch is breathlessly telling his 12 readers over at the Huffington Post about an unfortunate mistake made by a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor in Florida, who broke several rules of firearms safety and NRA instructor guidelines, resulting in an unintentional discharge injuring a student in the foot. Of course Hennigan doesn’t mention that there are thousands of firearms instructors teaching tens of thousands of classes every month and that an incident like this is so incredibly rare as to be virtually unheard of.
Hennigan uses the incident to reinforce general hoplophobia (irrational fear of weapons) in hopes of his small organization maintaining some relevance as more and more Americans realize that gun control simply doesn’t work, and law-abiding, armed citizens are not a threat. In desperation Hennigan points to expanding concealed carry recognition around the country as well as increased utilization of open carry laws as serious threats to the public. After all, there are children in some of those public places, and who knows what might happen when someone has a gun …
He goes on to point out that training to obtain a concealed carry permit is generally minimal and that in most states no training or permit is required to carry a gun openly. (Oh, my!) But those facts are good evidence that responsible gun owners who carry concealed or openly, with or without mandatory training, pose no threat to their fellow citizens. Untrained, unlicensed open carry has been the law of the land in most places for the better part of the past 230 years, and it hasn’t been a problem.
Hennigan suggests that if a highly trained firearms expert like an NRA certified instructor can make a mistake resulting in an injury to self or others, then all of those minimally trained “gun extremists” out wandering the streets with their gats and “Dirty Harry” attitudes must be a serious threat to public safety.
In reality, law-abiding citizens who choose to legally carry for self-defense have a remarkable record of responsible, lawful behavior. Concealed carry permit holders – in states with mandatory training and those without – have lower rates of crime and stupid gun mistakes than do highly trained, sworn law enforcement officers.
Furthermore, that instructor in Hennigan’s article was handling a loaded gun when he let off the shot, something that doesn’t happen when the gun is in its holster where it belongs – and where it would stay if it weren’t for fear-mongering hoplophobes like Hennigan insisting that legal carriers remove their guns here, unload their guns there, disassemble their guns before proceeding through this zone, etc.
When it comes to fear of unintentional discharges – not to mention concerns about guns being stolen – laws which force a legally carried gun off of the law-abiding carrier’s belt or purse and into a glove box or trunk generate the greater risks. Training requirements, permit fees, and “No (legal) Guns” zones are generally much more about discouraging gun owners and making carry more difficult than they are about safety.
A responsible, law-abiding permit holder is not more likely to do something stupid with his gun in a school, library or church than he is anywhere else, and a criminal or lunatic bent on mischief is not likely to be deterred by a “No Guns” decal on a door.
Those serious about protecting and defending the Constitution and the right to arms should be planning to attend the upcoming Gun Rights Policy Conference being held this year in the belly of the beast, San Francisco, Calif., on September 24-26.
Mix and mingle with gun-rights leaders, and attend outstanding presentations from the most influential thinkers in the movement. For more information, click on the GRPC link at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.