Archive for the ‘Defense’ Category

Aurora Theater Victims Were Denied Their Right to Protection

July 20, 2012

First, let me say that my heart goes out to the victims of the shooting that occurred at the theater in Aurora, Colorado earlier today.  The tragedy they endured touches far more lives than theirs.  While we don’t know all the numbers yet, I’m sure dozens and dozens of people lost husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers,  and sisters in the massacre.

I’m also saddened because these victims were rendered defenseless by the Century 16’s “no weapons” policy.  The truth is, while Colorado is very good about allowing the law abiding (who have been fingerprinted, passed a background check, legal written test, and shooting test) to carry a handgun for personal protection, Cinemark (the company that owns the theater) forbids them.

There are two exceptions to Cinemark’s ridiculous policy: law enforcement, and people who choose to disobey the sign. Thus, the law abiding who obeyed the “no gun” sign at the door were victims of the criminal who didn’t care what the sign said.

A local news site, http://kmbc.com, has an article about the tragedy.  There was one comment when I read the article, from “Vicki McMillan of Leawood, Kansas”:

When are we going to take automatic firearms off the “common” market…..NO private citizen needs an automatic weapon…..hand guns for protection yes, automatic firearmes NO….

While I applaud her defense of personal protection, I had to chime in with a response of my own:

While I understand that you mean well, please do your research. He didn’t use automatic weapons, and it’s already illegal to own any automatic weapon manufactured after 1986 when the ban went in effect. Pre-ban automatics cost $20,000 or more, so they’re well out of the reach of the “common” market.

It’s not all your fault – the article uses terms like “sprayed with bullets” to make it seem like he was unloading hundreds of rounds per minute, when that just wasn’t the case. If he had an automatic, there would have been no need to fire a shotgun or handguns.

I went on to explain the problem with Cinemark’s weapon policy, as I have above.  My comment never made it past moderation, and a couple hours later both comments were removed.  I guess somebody with an anti-gun slant at the site didn’t want my simple facts getting in the way of an emotional, fear-based response.  Again, I think Ms. McMillan’s heart is in the right place, but 9/11 taught us we pay the price when we’re willing to give up our freedoms for the “promise” of safety.

Sadly, we should have learned this lesson centuries ago, when it was obviously an issue.  That’s why Benjamin Franklin himself once stated:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Pray for the direct victims of today’s attack, and their friends and family who are victims as well – victims who must live with the consequences of one man’s actions for the rest of their lives.  Don’t dishonor them by fearfully asking the government to take over.  Fight to ensure that in the future, the law abiding can defend themselves wherever they choose to peacefully assemble.

Concealed Carry Amendment Defeated in the Senate

July 22, 2009

Yahoo today reported that the amendment to mandate concealed carry reciprocity among states was defeated by the slimmest of margins.  While the article is unusually objective sounding for being part of the popular media, it does make this defeat out as more than it is, by saying “opponents prevailed in their argument…”

To me, “prevailed” means they really swayed general opinion.  They didn’t.  Votes were actually in favor of the amendment, 58 – 39.  However, the senate requires 60 “for” votes in order to pass legislation, so this measure failed.  But I think this misleading tone is due more to the need for media to overdramatize.  A story saying “despite growing support, things stay the same for now” doesn’t sell.

One part of the article really interested me.  It was the anti-gun crowd’s sudden concern for “state’s rights” that they wholeheartedly ignore when they’re trying to eliminate the whole country’s second amendment right to bear arms.  Are we being hypocritical?  I firmly believe in state’s rights, and I know we’re not.

The right of individual states to make their own laws and govern their own people is invaluable.  I dare say when it comes to legislation, the smaller level the better.  But those laws are not allowed to infringe on constitutional rights, and the right to self defense is one of them.

Private businesses and private residences are the only places that should have the right to enforce stricter gun rules on their own property.  I have no problem with that.  I’ve seen news reports with bar owners who complain about lax gun law.  In my state, and most I believe, bars are like any other private business and have to right to restrict guns, or anything else, as much as they want.  Heck, put up a “no republicans” sign, I don’t care – I’ll simply take my business elsewhere.

Crime Statistics on Concealed Carry Permit Holders

July 21, 2009

As I’ve researched concealed carry laws in different states, I’ve learned a lot.  Part of the reason for this research is because we’ll likely be taking a trip down to Texas soon, and I wanted to know if my future Kansas concealed carry permit would apply all the way down.  It does, because both Oklahoma and Texas honor a Kansas concealed carry permit.

One of the things I’ve learned is that, since concealed carry provisions are on the rise in states (Nebraska just enacted their concealed carry permits a couple years ago) they’re eager to show that it was a good decision.  Or maybe they’re just eager to make sure that if it isn’t working out, they’ll be the first to know.  But states are publishing interesting statistics on crime, and the demographics of concealed carry permit holders.  Interestingly, the highest demographic for violent crime (men in their early 20’s) are also one of the smallest groups of legal concealed carriers.  Old people are packing, people!

I recently researched getting a 2nd concealed carry permit from Texas, to add 9 states to the list of places I can legally carry a concealed weapon.  I stumbled on some great statistics.  I based all my numbers on data from 2007, because that’s the most recent year for which all data was available.

From Many Eyes I learned that the total population of Texas is about 23.9 million people, of which 16.6 million meet the age requirement for a concealed carry permit.  The rest of my stats were provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Concealed Carry site, which was extremely helpful.

According to this pdf, there were 288,908  concealed carry permit holders in 2007.  This means that 1.75% of age-eligible residents own a concealed carry permit.  And according to this pdf, only 0.26% (about a quarter of a percent) of gun crimes are commited by concealed carry permit holders.  That means that concealed carry permit holders are seven times less likely to commit gun crimes.  Concealed carriers are safer!

This makes a lot of sense.  Concealed carry permit holders are required to pass a course covering the law surrounding firearms use, including when it is acceptable to use deadly force, and how to do so within the bounds of the law.  The course also requires a level of proficiency with handguns that lowers the risk of accidental injury.  Concealed carry permit holders also undergo a federal background check, submit their fingerprints, and photo identification.  In short, it would be much easier to identify and convict them if they were to abuse their privilege.  Concealed carriers have more to lose by commiting a gun crime – they’re held to a higher level of accountability.

This shouldn’t deter you from obtaining a concealed carry permit, and using it responsibly.  Of course, I wish people were allowed to carry firearms freely without a permit, and regulation.  Criminals are bullies, and they thrive on the weak.  It becomes much harder to rob a convenience store, or go on a shooting rampage at a school or mall when the shooter has to think twice about how many people might also be armed.

Support the National Right To Carry Bill!

July 20, 2009

Normally, I try to just post once per day, but this is too important.  Gun Owners of America have an article about upcoming legislation to make concealed carry permits automatically reciprocal with other states.  This would allow concealed carry permits to work almost exactly like state-issued driver’s licenses.  Getting licensed in your home state allows you to drive in all states that issue licenses, with the condition that you obey the host state’s driving laws.

This is wonderful – it would mean that if I qualify for (and obtain) a concealed carry permit in my home state of Kansas, I would automatically be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in any other state that issues these permits.  Currently, Kansas only has concealed carry reciprocation with 23 other states, which is why I discussed the possibility of obtaining a second permit in Texas or Arizona to add their reciprocal states to the list.

The biggest gain for me would be Nebraska, which currently only issues concealed carry permits to residents, and refuses to recognize the permits of other states.  The new law would require reciprocal recognition.  This is great for states too, because it’s not a free pass.  I’d still have to obey the specific concealed carry laws of the state I’m visiting, which is fair.

You should read the article I linked to above, and ensure that your representatives support this important legislation.  Concealed carry holders have to pass written and shooting tests, submit their pictures and fingerprints, and pay hefty fees for the privilege.  Doing this once should be good enough for any other state in the U.S. to recognize.

As a side note, I just signed up for my concealed carry class today.  The process takes about three months, between waiting for the next available class and waiting up to 60 days for the state to issue the permit.  If you haven’t started already, do it now.

Concealed Carry in as Many States as Possible

July 17, 2009

I went back to the shooting range yesterday with a friend, for more target practice.  Going every week got expensive, so it had been a couple weeks and I was practically going through withdrawal!  When my friend asked about going, I jumped at the chance.

After shooting, I got to thinking about my plans to get a CCL (concealed carry license).  They’re on hold because I’m trying to pace my survival spending.  Other things like food, water, and survival books will prove a much better investment should disaster strike sooner, rather than later.  However, it is a high priority for me simply because the process takes so long.  I might have a month-long wait to take the class, then up to 60 days for the permit itself to be issued.  If I ever want or need it, I doubt I’ll have 90 days advance notice.

As a Kansas resident, my concealed carry permit will allow me to carry a concealed handgun in 23 states.  That’s pretty good, almost half the country.  It’s because a lot of states have reciprocal concealed carry agreements, honoring each other’s licenses.  To me, this is smart.  If you trust that another state has done the due diligence to verify a person’s CCL-worthiness, it saves time and money.

Sadly, my home state of Nebraska doesn’t see it that way, which makes it the only neighboring state that doesn’t recognize a Kansas concealed carry permit.  They will also only issue a CCL to residents, so the only way to legally carry a concealed weapon in Nebraska is to live there and get the permit.  Nebraska is the state I travel to most, since my family lives there.

But that did get me thinking.  I’d read in Neil Strauss’ Emergency that he got his permit in Arizona, even though he was a California resident.  I found that a number of states will issue permits to nonresidents.  By combining the right permits, I could potentially gain a lot more ground!  I was right.  Getting a Texas concealed carry permit (where I also have family, and occasionally visit) would add nine states to my list.  If I chose Arizona instead of Texas, I’d have to make a special trip but it would give me all the Texas states plus three more.

All of the green states recognize a Kansas concealed carry permit.

All of the green states recognize a Kansas concealed carry permit.

The yellow states are what I would gain by getting a Texas concealed carry permit in addition to my Kansas CCL.

The yellow states are what I would gain by getting a Texas concealed carry permit in addition to my Kansas CCL.

The red states are the ones I'd add by getting an Arizona concealed carry permit as my second permit, instead of a Texas CCL.

The red states are the ones I'd add by getting an Arizona concealed carry permit as my second permit, instead of a Texas CCL.

As you can see, I have the ability to add a dozen states to my concealed carry list just by qualifying in one extra state.  This is almost three quarters of the country, and most of the non-participating states are in New England which is small, and unpleasant for conservatives like me anyway.

If you would like to play around with your concealed carry options, the best place is USA Carry’s Reciprocity Maps which use flash to generate a map of your options with just a couple clicks.