Letter to the editor
December 29, 2006
With more concealed-gun permits, 9/11 may have been less severe
There is plenty of evidence that in jurisdictions where gun restrictions are severe, there are high levels of crime. It makes little difference if it’s foreign or domestic, city, state or national, the scenario is the same. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to question the logic of those who support restriction of private individuals from firearm possession.
Having said that, owning and carrying a firearm is an awesome responsibility that cannot be overlooked. That responsibility extends to law enforcement officers (LEOs) and private citizens equally. The source of your income has no bearing on your judgment, your morals or your ability to reason. A private citizen must clear a background check, similar to the check for applicants to positions in law enforcement, to obtain a concealed- carry weapon (CCW) permit. They must demonstrate a level of proficiency in using the weapon and should follow a regular pattern of maintaining that proficiency. One other point is there is no larger percentage of private citizens with CCW permits than LEOs who abuse their right to be armed.
My question is would the events of 9/11 been different, perhaps non-existent, if CCW permits were common? How would the terrorists’ plans been altered by the possibility that one or more of the passengers on the aircraft involved might be armed? One could argue that even if there were some armed non-LEOs passengers the outcome of 9/11 would have, at best, been averted and, at worst, no different.
In most jurisdictions that issue CCW permits, there are limits to where the permit is valid. The most prevalent “off-limits” locations are government buildings, school property and airports. Recognizing that law enforcement cannot be everywhere there is little logic to restricting those who have cleared a background check and demonstrated proficiency with a firearm. I would be thankful if an armed non-LEO, teacher or otherwise, was able to control or prevent a Columbine-like event at my grandkid’s school.
As it is, any unqualified, unlicensed mental bankrupt can barge into a school with a weapon and inflict great harm. It’s illogical to restrict a teacher’s ability to provide security while waiting for law enforcement to arrive. The point is, there is no good solution that will provide perfect security, given the authority teachers are a better bet than someone with the intent to inflict harm.
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Even though I hold CCW permits in 35 states, I have no interest in enforcing laws. The primary goal is self-protection not authority, secondarily protection of others unable to protect themselves. At age 75, carrying a firearm is my way of leveling the playing field in the absence of law enforcement. The fact is that when traveling into jurisdictions where my CCW permits are not valid, i.e. California, Massachusetts, New York or Washington D.C., the law disarms me and puts me in jeopardy. I take the implication that my being armed would create a threat to society as an insult. This is particularly true when the incompetent authorities in the jurisdictions mentioned have no control over the gang violence, drug dealing and muggings that they are chartered to control.
Perhaps the background checks should be more stringent and the proficiency requirements more extensive to qualify private citizens for a CCW permit. Establishing a series of levels like those in other areas of licensing may make some sense. I, for one, am fed up with the attitude that individuals are created to serve government and that government only serves to expand government.