Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Comments on Gov. Perry's statement re: concealed-carry

For some head-shakingly amusing (and yet depressing) comments, solicited by this article in the San Antonio Express-News, click here.

I contributed twice:
This might be the wrong forum to pit statistics and figures against emotional outcries, but here goes.

"Get a bad grade, shoot the teacher." "Get drunk, get in an argument, shoot the other guy." "Get in a car accident, shoot the guy that hit you." "We're going back to the Wild West, the O.K. Corral all over again!" "When the psycho pulls out his gun and 20 other citizens pull out theirs we'll have an uncontrollable shootout!" "The streets will run red with blood!"

You know what? These predictions have been heard, and heard often. We heard them in 1987 when Florida passed the first non-discretionary "shall-issue" concealed-carry law. Did violent crime & shootings skyrocket, as predicted? No - in fact they decreased FASTER than the national rate was already decreasing. We heard them in 2004 when the so-called "assault weapons" ban expired. Did we have a rash of multi-victim massacres, as predicted? No - in fact violent crime continued its decades-long descent with nary a blip in the graph. Those in Utah also heard them in 2004 when the state legislature specfically allowed concealed-carry on college campuses (by legally-licensed holders only, of course). Did students start shooting their teachers, as predicted? Nope - no campus massacres either.

Folks, you have to remember that nobody's talking about issuing handguns with driver's licenses or student IDs. The only people we're talking about are those who have put in the time and effort to attend 10-15 hours of education & training, prove their proficiency, pass the strictest of background checks, and who continually keep their noses (and records) clean through periodic renewals. Of the 34,791 criminal convictions in the state of Texas in 2005, only 129 were perpetrated by Concealed Handgun License holders - .37% to be exact (and they all lost their licenses for it). Sounds like exactly the kind of level-headed and responsible people I'd feel good about trusting with the responsibility.
To the folks stating that the crime rate WILL go up, and not believing any statements about keeping the crime rate down, please do your research before posting. In the midst of the great nationwide decline of violent crime rates over the last 3 decades, the 40 states that have enacted "shall-issue" concealed-carry laws saw their violent crime rates drop FASTER and FARTHER than those states with the more restrictive "may-issue" or "no-issue" concealed-carry laws.

The National Academy of Sciences in 2005, the CDC in 2003, and the AMA in 2000 released studies that could not statistically correlate a reduction in violent crime with a single gun control measure - not one.

Legally-carried firearms are used to stop crimes far more often (estimates range from half a million to 2 million times a year) than illegally-carried firearms are used to commit crimes (~350,000/year). It's as simple as that.
There are quite a few good comments, like this one, hitting on the same point I made in my last letter to the editor:
Since when has Texas become a state that doesn't care about property rights? Property rights has always been a major concern in this state, but over the last few years it's fallen by the wayside. Smoking bans circumvent property owners ability to choose the way they run their property, and Perry wants to do the same thing with handguns.

I'm sorry, but it's my property. If you have a gun, no badge, and are on my property, you are unwelcome and therefore trespassing. Businesses, office buildings, parking lots, schools, etc, should all decide for themselves whether or not to allow any type of weapon on their premises without interference from the State government.
This is Texas, after all.

But here are some lowlights:
Everyone on here with a concealed weapon permit has just succeeded in making me more scared that I am not safe at work or school.
(So she's felt safe in the vicinity of CHL holders in the past, just as long as she didn't know about it.)

If you're so insecure and frightened about going out in public that you need a concealed weapon to feel adequate, then you don't have the stones to shoot anyone anyways. So why put yourself in that situation? You'll shoot yourself in the foot out of panic before you shoot someone who's already openned fire on Sally. Life isn't a B movie and you're not Dirty Harry so stop contributing to the problem. Where do think the criminals are getting the guns from anyways? The short answer: They're stealing them from low-browed,slack-jawed, mouth-breathers like you who weren't going to use it to begin with!
(Nice. Classy.)

What a crazy idea, especially if we are trying to teach kids to be non-violent and having arms only pertuates [sic] the chances of people being hurt. Certainly, bearing guns has a place in our crazy society to be able to protect ourselves against those that are deranged and evil. But, taking guns anywhere contributes to a police state.
(Don't worry - I did a double-take on that logic too.)

If a person is allowed to carry a weapon, I feel that it will just give them the feeling that they can use it anytime they feel threatened.
(Feel, feel, feel - what is it with these guys and their preference for feelings over cold, hard facts?)

I can not get a CHL, so why should any of the other stupid idiots that loose control because of alcohol be able to carry or have one. we do not need to revert back to the lawless days of the old west.
Welcome to the OK coral - only in Texas.
(Yeah - 'cause shootouts have been happening non-stop in the 40 states with shall-issue concealed-carry laws.)

This is ridiculous; as a person in a school everyday with some kids who already scare me, how many 18 year old seniors would get to show up at school with their guns ready when we're telling them who will graduate and who won't?????
(Hello, if you're under 21 you can't get a CHL anyway!)

Get pissed at teacher for a bad grade, shoot the teacher in class, then someone shoots the shooter excellent idea.
Sometimes it's embarrassing to live in this backward state, where the governor would have us walking around like we're living in the Old West. Did he take anything from the Va. Tech tragedy?
(Why yes he did, that's the genesis of the suggestion, thanks for asking.)

Seriously, do these people even take the 5 minutes it would take to learn about the subject under discussion before posting irrational and pointless comments like these? It's obvious they have no class, but I thought at least they'd find out what requirements are met by each and every CHL holder in the state, what kind of training they go through, etc. Can you believe some of those people were attacking the straw man of high school seniors (who can't get CHL permits in the first place) carrying at their school? Sheesh. There's even the obligatory "ban all first-person shooter video games" suggestion.


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