Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post No. 162c: Should Law Abiding Citizens Be Allowed to Carry their Guns to the Park or Restaurant?


According to the Triangle Business Journal, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, the North Carolina House voted 74 - 42 in favor of expanding the places where citizens, with concealed weapons permits, can carry a gun. The Bill now goes to the North Carolina Senate.

Tell us what you think.

52 comments:

  1. Well, since denying non-law abiding citizens from carrying guns anyplace doesn't actually work, I see no reason why law-abiding ones should be denied that right to bear arms. We, here in Paradise, have laws preventing us from carrying weapons into sports venues, government buildings, the local post office, bars and most any place except in restaurants, our cars and our homes.

    I don't think we have all that much to fear from the armed but law-abiding citizen.

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  2. I feel that law abiding citizens, who have completed state certification, should be allowed to be armed. I am certain that in Guilford county, holders of ccw permits cause little concerns for our local law enforcement. We have the right to protect ourselves.

    How many restaurant owners are willing to guarantee protection to their patrons in life threatening situations? Probably none.

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  3. For some unexplained reason, conservatives and neo-Nazis think that criminals are just bad guys with guns. Despite what you think, it is more complicated than that.

    This is what is going to happen. A criminal will approach you in a restaurant and YOUR gun will be, best case scenario, lying open on the table top.

    While you have your folk in your hand, or you are talking to another diner at the table or to the waiter, the criminal, having already had his hand on his gun, will put it out and beat you on the draw.

    The other law abiding idiots in the restaurant with their guns also on the table will instantly stand up and reach for them, at which time the criminal will shoot two or three of them, and duck, while the bullets of the law abiding idiots will strike other law abiding idiots.

    For those of you who think that a gun has a deterrent effect, ask other criminals who have weapons.

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  4. Anonymous, does this happen to you on a regular basis? I have been in one armed robbery in my life. Just one. The bad guy did have a gun. The good guys did not. The one good guy who had brought a gun to work (a 7-11) on almost every other day had left it home that night. He reached for it only after the bad guy had dashed out of the store. No shootout occurred, of course, and wouldn't have. That same bad guy, about three weeks later, was chased out of another small market by a gun wielding good guy (the manager). The good guy put two slugs into the trunk lid of the bad guy's car, got the license plate, and gave that to the police. The police picked him up at his apartment.
    But shootouts in restaurants? Never heard of a single one. Not even in places where it is legal to carry in the open.

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  5. Restaurant shootouts -

    http://article.wn.com/view/2010/04/04/4_killed_at_North_Hollywood_restaurant_shooting/

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Feds-Involved-in-Studio-City-Restaurant-Shootout-97135219.html

    http://www.topix.com/forum/city/la-mirada-ca/T0GLHFB4A4OTS2BNI

    http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_11180820

    http://www.click2houston.com/news/16361553/detail.html

    http://www.9news.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=105566&catid=339

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  6. Most people in the world, myself included, think a small gun in the pocket or holster would be insurance against the thief or psychopath who threatens us from some distance in front of us. Like they all do of course! (irony) But on Corfu (Greece) I would likely be the only one with a gun except for the police.

    'Law abiding'? 'bad guys'? Comic-book language, but in this case it's not funny.

    I read last week the percentage of people carrying concealed weapons - 3% was it? Why, that's only 30,000 per million! But growing.

    Douglas? You have been involved in only one armed robbery. 'Just one' Consider the statistics of that!

    Your wonderful gun lobby is powerful, the industry wants every adult (I am being generous) to carry a gun and have spares at home. They have opposition from people with IMAGINATION only.

    Bill and Douglas - be careful next time you get mugged from the front. Reach (as in Reach!)for your wallet and get shot.

    Isn't it lucky that permits will only be given to people with no concealed criminal or psychopathic tendancies. Violence in public will fall as carrying increases. Of COURSE! (as Cenk Urgar would say) NOBODY will believe s\he can draw faster than the bad guy - everybody knows their 'cowboy' culture. (even more irony)

    Want to be hated even more in the rest of the world America? Your powerful elite care how many old people and children get caught in the cross-fire between gun toting 'civilians'? Do they hell!

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  7. Anon,

    First story is about an intended shooting. Not a robbery where some patron opens up on the robbers.

    Second story is about a cops shooting a man who rammed police cars.

    Third story is about a shootout between robbers and the cops.

    Fourth story is also where cops and the robber had a shootout.

    Fifth story also involved cops.

    You really ought to read the stories, not simply do an online search for 'shootout" and "restaurant."

    CorfuBob, you are arguing emotionally, not logically. The odds of my being in a place of business when it is being robbed are astronomical. But it does happen. It also happens, more times than not, that no one else is armed except Anon's "bad guy(s)." That is the norm. The statistical norm.

    Would it be a wonderful and peaceful world if there were no guns except in the hands of the police and military? Personally, I doubt it.

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  8. When I sleep, my wife and my gun lie in the same bed with me. I take my wife to the restaurant and to the park; why shouldn't I take my gun to the restaurant and to the park as well . .?

    Independent Cuss

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  9. Cuss? Do try to think beyond the fear you feel both in the bed and outside the front door. Your society has created the anger and hatred against which you feel you have to be armed. My societies, both british and Greek have not done so.

    Why should you not take your gun to the retaurant? Because you are helping to create more anger and hatred. Is asking you to be independent of the trend, asking too much? For every situation where the gun in your hand would offer protection, how often would it make you the first target? And what protection does it offer when concealed?

    So i am being illogical? The more 'normal' people carry guns, the more borderline/disturbed people will carry them, and the cheaper they will become.

    Tell us how this will reduce the risk of being shotat or caught in cross-fire.

    Douglas, you shot yourself in the foot by expanding Anon's shoot-up list. Your gun-toting society is being held in increasing contempt in Europe, i am sorry to say. And mars a wonderfully rich culture.

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  10. Bob,

    Cheaper guns?!? A win-win!

    Seriously, I have no intention of moving to Greece or Great Britain, so the issue is somewhat academic. Americans know that private firearm ownership helped to forge this nation's freedom -- and they are understandably quite reluctant to surrender that particular Constitutionally-guaranteed liberty.

    I think it understandable then that Americans would wish to expand their Second Amendment liberties to the degree that it once was enjoyed, thereby restoring the “bear” in “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. You see, the words "He's carrying a gun!" spoken in public did not always presage a trip to the pokey in this nation; people felt secure if they believed those around them to possess a firearm and the proper and effective knowledge of its use. So public carrying of a gun was not that unusual -- nor was it considered to be notorious. Most individuals in this nation are good people, so they automatically outnumber the criminals and psychos; you do the math.

    If living amongst the "gun culture" is what is required to enjoy the other (remaining) freedoms which we are accorded in this nation, then I choose it.

    IC

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  11. Corfubob, it ain't like the stories in the media portray. It's a big country and things can happen. Much of what is written (as in Anon's examples) are not what they appear to be. The portrayals are what the writer/journalist thinks would grab attention. I am sure that Greece is not filled with ruins, protesting public workers throwing Molotov cocktails and shepherds roaming rocky hillsides and valleys. Or is it?

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  12. Oh, forgot to mention to you, Corfubob. I couldn't possibly care less what Europe thinks of me or my country. Why would I? Europeans never seemed to care what I think of them or their countries.

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  13. Douglas:

    Anonymous provided some examples of shootings in restaurants. Isn't the issue public places where citizens with concealed weapons permits would be allowed to carry their weapons? Seems to us the issue is "the location," not who the intended victims or the participants are. Are you suggesting that others in the restaurant setting carrying guns would not become participants if a shooting took place around them?

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  14. Douglas:

    We'd have to agree with Anonymous that who shoots first is a significant issue in a shoot out. We would suspect that if such a law were passed, criminals will appreciate that there will be a higher probability of restaurant patrons or park guest carrying guns and thus govern themselves accordingly.

    We realize that many think that all criminals are stupid, but quite a few members of Congress and people working on Wall Street are fairly bright people.

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  15. Independent Cuss:

    Glad to hear from you again. You wrote:

    "When I sleep, my wife and my gun lie in the same bed with me. I take my wife to the restaurant and to the park; why shouldn't I take my gun to the restaurant and to the park as well . .?"

    We must admit, one thing about which we had not given much thought is the sense of comfort or security which some people achieve by having a weapon at their disposal.

    Interesting. Our attention has generally been focused on the ensuing gun battle and the effect on passersby.

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  16. CorfuBob. Thanks for continuing to participate.

    You wrote: "Why should you not take your gun to the retaurant? Because you are helping to create more anger and hatred. Is asking you to be independent of the trend, asking too much? For every situation where the gun in your hand would offer protection, how often would it make you the first target?"

    Interesting analysis. We'd have to say this. In the ensuing gun battle, there would be fewer people carrying guns and fewer people further contributing to the violence mentality as you frame it. Somewhat like the concept of natural selection.

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  17. Out of curiosity, Independent Cuss, there have been several "revolutions" of sort in the Middle East in recent months. Would you prefer that the rebels be armed, or provided with arms, to overthrow their rulers, considering the fact that the colonists were armed and used their weapons against the British?

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  18. Simply to support the idea that carrying a gun will aid survival is daft. While it it hidden, you might as well not have it. As soon as an attacker knows you have one you will be dealt with - NOT just threatened.

    The more guns around the place; the more likely the violent person is to carry one, the more often guns will be used, and the more urgent (unskilled) their use. (ask questions later) Deny the truth of this before you selfishly grab a little false comfort.

    A gun under the pillow is something different - even sensible. Especially if you can't afford really good security. Even on Corfu i feel the need for doors that lock - it's been 5 years now!

    Shooting is on the increase - how can it decline when the people want guns and think they have the right? Of course - it will happen to the other guy.

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  19. ConfuBob mentioned that in Greece, shootings are on the rise. That statement reminded us of one of the joys of maintaining a blog, namely the exponential potential of participating in a world-wide discussion of ideas, conditions, and policies.

    In this particular instance, CorfuBob reminded us of the assertion by many that when economic conditions decline, crime increases. We plan to generate a post on that subject in the very near future.

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  20. Inspector, you raise some interesting questions and points. Currently, law forbids people from bringing a gun within 1000 feet of a school (I think that's the distance... according to Federal law) yet we still have school shootings. Clearly, laws do not prevent them. The proponents of these laws presume that a law-abiding person who carries a gun will exacerbate the problem, not lessen it. The other side believes that the realization that there will be opposing force reduces the threat from the non-law abiding.

    We will never resolve this. Neither side will back down. Individuals will switch sides from time to time but, overall, this argument will continue until there is no crime. I would not hold my breath waiting.

    Your post does not state "open carry" or "concealed carry" but I note that the "antis" (in this case) assume "open carry" ("gun on the table", etc) while the "pros" assume "concealed carry." Corfubob does not see how a concealed firearm can deter because he assumes that if he cannot see it, it will be difficult to use while if it is not concealed it will escalate or initiate the violence.

    Both sides use what we might call "assumptive reasoning."

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  21. Douglas:

    The meat has not yet been placed on the skeleton of the law. However, one thing about an openly displayed gun, if there is ANY deterrent component to this whole pro-gun thought process, the right to openly carry it would serve that end.

    But then again, are "real criminals" deterred by much? Guess that one would have to be a "real criminal" to know.

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  22. Paranoia is a disease unto itself....and might I add....the person standing next to you may not be who they appear to be....so take precaution.

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  23. Over here in Germany we do have strict weapon laws and it's not that easy to obtain a gun permit. The only people that receive permits to openly carry guns are law enforcement officers, licensed hunters, security personnel and people living under a raised threat-level. That does not stop real criminals from obtaining guns though. I suspect that if it was legal for the general public to carry guns our murder rate would be much higher. Our crime rate is increasing as well and the economic decline as well as our open borders are some reasons for that. Another factor is of course irresposibility.
    I like the fact that we're not all running around with guns over here like in the 'Wild West', it gives me a little (false) sense of security. I might feel different if I knew that every citizen was free of mental disorders, stress and ultra responsible.

    BTW, in all the years that I lived in the US, I never saw anybody other than the local cops openly carry guns and I liked it that way.

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  24. S, thank you for paying us a visit.

    You raise an interesting point. We all have some degree of paranoia. However, we each draw the line in different locations in terms of what is less than cautious, overly cautious, and what is just the right amount of security and comfort.

    What's problematic is accusing those with whom we disagree and who have different levels of risk acceptance of being unreasonable.

    Society frequently forgets that "reasonable men (and women) can differ."

    Thanks for your contribution.

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  25. In the army, soldiers are required to qualify at using hand held weapons and are graded marksmen, sharpshooters, or experts. What level of proficiency should non-professional citizens carrying weapons be required to have to as a condition of carrying their weapons? How often should they qualify or be tested? Are there potential problems associated with having their skills tested less frequently than professional users of weapons?

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  26. The following list of countries by intentional homicide rate may or may not be of assistance to our readers. Do countries with strict laws against guns, or which do not restrict one's ability to own a gun, enjoy a higher than average or lower than average murder rate?

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  27. I would like to make one more comment. One concerning the myth of the Wild West. A little research reveals the west was not as wild as we often believe. Shootouts were quite rare, not commonplace. Murder rates were lower than today's. There was little official law in the old west and some (maybe most) were corrupt bullies who ran the towns. Wyatt Earp and his brothers were no saints, The Shootout at the OK Corral was over control of the town more than anything else. By the way, there's a reason we remember the famous shootouts and certain outlaws. They were rare enough but they were played up in the "dime novels" that stretched the truth to the breaking point in order to capture the imaginations of their audiences.

    Open carry might encourage people to be more polite but it did nothing to prevent the recent shootings in Tucson (Arizona is an open carry state yet no one in that crowd, or near it, appeared to have a gun handy.)

    My main point remains. We cannot prevent the outlaw from carrying a gun into those places where the law-abiding cannot legal carry, concealed or open. Why handicap the law-abiding?

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  28. If an establishment can have a rule that says "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service", I for one think they should also be allowed to determine not to serve those that come packing.

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  29. June, June, June. It's great to have you back. We missed your pithy but cogent arguments supporting your positions.

    Interesting. There are some Constitutional law issues, of course, since "the right to bear arms" rises to Constitutional status. At the same time, there is a continuing debate about the applicability of that Constitutional guarantee to ordinary citizens. That's the battle that the National Rifle Association continues to wage.

    But your comment does make one think. Many governments have outlawed cigarette smoking in certain areas, purportedly in an effort to address health and safety concerns. Stepping aside from the Constitutional issues for the moment, could a local government consider the packing of concealed weapons to be a health and safety threat to its business, and other patrons?

    Additionally, how would a club or strip bar (and let's just assume that they serve food and thus might be considered "restaurants") be able to "search" its patrons as they enter the establishment?

    Back to regular restaurants, particularly of the family variety, should the restaurants have the ability to search patrons as they enter, or should patrons be required to check their weapons at the check-in stand, or allowed to keep their weapons during their meals?

    What about restaurants like Chuckee Cheez, which have children as their target patrons. Should the parents of the kids be allowed to bring their weapons, ostensibly in an effort to protect their kids / families?

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  30. Douglas, I guess using the 'Wild West' analogy was not a good idea.:-) I do think that our tight gun-laws work for us over here and loosening them would just cause more problems. As for the US, I do agree with you! Since you cannot prevent the outlaw from carrying a gun the law-abiding citizens should not have to suffer. Might not be a bad idea to check if the law-abiding citizen is responsible and knows how to use and store a gun. Since I do find guns intimidating I would prefer weapons to be concealed rather than openly carried.

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  31. wsteffie, I agree with you. Changing the laws in Germany might not be a good idea. The transition to a looser gun law state might be very rocky indeed.

    And I agree with June that restaurants, or any place of business, ought to be allowed to refuse service for those who are carrying. It is difficult, but not impossible, to ensure that. It would require metal detectors and security guards but it's doable. Here's the real drawback, though...

    If a business posts that sign, it is telling the non-law abiding that they will not have to worry about armed citizens. Because, once again, only the law abiding will comply.

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  32. "We cannot prevent the outlaw from carrying a gun into those places where the law-abiding cannot legal carry, concealed or open. Why handicap the law-abiding?"

    "Since you cannot prevent the outlaw from carrying a gun the law-abiding citizens should not have to suffer."

    Handicap the law-abiding? In WHAT Douglas? So when the criminals turn to mini-grenade launchers and CS gas the public should be allowed to have them as well? Well, i know you did not mean that, but you are none of you in a position to go back and start again.

    Wsteffie, Did it escape your logic that criminals are NOT SUPPOSED to use weapons in their crimes, and the police are allowed to have them you so and I don't have to. Actually, I suffer when criminals AND their victims get hurt - but then I'm a bit wierd.

    Inspector I meant to say that shootings are on the rise generally - they're almost non-existant here. There is nothing to steal to start with.

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Corfubob, you seem to be of the mindset that says "Don't anger them, they will just get worse." You are seeing that in Mexico now. Some people are saying the Mexican government's crackdown on the drug gangs is what caused the escalation of violence and won't end the problem. I believe that Neville Chamberlain also took that position in 1938.

    By the way, the Feds (FBI) were not armed at all until the 30's when the bank robbers and other criminals got their hands on submachine guns. Hoover pressed for, and got, the same weapons. Was that wrong? Should they have been denied because it would just encourage the bank robbers to get bazookas or maybe an air force?

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  35. CorfuBob wrote: "Inspector I meant to say that shootings are on the rise generally - they're almost non-existant here [Greece]. There is nothing to steal to start with."


    "There is nothing to steal to start with..." really got us thinking.

    We have a tendency to lump all criminals together into a monolithic mass. The same probably applies to gun-toting criminals.

    However, in reality, people commit crimes, and criminals carry guns, for different reasons and under different circumstances. Furthermore, they commit their crimes in different ways with different intents.

    Consider this: imagine an economic/governance model where people do not want for the basics in life. In other words, consider removing the impetus or motivation for crime on the part of some of a nation's citizens.

    A pro-active or pre-emptive approach. Would such a government be a more responsible government? If a government or society does not generate enough basic subsistence jobs for its citizens to be gainfully employed, is that an irresponsible government or society?

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  36. The availability of guns for ready use is arguably also an issue that a society should consider.

    What if some of our law abiding guns toters encounter difficult economic times and under the stress decide to rob a convenience store?

    Would they be just as likely to do so regardless of the relative availability of the weapon? Perhaps they might choose to use a gun carved out of soap like Woody Allen in "Take the Money and Run,"
    or a toy gun instead, but because they have a real one handy, they decide to use it.

    And what about the law-abiding happy couple which lives in marital bliss for a few years, but over time the spouses grow apart and develop significant anger toward one another? Having that gun around would be "handy," especially upon finding the spouse in bed with another person.

    Are there citizens in society who would not otherwise consider acquiring a weapon, but because others are arming themselves, decide they must be similarly armed?

    Wow, this one is really generating some complexity.

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  37. S made a reference to "paranoia" in an earlier comment. In theory, law abiding citizens carrying weapons would do so partly because they anticipate the potential for a crime being committed in their presence or nearby.

    Some years ago, Time magazine ran an article about how a woman's home was the most dangerous place for her to be from a crime perspective. The article suggested that 1/4 of all violent crimes committed against women are committed by someone they know or love.

    Let's say that a man and woman are at their wit's end and that they fear violence being committed against them even though they live in the same home. Or consider the relatively common situation where one spouse has acquired a restraining order against the other, but still sleep together at night.

    Should one partner acquire a weapon to keep under the pillow just in case the other person might do something to them at night while they are sleeping?

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  38. Inspector, the worst thing one can do is remain in the house with a partner you have secured a restraining order against. The next worst thing is keep a gun in that house. A recipe for disaster.

    Still, stabbings are frequent enough and you cannot remove all the knives from a house. People with enough anger and hate will always find a way to express it.

    But the question you raise is important. Before deciding you should buy a gun and keep it close, you should thoroughly examine your motives for doing so.

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  39. Thanks much Douglas.

    This issue is turning out to be a really good example of our mantra: "There are more than 2 or 3 ways to view any issue; there are at least 27 TM."

    Two other things just occurred to us to consider in the analysis of this subject. Police officers and military personnel are trained professionals, and yet they make mistakes on occasion.

    Part of their training consists of teaching the brain to quickly distinguish between a friendly target and a dangerous target.

    Additionally, what about the "suspicious" looking person who reaches in his or her pocket to acquire something, or engages in some ambiguous movement or gesture, which is incorrectly interpreted as a threat?

    Do we expect everyday, law-abiding citizens, toting their weapons to the park or restaurant to be similarly trained, or equipped to make these split-second decisions?

    What if the police arrive at the park or restaurant fairly soon after a shootout develops, or let's say that some plainclothes police officers, or even undercover police officers are at the scene, how are the "good guys" going to recognize the "bad guys" quickly enough if all parties have their guns displayed?

    Is there any merit to the notion that sometimes simplicity is the best policy? Or does the exercise of one's rights trump that?

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  40. There is simply no shortage of issues which come to mind in thinking further about this topic.

    Douglas wrote: "We, here in Paradise, have laws preventing us from carrying weapons into sports venues, government buildings, the local post office, bars, and most any place except in restaurants, our cars, and our homes."

    Why distinguish one place from another?

    Would it be discriminatory to allow one person to carry his or her weapon in one setting, but not allow another to carry it in a different setting of his or her choosing?

    If there is some positive, societal benefit associated with allowing more law-abiding, gun toting citizens to carry their weapons to more locations, why not encourage more of them to carry more weapons and permit them to carry them in ALL locations?

    Wouldn't their assistance be welcomed by law enforcement officials?

    Is there a point of "diminishing returns" associated with increasing the number of weapons located in any particular confined or open space?

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  41. Earlier today, we heard of a drive-by shooting which took place while some youths were having a birthday party. Would the presence of more parents with concealed weapons in such situations reduce or increase the probability of serious injury?

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  42. Is anyone aware of any long-term (or even short-term for that matter) studies which detail either a decrease or increase in crime once a jurisdiction enacts laws permitting law-abiding citizens to carry their weapons in more public locations?

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  43. If a gun goes off - whatever the provocation, however in-control the handler is, the damage is likely to be serious. What is frightening is the ease with which people bring these things into their lives believing apparently that bad things can't happen to them - or just not having the imagination to provide the clues.

    That you, Inspector, can list a few occasions where you ask if a gun might seem to come in 'handy' is very illuminating. Don't you have enough experience of human nature yet to STATE what dangers you see in a culture where deadly weapons are becoming commonplace?

    Of course the research has been done, but it will be resisted if it goes against the commercial forces. Oh, and against 'freedoms'

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  44. "Don't anger them, they'll just get worse"?

    There is a profound and important truth in this Douglas. And HOW privileged we are to live in societies where the law can still take a more tolerant attitude to crime than might easily be the case one day.

    It's hard to imagine that things would be better if the police were still un-armed, but PEOPLE are demanding, and getting the right to be armed in public. How clever do you have to be to see the difference....

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  45. "Handy" is just a degree of availability.

    CorfuBob, we here at the Institute are just neophytes in life; just squirrels in the world trying to get a nut.

    We long ago realized that our reading public is far brighter, more experienced, more astute, and more enlightened than we....

    We try to learn by canvassing you folks and doing a little reading.

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  46. We know that this was a Hollywood creation, but check out "The Wild Ones" with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin now airing on Turner Classic Movies. Law abiding citizens, fed up with the conduct of Brando's outlaw biker gang, are arming themselves. However, some citizens oppose this effort. Check it out.

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  47. Thanks much Douglas.

    This issue is turning out to be a really good example of our mantra: "There are more than 2 or 3 ways to view any issue; there are at least 27 TM."

    Two other things just occurred to us to consider in the analysis of this subject. Police officers and military personnel are trained professionals, and yet they make mistakes on occasion.

    Part of their training consists of teaching the brain to quickly distinguish between a friendly target and a dangerous target.

    Additionally, what about the "suspicious" looking person who reaches in his or her pocket to acquire something, or engages in some ambiguous movement or gesture, which is incorrectly interpreted as a threat?

    Do we expect everyday, law-abiding citizens, toting their weapons to the park or restaurant to be similarly trained, or equipped to make these split-second decisions?

    What if the police arrive at the park or restaurant fairly soon after a shootout develops, or let's say that some plainclothes police officers, or even undercover police officers are at the scene, how are the "good guys" going to recognize the "bad guys" quickly enough if all parties have their guns displayed?

    Is there any merit to the notion that sometimes simplicity is the best policy? Or does the exercise of one's rights trump that?

    ReplyDelete
  48. The availability of guns for ready use is arguably also an issue that a society should consider.

    What if some of our law abiding guns toters encounter difficult economic times and under the stress decide to rob a convenience store?

    Would they be just as likely to do so regardless of the relative availability of the weapon? Perhaps they might choose to use a gun carved out of soap like Woody Allen in "Take the Money and Run,"
    or a toy gun instead, but because they have a real one handy, they decide to use it.

    And what about the law-abiding happy couple which lives in marital bliss for a few years, but over time the spouses grow apart and develop significant anger toward one another? Having that gun around would be "handy," especially upon finding the spouse in bed with another person.

    Are there citizens in society who would not otherwise consider acquiring a weapon, but because others are arming themselves, decide they must be similarly armed?

    Wow, this one is really generating some complexity.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Corfubob, you seem to be of the mindset that says "Don't anger them, they will just get worse." You are seeing that in Mexico now. Some people are saying the Mexican government's crackdown on the drug gangs is what caused the escalation of violence and won't end the problem. I believe that Neville Chamberlain also took that position in 1938.

    By the way, the Feds (FBI) were not armed at all until the 30's when the bank robbers and other criminals got their hands on submachine guns. Hoover pressed for, and got, the same weapons. Was that wrong? Should they have been denied because it would just encourage the bank robbers to get bazookas or maybe an air force?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Douglas, I guess using the 'Wild West' analogy was not a good idea.:-) I do think that our tight gun-laws work for us over here and loosening them would just cause more problems. As for the US, I do agree with you! Since you cannot prevent the outlaw from carrying a gun the law-abiding citizens should not have to suffer. Might not be a bad idea to check if the law-abiding citizen is responsible and knows how to use and store a gun. Since I do find guns intimidating I would prefer weapons to be concealed rather than openly carried.

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  51. If an establishment can have a rule that says "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service", I for one think they should also be allowed to determine not to serve those that come packing.

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  52. Douglas:

    We'd have to agree with Anonymous that who shoots first is a significant issue in a shoot out. We would suspect that if such a law were passed, criminals will appreciate that there will be a higher probability of restaurant patrons or park guest carrying guns and thus govern themselves accordingly.

    We realize that many think that all criminals are stupid, but quite a few members of Congress and people working on Wall Street are fairly bright people.

    ReplyDelete

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