gun control / legal pot — spot the difference

Sometimes smart people make stupid arguments. That surely happens more often when you’re writing on a deadline. I don’t know if that’s the case with S.E. Cupp’s recent opinion piece in the NY Daily News, but I don’t know how else to explain it.

SE Cupp

S.E. Cupp

Cupp describes herself as a ‘mainstream conservative’ but she’s not — not in the modern conservative movement. She’s an atheist who supports the Log Cabin Republicans, which takes her completely out of mainstream conservatism. I rarely agree with her views, but I’m willing to admit she sometimes makes a point worth considering. Not this time. She suggests the legalization of marijuana in Colorado will pose a political problem for progressives. Why?

[T]he legal weed experiment could at least put the politics of progressivism – all the rage in liberal circles now – in a tricky spot. For one, there are glaring inconsistencies between the liberal argument for pot legalization and positions on other issues. An obvious one is gun control. The same argument used against guns is used for pot: that legalizing pot and making it more available will reduce crime.

It’s not the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard from a conservative, but it’s pretty close. Of course legalizing pot will reduce crime, if only because possession of pot is no longer criminal. A person who purchased pot last month was a criminal; this month, that same person making that same purchase is an honest citizen supporting the local economy and increasing the State’s tax base. Hey bingo, crime reduction!

Honest citizen supporting the local economy

Honest citizen supporting the local economy

That’s stupid — but it’s not the stupidest part of her opinion piece. Here’s part of Cupp’s argument:

We’re told pot users will “responsibly” use marijuana in the privacy of their own homes…. [W]hy aren’t lawful gun owners afforded the same level of trust?

Why? Because nobody cleaning their lawfully obtained pot accidentally wounded or killed themselves. Or another person in the same room. Or a neighbor in an adjoining apartment. Because nobody ever pulled out a lawfully obtained dime bag in a moment of road rage and used it to kill another driver. Because nobody ever went into a school and slaughtered teachers and students with lawfully obtained marijuana. Because no unattended infant ever found lawfully obtained pot on a table and used it to accidentally blow his brains out. Because nobody ever tried to put lawfully obtained pot in his pocket and accidentally put a hole in his leg.

Jeebus on toast, this seems pretty fucking obvious, doesn’t it? Gun owners aren’t afforded the same level of trust because marijuana isn’t a lethal weapon. Let’s make this even easier to understand. Last Sunday a 13-year-old Chicago boy killed his 16-year-old cousin by shooting him in the head. This is from the Chicago Sun Times:

The boy gave a statement to police admitting to shooting his cousin, according to court records. Police said a possible argument over video games may have led to the shooting. It is unclear how the 13-year-old obtained the gun, police said.

Now, let’s apply the Cupp Argument:

The boy gave a statement to police admitting to getting his cousin stoned, according to court records. Police said a possible argument over video games may have led to them getting high. It is unclear how the 13-year-old obtained the marijuana, police said.

And that, Ms. Cupp, is why gun owners aren’t afforded the same level of trust. Ain’t nobody has to worry about an irate 13-year-old with a blunt doing you a hurt.

I suspect the bear would prefer to be stoned

I suspect the bear would prefer to be stoned

But Cupp also has another concern.

“While there’s obvious support among libertarians, others worry about the moral implications of legalizing risky behavior simply because people are ‘going to do it anyway'”

Yes, she’s right — there are risks associated with marijuana use. One obvious risk is to the user’s health; smoking anything damages the lungs — but research strongly indicates that smoking pot is much less injurious than smoking tobacco. A significantly greater hazard is the risk of injury — to the user and to others. Pot clearly impairs psycho-motor performance. There’s certainly evidence of drivers impaired by marijuana being involved in auto accidents. Again, though, the numbers are much lower than for drivers impaired by alcohol.

I’m going to say this again: S.E. Cupp isn’t stupid. I often disagree with her, but she’s definitely not stupid. I don’t know, maybe she was high when she wrote that opinion piece. You can write opinion pieces when you’re stoned — another advantage of marijuana over guns (just ask the bear). But just to settle the question — no, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado doesn’t pose a political problem for progressives.

Stupidity, on the other hand, does pose a political problem for — well, for everybody.

ADDENDUM: Last night Kentucky State representative Leslie Combs was attempting to unload her handgun in the capitol building annex “when it accidentally fired. The bullet struck the floor and ricocheted into a bookcase.” Nobody was injured. Combs, though, might have been high, given her calm response to the accident: “I am a gun owner. It happens.”

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34 thoughts on “gun control / legal pot — spot the difference

  1. I have seen her too many times on television and I have never gotten the impression that she has given much thought to what she says, that she often spouts the same old talking points that every other “conservative” pundit spouts. She would love, of course, to become as big as the skinny blonde whose name I can’t recall at the moment.

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    • Oh, she says stupid stuff, to be sure. But I don’t think she’s actually stupid. Neither is Ann Coulter, though Coulter seems deranged (as well as being deliberately provocative). Some of the FOXNews announcers, on the other hand, are actually stupid.

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    • Cuter, to be sure. Smarter, possibly–maybe likely. But like I said in the opening line, smart people sometimes make stupid arguments. And no matter how cute she is (and really, does her appearance matter?), her argument suggesting similarities between legalizing marijuana and gun safety regulations remains stupid.

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      • “An obvious one is gun control. The same argument used against guns is used for pot: that legalizing pot and making it more available will reduce crime.”

        Legalizing pot would reduce crime for the obvious fact that it will be one less activity that a criminal can engage in to make money. The repeal of Prohibition put a lot of mobsters out of business (or forced them to find another line of business).

        Making and selling alcohol or pot probably should be legal. They may not be good things in themselves but we have proven for a long time that people are going to buy them anyway, either from a legal, or illegal source. Better have the taxes in the treasury than in funding the Mexican drug cartels.

        Of course guns are entirely different. The reduce crime by creating a credible threat to violent criminals. If we could get just 10% of Americans to carry a concealed handgun in public everyday I bet we would make a significant dent in violent crime (rapes, robbery, assaults).

        “We’re told pot users will “responsibly” use marijuana in the privacy of their own homes…. [W]hy aren’t lawful gun owners afforded the same level of trust?”

        “Why? Because nobody cleaning their lawfully obtained pot accidentally wounded or killed themselves. Or another person in the same room.”

        No, but they probably are giving themselves, and other people in the room lung cancer smoking that shit.

        She has a point about trusting druggies but not responsible people who just want to defend themselves and their families.

        “…marijuana isn’t a lethal weapon.”

        But a person high on pot (and possibly other drugs) driving a car is a lethal weapon and just like cigarettes, are probably “cancer sticks” when you smoke them. Wonder if Trayvon Martin was emboldened to attack Zimmerman because he was a little high too?

        regards,

        lwk

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      • [Guns] reduce crime by creating a credible threat to violent criminals.

        Here’s a sad thing: we don’t know if gun ownership reduces or increases criminal activity. We don’t know that because since 1995 the government has been forbidden from conducting research or funding any research on any study that might be considered advocating gun control — and any study on guns and crime was considered potentially advocating gun control. After the Newtown massacre, President Obama lifted that ban, so we’re just now beginning to conduct new studies on guns and crime.

        Wonder if Trayvon Martin was emboldened to attack Zimmerman because he was a little high too?

        I don’t know. I wonder if Zimmerman was emboldened to follow Martin after he been told not to because he was armed?

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      • Greg:

        “We don’t know that because since 1995 the government has been forbidden from conducting research or funding any research on any study that might be considered advocating gun control — and any study on guns and crime was considered potentially advocating gun control.”

        Based on the fact that the CDC was using government money – money taken from our taxes to – fund research where the conclusion was already determined before the research was started. It is liking giving research money to “scientists” who already have a religious conviction that the climate is changing dramatically and harmfully due to man’s activities.

        I am for research, whether it is about guns or climate, but it needs to be done by objective people who have no motivation ($$$) to find one particular “answer.”

        regards,

        lwk

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      • the conclusion was already determined before the research was started

        I challenge you to show a single research proposal funded by the CDC or NCJRS or NIH or any other federal agency in which the conclusion was pre-determined. I’ve had to fill out NIH and NCJRS proposals, and they’re incredibly rigorous when it comes to the research methodology.

        And if you look at the legislators who sponsored the bill prohibiting research that might be considered advocating gun control, you’ll find all but a couple of them are Republicans, and all of them without exception have or had close ties to the NRA. That’s not an opinion; that’s just a matter of Congressional record.

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      • greg wrote:

        “I challenge you to show a single research proposal funded by the CDC or NCJRS or NIH or any other federal agency in which the conclusion was pre-determined.”

        I am not sure where one could find a “smoking gun” in terms of documentation from these researchers that would show that. My reading tends to show that was likely, but obviously the evidence is circumstantial.

        “And if you look at the legislators who sponsored the bill prohibiting research that might be considered advocating gun control, you’ll find all but a couple of them are Republicans, and all of them without exception have or had close ties to the NRA. That’s not an opinion; that’s just a matter of Congressional record.”

        I would be interested in documentation of the above, especially that these people had close ties to the NRA.

        regards,

        lwk

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      • greg wrote:

        “I wonder if Zimmerman was emboldened to follow Martin after he been told not to because he was armed?”

        That is the sort of speculation I have seen quite a bit of, usually from people who don’t carry loaded guns in public. That is not meant to be a “snarky” remark, just something I have seen a lot of.

        My personal experience is that just the opposite happens – one becomes much more cautious if one has some degree of intelligence. My general impression of Zimmerman is not positive in many respects – after all he was a Democrat and voted for Obama – but I don’t think he is or was quite that dumb. But that is just an opinion.

        regards,

        lwk

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  2. These type of people are the precise reason that I will not claim a political side. It is ridiculous to even compare weed to guns (I happen to own guns and plead the 5th on the other). To make a plant illegal is the only crime that should be associated with pot. Alcohol and cigarettes are legal and available at will. I know many people that have been violent and out of control while high on alcohol. I do not know anybody that has wiled out on pot! They laugh, eat, and stare, but violent… never! The worst I have seen from pot is somebody barfing. It is funny how people have to compare. I wonder if they know that you can actually make a point without comparing anything. You could just state facts. Wow, that would be crazy!

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    • Well, facts in isolation aren’t always enough either. Facts need context. For example, it’s a fact that when ice cream sales increase there’s also an increase in street crime. Without putting those facts in context (summer heat increases the sale of ice cream; it also makes people more irritable, and drives poor folks out of their un-airconditioned apartments and onto the street where they’re more likely to get into an argument or a fight). Context is pretty important.

      But you’re right, this isn’t really a political issue at all. Or shouldn’t be.

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  3. I don’t agree with her statement either. The biggest reality and challenge which combines both pot and guns is how these two work together on the street. Unfortunately, one is used at times to enforce the purchase or retribution for lack of trust between two parties for the use of another. No law can stop this. Legalization of pot and better mental health approaches for addicts of other drugs who simply need a substantial outlet for healthy emotional living, perhaps. Our governments approach and funding for mental health in this country is very bad. Not enough is done to offer people such help. Drugs and guns in the hands of the unstable is more of a problem which should be addressed than wasting our time listening to people in the media like Cupp trying to merge her topic.

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    • I think everybody agrees that we need to improve the mental health system in the US. Unfortunately, conservatives don’t want to spend the coin, and they’re unwilling to raise taxes even by a tiny bit in order to pay for improved mental health care, and they’re opposed to the Affordable Care Act which expands mental health services.

      If that’s not bad enough, a lot of gun rights groups are fighting against a proposed law that will require more stringent mental health background searches before being allowed to purchase a firearm (the NRA hasn’t yet take a position on this).

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      • “…everybody agrees that we need to improve the mental health system in the US. Unfortunately, conservatives don’t want to spend the coin,…”

        My recollection is that Liberals and people advocating for the rights of the mentally ill led the charge that resulted in the closing of a whole lot of mental institutions starting back in the 1970s. Blaming it on Conservatives is a stretch. But as a person with a Conservative bent I wouldn’t have a problem with taking money away from a lot of other welfare programs to fund mental health (and institutions to put dangerous people in, even against their will).

        regards,

        lwk

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      • You’re partly correct. Democrats and liberals supported the notion of ‘de-institutionalization’ which was intended to release folks who were mentally ill but functional in society to smaller, less institutional settings like group homes and halfway houses. And initially it worked really well. It was less costly and it integrated the people back into society where they could hold jobs and pay taxes and purchase goods.

        But the conservative War on Taxes meant social services had to be cut, and the mentally ill don’t have much lobbying power — so a LOT of those group homes lost their funding, and since the people they housed were functional (when under supervision), they couldn’t be re-institutionalized. So they were essentially released to the streets, where nobody required them to take their meds, and the green grass grows all around, all around.

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    • Thanks. I think before we can define the responsible use of assault weapons, it’s important to understand that the general public can’t actually buy an assault weapon. Assault weapons, by definition, are capable of fully automatic fire. Ordinary folks can, though, buy assault-style weapons that are based on assault weapon design, but are only capable of semi-automatic firing.

      I only mention this because every time a gun rights advocate hears a gun safety advocate mention ‘assault weapons’ it undermines our credibility. It demonstrates that we don’t know what we’re talking about, and makes it easier for them to dismiss our arguments.

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      • If I was on Facebook, I’d “like” that response, Greg! That’s *exactly* the complaint I hear over and over again by pro-gun advocates.

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      • Thanks for the clarification. I don’t dispute your statement, but I’m curious what definition you refer to (for my own education).
        If what you say is true, however, it makes no sense that gun rights advocates opposed the renewal a year ago of the federal assault weapons ban (which had its own definition of ‘assault weapon’) if there is in fact no way a civilian can buy an assault weapon. They were essentially opposing a non-issue, such as opposing a ban on the hunting of dodo birds.
        Perhaps it’s just a matter of having an agreed-upon definition (something I’m a stickler for in general).
        [For the record, I do understand the difference between automatic and semi-automatic operation, and, frankly, semi-automatic is still pretty darn scary, if I were the one staring down the barrel.]

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      • Perhaps it’s just a matter of having an agreed-upon definition

        There WAS an agreed on definition — the one I gave you — until a few gun manufacturers began to style semi-auto weapons after real assault weapons. Oddly enough, it was gun manufacturers who first began calling their semi-auto copies ‘assault rifles.’ It caught on. When legislators wanted to ban certain weapons, they focused on components (flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, etc.) that their copies had in common with real assault weapons.

        They were criticized by gun rights folks for outlawing weapons based on ‘cosmetic’ details…and the gun rights folks were largely right. There are weapons without those features that are just as deadly as the AKs and ARs that most folks think of as assault rifles. But what gun rights folks don’t consider is that people who want to commit mass killings tend to choose those weapons BECAUSE they look so lethal. They look like the sort of military weapon a real badass would carry…so that’s what they choose. It’s like buying a Dodge Charger when it’s no faster and no better handling than, say, a Volvo station wagon…but it just LOOKS more cool.

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      • “I only mention this because every time a gun rights advocate hears a gun safety advocate mention ‘assault weapons’ it undermines our credibility.”

        Have you ever seen this quote before (from 1988)?

        “Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.” -Josh Sugarmann, Assault Weapons and Accessories in America

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Sugarmann

        “Ordinary folks can, though, buy assault-style weapons that are based on assault weapon design, but are only capable of semi-automatic firing.”

        The thing that really makes a weapons useful for “assault” military operations is fully automatic fire. The three most important characteristics are:

        1. Fully automatic fire
        2. High capacity magazines to support 1. above
        3. A reduced power cartridge (for significantly reduced recoil)

        The first one is the most critical. The military intent and why they are called “assault” is that massed full auto fire at close range, as in street fighting at Stalingrad or human wave attacks in Korea can be a very effective way to make the enemy keep their heads down while you are trying to overrun them. The primary defense is also an assault rifle, or better yet, crew served machine guns.

        These are definitely “weapons of war.” The AR-15 can b an effective military weapon, but it is not an assault rifle (as you acknowedged).

        regards,

        lwk

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      • Thank you so much for clearing that up for people. Most gun control advocates couldn’t even tell you the difference between a magazine and a clip, that being said how can they be expected to distinguish an ar15 from an m4. The main difference is “select fire” the ar15(what is available to your basic law abiding gun owner) has two positions safe and semi-automatic, while an m4 (standard military issue) has select fire between safe,semi, and 3 round burst(full auto is no longer available on combat rifles) Very simple to anyone who understands the basic principle’s of a firearm, however people like Senator Diane Feinstein just don’t get it.

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    • “I’m still waiting for someone to define what is considered a “responsible use” of an assault weapon.”

      Just an FYI, but the semi-auto weapons owned by many civilians, e.g., the AR-15, are not assault weapons. As to responsible use I wrote an article on that a while back:

      Who Needs An Assault Rifle?
      http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-needs-an-assault-rifle/

      As a matter of fact I know a lot of people who use AR-15 rifles to punch little holes in pieces of paper out to 600 yards. They find it an amusing way to spend time and money.

      On the other hand, some Korean shop owners in the L.A. riots many years ago used some form of semi-auto rifles that Diane Feinstein calls “assault rifles” to defend their stores from looters. I would call that responsible use.

      regards,

      lwk

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  4. in response to Leslie Combs. No. It does not happen if you are a responsible gun owner. If this is a revolver, the trigger has to be engaged and pulled to fire the thing. If your finger is not inside the trigger guard when you are unloading, it is impossible for this to go off unless you have a half cocked hammer-another thing which should not be active inside a public building. If you are carrying a revolver, you also have a safety which should be set at all times. If you are carrying a gun in a public building, why are you taking it out and attempting to unload. This is a stupid choice. The firearm should be unengaged while carrying it. What are these types of people waiting on, a full all out assault by a recon. squad on them. If you are are carrying a standard issued semi-automatic handgun with a clip which by the way has a limited number of bullets which can be loaded, for the gun to fire, a bullet has to be chamber into the barrel. This happens manually, not buy simply putting the clip in the gun. If you are a responsible gun owner, you would know it is unsafe to be walking around with the firearm having a bullet chamber in the barrel. This is a prime example of how, to those of us who responsibly own firearms, critics of gun control who don’t own guns and know nothing about them are just as dangerous as the folks who own guns and know nothing about them. To obtain a hunting license in most states, you have to take a hunters safety course. For some, this is not enough. For many, an extensive course to own a handgun should obviously be a requirement. People don’t obviously understand this form of common sense. Responsible use is simple. Respect the firearm enough to know what it can do and don’t have one if you don’t know what to do. As for Assualt weapons. This title depends on what and who you are. To a person who does not believe in the freedom to obtain a firearm for the masses, he or she would probably see all guns as assualt weapons. That is understandable. In the firearms industry, there are truly dividing lines in the production of guns which are specified and sold for the use as assualt weapons as opposed to those which are not. There are laws which are enforced, at least in the wildlife divisions of each state, which are clear about what can be used and not be used for hunting. Once again, responsible use is defined on how educated, accountable, and respectful a gun owner is regarding their firearms. Having boundaries and simply engaging good practices are two key components to being responsible. Like many though, this is the one part which is not engaged.

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    • ” If you are carrying a revolver, you also have a safety which should be set at all times.”

      I have owned S&W and Colt revolvers since 1970 and I don’t recollect seeing one with a manual safety that had to be disengaged to fire the weapon.

      “If you are a responsible gun owner, you would know it is unsafe to be walking around with the firearm having a bullet chamber in the barrel.”

      This is standard practice for police and people who legally carry concealed handguns. The Glock “safe action” was designed specifically to carry with a round loaded in the chamber which is how I carry it every day. All semi-auto handguns used by police are designed to be carried loaded and ready to fire (some have manual safeties you have to disengage intentionally, and some don’t, like the Glock).

      “There are laws which are enforced, at least in the wildlife divisions of each state, which are clear about what can be used and not be used for hunting.”

      As a general rule states allow semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 for hunting. They may specify that a magazine that can carry no more than 5 rounds be used. They may specify that the cartridge be larger and more powerful than the .223 for deer or larger game. But the fact that it is an AR-15 “scary” “assault rifle” is not a factor in any place I have every hunted. Capacity and power are the prime determinants.

      “Once again, responsible use is defined on how educated, accountable, and respectful a gun owner is regarding their firearms.”

      However “responsible” and “educated” should be defined by people who actually know something about the subject.

      regards,

      lwk

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      • I am glad you know a lot about this subject. Perhaps, it helps to understand that I was speaking in terms of education on awareness of what to do with the firearm when the potential for protecting yourself arises. You may or may not be surprised at how many gun owners out there do walk around with their firearms loaded ready to use BUT don’t have experience using them-like say, a police officer or some other person affiliated with a law enforcement agency. Why? One, they are not in a position to be exposed emotionally to situations where quick action is needed. Two, they don’t take valuable time to become familiar with the set of responsibilities given by being a civilian who owns a firearm and carries it around. When they don’t take the time to do so, they do things like, uh, well, fire a round off in a public place while trying to unload it. Or better yet, pull that lady J frame 38 out of their purse, have it taken from them and shot with it by a person whom they are trying to defend themselves from. While I will not claim to know a lot about everything on a firearm, I, like yourself and many, do take the time to do the things nec. to be comfortable with the weapon, so much so, to actually have a clear perspective and the confidence to engage and efficiently protect with it if the need arise. Perhaps, you do teach a course which prepares and makes others aware of the combined skills it takes, both mental and physical, to be an effective protector of themselves and others who are innocent bystanders in a potential crime, that they might deter if such a situation happened. As for the deer hunting, at open range, a 270 single barrel bridged is sufficient enough. For brush hunting and walk-ins to the den, a 40 caliber sabot slug does just fine to; however, a deer does not seek you out first and it certainly does not shoot back. Unlike the skills I learned for many years of hunting wildlife, when I am deciding to take on the big responsibility of carrying a firearm in public for protection, I personally would still see the importance of learning and understanding everything I could be potentially faced with in handling a firearm in a situation where I am having to protect myself, a friend and/or family from someone who is clearly after me or others to do harm.

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      • Andy wrote:

        “You may or may not be surprised at how many gun owners out there do walk around with their firearms loaded ready to use BUT don’t have experience using them-like say, a police officer or some other person affiliated with a law enforcement agency.”

        From what I have read your average police officer will _never_ fire his/her gun at a criminal in an entire career. Your average police officer is more likely to kill himself/herself with his own gun (suicide) than kill a criminal with it. That latter might be understood less judgmentally if we think about some of the things some police officers might get to see in their career, e.g., a lot of bodies that died from something other than natural circumstances.

        Despite what you may think from watching TV dramas about police they are not on average trained to a fantastic level of firearms marksmanship. They have a minimum standard to meet. More than a few police though may spend their own money to improve their skills, and that is true of more than a few private gun owners, and most especially gunowners that legally carry concealed handguns.

        A lot of the emphasis in training police is on the law and procedures (and probably paperwork). More often than not police arrive at the scene after the crime and don’t use guns to prevent crime in terms of what they do every day.

        As to whether or not a lot of people carrying concealed handguns are yahoos walking around untrained and just an accident waiting to happen, it might perhaps be useful to look at the record of people who get concealed carry licenses/permits.

        As a class of people they get arrested for firearms violations no more often than sworn police officers and they have a very, very good record of not killing innocent bystanders or having accidents in public. The Chicago police department would do well if it could emulate that record. :)

        So the actual record does not reflect your opinion of people “[who] walk around with their firearms loaded ready to use BUT don’t have experience using them-like say, a police officer…” In reality neither your average police or citizen has real world experience in gun fights. If you know something of this the real issue is most often the possibility that the person, police or private citizen, doesn’t know if they have the psychological ability to shoot to kill (I suggest you read “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman sometime).

        “they don’t take valuable time to become familiar with the set of responsibilities given by being a civilian who owns a firearm and carries it around…”

        Actually I think a person who gets a concealed carry license thinks a lot about this. Some people have been known to walk out of a concealed carry class when they fully came to realize what they might get into.

        “…prepares and makes others aware of the combined skills it takes, both mental and physical,…”

        By far the most important ability is the ability to take the life of another person. Unfortunately I don’t think there is good test to determine that beforehand. You have no idea if that policeman with a gun on his hip could actually kill someone with it unless he, or she has done it before. Again I would recommend reading the book by Grossman.

        “As for the deer hunting, at open range, a 270 single barrel bridged is sufficient enough.”

        I have no idea what you mean by “single barrel bridged.” Doesn’t sound like any term I have encountered in at least half a century of being around guns and working with guns. There are any number of guns and cartridges that are adequate for killing a deer.

        “I personally would still see the importance of learning and understanding everything I could be potentially faced with in handling a firearm in a situation where I am having to protect myself, a friend and/or family from someone who is clearly after me or others to do harm.”

        Most intelligent people who carry guns in public will seek out knowledge of what they are about. Hell, there are even magazines now targeted specifically at people who carry, and WordPress pages, etc., etc. A lot of these people are a lot more knowledgable than you seem to think.

        regards,

        lwk

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      • Good comeback. In all kinds of cases, statistics are often used to provide conclusive numbers toward evidence which is ultimately difficult to refute. At least that is what most of us who provide statistics wish for. Although my opinion is based purely on observation of others in their initial periods of carrying firearms for protection, it still at least rings an alarm in my head. Of half a dozen I know, they did not consider the responsibility involved in carrying until some time after they purchased. Such is the case with the Leslie Combs. She quotes how she does not like the firearm. Her hesitation alone is enough to alarm the rest of the public perhaps this attitude is simply why some people don’t need to carry. At least she has the honesty to admit the discomfort of carrying. I do believe that there are many who carry with confidence. Here in SC and in your area of the south, I am sure statistics gathered from a survey of questions regarding confidence and knowledge of gun owners who carry would do support this. Still not a potential good day for someone who accidentally walks by at the wrong place/wrong time such as an annex in a government building. Then again, I could cross the street today and get hit by someone who is under the influence of a substance. Which potentially brings us back to the topic of the article. Good talking with you.

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      • Andy wrote:

        “In all kinds of cases, statistics are often used to provide conclusive numbers toward evidence which is ultimately difficult to refute.”

        I dont’ dispute that. What is that old saying, “Statistics lie and liars use statistics,” or something like that? Particularly statistics that claim to prove something. On the other hand statistics that show we don’t see a particular problem, e.g., a problem with people who go to the trouble of getting concealed carry permits/licenses, may be more useful. If there was a problem then there would be some statistics showing that.

        So I am not seeing a lot of statistics showing big problems with people who get concealed carry licenses. I have seen some claims that try to conflate states that don’t require a permit/license and people who commit crimes in those states as being “concealed carry” issues. But when I am talking about this I am talking about people who specifically have to go through a state qualification process, like I did in Texas. I approve of that idea – checking that people don’t have obvious issues like previous felony convictions or known mental issues.

        “Still not a potential good day for someone who accidentally walks by at the wrong place/wrong time such as an annex in a government building.”

        One can pose the idea that these people will cause a problem. In Texas, and just about every state where concealed carry has passed, people posed the idea that blood would flow in the streets if concealed carry legislation was passed. Time and time again that has not been the case.

        So I understand that you have reservations. What I am saying is that a quarter century or so (since the “shall issue” concealed carry movement started in Florida) of experience has not borne out those fears.

        Yea, do I know people who carry concealed handguns that I am not 100% convinced are the smartest people in the world? Sure, I do. But stats show that whatever my view, they don’t seem to cause a lot of problems.

        The bottomline is that the licensed concealed carry movement has been a success. And yes there are people out there carrying whom I am a little leary of, but the evidence doesn’t support me getting all high and mighty and saying they should be prevented from doing that. :)

        “I could cross the street today and get hit by someone who is under the influence of a substance.

        I am pretty sure the odds of you getting hurt or killed are a lot higher for many things other than legal concealed carry folks. I suspect if you act like a normal person and don’t attack other people in public your odds of getting hit by lightning, twice in the same day, are probably greater. :)

        regards,

        lwk

        Like

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