I’m wary of people who wring hands over the prospect of an armed populace; not because they don’t hold the same values I do or the illogic of their position, but because I wonder about the mental stability of someone who dwells on what armed people might do when they get upset. I dunno, but I have to wonder if they’re not admitting something about themselves. Perhaps they indeed ought to self-refrain from carrying a concealed, loaded weapon.
At any rate, this bit from Michael Barone was interesting.
In 1987, Florida passed a law allowing citizens who could demonstrate that they were law-abiding and had sufficient training to obtain permits on demand to own and carry concealed weapons. In the succeeding 20 years, many other states have passed such laws, so that today you can, if you meet the qualifications, carry concealed weapons in 40 states with 67 percent of the nation’s population (including Vermont, with no gun restrictions at all).
When Florida passed its concealed-weapons law, I
thought it was a terrible idea. People would start shooting each other
over traffic altercations; parking lots would turn into shooting
galleries. Not so, it turned out. Only a very, very few
concealed-weapons permits have been revoked. There are only rare
incidents in which people with concealed-weapons permits have used them
unlawfully. Ordinary law-abiding people, it turns out, are pretty
I’m not the only one to draw such a conclusion. When she was
Michigan’s attorney general, Democrat Jennifer Granholm opposed the
state’s concealed-weapons law, which took effect in 2001. But now, as
governor, she’s not seeking its repeal. She says that her fears — like
those I had about Florida’s law 20 years ago — proved to be unfounded.
So far as I know, there are no politically serious moves to
repeal any state’s concealed-weapons laws. In most of the United
States, as you go to work, shop at the mall, go to restaurants and walk
around your neighborhood, you do so knowing that some of the people you
pass by may be carrying a gun. You may not even think about it. But
that’s all right. Experience has shown that these people aren’t threats.
40 states, now. Two-thirds of the population. Last I recall checking
the status of "shall issue," it was around 35 states, and that was only
a few years ago. I really hate having to actually applaud something
that ought never ever to have been an issue in the first place (it’s
like thanking a thief for having a change of heart and returning your
stuff), but if I look around it’s like the only thing with some semblance of movement in the right direction.
With two-thirds of the population now living where anyone can
legally be carrying, it would seem to me that the money the various
association spend on lobbying at the fed level would be better spent
simply informing everyone. Are the two-thirds even generally aware of
this? Is the other third aware that they’re out in the cold and/or are
they aware of the almost total absence of incident amongst those
Would you carry if you lived in a place that permitted it? I’ve carried in places where it’s not permitted, and in fact I used to always carry a loaded weapon in my car.