Fast opinions come and go. Here are the slow facts. By Rob Morse
DECEMBER 21, 2016
Anti-gun alarmists tell us that the world will stop going around after Ohio recently extended the right to carry a legally concealed firearm. Soon, Ohio schools and daycare parking lots will be protected by more than a plastic sign. Other than some breathless headlines of alarm, don't expect much to change. The civil right of self-defense has slowly gained ground for the last several years as Idaho, Kansas and Missouri adopted constitutional carry. Along with other states, they recognized the right to carry a lethal weapon in public without a government permission slip. If you asked the anti-rights gun grabbers, each of these changes was going to lead to "blood running in the streets". Our neighbors were expected to suddenly go crazy with firearms. It didn't work out that way. It never has. It never will. The reasons are simple. Our neighbors are responsible, and always have been.. but you knew that.
Today, eleven states recognize the right of legal citizens to carry a firearm in public without a license. Note the qualification in that statement; legally armed citizens. If you are a prohibited person, then nothing changed. You couldn't legally carry a gun before. You can't carry legally now. At its simplest, these new laws recognized that firearms prohibition is a failure. Criminals, the same guys who break the law for a living every day, also break our firearms laws. That means that our gun laws only succeeded in disarming our honest citizens, not the thugs. No wonder gun laws never stopped crime. In contrast, letting our honest citizens go armed slowly reduced crime, but that isn't the sensationalized headline that grabs an audience.
At a deeper level, recognizing the right to be armed rests on the bedrock of human nature. We exercise self-control here in the US. Examples of self-restraint are so common that we don't acknowledge them any longer. For example, I have elderly friends who don't drive at night. Some of my elderly friends don't like to drive at all. I know a few young people who feel the same way. For personal reasons, they choose not to drive, to drink, or to take drugs. They can, but they don't. It shouldn't surprise you that we see similar restraint from firearms owners.
Gun owners leave their guns at home if they go out to party. That's right, the designated driver is also the designated protector. You knew that people acted responsibly, right?
11 states have fully recognized the right to carry. Several other states limited their "constitutional carry" to only cover state residents, but not to cover visitors in their state. Where we have data, we see the number of people carrying concealed goes up in constitutional carry states. We also see the demand for firearms training go up. Do you wonder why?
To answer, let me give you an insight into your own character. Let's say that your son or daughter is almost old enough to drive. Suppose there is no law in your state that requires drivers training. Do you toss your child the keys and say, "Good luck, kid!", or do you take your child to a driver's education class?
I thought so. The next drivers education class is this afternoon. See you there.
When it comes to firearms, some states took away the requirement of government required training. In response, gun owners looked at themselves and saw their own limitations. Gun owners were not satisfied with their level of firearms safety. They took basic safety classes. Gun owners were not satisfied with their understanding of the gun laws in their state. They took classes on the use of lethal force. Many gun owners then went on to take classes in armed self-defense. That goes above and beyond the requirements for concealed carry in any state. The reason is simple to understand.
Just like you, these firearms owners hold themselves responsible even when the law may not. You feel the same way.
Meanwhile, the criminals keep on doing what criminals do. They break the law.
Those facts won't stop the anti-rights gun grabbers. They and their paid lobbyists will claim that a few words on paper are the only thing stopping us from murdering each other.
That is a frightening view of human nature. I'm glad it isn't accurate. It isn't true now, and it won't be true when the next state fully recognizes the right to carry.
In the mean time, keep calm and carry. Carry everywhere.