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May 12, 2011


I've gotta quibble with your statement, "[Those] who [...] join the military [...are] entrusted with a gun."

That doesn't quite seem to do justice to the situation. Soldiers are, by the very nature of their chosen jobs, given the responsibility of carrying a weapon and understanding how to use it effectively. That's more than a small step beyond "entrusted" - it's a requirement and (at least to my understanding) a non-negotiable commitment.

I do trust military and other law enforcement personnel to have firearms (and respect them for their service commitment) but I don't trust the average citizen to be able to safely, wisely carry and wield a firearm - especially not a handgun.

Law-abiding, license-carrying citizens often seem to be the very same (in general) lugnuts who leave loaded weapons within their children's reach. It seems to me that citizens have repeatedly shown that they cannot be trusted with the tremendous power and the associated responsibility that accompanies a seemingly-simple handgun.

But on the flip-side of the coin, if we're all supposed to be so hunky-dorey with the average, often minimally-trained citizen carrying around a loaded weapon, why does it need to be concealed? Wouldn't it serve to be even more of a deterrent if people roamed the streets with shotguns and other high-caliber rifles slung across their backs? If your intent is that citizens have the necessary firepower to prevent massacres, why limit them to piddly handguns?

Rob O, you've remarked on my gun posts repeatedly, except the ones about cops accidentally shooting themselves or others. And a common theme is how much you trust government but distrust ordinary citizens.

That's the basic blue/red divide, and it's probably so deeply ingrained there's likely nothing anyone could say to dissuade you.

If I can't trust my fellow parishioner to turn off his danged cell phone for church service, how can I easy about him packing heat? I just cannot bring myself to attribute the average citizen with the same high degree of common sense that you (and others) do. Today's society is rapidly filling with a disproportionate share of impolite, cavalier, and apathetic people.

But still, I wonder why, if a considerable portion of the goal of allowing people to wander through the day packing heat is to serve as a crime deterrent, why have concealed handguns rather than openly-carried rifles? If nothing else, doesn't a shotgun have more visual impact?

RO, several states do allow open carry. And the citizens in those states don't seem to be any worse for it.

An author whom I admire, Robert A. Heinlein, has already responded to Rob O's "impolite" comments:

"An armed society is a polite society."

I remember the shrill warnings when Florida was considering licensing trained, responsible citizens to carry firearms, that massacres would ensue at every intersection. The actual result: Violent crimes in all categories went down, and shootings by license holders was zero.

Thanks for the reminder about the shrill warnings from Florida which at the time seemed more shrill than those coming from other states that had gone through this.

The silence following was quite common though.

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