When discussing the notion of law-abiding citizens carrying guns in public, a common refrain from those against the notion goes something like “I don’t want those people around me and my children.” They find it scary and horrible that such people would exist and dare go out in public and mingle. The belief tends to be that those people are dangerous and will kill me for sneezing in their general direction.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
People who have concealed weapon/handgun permits/licenses tend to be more law-abiding than most. Click here to read the facts about what owning a gun and a CHL says about a person. To own a gun, to get a license, you have to go through so much. Then to keep it, you have to go through even more. By nature, you must be a law-abiding person.
So how does the logic hold that a CHL-holder is dangerous and ready to kill you for your parking space? I’ll grant, there are exceptions, but the exception does not prove the rule.
But what’s worse about this is those same people don’t seem to acknowledge what they are certainly surrounded by: felons. Violent felons. Yes, as you walk around the grocery store, as you stroll down the street… do you realize who is mingling among you?
Paul Markel spent 17 years as an Ohio State Certified Peace Officer. Recently he wrote an article that presented a solid point: (h/t The Shooting Wire)
I spent 17 years as an Ohio State Certified Peace Officer. During my time spent with a badge I frequently encountered criminals, bad guys who I had previously arrested, in the aisles of the local grocery or big box store. My wife learned early on in our marriage that if I pointed someone out during a shopping trip we needed to move to another area of the store. The last thing I wanted to do was encounter some maggot I’d arrested a month earlier while my family was present.
For the naïve in the audience; no, the bad guys don’t go to jail and stay there after the police catch and arrest them. Vermin arrested for vicious felonies will bail out of jail and spend months on the street before ever going to trial. Even if they are convicted our broken justice system sees them back on the street much sooner than most citizens would imagine.
What’s my point in all this? It’s simple, every time you leave your home and go out in public you are brushing elbows with felons. You just don’t know it.
Chew on that for a moment. Have you ever looked at one of those sex offender registries where you can plug in an address and it shows you all the registered sex offenders in the area? Of course you’ll plug in your home address and likely discover you’re surrounded. Shopping for a new place to live, you plug in every address of every house/apartment you look at, and they’re all surrounded.
Yes folks, you are surrounded by people who have done bad things.
You just haven’t met them yet.
And when the time comes for you to meet them, how are you going to respond? Certainly it depends how they introduce themselves to you. But assuming it’s not with a smile and a handshake, how will you respond? Do you truly believe fighting back isn’t worth it? Are you truly going to passively submit to them? to let them have their way with you… with your wife… your daughter…. Really?
Give Mr. Markel’s article a read. Long ago, I was in that camp. Then I realized how the logic of that camp really doesn’t hold up when faced with the (ugly) realities of life.