Thursday, March 29, 2018

Do people really need to carry such big guns everywhere they go?

By SJ Otto
These are strange times we live in, at least for those of us who grew up in a time when handguns were strictly forbidden to be carried.  Until I was 13 years old, I lived in St. Louis and hand guns in Missouri were hard to buy and getting a permit to carrying them was even harder to come by.
Then I moved to Kansas where it was a lot easier to buy handguns. I had to be 21, but that is all it took.
Since the Cowboy days, which I often see on TV, the idea of carrying a gun for protection fell out of favor by the 20th century. According to Wikipedia:

“Concealed weapons bans were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. (In those days open carry of weapons for self-defense was considered acceptable; concealed carry was denounced as the practice of criminals.) By 1859, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Ohio had followed suit. By the end of the nineteenth century, similar laws were passed in places such as Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma, which protected some gun rights in their state constitutions. Before the mid 1900s, most U.S. states had passed concealed carry laws rather than banning weapons completely.”

By 1990 all of that began to swing back the other way. It started with a few states allowing people to buy a conceal and carry permit. In Kansas, as many other states, a one day eight-hour approved class, was all that was needed to buy the right to carry a hand gun. Since that time, almost all states now allow people to carry guns. Most don’t require a lengthy class.  
Since 2015, Kansans can now carry a gun with no permit at all. It is perfectly legal to put a gun in someone’s pocket and carry it around.
I used to carry a gun in the late 1970s and it was not legal at that time. For a while I carried a derringer in my pocket wrapped in a handkerchief. Later I lost that gun and bought a 22 pistol. It was small enough I could carry that gun the same way.
Today we live in a paranoid society where about half the people are packing a gun. And unlike the small unnoticeable guns I carried, they seem to feel a need for a large high powered pistol which needs some kind of clever holster that can be concealed somewhere on the person. Just recently I noticed an article about Tomi Lahren, a right-wing commentator, plugging Alexo Athletica leggings, which are meant to conceal a person’s firearm as they exercise. She and many other gun nuts need exotic holsters to carry what amounts to a small cannon on their person. And who really needs a gun on them when they are in a gym exercising?
It wasn’t much of an inconvenience for me to carry a gun in my front pocket. And I never needed it everywhere I went. There a plenty of places I went where I didn’t feel I needed a gun. There seems to be this new mindset that people need really big guns, such as a 44 magnum and they need them everywhere they go. I certainly couldn’t carry such a gun in my front pocket. And I have to wonder how wise such a big gun is?
My smaller guns were just as protective as those big mini-canons most of these gun nuts like to carry. The bigger calibers are not that accurate. If the barrels are long enough to give as person some accuracy they want, then the guns is bulky, heavy and hard to conceal. A small short barreled 22 can be very accurate. If used properly they can be just as deadly as any other gun. And they are easy to conceal. They are not cumbersome and they are not uncomfortable.
I can now legally carry my 22 pistol, which easily fits in my front pocket. But after all these years I just don’t really feel I need it. Maybe I can carry it to places that I feel are unsafe, but I don’t need to take it to a gym when I exorcise.
Gun dealers are making a fortune off of the fear and paranoia of a lot of US citizens these days. I’m not completely against people carrying guns, but I do feel that an 8 hour safety class is ridiculous. I like that poor people can now carry a gun. The permits cost $300 and a lot of poorer people can’t afford that. But we have reached a point where people’s attitude is “if I have a gun or a permit, I should not get in trouble just for shooting the wrong person.” There have been a few cases here a women was surprised people didn’t want her to shoot a shop-lifter. These permits should not be, as James Bond once said, “a license to kill.”
There are a lot of people who really should not be carrying guns. They can just as easily shoot a bystander as the crook they are aiming at. And that does not make me feel safe.
There needs to be cheap permits that anyone can afford, along with a real training class requirement that makes it clear to a person that they can be held accountable for what they do with a gun.

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