Quote of the Day

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Concealed Carry Dream World

Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano wrote an opinion piece the other day on concealed carry entitled, Get ready for new face of gun owners. Romano's article elicited a spirited debate between my bride and me. I suggested that this was a typical mainstream media piece of crap, because it didn't address what I believe are the vitally important issues involving concealed carry.

The Belle of Ballast Point took the position that the thrust of the article was just that we are becoming a society of scaredy cats (my term, not hers, or his) and that, according to Romano, "it isn't all rednecks and bikers. It isn't all weekend warriors and criminals. It isn't all machismo and ego." In today's world it is, "The teacher. The widow. The student, the homemaker and the businesswoman" who are buying guns and signing up for concealed weapon permit (CWP) courses.

Well, fine said I! But, my point is that all these articles, like Romano's, do is to encourage more people to start packing heat with the mistaken belief that a gun will somehow, in their world of dreams, make them safer.

Watch the following video and you will see what I mean, and then we can continue the discussion.

What I have not seen in print or on televised news is an in-depth report on exactly how easy it is to get a CWP in Florida. Mr. Romano touched on this point in his article, and he did mention a CWP class in Clearwater that sounded a lot more comprehensive than many I have come across. But, what about that 90 minute class conducted by some bozo just down the street who is just doing it to make a fast buck?

Florida is treating the CWP like a BOGO coupon - just ask, and it's yours. In the Times article Romano wrote that all you have to do is take the state approved CWP class, "then just fill out the paperwork and pay the fees. As long as your record is clean, there is no state examiner waiting to take you on a test drive."

Well, there should be a state examiner, and there should be some sort of state oversight on who is conducting those classes, and the classes should have a prescribed curriculum that includes gun safety and handling, proper concealed carry, marksmanship, conflict avoidance, and quite possibly the most important element of all, the law - specifically Florida Statute 790.

We, as a society, take gun ownership too lightly. We seem to feel that guns are the answer to many, if not all, of our problems and concerns. This shoot out at the OK Corral mentality has gone way beyond the pale of reason. The gun laws in Florida and the nation need to be advanced to the 21st century, not pushed back to the bloody past.

I will close this rant with a couple of self defense suggestions. One is from internationally known self defense expert Massad Ayoob, and the other from Jon H. Gutmacher, a Florida attorney who is considered to be one of the premier authorities on firearms and self defense laws in Florida.

Wrote Ayoob in one of his books, and I paraphrase, if you are attacked while in your car, forget about firing a gun if you have one. In an enclosed vehicle the report will deafen you for a considerable period of time, and probably hurt like hell. Instead, if it's a matter of life or death, use your vehicle as a weapon. A couple of tons of motor vehicle can do some damage, and provide you with a protective shell. If life and death aren't the issues, then be smart, just drive away.

In his book, Florida Firearms, Gutmacher, on page 274, suggested that "a cell phone may be your best defense against the nut-cases that inherit our streets and highways. If someone is doing strange things, dial 911 just so you have a record of your fear -- in case it really happens."

And, my suggestion - watch the video, do some serious soul searching on how you would feel if you put a bullet into someone and whether you could even do it, and then know Florida Statute 790.    

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