They Carry Guns

betterdecisions: Yes, guns are lethal weapons. As are knives, cars, baseball bats, etc. When used legally and as intended, none of them are a threat to law-abiding citizens; when used irresponsibly or illegally, they all can, and will, kill. Cars far outstrip all the others combined in their death toll, for instance. Your worries, while a legitimate emotional response of someone who is uninformed on the issue, are not supported by facts. 48 states allow their citizens to carry loaded firearms in public for their own defense. The vast majority are "shall issue", which means that anyone who is not prohibited from even owning a gun is automatically granted a license upon application (and, as noted in the article, 2 states don't even require licenses at all). Yet despite many people voicing concerns such as yours, or even more dire, about what would occur should these states pass such laws, no such problems have occurred, and violent crime (including gun crime - and even gun accidents) has continued to decrease in these states at a rate at or above the national average. The legal and intended purpose of guns is not just hunting. It also includes, even more fundamentally, self-defense. As one example in the story points out, the police cannot be depended upon to be there when needed. I was a police officer for several years, and even when we could reach a call in under 2 minutes (which is considered extremely good time), we were usually too late to actually prevent a crime, and sometimes even too late to catch the perpetrator after the fact. Even the courts in this country have universally acknowledged that fact. They have consistently ruled that the police cannot be sued for failing to protect individual citizens, even when that failure is due to gross undisputed intentional negligence or indifference, because such protection is neither possible, nor within their job description. Their job is to protect society as a whole by pursuing and arresting criminals after a crime is committed, not preventing or interrupting such crimes. If they manage to do so, great, but they seldom do, and you are horribly naive if you expect it, or worse, depend on it. Google the case Warren v. District of Columbia for a good example, or the terms "police no duty protect" for a larger sample. The only person with any actual responsibility to protect you is you. To deny people the ability to do so, simply because of uninformed fears that have been demonstrated time and again to be unfounded, is unjust. Open carry wouldn't even be necessary in California if the state lawmakers, driven by such irrational fears (or even less noble motives) hadn't seen fit to restrict the issuance of Concealed Carry Licenses to only those deemed worthy (due to wealth, celebrity, and/or political influence) of a right to self-defense, and instead respected this very fundamental human right of its citizens, as virtually every other state in the country has.
— July 16, 2009 11:04 a.m.

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