The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights > Legal and Political

 
 
Thread Tools
Old November 26, 2006, 10:22 AM   #1
iluvlabs1
Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 48
Interesting article - Chicago Tribune

Concealed weapons in the wilderness


Published November 26, 2006


Lots of kids, when very young, worry about monsters under the bed. Even when Mom or Dad comes in to reassure them, the kids may still worry. But as they get older, they begin to check under the bed themselves. And eventually, after many monster-free nights, they figure out that the danger is purely imaginary, and they stop worrying.

You would think by now gun-control supporters would have made the same progress on one of their most fearsome demons: the licensing of citizens to carry concealed firearms. But they seem to be trapped in a recurring nightmare that exists only in their minds.

So imagine their alarm at a bill recently introduced in Congress that would allow people with concealed-carry permits to take weapons into their home state's national parks. The indefatigably anti-gun New York Times warned that the measure is a step toward "nationalizing the armed paranoia that the National Rifle Association and its cohorts stand for" and "can only endanger the public."

Such fears may have been plausible once upon a time--when Americans were generally not allowed to carry firearms. But since 1987, when Florida decided to let law-abiding citizens get concealed-carry permits, that has changed. Today, some 40 states have such "shall-issue" laws. They've become the norm, and the fears they inspired have proved unfounded.

As it happens, serious crime has waned in the intervening years. Murders are now at their lowest level since the 1960s. Violent crime has been cut by nearly 60 percent since the peak year of 1994. Gun crimes have plunged as well.

It may not be true, as some experts believe, that America has gotten safer because more people are legally packing heat. But it's impossible to claim that the change has made us less safe.

At the outset of this experiment, gun opponents forecast that hot-tempered pistoleros would spray bullets at the slightest provocation, requiring the rest of us to wade through rivers of blood just to cross the street. In fact, one of the most conspicuous facts about handgun licensees is their mild temper. It's rare for them to commit crimes, and even rarer for them to use their firearms to commit crimes.

A report by the Texas Department of Public Safety found that in a state with more than 200,000 people licensed to carry guns, only 180 were convicted of crimes in 2001, and most of those crimes didn't involve firearms. Only one licensee was convicted of murder. Florida, which has nearly 400,000 permit holders, revoked only 330 licenses last year--about one out of every 1,200.

This record should not be surprising. As a rule, concealed-carry licenses are off-limits to anyone with a history of crime, substance abuse, drunken driving or serious mental illness, and most states require safety training. In any case, people who are inclined to commit mayhem generally don't seek state licenses to carry guns, any more than they ask permission to break into houses or beat up girlfriends. It's the law-abiding folks who apply for licenses.

Why would these peaceable souls want to take their guns when hiking or camping in a national park? Same reason they might take them other places: a desire to protect themselves. Though federal lands are mostly safe, they sometimes play host to crime. In fact, park rangers are far more likely to be assaulted or killed than FBI agents.

The Times says, "If Americans want to feel safer in their national parks, the proper solution is to increase park funding, which has decayed steadily since the Bush administration took office." Maybe that would help, but we can't put a park ranger at every bend in the trail. And if you run into a thug in the backcountry, you can't expect the police or anyone else to come to the rescue.

For some people--solitary women in particular--having the means of self-defense in the woods can be not only a comfort but a lifesaver. It's fine to trust in one's fellow man. That doesn't mean it's paranoid to have a Plan B.

Judging from a wealth of experience, adopting this new policy would be a non-event, with no unwanted repercussions. The only danger it poses is to criminals, who would lose some easy prey, and anti-gun zealots, who would once again be proven wrong.

----------
iluvlabs1 is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 11:47 AM   #2
Bud Helms
Staff
 
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,000
Good article. Moving to L&P.
Bud Helms is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 11:55 AM   #3
cuate
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2005
Location: Comanche Co. Texas
Posts: 737
Packing Iron

A very good post. I might add that I do not and will not visit parks and wildlife areas where large carnivores do and have in the past make yummies out of people and where firearms are prohibited. Were myself and family to
visit such places, a .44 magnum revolver would also be a party to the visit.
Being generally law abiding, we don't visit those places.
cuate is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 01:52 PM   #4
revjen45
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 7, 2006
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 626
Yup, I try to avoid places where my firearms aren't welcome. There are plenty of places where they are that I haven't seen yet. Besides, parks of just about any sort are crowded imitations of wilderness.
revjen45 is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 02:52 PM   #5
iluvlabs1
Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 48
I apologize for not indicating that the author was Steve Chapman. The article was in the editorial section.
iluvlabs1 is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 03:21 PM   #6
KSFreeman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2001
Location: Lafayette, Indiana--American-occupied America
Posts: 5,416
The New York Times is against commoners carrying weapons? I am shocked!

So, if this has worked elsewhere and will be a non-event in National Parks, then why not try it in Chicago!
__________________
"Arguments of policy must give way to a constitutional command." Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 602 (1980).
KSFreeman is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 05:32 PM   #7
gc70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,487
Quote:
why not try it in Chicago!
Because Chicago wants to be "progressive" - like New York City.
gc70 is offline  
Old November 26, 2006, 08:44 PM   #8
jrklaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 520
I'm personally impressed that the Tribune printed this.
jrklaus is offline  
Old November 27, 2006, 01:27 AM   #9
Crosshair
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2004
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 5,320
Is there an E-mail so we can leave positive feedback?
__________________
I don't carry a gun to go looking for trouble, I carry a gun in case trouble finds me.
Crosshair is offline  
Old November 27, 2006, 02:27 AM   #10
oldbillthundercheif
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,450
I sure never read anything like that in the Tribune when I was living up there!

Well written, thoughtful, well-structured, and great in general... this guy is going to get flamed to a cinder in the "letters to the editor" section but I would be willing to bet the tirades will not be nearly as coherent or eloquently argued as this fine piece was.

Steve is a rare bird up in that forest.
oldbillthundercheif is offline  
Old November 27, 2006, 02:53 PM   #11
calvinike
Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2006
Posts: 71
Steve Chapman is a Libertarian. His sister studied under Milton Friedman at the U of C and recieved an advanced degree in Economics. Steve referred to Milton on occasion for "theory testing".

Steve is a breath of fresh air in the cesspool of Cook County, City of Chicago,
despots, criminals and idiots.
calvinike is offline  
Old November 27, 2006, 07:12 PM   #12
iluvlabs1
Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 48
Steve Chapman's e-mail address, as shown in the Tribune, is..

E-mail: schapman@tribune.com
iluvlabs1 is offline  
 

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09641 seconds with 7 queries