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Old July 29, 2009, 09:01 PM   #33
Tom Servo
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 12,154
The vast majority of encounters are resolved with mere brandishing.
I'm going to play devil's advocate here, but what if yours isn't?

I've been hearing that a lot more lately, along with the argument that shooting well doesn't matter because "most crimes occur within 10/6/2 feet, anyway."

I've talked to people who got the permit, bought the gun and are now carrying it. They've never received training. Their entire experience shooting consists of one or two trips to the range. In one case, the person is carrying a gun and has never shot.

Maybe I'm getting old, but this isn't the way I grew up. Carrying a firearm is a humbling responsibility. It requires a number of hard decisions. It requires knowing whether or not you're willing to end another human life, how you'll actually react (if at all) when being attacked, and whether you can accept the consequences when you see a broken human being at your feet.

You'll have to know when it's appropriate to run, and when you should stand and fight. You'll have to know how to draw the weapon, prioritize threats, ascertain backgrounds, and seek cover. You'll have to do all of this in mere seconds.

There are no second chances in this.

Part of me is utterly opposed to the idea that training should be required to exert the right to self-defense. But that part of me grew up shooting, around people who understood all of the above.

Now we've got folks like I mentioned above, who don't have that. What happens if they misjudge a situation and escalate it to tragedy? It's rare so far, but we have a whole new group of people entering the arena who have had no experience with firearms prior to last week/month/year, and they're living under the dangerous assumption that the simple presence of a gun represents a magic talisman against danger.

At the very least, I'd like to see a brief, inexpensive qualification, if nothing else, to make sure the person can safely handle the weapon.

Is this an infringement? In theory it is, but as Glenn pointed out, the Courts have not established the 2A as being absolute. There is virtually no jurisprudence establishing a "right to carry." In practice, concealed carry is a privilege, and can thus be regulated.

I'm not saying it's right. That's just the way it currently is.

The last thing I want is Mr. I Won't Ever Have To Shoot Past Ten Feet getting into a situation where he has to make a somewhat precise shot at twenty feet and hits the wrong person.
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
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