The People Do Not Want Guns In Public Places - And Response (11)

  • Thursday, March 18, 2010

Throughout our country, there is a big push to allow guns to be carried wherever one may choose. Law enforcement and business owners everywhere are against this. From what I can gather, most citizens are against it. Yet, our state leaders continue to push for guns to be carried in bars, parks, or anywhere a gun permit holder chooses.

I realize gun permit holders are legal citizens who want to follow the law. None the less, I don't want to be sitting next to someone at a restaurant or standing in line at Walmart next to someone who is packing, and neither does a majority of our citizens.

So maybe someone can explain, why do our state leaders continue to ignore the majority and try to ram this bill through the legislature? I thought they were there to serve the people. Is it all about money? What else could cause them to ignore their constituents and continue to push this bill?

David Blancett

* * *

Carrying a gun, owning a gun is a right afford us by the Bill of Rights and our founding fathers. Those brilliant men so many years ago foresaw the necessity of an armed citizenry.

Criminals go around packing, as some call it, without a care about the laws or even how they gained possession of a gun. Criminals do not care whether you want them armed or not. They care nothing about you or your rights. It has been displayed sixteen times this year that criminals do not care about who they shoot or where or in which direction they discharge their weapons.

I am armed, and my family and I do not frequent establishments that prohibit patronage by legally armed citizens. I accept the fact that it is my responsibility to protect and defend my family and loved ones. And if justifiable I will defend anyone in need, as that is the American way. Americans have long been known as the defenders of the defenseless.

Once one right is swept away, then it will be like domino's falling as one right after another is taken away because someone feels that it is an intrusion into their life, or that society would be better off.

One can look back through history and see what happens to an unarmed society. The first step any tyrannical dictator takes is the removal of weapons from the common man, the citizens. As Thomas Jefferson quoted, "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Everyone that wants guns removed looks at only the percentage of crimes done by criminals and not an honest look at the rarity of a legally licensed carrier using their weapon. An unarmed person is far safer sitting beside me, or standing in line next to me, than they would be if weapons were banned in public places. Once a ban is in place then a free fire zone with no defense is created. And criminals will flock to an area were they know there are defenseless victims. Had anyone been prepared, the death toll at Virginia Tech would have been greatly reduced.

Guns do not kill people; people kill people. A handgun can be loaded and a round chambered. It can be placed on the floor, and it will not get up and kill anyone. Without an outside force it is safe. A weapon in a holster is just as safe. Most people that want a weapon ban have not taken the time to familiarize themselves with a weapon and therefore fear the unknown.

Start by educating the children. Guns are not toys. They are a tool. Give children a venue besides video games and films filled with violence and death. In the desire to occupy children's time parents tend to allow children an entertainment venue that cheapens life. It is rampant in today's society. View their games, watch their films, listen to their music. If you are afraid of your child being involved with a gun, have a friend or family member take that child hunting to demystify gun and see the destruction they cause. The younger they see this the better. It can be shocking, but it teaches them what happens when a trigger is pulled.

Beware of wanting to remove someone's right. You maybe next. You could lose your right to free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly. How would people feel if sections of the Fifth Amendment were revoked? Eminent domain, your property could be seized for public use without just compensation. Or maybe they should toss out part of the Eight Amendment, cruel and unusual punishment?

The destruction of the Second Amendment would be like pulling bricks from the foundation of a building, soon it all would topple.

As Thomas Paine said, "The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside...Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them..."

Dwayne Cales
Hixson

* * *

Exactly what harm do you think the licenced gun owner with a permit will cause you? Do you think a permitted carrier of the "big evil gun" will be sitting there with his six shooter on his side, ready to start a fire fight? Truth is, you likely are in the presence of more legally carried firearms in a day that you could count. You never see them though. You should actually hope that someone is near you with a permit and handgun to defend themselves (and you) if something awful happens.

What you should be terrifed of is the number of unlicensed "gun toters" you see every day. They are even harder to spot. They have "$2 pistols" that are used by gangs, thugs, and thieves. When is the last time a licensed carrier did a drive by at a local convenience store? Never is the answer, in case you were wondering. It is my opinion that you should forget your fear of the average citizen carrying a firearm within the limits of the law (and the U.S. Constitution). They do not mean any harm to you and would be the first to defend you if, or God forbid, when trouble happens.

Jimmy McGowan
Signal Mountain

* * *

The public may not want legal gun carriers to be able to carry wherever they want, but has it occurred to anyone that illegal carriers are carrying anywhere they want with or without anyone’s permission? If an attacker chooses to assault someone, chances are it will not be by someone who has had proper safety training and has taken the class required for a carry permit. I really don’t think someone carrying illegally will rush to your aid should you need someone to fend off an attacker.

I really don’t want it to get to the point where legal permit carriers are loaded down with ammo belts, several handguns, rifles and shotguns, but I think it is silly to put ridiculous restrictions on law abiding legal permit holders. I have been legally carrying a gun for about 12 years and have not needed to pull my gun once. I do wear my gun most of the time where you would never guess I had one. However I ran a business on Rossville Blvd for 14 years and wore my gun every day exposed. I was burglarized but never robbed. Gee wonder if the word got out that was not a good place to hold up.

Phil Dyar Sr.

* * *

A common rhetorical device for presenting weak arguments is to use all or nothing phrases to describe situations. For example saying, “everyone is against this,” or they are ignoring “the majority,” is using all or nothing phraseology to make it seem as though the writer is speaking from a stronger position than they likely are. Better writers know their limits and cite their sources.

The truth of the matter is “the majority” of the American people, (55%) say, “gun laws should be kept the same or made less strict” (Gallup, Oct. 2009). Additionally, there is a vast body of empirically sound research that has proven that within any given community (from rural farm towns to urban jungles) that the greater the concentration of firearm ownership, the lower the overall levels of violent crimes of all types within that community (See, e.g., Lott, J.R. (1998); et. al.).

Analysts from both sides of the political aisle have offered their opinions as to why the number of Americans opposed to stricter gun laws has grown in recent years. All I can offer is my own opinion supplemented by anecdotal evidence.

Since October 1996, the Tennessee Department of Safety has issued more than 339,000 handgun carry permits (from TN.gov). Despite what you may think, there are large numbers of us out there. That woman next to you in the grocery store, the man out with his family in the row in front of you at the movie theater, and people like me: these are all people who carry concealed firearms all of the time. Because the firearms were concealed, you simply did not know we were there.

Now, as some us have decided to exercise a right that we already have, namely, to open carry our handguns, it is becoming more obvious who we are. In the state of Tennessee, a person who is licensed to carry a handgun is issued a “handgun carry permit.” This is not a “concealed carry permit” as issued in some states. Tennessee’s licensing allows a person to carry a handgun in whatever way makes them comfortable.

Why do some of us choose to carry—open or otherwise? First, it is a right. A right not exercised is a right soon lost. The ownership of firearms is a right as old as our republic. Secondly, many of us carry for safety. A gun in your hand is better than a cop on the phone. Responsibility for my personal safety and my family’s welfare begins with me. The police are unable to be all places at all times. But, I know wherever I am, should someone wish to do ill to my family, I will stand ready to resist.

Guns are used for both evil and good. Those of us who choose to use our firearms responsibly should not be punished because others use guns to commit crime. Open carry allows my gun to act as a deterrent to crime without a shot ever being fired. Even the dumbest criminal will think twice before committing that holdup if he sees me and a dozen of my other law abiding friends, with guns on our hips. While open carry may make some uncomfortable, that is no reason to infringe on my ability to protect myself. In a country that places a premium on personal liberty, there is no more important right than that of self-defense.

Christopher Adam Strand Owenby

* * *

Funny thing is I've heard the exact opposite. The majority of the people I talk to want to see this law passed. Ever notice there are no school shootings in Israel? Do a little research and tell us why, Mr. Blancett.

Byron Johnson

* * *

Mr. Blancette,

The answer to your question is that you're wrong in your basic assumption. The majority of citizens in this state want law abiding citizens to have the right to carry a concealed handgun anywhere they go; its the criminal's we don't want to have them.

Respectfully,

Ric Whaley

* * *

In 1764 Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms,disarm only those neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins. They serve to encourage to profit homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

That still rings true 236 years later because it is the trurth. If we the people want to reduce guns crimes, we the people must demand tougher sentencing guidelines. Say 7 years no pleas, no second chances for using a gun, then prosecute them for the crime they commited with it and give them some more time. Until we the peolple demand tougher sentencing guidlines we cannot reduce gun crime.I believe one of the gas station shootings was a repeat gun offender.

Damon Sledge
Whitwell

* * *

I feel that is is more than fine for folks (who are legally authorized) to have firearms in public venues, mainly because the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution says that we are allowed to keep "and bear" arms as citizens of our nation.

Now, granted, convicted felons, etc., who have lost that right do not apply, but I have no problem with a lawfully registered citizen doing so. David said he doesn't want to be next to anyone at the store, etc., "packing"... You think you don't now? You probably do much more than you realize, and many of the current ones who do, and trust me on this, are not legal to carry. That is a problem. I'm a licensed gun owner, and the majority of the folks I know are, and have no problem with it, so I'm unfamiliar with the "majority" you speak of.

I'll tell you this, if you were in any of the convenience stores that have been held up, for example, here in this area over the last few years, when a person was going to attempt to commit a crime, and you were carrying, and the criminal knew or could see that, I'm sure it would oftentimes deter that person from comitting the crime. That right there is worth it to me...you could save a life, and not even realize...

If the majority truly does not want firearms to be carried in public places, and the state leaders are blind to that cry, all I can say is that they are apparently taking cues from our federal government, who seems to be deaf to our cries on many of the current issues.

This one however, I do not feel is the case...

Chris Grant
Hixson

* * *

I want to reply to Mr. Blancett's article about guns in public places. My first point would be to ask Mr. Blancett not to speak for me as he says he knows the majority of people do not want people to carry guns in public. I carry almost anywhere I go, and anyone that is around me never knows I am armed. It has been this way for 15 years. This is the way it should be. I also do not carry because I wish to be armed, but I carry so I can protect myself and my family. If Mr. Blancett thinks the police can protect him, he is not reading the news or watching TV. I only ask that I be able to protect my family and not be judged for simply having a firearm that the general public never sees or knows I have.

I do not care if you carry or not. But I bet you have had many meals in restraunts and been next to many people who are carrying and never felt threatend.

Fred V Wood

* * *

I do want licensed handgun carry permit holders to be able to carry their handgun(s) with minimal restrictions. I have no problem with restricting everyone from carrying a firearm in airports, jails and courthouses but that is about it.

Barry L. Abbott

* * *

There really is a push throughout the country to carry handguns legally, where everyone might want to, but by citizens abiding by the state and federal laws. I do not know of any business owners or police officers against this personally, since the people carrying the handguns have had background checks, shooting range instruction/qualifications and taken the time to prove they are upstanding, law-abiding citizens.

I know and have befriended several in the law enforcement community who really are glad, that they do have legally armed citizens out in public.

All of our crimes in Chattanooga involving shootings, are done by individuals who are not permitted to carry a weapon and are breaking city, county and state laws by doing so. I can assure you, that you have already been sitting next too someone, possibly even myself, while eating, walking in public or around someone in Wal-Mart or any other public business who has not posted a No Weapons Sign.

It is your legal right to not carry a handgun if you so chose. If you are scared of guns, then I really do not want you to carry a handgun. You would be the danger to everyone. As for not being around anyone with a handgun legally, then please, only go to places that have posted signs forbidding handguns and weapons. Then you surely will not be offended by those of us who are legally carrying our weapons as prescribed by state and federal laws.

As for our state leaders wanting to ignore the majority of citizens, I really don't see you as a majority. Our Tennessee state Legislature did just what the state constitution said they could do in making legal laws for citizens to carry a handgun. I am sure their constituents let them know also about their feelings and it must have been pretty overwhelming. I do not know of any money, except for my handgun, ammunition, schooling and training and licensing costs to carry a handgun legally, being paid to anyone for laws to be passed.

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon stated on June 27, 2008, to a lady in his courtroom, that she or her mother should obtain a gun permit and learn to protect themselves. Judge Moon also said, "The U.S.Supreme Court has ruled that all citizens have a right to purchase a weapon to defend themselves, their families and their homes, unless there is a disqualification that prevents them from owning a weapon."

This seems to be the same thoughts, the majority has of being able to legally carry a handgun in public as stated here in Chattanoogan.com

Laws are being passed in all 50 states and at the federal level for legally armed citizens to carry handguns. Legally permitted handgun owners can now go inside federal parks. Their are areas in which handguns are forbidden to be carried and rightfully so. If you do not agree with the 2nd amendment of our U.S.Constitution, that is ok. I do agree with it and feel the majority of the people in Tennessee and the other 49 states also agree, enjoy and cherish our right to be armed.

As long as armed citizens are around, if you should ever change your mind, then you also would be able to carry a weapon, if you passed all the tests and exams to legally carry. If everyone did give up this valuable right by law, then only criminals would be carrying weapons and they would be able to do bodily harm at any time to anyone, anywhere.

Wake up and protect of the rights we have by our constitution. If they are taken from us, our nation will be under dictatorship. Under a dictatorship, you will not have any rights or freedoms. It seems a large majority have stated their disagreement, with your comments on legally carrying handguns in the rebuttals posted with your opinion. I still feel the majority of the people in Tennessee and other states want to be able to carry a legal weapon if they so desire.

John Appling
East Lake

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