I may have told you this, but my dad is completely opposed to concealed carry. Not because he’s opposed to guns, but because he doesn’t believe concealed carry has any deterrent effect because who can be deterred by a gun he can’t see?
No, my dad is for mandatory open carry. If you own a gun, it is your responsibility to your community to wear that gun openly where everyone can see it and deter the fuck out of some crime.
He explained this position loudly and in some detail at O’Charley’s the other night. I was having a good laugh trying to imagine what the people around us were making of him– “He said ‘gun’ in a positive way, so that must make him a good guy, but he said ‘community’ and that’s code for ‘socialism’ so what the fuck?!?”
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Nah, he’s fine. ;-)
I agree with him. What’s the point of a deterrent if no one knows you have it.
If 5% of the population are carrying, then in a crowd of 100 there are 5 armed citizens. The bad guys know this. Those anonymous five are protecting the other 95.
Wait, so he thinks that making ONE method of carry mandatory is a good thing?
What happened to freedom of choice?
B., I think your dad is on the right track. Since gun ownership of this kind (the kind that doesn’t involve hunting or law enforcement) is largely ornamental, why not just carry openly? What’s the point in having an ornament if you aren’t going to display it?
And Publius, unless you are a trained, sworn police officer, no thanks. Maybe where you live the police are understaffed or incompetent, but here in Chicago we have our public servants to protect us from those anonymous ‘bad guys.’ We don’t need would-be vigilantes strutting about making life complicated for our police force.
I agree that if you’re going to have a permitted gun, you should be proud enough to show people that you have it. However…
Remember a few days ago, that a plainclothes cop pulled his weapon on some people having a snowball fight in DC? Because he was pissed that they hit his car with a snowball?
“Just sayin'” what, Genia?
Oh yeah, Chicago has a long and illustrious history of public officials we can trust with our lives.
Where do I sign up?
Exador, if you think you can measure up, our police department should be hiring again soon.
I work with the police on a regular basis, and the overwhelming majority of those I see are competent (and often excellent) professionals. As with any other high-pressure job, there are going to be a few who crack and a few who give in to the constant temptation. But I’ll easily take Chicago’s Finest– endemic corruption, racism, and all– over some ‘concerned citizens’ trying to shore up their anxious masculinity by accessorizing their Wild West delusions.
Sam – what is the average response time for the Chicago police department to say a robbery in progress? I would wager that it would take longer for the police to arrive than it would for a determined criminal to shoot everyone on the premise. Hell even on an Army base some nut was able to shoot a good number of people before encountering an armed police officer.
Jim, if ‘some nut’ wants to kill a lot of people, odds are he’s going to find a way. Remember Charles Whitman? He got the ultimate drop, as it were. He held off even a shit-load of well-armed people for a good amount of time, because he planned his massacre in advance. Unless the campus police there were psychic, there’s no way they or anyone else could have stopped him from killing people once he set his tortured mind to it.
I’m amused that you used the Ft. Hood shootings as your evidence, though. The solution to preventing that disaster wasn’t to arm more people on a military base (!). As has been repeated over and over again, even in the short-stroking corporate media, the shooter was a guy with some serious problems who should have been dealt with administratively a long time before he got to that point. He was eventually stopped by a trained police officer, but the military hierarchy’s failure to look after its own is what left the door open to that mass killing.
Believe it or not, Jim, most murders in Chicago are committed by acquaintances of the victims, or they are random, sudden acts of violence (like gang-related drive-bys where sometimes the victims are struck by stray bullets). The shooters generally don’t call their quarry out at high noon, and they don’t bang on the doors of their victims’ homes announcing their plans to rob and kill.
No, what keeps our murder rate relatively reasonable for a city with so many people and so much poverty (and considering that we absorb many of the social complications that the suburbs refuse to deal with) is that most people are just hard-working, decent folks trying to get by. Our cops work hard, and we have a criminal justice system that is doing the best it can with what it’s been given. We could discuss ’til blue in the face ways to lower our crime rates here, but I don’t think too many sensible Chicago residents will suggest that arming everyone is going to solve anything. We’ll leave that kind of fantasy to the worry warts in the suburbs.
Sorry, Sam. I’d have to join a union. The abuse from Bridget alone would make that untenable.
I don’t think Jim, or anyone else, is advocating “arming everyone”. Only to allow people the freedom to choose to arm themselves.
Sure, there are lots of crimes committed where it would not have changed things if the victim had been armed, but there are plenty (some would say more) cases where that gun (or knife or pepper spray) did make the difference.
Bridgett would be too busy pissing herself laughing at how things do come around to give you much hell…
Exador, you mention crimes committed against unarmed victims where it can be reasonably surmised that an armed victim would not have made a difference. Then you refer to crimes that were prevented or whose impact was reduced by the victim being armed. I think a better statistical comparison would be between armed victims who foiled their attackers in one category, and armed victims who were still victimized in the other category.
My guess is you’d find that the combined number of reported cases in both those categories would be dwarfed by the number of unarmed victims would not have been helped by being armed. It’s a fuzzy thing to have to quantify, to be sure. In any case, what’s to say that if you allow everyone the option of carrying, that wouldn’t lead to more of a ‘shoot first’ approach by would-be attackers? If someone gets the drop on you, there isn’t a hell of a lot you can do about it, especially if that person has the right to be armed in public just like you. (Unless you’re psychic, of course.) Which means you’d be in the same boat as someone without a gun. Vulnerable and shot. Unless, of course, your attacker wants something from you short of taking your life, in which case not being armed might leave you better off, because the hypothetical attacker might not see the need to kill you to get what he wants.
So maybe the solution is to wear bulletproof full-body armor and have rear-view mirrors attached to your Kevlar helmet. Also, make sure that you dodge and weave a lot whenever you get out of your armored car or fortified home. Or maybe we could work toward being a more civilized society like those limp-wristed Western Euro-pansies with their low violent crime rates.
The argument for unconcelaed carry reminds me of the scene in ‘Dr. Strangelove’ when the good Doctor lectures the Russian Ambassador on deterence theory.
“Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost, if you *keep* it a *secret*! Why didn’t you tell the world, EH?”
To which the Ambssador replies:
“It was to be announced at the Party Congress on Monday. As you know, the Premier loves surprises.”
Sam, hyperbolic strawman scenarios still don’t put the statistics on your side.
You have also left out the more ambiguous crimes that were PREVENTED since that is often not reported.
Gary Kleck has done the greatest research into this subject. He concluded (around 1991) that there are between 400,000 and 500,000 uses of firearms for defensive purposes per year.
In recent years, his research has shown as high as 2.5 million instances of self-defense with firearms annually.
Although, for me, it is immaterial if many times more people per year defend themselves or others than commit crimes with guns. It is an issue of freedom for me. There are more guns than people in this country and they aren’t going away. I want the option to have the tools that I want.
Ambiguous + not reported = lousy evidence. Kleck’s ‘findings’ are a bit problematic, and they raise a few obvious questions. If there are 2.5 million instances of self-defense with firearms, then where are the corresponding police reports? Are there 2.5 million police reports of people being assaulted and defending themselves? If not, are there millions of instances of irresponsible citizens not reporting the presence of criminal activity, whether or not they were victimized? A survey is a useful tool, but for something so drastic it would have to be backed up with solid corresponding evidence. Maybe Kleck has found the millions of police reports that back up his extrapolated poll data, maybe he hasn’t.
Anyway, Exador, current laws in most places don’t prohibit law-abiding citizens from stacking up as many guns as they want. Neither do the laws require that those citizens acknowledge the destructive fruitlessness of that endeavor.