Gun Control In 2016

Gallup_Terrorism1If you had told me eight years ago that I would be carrying a concealed gun in 2016 I would have thought you were crazy. However unfathomable it may have been for me in 2008, this week I found myself trying out concealed carry guns at a local gun range and browsing Amazon for holsters.  This change in attitude toward concealed carry and more broadly toward gun control has been brewing for some time. It probably started in 2009 when the government attributed the fatal shooting of shot 13 people at Fort Hood to “workplace violence”. This year it peaked with the intelligence failures that resulted in the terrorist killings in Paris and San Bernardino. I began to question whether the government would protect me from terrorists. Not surprisingly a Gallup poll on the confidence of the U. S. Government to protect citizens echoed this sentiment and showed a big drop in 2015. I was particularly irked when President Obama tried to change the subject and blame terrorism on climate change.

And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people — are not able to make a living or take care of their families — that’s when ideologies arise that are dangerous.

How can the President be so out of touch with the American people and clueless about terrorism? We want to see some empathy by our President that you know our fears and instead we get a lecture that terrorists are trying to kill us because they are hungry. I cringe every time he uses climate change and terrorism in the same sentence.

For a long time I did not want to carry a gun because I thought it would be dangerous and inconvenient. I was more than willing to not delve into that subject until the President fumbled the empathy question. Then I remembered that the biggest crime problem in our county is theft by heroin addicts. Maybe this is the right time to investigate the self defense question more thoroughly. I may not need a concealed carry weapon to stop a home invasion but concealed carry may help me to sharpen my situational awareness. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. Then I remembered that I have been carrying a pocket knife for most of my working life. Currently I carry a folding box cutter from Home Depot. It fits quite nicely in the coin pocket of my jeans and it does a nice job opening today’s adult-proof packaging. In all my years of carrying a knife I never hurt myself or anyone else with it. How big a stretch would it be for me to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate concealed carry and  practice every month?

What I find particularly fascinating is that instead of fixing the problems of intelligence failures in combating terrorism, access to guns by mentally unstable people, and crime both the Administration and state governments have tried to implement more gun control laws on law abiding citizens. As an example Virginia will no longer honor the out-of-state concealed handgun carry permits of gun owners from more than two dozen of the states with which the commonwealth currently has reciprocal privileges. Does this mean they have fixed the problem with access to guns by mentally unstable people? As a Virginia Tech alumni that is the gun control problem I hoped they fixed. When I see two instances of people killed by crazy people you have to wonder whether they care? Is the third time a charm? As long as the government fails to do their job fighting crime and terrorism, we should not be surprised to find that Black Friday Was the Biggest Day Ever for Gun Sales.