The U.S. Supreme Court recently interpreted the Second Amendment twice as giving persons (not felons) the right to “keep” modern handguns. Thus the idea of “get the guns away” or defining guns as “front loading” musket firearms is unrealistic.
In three states, a person is not required to have a permit to have a concealed handgun. In 40 states, a person (non-felon) is only required to state as a“need” “self-defense” to obtain a carry permit. In California, in order to obtain a permit, a person must show a “need.” The police chief in the city of SLO interprets “need” this way: Applicants must declare and prove they are in “clear and present danger.”
In the 40 states that have enacted less restrictive carry conceal permit laws, violent crimes of all nature have decreased even during difficult economic times — statistics substantiated by a University of Chicago study.
Pro- and anti-gun groups have been lobbying for the merger of computerized felony records with public mental health and drug addiction records and adjudication of persons at risk. This would have prevented the Virginia Tech killer’s purchase of two handguns.
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We do not blame the auto in a vehicular homicide, thus we should not blame the gun in a shooting. Furthermore, in the future, handgun control will be the result of cases in the federal courts, not the whim of police chiefs.
That said, if a person who legally carries a firearm decides to use it to defend strangers, he faces potential criminal and civil liabilities. What if that person shoots down at the mass killer’s big toe, disabling him, but the bullet ricochets off the concrete floor, killing an 8-year-old child?
Although I believe in Second Amendment rights, if you decide to use a gun, you’d better make certain you are appropriately trained and understand the responsibilities.