Concealed Handguns: To Carry or Not to CarryMay 9th, 2008 by josh farley
Two horrific school shootings this past year at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University have galvanized both “concealed carry” gun owners and firearms opponents, in verbal battles that are taking place across the country.
A recent Seattle P-I blog adds the University of Washington to the list of campuses debating the issue.
From what I can tell, there are two central viewpoints here:
1) Those who believe that “concealed carry” laws on campuses will allow responsible owners to bring an aura of safety should a shooter begin a rampage;
2) Those who think banning the weapons on campus outright (and limiting them elsewhere) will prevent said shooter’s access to get deadly weapons in the first place.
Washington’s concealed pistol law allows 235,795 people to carry (as of May 7), according to Department of Licensing spokeswoman Christine Anthony. In fact, the state even has an “open carry” law, in which gun owners can wear their weapons outside their clothing that may surprise you.
For more local recent history, think back to Nov. 20, 2005: the day a shooter opened fire on a crowd at the Tacoma Mall.
Police interviewed several people there that day who were card carrying concealed pistol holders. Many of them pulled their weapons; not one of them fired back at the 20-year-old who is now serving a 1,961 month sentence.
Brendan McKown, the man most injured by the 20-year-old’s bullets, had a concealed license himself. Here’s what the P-I wrote about his experience — and why he got a license.
“It’s a stupid statement, but I have a concealed weapons permit in case some idiot shoots up a mall,” McKown told the P-I.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this issue, so please, don’t be shy.