Opinion: Private gun owners could be the answer to terrorists

In our world today, many feel it is a matter of time before our state and our communities will experience a terrorism incident. Of course we have already had many in our area directly affected by the horrendous events of 9/11/01 and 12/14/12, and a little less close to home, the Boston bombing.

Daily events around the globe give plenty of fodder to the news talking heads concerning a “solution”. However invariably little or no discussion is had about private gun ownership and the positive role it can play.

If one simply examines many of the mass shootings, whether a result of terrorism, workplace violence or some other cause, there is one overlooked commonality; that is the lack of the presence of lethal force at the onset of the incident. In most of these cases, we can say without equivocation that had there been undercover armed police officers at the location when the shooting started, it would have ended sooner with many fewer dead and wounded. What we fail to acknowledge is, had there been a responsible concealed carry person at the location, whether a police officer or not, the result would have been similar.

It is time for us to examine our attitude toward armed carry once and for-all. The truth is many “anti-gun” leaders in our state might be surprised how many licensed carry individuals they connect with daily; neighbors, colleagues, service personnel; virtually every walk of life has a significant percentage of licensed carry members. All of these have gone through at least some rudimentary training and proficiency testing. All are aware that by carrying, the day may come when they will need to use that firearm to protect themselves, their family or their community.

Instead of treating legally licensed carriers as social pariahs, as many of our political leaders do, let’s encourage their services. Instead of creating “false gun-free zones” in our schools and community buildings, let’s allow responsible legal carry. The very notion of ‘gun free zones’ is ludicrous on the face of it, unless it is enforceable, and enforced. As an example, to not allow firearms to be legally carried in schools by responsible licensed carriers, yet allow illegal guns to walk in unimpeded, is insanity.

So, the first step must be to rid ourselves of these false “gun free zones”. Make it government policy not to restrict legal carry in any building or place where illegal carry is not otherwise controlled.

Second, let’s encourage legal responsible carry. Anyone who has gone through the process and has obtained a carry permit should be encouraged to upgrade their competency periodically by attending workshops and training sessions that should be made available at nominal costs using existing gun ranges.

Third, we must stop the social castigation of legal carry. By doing so we shall encourage more like minded individuals to go through the process and become responsible carriers.

The result will be a positive change to our ability to fight terror, from whatever source, and defend our communities. Again, think of the many incidents where the carnage would have been much more limited had that armed individual been present. The only way he or she will be present is if we stop restricting these individuals through our current anti-gun policies.

Hopefully you and your families will never be in the situation where a lunatic decides to harm as many people as possible; if you are in such a situation, I sincerely hope that also present is someone equipped for, and willing to provide, lethal force to stop the carnage.

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