Excellent Article On Concealed Carry

I had been planning on writing a long article to explain what it’s like to carry concealed to all my friends who have no experience in the practice or its associated culture. That actually described me for most of my life, since I didn’t grow up around guns or shoot my first gun until well into my 20s. However, a friend posted this article from Harper’s, and now I don’t need to write mine. It’s a long but excellent piece that matches almost exactly what I would have written.

I agree strongly with 2 of the 3 conclusions that the article draws:

  1. We should allow people to carry concealed, and in more places than we currently do.
  2. We should make the training requirements for concealed carry much more rigorous
  3. I plan on continuing to carry concealed (where it’s legal), although the author has decided it’s not worth the trouble for him.

In any case: go read it.

10 thoughts on “Excellent Article On Concealed Carry”

  1. I certainly hope that I get more training than he did when I go to get my CCW permit, and if I don’t I will certainly seek it out. I’ve already done some study on the topic just to prepare. I would be happy with more solid training requirements for CC, something that teaches you more about not using it, attempting to de-escalate situations, things like that. I have a feeling if we allow for more people to CC without the rigors of additional training you’ll end up with bystanders being hit with rounds intended for a criminal. No one wants something like that to happen.

  2. I’ve had CCW training in two states: Virginia and Michigan. The training was pretty much exactly as he described, and it was not remotely adequate for the task. You have to do your own training if you really want to be ready to responsibly carry. Of course, the vast majority of people do that. I think the current training is really designed as just a way to check a box for people who have already spent years shooting (and hopefully learning good technique).

    But if CCW training wants to continue to expand and wants to be a productive part of mainstream culture, we need to do more to ensure that the training is really rigorous. I think that instead of just one session (which is how it worked in both states where I went through it), we need to have multiple sessions spread out over a couple of weeks with not just one but several trips to the range to work on different aspects of gun training.

    There’s definitely room here for improvement.

  3. Indeed. The CC class I sat through was a bit of a joke. I think it’s completely insane that VA will issue without any real training whatsoever. As far as allow carry in more places, what are you getting at? College campuses?

    I get to spend quite a bit of time around some interesting “liberal” folk all of whom can and usually do carry. We’re all on similar pages with the exception of rifles, but those of them who have ARs are active or former military. I personally have no use for one. I’ll admit there is a certain cool/fun factor, but is there a need? No. I’m perfectly content with a pistol or two, and one of these days I’ll probably pick up a shotgun to hide in the closet.

  4. Chris, it’s fine that you’re content with that however I don’t see how your contentedness should lead to laws that restrict me from reaching the same point from my end. The purpose and ‘need’ for fire arms such as the AR 15 isn’t about hunting, fun, or coolness. The point is to remind the government that the people provide the power and also have the right to take it away, in a manner such that they do not have to be afraid of the government attempting to use the military to enforce their power (tyranny).

    I also want to point out that restricting use of fire arms that are available today, to something less means only that law abiding citizens no longer have access to them. However criminals will still have access or find ways to get access to them.

    To address this rather conservative viewpoint not sitting well with many more liberal folks, I am all for additional required training to be standardized prior to allowing access to more dangerous weapons. That part simply makes more sense to me because I’d rather have trained people shooting when in need, than some idiot who just sat in a class and is looking to pick a fight and shoot someone. (yes I’m stereotyping there)

    I grew up around guns in scouts, the military, and spent time in the military myself. Even in the military you end up with folks who just don’t get how to properly handle a weapon. They are either kicked out or spend extra time learning how to properly handle one. Police also have standard training requirements for fire arms. If the professionals have it, why shouldn’t there be some type of requirement based on what they have?

  5. You’re getting into “Why? / Why not?” territory. There are a couple areas where such runs into issues. Are you saying that civilians should have every right to possess a GAU-19 for instance? Or why not have any old rich schmuck cruise around Manhattan in a fully armed M1A2 instead of a bulletproof Mercedes?

    Where do you draw the line? Why not allow that logic into other aspects that there are laws for? Why ban heroin and cocaine but not alcohol and tobacco? They’re all just tools for altering one’s state of mind.

  6. Actually I am all for civilians owning military grade weaponry, there are rules and regulations I’d also be very okay with if that were the case and there’s more than one way to prevent every other guy from owning full on military grade weapons. FYI even now many folks are able to purchase and utilize military grade weapons (it’s costly in the long run, but it’s doable).

    As for an m1a2 if you can afford the billions then you can have one. Doesn’t mean it’s street legal. There are quite a few folks (collectors mostly) that own tanks and occasionally drive them around, though not on streets.

    Yes I sound silly saying lets go get military grade weapons for everyone! That’s not actually what I’m saying though. I am saying that everyone should have a chance at access to them. Regulation of how, where/when they can be used, things like that I would be glad to have since there are plenty of stupid people with lots of money.

  7. So, pulling from another post, and an excellent line by Nate: “Laws that tell people how to conduct themselves are far more palatable when you believe that they are written by the enlightened for the governance of the ignorant and, of course, that you are enlightened.”

    With your support of that line, and your apparent support of freedoms with no restriction… I’ve got to ask. Where does your hypocrisy come in? Stance on marriage? Abortion? Drugs? Not that I wish to start a debate on any of those items, just making the point, if you believe in complete freedom on one thing, why not every controversial issue?

  8. >>With your support of that line, and your apparent support of freedoms with no restriction… I’ve got to ask. Where does your hypocrisy come in? Stance on marriage? Abortion? Drugs?<< I'm going to jump in on this one because it's so common: there's no intrinsic reason for a libertarian to be pro-choice. The debate hinges on whether or not you think that the unborn human being has a right to life. If you do, then it's libertarian to oppose abortion. If you don't, then it's libertarian to support abortion. Marriage and drugs are much less straight-forward. I also think there's bigger problems with libertarianism, but they will take longer to get into. I've been meaning to post about that for a while, however, so I might get something up later on today.

  9. Not sure how marriage is less straight forward, and drugs are indeed a more complicated topic, but I’ll stand by my previously applied approach for the time being until I see the response.

    Here’s another one for you involving tools and restrictions that occurred to me on the way to the office: traffic and automotive laws. Without them, you’d be relying on people being responsible drivers and owners of their cars. You’d be relying on people’s word that their cars are in proper condition to drive in the manner they wish. You’d be assuming that people would have the discretion to drive within their limits, without endangering others. Which is why we have such laws, because people cannot be trusted to do what’s right in that regard. Even with the laws, we have people that are horridly under qualified drivers with cars in horrible condition that are flat out dangerous to everyone around them. So, that being said, speed limits could be associated with mag capacity, caliber limitations, fully automatic bans, etc. We have people that are not responsible with their firearms, and sometimes they pay the price for it, and sometimes others pay the price for it. Do we let that lack of responsibility go, or do we try to impose some control on it?

  10. I think the analogy with traffic laws is really good, and I’ve seen it before. A couple of things to note:

    1. Driving a vehicle on your own land is completely unregulated. There are no speed limits, no safey laws, no registration, nothing. By that argument, people would be able to buy whatever weapons they wanted to store at home and use on their own land or other designated, non-public areas (gun clubs).

    2. When you take your vehicle off your own land, the primary focus of regulation is the driver. We license drivers, not cars. Other than really basic inspections traffic eforcement is based on behavior, not equipment. You get a speeding ticket for going too fast. You don’t get a governor in your car that makes it physically impossible to speed. There are some rules for what you can and cannot drive at all, but there’s tons of freedom beyond what is reasonable. You don’t need to prove you haul cargo or go off-road to drive around vehicles with ridiculous features that have no practical use.

    I think this is actually a good model for gun laws. What you own on your own land is basically your business. Carrying in public is legal for everyone, but they have to pass tests of both knowledge and skill (on a regular basis, not just once). Some kinds of weapons are banned in public, but there’s a pretty wide degree of latitude about it. This all sounds good to me.

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