I am dismayed that anyone would oppose legislation that proposes keeping the personal information of gun permit holders private.
As a person licensed to carry a firearm, I choose to keep my gun concealed when in public. I do so for many reasons including the fact I don’t need anyone to know I have the firearm. Permit to carry holders are the good guys, who react to the actions of aggressors.
The element of surprise is an advantage. The first person to have that advantage is the bad guy who ambushes you. When facing a lethal threat one must act decisively and quickly. An action such as quickly moving laterally while drawing a weapon would require the aggressor to adjust to new circumstances. The intended victim has physically moved and presented a defensive tool of which the aggressor was most likely not aware.
This is not guaranteed to stop an attack, but is done to make the aggressor address new factors.
When in a fight for your life you are trying to “buy” microseconds in any way you can. That small, precious time frame is all you have to make important decisions.
The public will have minutes, hours, days, weeks and even months to decide if your actions were appropriate. That’s how armchair quarterbacking works.
Where is all this going you ask?
If I have spent time, effort and money to learn how to conceal my weapon for my own safety, why would I want others to be told that I have it?
I am a huge proponent of responsible gun ownership. My family and I responsibly train with guns. I also believe part of that responsibility is to do what I can to keep them out of the hands of bad guys. Whether I own one firearm or three large safes full of them, I do not believe it to be your business.
I would not walk down the street randomly telling people my address and the fact that I own firearms. Therefore I don’t want anyone else doing that for me.
The Gazette’s editorial board <a href="http://thegazette.com/subject/opinion/staff-editorial/concealed-weapons-permits-protect-the-publics-right-to-know-20150304">voiced concern</a> about a lack of transparent government if such documents were not available. I cannot fathom the concern about knowing this personal information.
I find it interesting there are those who want to “revisit” the Second Amendment or interpret it for anything other than its very simple meaning, “…shall not be infringed.”
How intrusive would you find it for the public to have access to your address because you attend church?
A firearm is an inanimate object that has no will or ability of its own. It is simply a tool that can be used for good or bad.
Firearms are responsibly used by 80 million people in this country. Firearms are used maliciously by evil people on occasion, but so are screwdrivers, hammers, knives, cars, hands, ropes, elbows and baseball bats.
When we see crimes committed with firearms, such weapons are usually illegally possessed by people who have already violated other laws.
Why should we tell such individuals where to illegally acquire more firearms while simultaneously putting law-abiding gun owners in danger?
(This article originally appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on March 18, 2015 as guest editorial)