Submitted to the Rocky Mountain News January 21, 2001
In his letter of January 19, Patrick Horvath calls it "reasonable and prudent" to "(leave) decisions about concealed carry permits to local law enforcement, who are in the best position to judge the applicant's need for a permit..." Let me suggest two thought experiments to point up the folly of requiring people to seek permission to carry concealed weapons.
Horvath states that, "no part of the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11 could have been avoided if only more citizens had been carrying concealed weapons." The reality is that if people were not forced to surrender their constitutional rights when they walk through airplane doors, the terrorists would not have had such easy prey. (In the words of a bumper sticker I saw on the internet: "When guns are outlawed, outlaws will use box cutters.")
Evil abhors a vacuum. Disarm innocent people and it is only a matter of time before atrocities happen. Disarm airplane passengers and you get the horrors of September 11. Declare schools "gun free zones" and you get Columbine. Gun laws only effect people who obey laws. Not only do they not deter criminals, they make crimes much easier to commit.
I you feel morally superior in your belief that the right to defend oneself should be subject to the whims of the government, let me ask you this: How would you feel if your life were threatened, and you were unable to defend your self because some bureaucrat was judging your "need" to carry a concealed weapon?
Douglas F. Newman
Freely Speaking: Speeches and Essays by Doug Newman
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