Newsmax Article– Aug 7, 2018
Two stories from different sections of the country, occurring during the weekend of August 4, 2018, combined to illustrate a need for more concealed carry permit holders and national reciprocity.
The first incident occurred in Titusville, Florida.
During a Saturday, August 4 back-to-school cookout with over 100 people, many of them children, a gunman opened fire, reportedly shooting randomly throughout the crowd. Thankfully, a lawfully licensed, concealed carry permit holder was able to draw his firearm and stop the gunman’s rampage immediately.
This “good guy with a gun” occurrence will not be seen on major news networks or cable TV news channels. It doesn’t have a lot of bloodshed or activists protesting in the aftermath calling for “gun control.”
As of the writing of this article, the initial shooter had been taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but is still alive. The heroic permit holder, who potentially saved many lives, secured the area and waited for police to arrive. He has been fully cooperative with the investigation and no charges are expected to be filed against him.
Luckily, the responding civilian was in his home state, where he is legally allowed to carry because of his permit. However, had he traveled to any one of 14 other states that do not honor his Florida concealed permit, he would’ve been disarmed. One of those states is Illinois, where the second “incident” that I would like to reference occurred.
It would not be accurate to describe the second event as an “incident.” That word would imply that is a one-time event. Sadly, it is a ceaselessly repetitive occurrence in the city of Chicago.
From 3 p.m. afternoon on Friday, August 3 until 6 a.m. on Monday August 6, 74 people were shot in the Windy City. 11 people died. The ages of the victims range from as low as 11 to as old as 62.
Had the courageous civilian from Florida traveled to visit America’s “Second City,” he would have had to disarm as soon as he reached the Illinois border. In that instance, had he encountered one of these shooters while seeing Willis Tower or the “Bean,” he would have been powerless to stop him or her.
National concealed carry reciprocity could potentially change all of that.
For those who do not understand what that is, here’s a brief explanation. Much like every state has different standards to attain a driver’s license, every state also has different standards to attain a concealed carry permit. Whereas every state honors every other state driver’s license, individual states only selectively honor other state concealed carry permits. National reciprocity would allow concealed carry permits from any state to be honored in every other state.
The list of reciprocity between states respecting each other’s firearm permits is continuously changing. That potentially puts law-abiding citizens at risk of arrest simply by not staying up on the current agreements. This is another issue that adds some confusion to this situation. There are some states who have “constitutional carry,” which means no permit is necessary to carry a firearm.
There have been innumerable instances of concealed carry permit holders defending their own lives or the lives of others. Sometimes incidents end merely by showing or drawing a firearm. Other times, discharging the firearm is necessary to end the threat.
News coverage of these defensive gun use (DGU) interactions are normally only covered locally. Whereas mass shootings garner all the headlines because of the number of casualties, major networks have little to gain by covering an event that prevents or limits the number of people shot.
Anti-gun people are very strongly against a national reciprocity law. Besides opposing it merely because it is a “pro-gun” issue, one of their main arguments is that some states give out the CCW permits too easily. Many of us in the pro-Second Amendment community understand their concerns.
The simplest solution is to discuss and negotiate the standards of a “national carry permit.”
This could be accomplished with a meeting of all State Attorneys General. They could establish the guidelines, including a thorough background check and hands-on training/weapons qualification.
Those who subject themselves to these requirements are rarely the people committing the violence. Criminals and bad guys do not go through the government to get permission to carry a gun, nor do they go to licensed firearm dealers and fill out paperwork.
A national concealed carry program would not create more potential threats. It would create more potential heroes, capable of defending themselves or others and capable of ending a mass shooting event quickly.
Going across state lines should not turn a potential citizen hero into an unarmed potential victim. Don’t disarm the good guys. It only empowers and emboldens the evil men already amongst us.