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Concealed carry puts us all at Risk

by Matt Solomon, Staff Writer

In the Ohio government's never-ending search for impractical and potentially destructive legislation that makes the state look more closed-minded than it already does, they have out done themselves. Am I speaking about the new Defense of Marriage Act, or new legislation allowing creationism to be taught in public schools? No! I'm talking about the new law that allows almost any under-trained, paranoid guy to carry a concealed fire-arm anytime.

Pro-concealed carry people claim that it is necessary to carry a fire-arm for self defense. The theory is that if there is a chance a person is carrying a weapon, he is less likely to be attacked. This is illogical as the chance of a mugger randomly attacking someone who is armed is small. Also, it would be a far greater deterrent to carry an unconcealed weapon, as the policy was before. See how many people attack you when you have a gun on your hip. Having a hidden gun will do nothing to deter crimes but will enable people to pull a gun any time they're scared or angry. "Ohioans For Concealed Carry" offer a scenario which they feel supports the concealed carry law: In the Cleveland Metroparks, a man recently exposed himself to a female jogger on a crowded path at 11:30 a.m. The man revealed himself, made a lewd comment and ran away. He made no attempt at physical contact and seemed eager to get away. Rather than carrying a cell phone, however, "Ohioan's for Concealed carry" suggest that joggers such as this lady should carry guns to defend themselves. Despite the fact that it was broad daylight, at a time when many people were around, and that the man, while inappropriate, was not aggressive, they suggest that she carry a deadly weapon. Had she been armed, it is likely that she would have panicked and killed the man.

Road rage is another example of why it is too dangerous to arm people who can easily overreact. One frequently reads about people who are angered while driving and have violent confrontations, often using nearby objects as weapons. If these people were legally armed, the results could be disastrous. Recently in downtown Cleveland, three Benedictine football players attempted hold up a man with fake guns. The man in the car panicked, pulled a gun and killed one of the students. Had this man not had a gun at the time, the harmless kids would have walked away safely and probably have been picked up by the police at a later time.
The "Ohioans For Concealed Carry" don't believe that simply carrying guns in non-public buildings is enough. They are fighting for rights to carry weapons everywhere, including places where temptation runs high, like banks, courthouses, bars and liquor stores. Furthermore, they are pushing for concealed gun holders to boycott businesses that request that guns aren't brought onto the premises. If it is a person's right to carry a weapon, it certainly should be the right of a business owner to know that the customer across the counter is not carrying a weapon.

If you feel you need a way to defend yourself should something bad happen, try a non-lethal defense method like pepper spray. If an assailant is too far for pepper spray to be effective, chances are accuracy with a weapon won't be too good, either. In many cases pepper spray will work better: if you have a gun, you might hit them in an extremity, leaving them just as capable of attacking you. For example, the female jogger could have pepper sprayed the flasher, who would have been taught a lesson and been incapacitated. The man who was mugged with fake weapons downtown could have sprayed the kids and that sixteen year-old would still be alive.

Regardless of what people say to support this law, there are no logical reasons to have it. People are simply scared and think that everything will be ok if they have a gun to pull out anytime they're startled. Use common sense: what has everyone told you to do if you're ever held up? Is it, "Do your best to fight him off then try to run away?" NO! It's, "Give them what they want because it's not worth your life." Geauga County already has 200 requests for concealed carry permits. With this county's absurdly low crime rate, what on earth is the logic to being armed? This law is only going to create tragic situations where someone panics and people are hurt for no reason.

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