I am an honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran. I have been married over thirty years. I have been a Scout leader, including Cub Scouts, since 1988. I am an NRA certified Range Safety Officer. I have a permit to carry a firearm, and exercise that right.
This means that at one point the federal government saw fit to trust me with a fully automatic M-16. My state government has faith in my decision making and judgment and has issued me a concealed carry permit. The NRA decided I had the skills to be a safety officer. The Boy Scouts of America and the parents of the Scouts in the Troop have entrusted the lives of young men to me when we went to a gun club and shot rifles and shotguns.
That’s right. A group of us, including myself, were responsible for putting loaded firearms in the hands of Boy Scouts. Instructing them on how they operated, how to aim and shoot, and how to remain safe while do so. The same thing happened in Scout camps all over the country today. It will happen again tomorrow.
My guess is that it happened without a single incident. Because if Boy Scouts were being shot in Scout camps, it would sure enough be front page news, no matter what the circumstances.
So, I can do those things. I have earned that trust and respect, and been faithful to all the rules and regulations.
What I cannot do is also a list. I cannot carry a weapon on any school property. I cannot carry in any State Park. I cannot carry in the County courthouse. I cannot carry in any restaurant that serves alcohol. I cannot carry at an airport or on a plane.
So, safe enough to be an instructor, handle loaded firearms and instruct Scouts. Safe enough to carry in McDonalds, Walmart, while driving my truck, or while out walking the dog. But not safe enough to carry while walking the dog across a college campus, or while picking up my permit to carry at the courthouse, or while riding in an airplane.
Do they think the criminals follow these laws? That a felon, who already is restricted from owning a firearm by law feels anything but relief when he walks up to his next victim on the campus, knowing that if they are law abiding, they are disarmed? That the 9/11 murderers didn’t figure into their plans the knowledge that all the other passengers were disarmed? That robbing people after they leave a restaurant is now as simple as picking a restaurant that serves beer?
My compliance, and the compliance of all the law abiding citizens, with those laws comes at the price of being unarmed in situations where an armed and trained citizen would be the only thing between a criminal, a terrorist, or a madman and his intended targets.
How many people died on 9/11/2001 because of the unjust, immoral, and unconstitutional policies that disarmed the law abiding citizens on those planes? How could it have been worse to have dead terrorists, and citizens standing at the cockpit doors until the planes could have been landed safely?
There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice; not by instruction but by natural intuition: I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
–Marcus Tullius Cicero