” This week, lawmakers in New Hampshire, Kansas, Mississippi, and Montana advanced bills that, if made into law, would no longer require special permits to carry concealed weapons in public. Five states already have no concealed permit requirement – part of a broader trend toward so-called constitutional carry.
Also this week, Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas introduced federal legislation that would turn concealed weapons permits into something like state driver’s licenses, which are legal anywhere in the United States. The measure nearly passed a Democrat-controlled Senate last year, meaning it could well end up on President Obama’s desk in 2015.
With about one gun already in circulation for every American, critics, including many in law enforcement, say constitutional carry will only make life more dangerous. However, so far, studies have failed to conclusively prove or disprove another correlation – between expanded gun carry and the decline in general and violent crime rates that has occurred in the US over the past two decades.
The operative idea for many gun owners: It’s law-abiding citizens, not the state, who should make the decision as to when carrying a gun is reasonable, or necessary. At least anecdotally, a lot of people who proclaim to be open or concealed carriers actually holster a gun only rarely, or arm themselves only for nighttime commutes or journeys into what they perceive as dangerous areas.
“ What I’ve seen is, for many people it’s more about, ‘I want to be the one to make the decision [about whether to carry], and I have that right,’ ” says Brian Anse Patrick, a professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio, concealed-carry instructor, and author of the upcoming book, “Propagunda.” “While the doors to gun carry are opening more and more, it all still comes down to practicality. A lot of people with permits, who have gone to classes, don’t follow through [with carry]. You have to be a really determined person to go through this whole thing.” “
Read the rest of this surprisingly even-handed , given the source , article at the Christian Science Monitor