7 April 2014
The Right to Conceal and Carry
A young woman driving home from a friend’s house on a winter evening hits a large pot hole in the road. After she pulls over to the side of the road, she exits her vehicle and discovers that she has a flat tire. She now realizes she is stranded in an unfamiliar neighborhood at night. After calling for help she sits in her vehicle and waits for the tow truck to arrive. Suddenly, a strange man pounds on the glass and pulls at the door handle trying his best to make his way into her car. Without hesitation, the young woman quickly opens the glove compartment and grabs her Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm handgun and aims it directly at him. He immediately runs away, leaving the young woman without harming her.
The young woman in the story above was not harmed because she had a conceal and carry license and was able to defend herself without actually harming anyone. A conceal and carry license allows an individual to carry and use a licensed handgun in many locations, including a vehicle. Conceal and carry has been and will continue to be a heated debated among many individuals. While there are many pros and cons, having the right to carry a concealed handgun is a great way to protect oneself and even save a life. In order to obtain a conceal and carry license one must complete many steps including the education and training requirements provided by the state in which they reside. In order to obtain a conceal and carry license in the state of Ohio, proof of competency certification must be provided (Ohio’s 8). This is done by presenting a certificate of completion of a firearms safety course that was offered or approved by the National Rifle Association (Ohio’s 8). One may also provide a certificate of completion provided by The Ohio Department of National Resources or a document that shows the applicant is or at one time was a member of the armed forces, honorably discharged within the past six years, a retired highway patrol trooper, or federal law enforcement officer (Ohio’s 8). There are also education requirements in order to obtain a conceal and carry license. An individual must complete at least twelve hours of training, including ten hours of instruction and two hours of experience shooting a handgun (Ohio’s 10). After training is complete, the trainee must be able to name, explain, and demonstrate the rules for safely handling a handgun and its ammunition (Ohio’s 10). The trainee must shoot a handgun in a safe manner during range time and a live-fire experience and also pass an examination (Ohio’s 10). The final step after certification is to complete an application for conceal and carry at a local Sherriff station in the current county or an adjoining county in which one resides. According to a survey provided to my classmates and members of the community, 66% currently know someone that has a conceal and carry license. Having the right to legally carry a handgun has many advantages including the ability to protect oneself in a potentially dangerous situation. There are many instances where a responsible citizen carrying a handgun could save many lives. Some of these instances include school shootings like that of Columbine and Virginia Tech (Concealed Guns). Another instance in which an individual may need to protect themselves or one’s family is during a home invasion. According to my survey, when asked if they currently have a gun in their household, 13 out 15 people answered yes. The government cannot guarantee the safety of its citizens. Criminals carry concealed weapons regardless if it is legal or not (Concealed Guns). A law abiding citizen should have the same advantages and be able to protect themselves from harm. A report by the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. found that from 2003 to 2011, out of 5,000 news reports 285 involved conceal and carry licenses. Within those 285...
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