Legalizing Concealed Weapons

Many times people confuse whether or not allowing gun laws actually reduces the crime rate. As gun rights is a natural born right of citizens, some believe that should be banned, and many others believe that the law should be extended to lawful citizens. Based on my own experiences there have been several instances where I wish a legalized weapon was in arms reach. There was an instance about 7 years ago where my little brother and I were the only two in the house and an intruder broke in while we were there. No one was hurt or injured but it was traumatic for two children as it happened right after my mom had went to work. I would have felt more secure and confident if I was to know that a legalized weapon was around for our protection. Through research, why concealed carry laws should be implied into every state’s legislation will be debated and each point of view will be expressed. As this topic applies to everyone, every citizen should have the opportunity to exercise their rights. Many people are victims to crimes that they could have gotten away from. How many rape cases could have been avoided?

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How many school shootings could have been prevented before the shooting began? All of the latter mentioned cases are incidents that could significantly reduce our crime rate if concealed carry laws were in effect in every state. Also included in this essay will be a viewpoint of the opposing side and how that side is not all the way accurate. Using my research and focusing on how carrying concealed weapons aids our Americans I will be able to shrink my topic to a point where I can talk about a variety of things that are not too broad to where I do not have enough information to make a solid argument. Within these two subjects, statistics and reasoning as well as extensive research and detailing will be presented in hopes of persuading the reader that legalizing concealed weapons truly helps in protecting our citizens. My topic is pro-legalizing concealed carry weapons. I live in a neighborhood and near a city where crime is steadily increasing from robberies to murders. I personally feel that if citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons the crime rate would be at an all-time low.

A lot of people, in my opinion, commit crimes because they know that they will either not get caught or will only receive jail time which in some cases they are prepared to bail themselves out. To one that may seem like a legit punishment and although it may be, there are so many ways that it could all be avoided. The number one way would be legalizing concealed weapons so that we as citizens can be prepared for any confrontation with crime. Based on my prior feelings and preconceptions on this topic I will be looking to persuade anyone that reads my overall paper that carrying concealed weapons overall helps the communities in more ways than one. There have been a number of incidents where a brave soul who took advantage of the given right to carry a concealed weapon took matters into their own hands and saved lives whether it had been one or one hundred. Many of these stories go unnoticed and I will be bringing just a handful of those to the light.

In order to make that successful the main sources that I will be putting emphasis on will be the sources that prove in certain scenarios have prevented criminal activity. While watching a few different videos concerning carrying concealed weapons I will be taking notes on the specific details that support my topic such as how these cases where citizens used concealed weapons to save lives. Social media is a great avenue to pull out things that people do not get to see or hear about every day. The people that oppose concealed carry might not realize how important being able to protect yourself and your surroundings are. This will give the readers a chance to put in perspective how they would be if they were confronted in that exact situation and be enlightened that them too have that opportunity to ensure safety with themselves, their families, and everyone else around them. Although social media can be abused in so many ways it is a great way to see incidents first hand as if you were there even though you were not.

The videos I will be using are pulled from live evidence of a brave soul enforcing their right to carry concealed weapons to save others. Another video will be a news broadcast explaining how this same thing helps the community. Because I am not searching for crime and do not encounter it on a daily basis, I chose to use social media as a resource to observe as it would be a lot more difficult to observe a live incident where concealed weapons helped people. After all the observations I will be able to prove and show that legalizing concealed weapons is an important factor that should be considered in every state. Crimes and tragedies can happen anywhere. In one particular newscast I found there was a man who opened fire at Clackamas mall in Oregon. This situation was quite different than a lot of stories that are told because for a specific reason the 22 year man who carried the concealed weapon failed to fire. Nick Meli said he refused to open fir because in his tunnel vision between him and the shooter, a civilian ran by to escape. In his mind if he had shot and missed the initial target, he would become affiliated with what the gunman was doing which was taking innocent lives.

However, this directly applies to my support of concealed carry weapons after Meli made this one statement. “I’m not beating myself up cause I didn’t shoot him,” said Meli. “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.” A lot of people’s main opposition of concealed carry is open fire in public places. In this situation all the permit holder had to do was make sure the gunman connected sight with him and his gun and everything was over. Although the gunman took two lives not including his own, Meli saved many lives. This video not only aided my viewpoint of concealed carry but gave a good reason why it should be implemented. In many unheard cases, the gun is not even fired to protect the individual. . Meli made it evident not only tom himself and everyone that witnessed it in the mall but to all the citizens that concealed carry is extremely important for the safety of everyone. No shots have to be fired, no one has to pull a trigger, simply having it around and visible in the sight of crime saves lives. Overall this story strengthened my standpoint on concealed carry weapons. In an effort to find a position to convey the importance of the concealed carry law, I observed a website with several stories regarding crimes and the connection to carrying concealed weapons.

A student was leaving a night class and assumed that it would be safer to park in a parking garage as opposed to the student parking on the other side of campus. As every security office was closed she did what she thought was necessary by surveying inside and around her vehicle before entering. In this process she noticed a man bent over in a corner. That same man grabbed her, held her at gunpoint and raped her. It is interesting that at this specific university concealed carry is completely banned. Although, she had a concealed carry permit she was forced to leave her weapon at home. This is very important because this could and would have saved her from such trauma. After drafting a letter to the president of her university she was granted permission to carry her concealed weapon on campus with certain precautions but at what extent? It should not have to take someone being brutally raped, kidnapped or anything else for students to be allowed to protect themselves and others at all times.

I found this article and video extremely helpful because a lot of times these things arte swept under the rug and not tended to. This may have happened to hundreds and thousands of people without it being brought to light. If a rapist can hold someone up at gun point why can’t that same person protect themselves with a gun? I will be using this in my research paper as a question to the readers of how fair they think this is. Concealed carry is very important and it is imperative that people know many lives can be saved by the passing of one simple law.

In order to get a clearer understanding of how everyday civilians feel about the legalization of concealed weapons I chose to interview a fellow peer around the same age range as I am. With this interview I planned to discover what other people’s opinions on concealed weapons were. I hoped to receive opposite points of views to be able to link the research I’ve found to the opinions of my interviewees. Along with their view points on the subject I wanted to find out why they felt that way about the subject and if there was a certain incident or reason that led them to that belief. Certain questions I asked them included, “do you or any other person you live with own a gun, why or why not?”

These questions, if chosen to be answered, will signify how some people feel rather safe with concealed weapons around them in case of an emergency or incident. I gave them the option beforehand to reject their right to answer the question in hopes that no one would be made uncomfortable with the interviewing process. I hoped that through my research, interviews, and surveys I would be able to bring together many facts as to persuade the readers that legalizing concealed weapons is the right thing to do at this time, not only for us as individuals but for the children, our families, and the surrounding communities’ safety. Below is an overview of the interview concluded with a fellow peer and me.

Interviewer (I)
Person Being Interviewed (P)

I: First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to sit with me and speak with me. P: No problem, I’m glad to help any way I can however, I would like to keep my identity anonymous for this interview. I: That is completely understandable and I will be sure to keep your wishes. P: Thanks

I: So let’s start with a little about yourself do you live with your parents or alone? Keep in mind at any time if you feel uncomfortable you can pass on any question. P: At this time I live alone just me and my dog *laughs*

I: Great, so with that being said have you ever felt scared or nervous about your surroundings or simply living on your own in general? I know from personal experience I found that I get scared fast. P: In the beginning when I first moved in, of course, but after living alone for so long I kind of adapted to it I: I understand it just kind of becomes a part of you. Have you ever thought about or considered the concealed carry laws and how they affected you and everyone else? P: I really haven’t. I mean my parents never felt the need to bring it in our house to my knowledge so I never took it into major consideration, but I would not mind. Being a young female living alone I do sometimes feel rather vulnerable and maybe in someone’s eyes, a target. I: Would you support the cause if a bill was to be passed legalizing concealed weapons?

With the passing of this law no matter where you went you would be able to protect yourself and maybe at some time protect others. P: I agree with it to an extent when it’s all done the right way. If classes don’t come with the gun permit then I may not be interested. It seems like they ask people to go out of their way to feel protected when this should be something we feel on a daily. Beyond a background check I don’t think the requirements for getting a gun should be so extensive. I: I’m glad you are so open about the subject. You’re insight and opinions help a great deal. Question, do you think that the more states that apply the concealed carry laws will reduce crime nationwide? P: To an extent I do but people are going to do what they want regardless. I look at it like this if there is a death penalty intact and life in prison possible and people still do what they want, simply making guns legal to carry around won’t do that much. I: I, myself, have never thought of it in that light and I thank you for bringing that to the discussion. I believe I have all I need. Do you have any questions for me? P: No I don’t but thanks for including me.

This interview attributed to my research a great deal for numerous reasons. Simply researching the subject one never truly gets the ideas and opinions of civilians who have not been victims to violent crimes. I plan to use this as a transition or connection between pro- and anti- legalizing concealed carry. Since I was not expecting to get as much out the interview that I did, I have a lot more to go off of for my paper. An everyday civilian’s point of view is very important to my research because often the only insight into this subject comes from people disagreeing or rejecting concealed weapons or someone who did not take the advantage of concealed weapons until after a traumatic incident occurred. For this interview, initially I was hoping to get an opinion from a person that was contradictory to my own beliefs and research but after completing the interview I realized that having someone agree with my point of view was that much more helpful.

The person I interviewed preferred to remain anonymous wish I respect. Based on how the interview went and the amount of information I received my surveys will be rather similar. As in the interview I will give the person completing the survey the option of not answering the question so no one feels uncomfortable or refuses to do the survey. My questions will be general to find out how the ideas and opinions reflect the age range, ethnicity, and gender. Since the surveys will be done by SWIC students I expect to get a diverse opinion. Because I set a time limit on the interview I consequently asked less questions and the remainder of the questions I will incorporate on the survey just to get all the information that I desired.

Referring to the interview there are many people male and female who may feel targeted by their surrounding communities. Based on the Constitution it is our natural born right to bear arms. In the interview she mentioned that the fact that she was a young female living alone that she felt it may be necessary to obtain a handgun for safety and protection purposes. This leads me to believe that the majority of the population who agree and support the legalization of concealed weapons do so for the opportunity of self-defense from any criminal activity brought upon them. Although it goes unnoticed it seems as if some of the main people opposing concealed carry is politicians whom in an article I read, Double Standard, believe that in a sense only politicians should have the right to carry handguns.

However, where does that leave the rest of the world? According to Patrick Krey, the author of Double Standard, in some states a law has been proposed to grant politicians and legislatures the right to own and carry concealed weapons wherever they please. As this is common with all the citizens, there was one issue. Politicians disliked the proposition because the restrictions for gun carry were too harsh. This made some feel that politicians possibly believed that their lives were more important than anyone else’s. Reporters took the story because it shined light on the reality that maybe the gun carry restrictions were too harsh and should be lightened for everyone as opposed to strictly politicians.

Politicians were said to have been abiding by the quote in the book, “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” A number of individuals feel that it is a double standard on the legislature’s part because it is okay for the gun carry restrictions to be strict and harsh for the citizens just not for the politicians. Because taxpayers cannot exclude themselves from any law they please less cases were reported of the number of concealed carry permits done in 2007. As a result of this, in 2007 out of 37 million people only approximately 40,000 citizens were licensed to carry a gun. Essentially, this article suggests that it is unfair and politicians should be able to abide by the same laws that they expect their citizens to without any changes.

After reading this article my opinions of the topic began to flourish. Based on the standpoint of the politicians my point is strengthened and even more that valid. Any life is not more important than another. I feel that if concealed carry laws that are in place are lightened that they should be lightened for everyone eligible because politicians are not the only people who encounter dangerous situations. There are many cases that go unmentioned where a concealed weapon would have been more than useful in the case of self-defense. In all, I feel like you are being elected by your people and if you feel the need to protect yourself then the individuals who placed you in your position should have that same right. You can conclude from the context clues that this was written by someone outraged at the proposed idea. Although it may be biased it is a good point regarding the topic. However, based off the fact that the majority of the article seemed like opinion I would not use this article as a credible source but as an extra opinion supporting my point of view. Because there was very few supporting facts regarding the opinion it made the article seem amateur, in which I feel the article could have been a little more detail oriented.

Based on the many articles that I have read, I noticed that there were a number of people that oppose the legalization of concealed carry. However, the individuals who are for it have valid reasons and explanations as to why they do. In one specific article I read, The Accessibility of Guns Protects Lives, a man applied for a concealed weapon but the process was so tedious and drawn out that it took him forever to get a response. Nonetheless, when the country felt vulnerable and scared of the 9-1-1 attack the process began to move along quicker than ever before. In this article the author applies for a concealed carry permit a little before the 9-1-1 incident occurred.

While waiting for the process to be complete 9-1-1 happened and including his over 5,000 concealed carry permits were handed out without fees. While carrying his firearm wherever he goes, he not only aims to protect himself and his family but also his fellow citizens who may not be capable of protecting themselves. There are many individuals against the concealed carry permits however, the platform used in those arguments are faulty and unrealistic. In reality, the permit holders have better safety records than the police force. The people who are opposed to concealed carry are simply misguided and misinformed. Overall, being able to access a gun protects lives.

This is my favorite article that I have read so far. My opinion on concealed carry laws mostly coincides with the thoughts and ideas with this individual about how people are simply misinformed. Clearly the individual is pro-legalizing concealed weapons and has a strong foundation on why he believes making gun permits more accessible will furthermore help protect the community as opposed to raising crimes and the number of accidental deaths. The confidence and details that he uses to support his claim are very persuasive and partially credible. I say partially credible because it seems as if the majority of the article is based on mere opinion and reasoning. He vaguely inputs statistics to support his point of view. However, with that being said the points that are being made are valid and do make a lot of sense. This article will be the main article I use defending my point of view. I will incorporate statistics from other articles with the thoughts and reasoning of this article to make a strong foundation and a clear viewpoint and argument.

Statistical proof and evidence is, I feel, the most important part of defending why one choose pro- or anti- legalizing concealed weapons along with creating a solid case and foundation of one’s beliefs. In the article, The Untold Triumph of Concealed-Carry Permits, the author David Kopel did a splendid job of using numerical data to support his standpoint in which the article is deemed more credible. Beginning in the 1980’s the states that granted the concealed carry rights typically only allowed police officers, retired police officers and individuals with political affiliations to carry handguns. Throughout the years there have been many discussions as to how concealed carry permits are to be issued and the precautions taken beforehand. Gradually the main focused of this law has been geared and proposed by women. That being said approximately one fourth of the applicants for a gun permit are women.

To support the idea of how effective concealed carry laws are there were studies and cases done and put together comparing the homicide rates to the states with concealed carry laws as to those same states when those laws were not intact. It was found that there was not a significant amount of change in rates except in the State of Florida. With this state being assumed to have a 36% chance of homicides an immediate and steady decline began after these laws were put in place. Also in similarity with Florida, California whom has many counties with concealed carry laws a study was also done. It was shown in this study that counties that issue permits liberally had lower violent-crime rates than counties with restrictive policies; restrictive counties had lower rates than counties with prohibitive policies. All in all, people would simply like to have the choice placed in their hands on whether or not they would like to carry a handgun or not.

Although included was not the entirety of the things mentioned, the main points were. Individuals who oppose the concealed carry laws may not be aware of the statistics backing the subject. In predominantly every case study each time it seemed to be a decline in crime for states that obtained the concealed carry laws in action. Although each state did not have a dramatic decline in crime at some point each state had some decline. Based on the research I have done and looked into there is no record of a state increasing in crime after placing concealed carry laws intact. This article is a valid and credible source that I will use to back up my opinion with numbers as opposed to just my words. This gave me the idea of asking the participants of my survey how they feel legalizing concealed weapons declines or increases crime. There was a lot of detailed information, statistics, and reasoning as to why the writer felt the need to write this article and making clear that their viewpoint was pro-legalizing concealed weapons.

Everyone has different opinions on this topic. In the beginning I was skeptical of performing surveys and interviews because in some cases people tend to change their viewpoints or mindsets to fit what they think you want to hear. Surprisingly, as I looked through the surveys and compared it to the interview I did I found that overall the majority was rather honest and deep rooted in their thoughts and opinions. As well as the interview, with this survey, I planned to discover what other people’s opinions on concealed weapons are. I would hope to receive opposite points of views to be able to link the research I’ve found to the opinions of my interviewees. Along with their view points on the subject I will also be looking to find out why they felt that way about the subject and if there was a certain incident or reason that led them to that belief.

These questions if chosen to be answered will signify how some people feel rather safe with concealed weapons around them in case of an emergency or incident. I will give them the option beforehand to reject their right to answer the question in hopes that no one will be made uncomfortable with the interviewing process. Hopefully through my research, interviews, and surveys I will be able to bring together many facts as to persuade the readers of my final essay that legalizing concealed weapons is the right thing to do at this time now only for us as individuals but for the children, our families, and the surrounding communities’ safety.

In the beginning I asked simple demographic questions to put in perspective the audience that these opinions were coming from. Because gun control is such an important factor in the world, I chose to survey individuals close to or equal to my age. I was able to collect a good amount of diverse data and different opinions on the topic. In order to get a broad spectrum of people I had my instructor distribute the surveys through a couple of her classes. Consequently, I was not able to receive the diversity that I desired but with everyone participating correctly I was able to get some type of variation. First, let’s look at the diversity between males and females within this survey process.

From the pie chart above, one would be able to see that there was almost an equal split between males and females. However, females slightly overpowered the males in numbers. There were a total of 13 males which totaled to 41% while the females had 19 which resulted in a 59%. Overall gender wise I received what I was looking fair because I was able to collect almost an equal amount of participants from each gender group. This allows me to get a fair understanding of how the thought process on legalizing concealed weapons differs between the two groups.

Another difference I was hoping to recognize is the ethnicity between the two groups and how diverse they were. For the survey I gave the choices of Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Other. These categories would cover a majority of the ethnicities present on campus. I assumed my data would be very diverse, but I was mistaken when I found out that in between the two gender groups there were some ethnicities nonexistent which skewed my data a little. Although I was a bit discouraged I stepped back and took a look at how I did the surveys. Seeing that I only did a portion of my instructor’s classes as opposed to all of them I limited myself to a specific group and age range. In addition to that it could also be because I only did surveys within school grounds. If I was to go outside of school and do extracurricular research I believe my results as far as gender and ethnicity would be more diverse because I would have the option to choose which person I surveyed.

As you can see in the above graphs there was a show that there were predominantly more Caucasian male and females in both gender groups while males took 69% and females took 68%. To my surprise there were absolutely no Hispanics and very little African Americans which only appeared in the female portion. Based on this information and how the answers between the genders matched with their ethnicities were presented there was a sort of resemblance between the two.

Lastly, one other point I was interested in making notice of was the people who were for and against legalizing concealed weapons. Being pro-legalizing concealed weapons myself and doing the research as to why people felt a specific way about it was one thing that caught my interest. I wanted to see how many people agreed with the way I felt and the reasons why and vice versa. Putting this in my survey got me a number of great responses. I categorized the responses in which a group of the participants were for legalizing concealed weapons because they felt that it was important for one to be able to protect them as it is their natural born right. Others who opposed mentioned that legalizing concealed weapons would only put more guns in the streets and give people more ammunition to commit crimes, in a sense “adding fuel to the fire.” Below you will see a graph as to how the responses differed from gender and responses.

As on can see the results are rather closely related. It is not surprising, however, that the females were the ones to most support the cause. Typically it is the women who are most targeted in the world and who feel most vulnerable to the events of everyday life. One thing that did surprise me was that there were more females against it which was 8 out of 19. With the males totaling to 4 out of 13 against concealed carry, it is easy to assume each genders viewpoint. Throughout the open ended portion of the question, the majority of females who were for CCW were so because they felt they had the right to protect themselves in the midst of criminal activity. On the opposite register, when it came to being against CCW all the males who said they were against it were so because they felt that more guns would equal more crime no matter how much rules were placed intact.

However, take notice that none of the people who were against concealed weapons gave concrete evidence and support as to why they believe what they believed. So the question is why would you be against it if you have no supporting evidence that it brings danger to our communities? In conclusion, after long and tedious research processes one will be able to notice why concealed carry weapons would help our communities. The main reason for legalizing concealed carry is for the protection of each individual and the civilians around them. As one of the main deterrents of crime one will be able to tell that through statistical evidence and many sources that the legalization of concealed weapons has declined the crime rates in the states that have enacted those laws.

There is clear evidence from survivor stories to interviews and surveys that show the majority of people believe that concealed carry laws will protect the people and consequently save lives. My viewpoint of the legalization for concealed weapons has greatly increased and I am more for it than before. After weighing out the opinions as to why people do not support it there is no source that is credible enough to give solid numerical or demographical evidence. Think about it. If it meant protecting your family, your friends, and yourself in the face of crime would you like yourself or anyone around you to have the assistance of handguns provided by the concealed carry laws?

Legalizing Concealed Weapons Survey

Please circle answer (All answers are optional)

1. Gender Male Female
2. Age fewer than 18 18-22 22-30 30+
3. Ethnicity Caucasian African American Hispanic Asian Other
4. Have you ever heard about the law legalizing concealed weapons? Yes No
5. Do you know anyone victim to a crime that could have possibly been prevented with concealed weapons? Yes No
6. If a forum was being held would you be for or against legalizing concealed weapons, why?
7. What do you think will happen to the crime rates as a result of legalizing concealed weapons (increase, decrease, stay the same and why)?
8. Do you feel that there is enough awareness and information about this subject? Yes No
9. How much do you think this law will affect you 1-10 (1 being none 10 being extremely)?
10. Would you yourself be interested in participating in this law/movement? Yes No

Works Cited

Huntwork, David M. “The Accessibility of Guns Protects Lives.” Guns and Crime. Ed. Christine Watkins. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from “Concealed Carry and the Right of Self-Defense.” 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

Kopel, David. “The untold triumph of concealed-carry permits.” Policy Review 78 (1996): 9 . Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.

Krey, Patrick. “Double standard.” The New American 18 Apr. 2011: 40. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.

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