Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guns, Ice Cream, And Aerated Bad Guys

Yesterday, a young man was paying for his ice cream at a local pharmacy when two masked robbers burst into the store, one with a shotgun, while yelling profanities and telling everyone to get down. The robber with the shotgun stuck the gun into the back of a female customer standing near the door, at which time the ice cream dude whipped out his properly registered .40 caliber Smith and Wesson and aerated the would be robber. The other bad guy ran to the back of the store but ice cream dude retrieved him and brought him to the registers to wait (face down) for the police to arrive. It is uncertain whether the second robber wet himself or not.

To obtain a concealed carry permit, a thorough background check is conducted to make sure the applicant does not have a criminal history, or mental health issues. The applicant also must complete training on the law and the safe use and handling of a firearm. A concealed carry permit holder can not have any alcohol or illegal drugs in their system while carrying. This is good information for you to know, even if guns scare you.

This permit holder is the man or woman I want to hang around my store. And the restaurant where I am eating. And the gas station where I'm filling up. While he or she might not exactly be Mary Poppins or Mr Rogers, I do know quite a bit about him or her by virtue of what is required to get a permit in the first place. Florida statistics indicate a permit holder is 300 times less likely to commit a gun crime than a Floridian without a gun permit. That's a lot.

I can't figure out for the life of me, why some store owners post the "No Concealed Carry" signs on their door. It is probably because they are unfamiliar with, and afraid of guns in general. What the store owner is doing, however, is creating a "criminal safe zone". Criminals certainly do look for those signs, knowing that they are much less likely to be deterred in whatever nefarious activity they are attempting. I avoid these businesses at all costs. The increased danger to me and my loved ones is simply not worth it. I'll rent my movies somewhere else, thanks.

There is fairly substantial evidence that states that enact concealed carry laws see a reduction in gun crime, particularly in urban areas. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Despite the fact that only between one and four percent of US citizens actually exercise their freedom to carry a handgun, in states that allow concealed carry, the bad guys have no idea if their intended victim is one of those people.

The bad guys in ice cream man's state haven't learned yet. The concealed carry law is still new there. Unfortunately, the learning curve is pretty harsh for this particular lesson. I suspect the smart idiots, (oxymoron noted) will first learn to avoid businesses without the "criminal safe zone" signs. One of two things will happen after that. Either the business owners displaying such signs will remove them, or the criminals will discover that sometimes, people forget to leave their gun in the car before entering those stores. Oops.

Thank you, ice cream man, for graphically introducing this topic to the violent criminal element in our fair city. I hope your burden is light. You are a hero to this citizen.

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