UPDATE: The Hoplophobe Responds

Barry of Inn of the Last Home responds to the criticism of his objection to concealed-carry. (Link bloggered – scroll down to Vilification and Clarification.)

In my opinion, he just dug himself in deeper, and he needs to think about what he said very, very hard.

My response?

“I also would feel uncomfortable knowing that anyone on the street, in the theatre, at a restaurant, at the supermarket could be carrying a loaded gun on their person. And here’s why – despite training, despite temperament, despite the best of intentions: I don’t trust you.

Barry, what you don’t seem to realize is that anyone on the street, in the theatre, at a restaurant, at the supermarket could be carrying a loaded gun on their person – WITHOUT A CONCEALED-CARRY PERMIT. They’re called “criminals” and they do it all the time. They’re the ones who do stick up the fast-food clerk, and the person behind the convenience-store counter, and the person stepping out of their SUV and so on and so forth.

The problem is, Barry, that you haven’t been paying attention. There are now 35 states that are “shall-issue” – states where the government must give an applicant a permit if he is not legally prohibited possessing a firearm. In none of these states has there been anything like you fear.

In short, your distrust is misplaced. As I put it, you are a hoplophobe – you fear weapons, not people – because if you were really distrustful of people you’d be going around in paranoid fear of the (approximately) 1% of the population that is violently criminal that might be carrying a weapon with intent to criminally use it. Instead, you fear the (approximately) 1% of the law-abiding population who are willing to jump through all the legal hoops necessary in order to carry a firearm legally and thus act as a deterrent against those willing to use violence to take what they want.

That is an irrational fear. And why do you have that fear? Because you project on all those others what you fear YOU might do yourself if you were armed.

You don’t mistrust others, Barry.

You mistrust yourself.

And I feel sorry for you.

But I’m glad you don’t want a gun.

Go tell him what you think. I believe he needs to hear it.

UPDATE 12/19/03: Francis Porretto weighs in, too.

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