From the week of 28, 2001

This issue of guns in public is about cultural bigotry. Many people are not accustomed to firearms; everything they know about firearms and the kind of people who have them is from the news and TV/movies. Their lack of understanding makes them afraid, so they believe in stereotypes and preconceived notions. If the library and museum are places of enlightenment and learning, why are they so afraid of people who have different values and customs? What if the fellow dressed in camouflage and carrying a hunting rifle was there at the library to make sure he was in compliance with state fish and game regulations on his way to camp?

Red Thomas

Shoot from the hip: A very nice article. The part about the man that showed up wearing showed up in hunting fatigues and had a hunting rifle is the type of person that gives every law-abiding person a bad name.

Lets be real here, there is absolutely no need for someone to do that. I have had a CCW [permit to carry a concealed weapon] for going on eight years now. Ninety-five percent of the time when I leave my house I am carrying and you would never know it, and that's the whole idea. I don't know if it was for shock value that he did this or just to show that he can. But it gives the other 99.95 percent of normal, law-abiding gun owners a bad image.

People who do these things need to think of what impression they give to other people. Now if I had seen this person in a public place I would have been concerned as to what he was going to do. I have about 10 sets of "hunting fatigues" left over from my days on active duty and about the only time they come out is for yard work.

I think that the state should have written the law better so that if you had CCW and the weapon was in fact concealed that the "No Firearms" sign would not apply to you, but if you were carrying openly that you would have to abide by the sign. I think the gun lockers are a bad idea. Every time a weapon is removed from its holster the chances of an accidental discharge (I call them negligent discharges because they cannot go off by themselves) increases. I think it would be better off to leave them in the holster concealed and the only person that would know would be the person carrying it.

David Jackson
via Internet

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