Castles and Guns

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  1. Concealed carry seems like a manifestly bad idea. As pointed out, not everyone has the maturity or training to own – much less carry – a weapon, but that could apply equally to weapons in the home, and where does that leave the 2nd Amendment?
    The fallout from the deadly force bill is gonna get interesting when it comes time to prove/disprove the non-provocation clause. I foresee a number of instances where a gun will provide a false boost to somebody’s machismo, leading only to death, tears and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

  2. Out of the story you pick that one inident but look at the others. One was a home invasion.
    This is a good law and it has worked everywhere it has been tried.

  3. Roux —
    Since the resident in the home invasion died, and there’s nothing there about whether he was or was not armed (I’m guessing not, since he… um… died….), it really has little or no bearing on the carry-concealed law that this post is about.
    You’re splitting the wrong hair with me.

  4. There’s no way to test for the people that you are concerned about. And for the ones who really have mental issues, they will just carry a gun without a license. How many people do you see carrying and stop and ask if they also have the license? I think this goes back to the usual debate when someone, not you, wants to remove the 2nd amendment. The people who don’t care about the law as it is aren’t going to suddenly follow more laws.

  5. Actually, it is my understanding that you need more than “criminal records screening and training at a firing range” to qualify for a concealed carry permit. In fact, most of the training is not in how to hit your target, but in how to de-escalate a situation and thus prevent the need to use deadly force.
    That being said: do I think that everybody should be given such a permit? Nope. Of course, I don’t think that everyone who “qualifies” for a drivers license should be issued one, either.
    Given that the courts have held that the government has no responsibility to protect us as individuals (in other words, if the police don’t arrive in time to prevent the crime, you can’t sue them), it is only reasonable that we should be able to protect ourselves. The new law is designed to prevent such legal silliness as a homeowner getting sued/prosecuted for shooting an intruder.
    As far as the guy on Westheimer-82 goes, I would say that he understood the gravity of what he did. I fully expect he is going to be prosecuted (as he should be.) That is the appropriate way to handle such cases.

  6. Ed T — before I posted this, I had a long discussion w/ Dear Husband (who has a concealed carry permit) about the qualifications, and yes, he said that the initial procedure included de-escalation training. He also said that’s the only time such training was required, and he’s renewed his permit many times.
    One of the problems with a one-off requirement is that it doesn’t stick. There’s also, though, a difference between theoretical situations and real-time management of an adrenalin rush.
    I agree, too, with Jack; even if there were psych screens in place, and annual manadatory de-escalation training, those folks who couldn’t carry legally would still do so. They do it now, as evidenced by the rampant urban street crime.
    That said — given that I am, in fact, a supporter of the Second Amendment, cases where someone who is licensed misuses the weapon (like the Metro rider) provide massive ammunition for those who are lobbying against.
    Myself, I wish arming oneself was unnecessary altogether. . Then again, I wish for any number of impossibilities every day.

  7. Polimom,
    Its hard to say what was going on on that Metro bus. CHL holders are a very law abiding bunch (statistically speaking). The CHL training pounds into the attendees that having a firearm on your person is not an excuse for getting yourself into situations that you would otherwise have avoided. Only fear for your life, or the lives of other people, is justification under Texas law to shoot another person. That will be true of the new Castle law as well.

    When police arrived, paramedics were already on the bus and had the suspect’s gun, police said.
    The alleged shooter was “sitting in the back of the bus with his hands raised and was very compliant,” Ready said. “He was then taken into custody without further incident.”

    It sounds like a basically law abiding person to me. No attempt to flee, surrendered the weapon ASAP to the first authority figure he could find, . . . .
    I wonder what his story is?

  8. There’s nothing in the article that says the bus shooter should not have had a permit for his gun. Perhaps the Chronicle updated the story?
    Neither does the castle bill have anything to do with this case.
    As for your real point, ideally we’d be able to screen out bad gun carriers as we do bad drivers. Err… It’s exactly the same situation. When I’m on the road driving I never worry about running myself into something. It’s other drivers. Nothing we can do about that.

  9. One of the problems with a one-off requirement is that it doesn’t stick.

    You are certainly right – and this is just as true with drivers licenses as it is with CH permits. In fact, IMNSHO it is even more of a problem with the DL, because they are so ubiqutous.
    Many professional licenses get around this by requiring Continuing Education. While not a panacea, it certainly addresses the issue of letting skills (both mental and physical) get rusty from non-use. I certainly wouldn’t mind a mandatory CE program instituted, both for CHL and TDL.

  10. I certainly wouldn’t mind a mandatory CE program instituted, both for CHL and TDL.
    Not a bad idea at all. In my Army days we were required to re-qualify annually at the rifle and pistol range, although in all honesty it really was just a formality. Perhaps something similar for the civilian sector would be of value. A review of a person’s “fitness” to carry a concealed weapon, even; a new background check , quick psych eval, and handgun safety refresher would be great.

  11. The case of the 24-year old on the Houston Metro Bus seems simple. While the kid could legally carry the gun and the knife (under 5 1/2 inch blade) for that matter, the error was in his judgment. I have a Texas CHL, and upon reading the story, this is obvious.
    CHL training is good in that it almost teaches you, not only de-escalation tactics, but more importantly that, even if you have a CHL and pistol, you DO NOT EVER want to ever have to shoot anyone. Better to cower and walk away looking weak if need be. This kid will be convicted of murder (at least negligent manslaughter), will face civil suit, and the very worst scenario imaginable.
    The downside of CHL training… It’s not hard to pass. If you get past the FBI and state background checks, it’s a piece of cake. Some of my fellow classmates firing proficiency on the range looked like they fired a shotgun at the target. They would have trouble hitting water falling from a boat. Additionally, some of them were clearly dumb as fence posts. I looked around the classroom and thought to myself that I hoped half of them didn’t pass because I wouldn’t want these people out in public and licensed to carry.
    In short, the criteria and training should be stricter. Maybe an interview process involving several interviews, including a psychiatric evaluation. Just suggestions.

  12. For everyone’s information, the CHL holder who shot the person on the Metro Bus was no billed by a grand jury this past week. Seem the chronicle failed to mention that this was a justified shoot. The CHL holder was in fear for his life from the other person and weapons were involved on both sides.

  13. On top of that, the person was shot had a long history of felony assaults, including one on a police officer. This person was much larger than the CHL holder and threatened him with serious physical violence.

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