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Thread: [Article] Armed And Anonymous

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    http://www.rocktownweekly.com/news_d...865&CHID=1

    Armed And Anonymous
    Va. Concealed-Weapon Permit Requests Continue Upward Trend
    By Pete DeLea

    HARRISONBURG - Since January, Dave Whetzel of Hunter's Paradise watched an increasing number of Shenandoah Valley residents enter the shop to get information about concealed-weapon permits, which are up statewide for the second year in a row.
    Virginia residents wanting the right to carry a firearm have filed into circuit courts throughout the state at a record pace this year, according to statistics from more than 50 jurisdictions analyzed by the Daily News-Record.
    Whetzel said people looking to get a permit voiced various reasons for doing so, including the controversy surrounding the Washington, D.C., handgun case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, concerns generated following last year's Virginia Tech shooting and the uncertainty of the upcoming presidential election.
    But, Whetzel said, the main reason he hears from people is they want the ability to protect themselves.
    "People are realizing that the job of police officers is to investigate crimes, not protect us," said Whetzel, whose gun-training course is booked solid for the next two months. "They can't be everywhere at one time."
    Gun Permits On The Rise
    In 2007, the number of concealed-weapon permits issued jumped roughly 60 percent from the previous year in Virginia. And statistics for the first six months of 2008, show that most jurisdictions are on pace to surpass those numbers.
    Most counties will double, and in some cases, triple the number of permits they issued two years ago.
    In Rockingham County, 279 permits were issued in 2006, compared to 556 issued last year - a 93 percent increase. Through this June, the county issued 427, setting the pace for a 206 percent increase when compared to two years ago and a 53 percent increase from 2007.
    Shenandoah and Page counties are seeing similar spikes, while Augusta County is one of the few counties statewide on pace to see a drop in new permit requests.
    Rockingham County Circuit Court Clerk Chaz Evans-Haywood said after the first two months this year, and based on last year's numbers, he shifted the responsibilities of the deputy clerks so they could handle double 2007's caseload.
    He's not shocked, however, by the increase.
    "It doesn't surprise me that individuals want to assure that they have the right to carry a weapon concealed for their safety," said Evans-Haywood.
    Court clerks are reporting similar increases throughout the state, including many of the larger cities and counties.
    Chesterfield, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties are all on pace to break records, according to local statistics. In Fairfax County, 1,501 have been issued in the first six months of 2008; last year, 2,201 were issued; and, in 2006, 1,449.
    Norfolk and Virginia Beach are reporting similar numbers.
    In Virginia, permits are good for five years. To get a permit, a resident must be at least 21 years old and must pass a criminal background check.
    ‘A Hot Issue'
    One reason for the increase in permit requests is the number of mass shootings during the last few years, said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
    Van Cleave said people are hearing more stories of gun violence, from the Virginia Tech shootings in April 2007 that left 33 dead, to a shooting last month at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., that claimed two people's lives.
    "It's been a hot issue in the press," Van Cleave said. "It's drawing people's attention to the issue. We will probably continue to see a rise."
    He said the mass shootings have changed people's opinions about their personal safety.
    "These events are changing the psyche of people," said Van Cleave. "The overall interest in self-defense continues to rise in the country. There are plenty of news stories about murders and rapes across the country."
    From 1991 until 2004, the violent crime rate decreased every year, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. However, in 2005, the FBI reported the first increase in the violent crime rate in more than a decade. The rate also increased slightly in 2006.
    Van Cleave said people feel the need to protect themselves if a situation arises, rather than waiting for police to show up.
    "The odds of them being there at the time that you need them is probably zero," said Van Cleave, a former police officer.
    Whetzel said many of his customers feel the same way, and the Virginia Tech shooting proves the point.
    "Perhaps, had there been a gun there legally, it may not have been as tragic as it was," he said.
    While many say they want a permit to carry a gun for protection, Whetzel said some people are getting permits because they are concerned about the upcoming presidential election and how that might affect future gun rights issues.
    Ashley Varner, spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, said increases around elections are normal when there is a "strong anti-gun candidate."
    "We have seen things happen like this during previous election years when there is a candidate that has an abysmal record on the Second Amendment," Varner said. "That makes people run out and exercise their right."
    The NRA has produced advertisements regarding the issue, including one that highlights what the group calls Barack Obama's "Ten Point Plan To ‘Change' The Second Amendment."
    That plan, according to the NRA, includes a ban on the use of firearms for home defense, passing federal laws eliminating the right to carry guns, and closing down 90 percent of the gun shops in America.
    But Kevin Griffis, the Virginia communications director for the Obama campaign, said there is no correlation between the increase in concealed-weapons permits and the presidential election. Griffis said it's "a Republican talking point."
    "What people are seeing is a systematic smear effort by the NRA, [which] is basically an arm of the Republican Party," said Griffis, who added there was an increase in permit requests last year, which wasn't a presidential election year. "It's a scare tactic and a smear that is just as false and just as absurd as the e-mails going around suggesting Barack is not Christian."
    He said the NRA's claims in the advertisement are false.
    "Senator Obama has affirmed over and over again exactly what the Constitution says, that the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms," Griffis said. "He's committed to protecting that."
    Anti-Gun Leaders Fear Violence
    Whatever the reason for the increase, several groups, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, say they're troubled by the numbers.
    "It's disconcerting because more guns typically mean more crime, especially in the streets of Virginia," said Chad Ramsey, spokesman for the Brady Campaign.
    Ramsey pointed to a recent case about an Elkton teenager who shot his friend in the face.
    Jessie Ray Jeffrey, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty on July 30 to four felonies related to the shooting.
    Sometime during the week of Jan. 18, Jeffrey stole a firearm, a North American .22-caliber short-barrel pistol, from his girlfriend's father, prosecutors said.
    On Jan. 24, Jeffrey skipped school and invited some friends over to socialize and drink beer after his parents went to work.
    In the afternoon, Jeffrey went upstairs to his bedroom, got the gun and went to the kitchen.
    Jeffrey fired the weapon at the boy but it didn't go off. He then tried a second time.
    Prosecutors say the gun went off and the bullet struck the victim in the face directly below the nose and above the upper lip. They said the boy survived the shooting because Jeffrey had the wrong type of ammunition in the gun.
    "The gun was just lying around and he picked it up and eventually used it," Ramsey said. "It's worrisome."
    But Varner says criminals will find a way to arm themselves. She said taking away guns from law-abiding citizens makes them helpless to defend themselves against those criminals.
    "The NRA has a problem with anyone, whether it's a legislator or anti-gun activist ... not trusting law-abiding citizens to make appropriate decisions for themselves and their families," said Varner. "The criminals need to be locked up and we need to trust that good people can make good decisions."
    Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com


  2. #2
    Regular Member Bubba Ron's Avatar
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    I sincerely hope that one of the reasons for the increase in Concealed Handgun Permits, is directly related to all of the Open Carry Dining Outs we have throughout Virginia.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    You never know, people seeing OCers may very well spur them into getting CHPs. Plants the seed that its OK to carry a handgun. If not more people carrying is still a good thing.

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    Regular Member Virginiaplanter's Avatar
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    The article does offer some insight into the ignorance of the "Accredited" Staunton Police Force. The article notes that one of the few counties to have a drop in permits is Augusta County which is where Staunton is located.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    longwatch wrote:
    http://www.rocktownweekly.com/news_d...865&CHID=1


    "It's disconcerting because more guns typically mean more crime, especially in the streets of Virginia," said Chad Ramsey, spokesman for the Brady Campaign.

    "The gun was just lying around and he picked it up and eventually used it," Ramsey said. "It's worrisome."
    Statement # 1. Demonstrably false, and showing Ramsey's ignorance, stupidity, or both. Since 1991 our overall rate of violent crime has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY across the board, while the number of NEW guns in circulation by gov't estimate is about 70 million, a large increase in a nation with 230 million adults.
    While this doesn't show more guns cause less crime, it clearly demonstrates that we can have more guns without more crime. Ramsey is logic-impaired.

    Statement # 2. Ramsey focusses on the "worry" caused by the misuse of a pistol. The focus shouldn't be about feeling states here. This isn't about group therapy, Ramsey! The issue is poor education of a minor about gun handling, and poor parental supervision, i.e. personal responsibility issues. We need to focus on the behavioral problems here, not the feeling states they generate. But don't expect the Brady liberals to ever see this truth. Nitwits all!



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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    The important thing is that law abiding citizens are slowly but surely waking up and saying ENOUGH! It would be my hope that as people realize that the gov't not only won't but can't protect us from evil in the world, that there will be an upsurge in a sense of personal responsibility and that the natural thirst for freedom will rise up again in the American people eventually leading to a restoration of our freedoms and a diminishing of the role of government in our lives.

    In other words, pipe, meet dream.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    http://www.rocktownweekly.com/news_d...865&CHID=1



    "It's disconcerting because more guns typically mean more crime, especially in the streets of Virginia," said Chad Ramsey, spokesman for the Brady Campaign.


    "The gun was just lying around and he picked it up and eventually used it," Ramsey said. "It's worrisome."
    Statement # 1. Demonstrably false, and showing Ramsey's ignorance, stupidity, or both. Since 1991 our overall rate of violent crime has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY across the board, while the number of NEW guns in circulation by gov't estimate is about 70 million, a large increase in a nation with 230 million adults.
    While this doesn't show more guns cause less crime, it clearly demonstrates that we can have more guns without more crime. Ramsey is logic-impaired.
    Also shows we can have more guns and fewer mishaps...not a reduction in the percentage, a decrease in teh absolute number.

    And, yes, they're nitwits, and they're also liars.

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    I think a big part of it is all the DC hoopla. First it has brought attention to the fact that you can not own or "wear" a gun in DC. This may register in people's heads that you CAN own and "wear" a gun in VA since its such a big deal that you can not in DC. Second I think people who respect the 2A but have never owned a gun or actively supported it feel that this is their time to do something. Something to prevent DC from creaping down further than it already has in NOVA.

    Lastly you have to realize that populations of most regions are not exactly decreasing. With increases in population you will almost always see increases in permits....as well as murder, pollution, auto accidents, DUIs, etc. I think due to the weather catastrophes (fires, floods, hurricanes, blizzards) and increasing liberalism in local government many people are finding the moderation of VA a very desirable change. Most all areas of VA seem to be booming and expanding in size. I think we will continue to see increases in permits for quite a while.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Funny how the article fails to mention that no permit is required to OC.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    Funny how the article fails to mention that no permit is required to OC.
    I think that the author probably realizes that people can OC w/o permit. But he/she probably also realizes that the average person does not want to be seen with a gun in public. Everyone knows that only the nutjob fanatics OC because we want to re-enact the wild west. :P

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