I'm trying to keep track of the Gerald Ung case in Philadelphia, and while checking on that today, this LTE popped up.
As usual, the anti-gun letter writer is full of it. It really amazes me sometimes that these people can function in society with such faulty logical reasoning.
I wish this site had a place for on-line comments. The last paragraph is just a bunch of hooey...
LETTER: Higher Standard
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I have been an admirer and supporter of State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) for many years, but I was deeply disappointed when he chose to vote "Yes" on SB334, which allows concealed weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol. I do not believe that this vote is in line with the interests of his constituents or his community.
As Sen. Petersen notes, a restaurant owner is free to exclude CCWP (concealed carry weapon permit) holders by posting or policy. Fair enough. But have you ever been about to enter a restaurant and suddenly noticed a sign that says "no guns allowed?" Would that make you (and your family) more or less likely to enter that establishment? Fairfax County welcomes many out-of-state and foreign visitors each year and they all eat at our local restaurants. How do you think these visitors would react at seeing such a sign? Sen. Petersen's "Yes" vote was a blow to our commonwealth's hospitality industry, which is why they fought against it for so many years.
Sen. Petersen also notes that it is illegal for someone carrying a concealed weapon to drink alcohol. How a restaurant owner is supposed to know that the person who is drinking is also carrying a concealed weapon? He does not say. I assume we have to rely upon the CCWP holders' character and their training. But the training that CCWP holders are required to have is a joke. Any applicant can watch an online video for about an hour and take a short — 20 easy questions — quiz and receive the so-called "certificate of proficiency." You don't even have to touch a gun, much less fire one.
Gun-rights politicians assert that CCWP holders are all responsible, levelheaded, law-abiding citizens and that they would only use their guns to protect themselves against a serious threat to their lives. This is a fantasy. Consider the high-profile cases involving mentally imbalanced and trigger-happy Virginia CCWP holders we have had just in the last few weeks:
#1. Christopher Bryan Speight, a concealed carry weapons permit holder since 1999, whose permit was renewed as recently as 2009, who amassed an arsenal of weapons in spite of the "restrictive" one-gun-a-month rule and in spite of his obvious and ever-increasing mental problems, whose "high-powered rifle" had enough firepower to nearly bring down a helicopter, killed eight people, including two children, in Appomattox, Va. on Jan. 19.
#2. On Jan. 18, Gerald Ung, 28, a Temple University grad student and a Virginia CHP holder, shot an unarmed Villanova college student five times in Philadelphia. The two had been arguing and what might have become a regular fistfight among testosterone-overloaded young men became something much more lethal.
#3. And from the Washington Post on Friday, Feb. 5, Jose Avila, 57, a Fairfax County respected domestic violence and anger management counselor, and Virginia CCWP holder pulled a gun on two men in Annandale just because he thought they were blocking his car. As if the irony weren't palpable enough, the two men turned out to be federal marshals.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a rapid-fire volley of bills proposed in the Richmond that seek to expand the privileges of CCWP holders while, at the same time, removing any burden of responsibility. Members of the various gun groups (and the politicians who support them) tout SB334 as a victory of their rights. But on the subject of their responsibilities they are deathly quiet. Instead, they actively seek to do away with any inconvenience or requirement for training put upon CCWP holders. This is madness. Shouldn't we and our elected leaders be holding armed citizens to a higher standard, rather than continuing to lower them?
Laura Austin (Sonnenmark)