"I see that several of you folks have much more faith in the morons and sheeple that are "leading" our country than do I. The current administration is overflowing with left-wing socialist-"progressives", Marxists, Communists and others that would see our Republic crippled, if not destroyed. The picture we now have is one of reducing the size - and budget - of our military, and simultaneously crying out to essentially disarm the citizens so they cannot defend either themselves, their families or their country. To weaken our military is to encourage those who wish us harm to increase their endeavors. Attempting to eliminate the relatively ineffective personal weapons of private citizens is almost a guarantee that those who wish us ill shall take actions against us. Our armed populous would probably create the world's largest defensive force, even if they were relatively under-armed (as compared to military arms). Unarmed, Americans would soon become the world's largest collection of slaves."
That's my take on National defense issues. As for personal defense, study after study has shown that in areas where more people are issued concealed firearm permits, the incidence of firearm involved crimes goes down significantly. Utah is an "open carry" state - which means that anyone not prohibited by law from possessing firearms may carry a handgun on their person so long as that handgun is, and remains, in plain sight at all times. However, even the vast majority of people who possess handguns and live in Open Carry states do not carry. That comment is based upon my anecdotal experience here in Utah: I returned to Utah about 2.5 years ago, and have a Utah Concealed Firearm Permit (last year there were over 77,000 CFPs issued by the Utah BCI - that number is projected to increase by 50%-100% this year). I OC primarily in the summer, and conceal my every day carry handgun, mainly when the ambient air temp is below 60º. In those 30 months, and with the singular exception of Impact Guns where many customers (and ALL employees) are openly armed, I have seen only 2 other people OC'ing in Weber County (population 231,834) that works out to only about .00013% of the population (somebody please check my decimal point - I'm not real comfortable with it). The question now is WHY?
Why, when Utahan's have every legal right - in both the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, and the Utah State Constitution - affirming our RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms), and to openly carry our handguns in public, does only one person in (roughly) every 79,000 people choose to Openly Carry? My "stat" is, without a doubt horribly skewed, but I can only relate those acts which I have personally witnessed. (I could find no official stats on the number of handguns, or even total firearms, in Weber County.) Why on Earth are we not more obviously armed in public? There are numerous reasons, among which I believe are:
1. Most people do not wish to call undue attention to themselves in public. An openly displayed, holstered handgun will get people's attention, simply because it is not a common practice.
2. Most people do not want to increase their chances of unnecessary contact with law enforcement officers (LEOs). Not all LEOs are well-informed about OC laws. And, even among those who are informed, some do not believe we should have that right, and will hassle OCers if only for the sake of making them feel uncomfortable.
3. Most people do not wish to make other members of the public feel uncomfortable. (Granted, we are not responsible for the "feelings" of others, but that does not change the fact that seeing a handgun on the belt of someone other than LEOs or armed security personnel will make many people very uncomfortable.)
4. Those people who are not truly firearms "enthusiasts", yet own one or more firearms, may not even be aware that the law allows us to OC. (As a side note, Utah has no legal limit on the length of a knife blade, but I have seen nobody OCing a sword or machete. In this case I believe it is because very few people know about the absence of a length law. And, the preceding reasons would apply to the lack of large knives being openly displayed as well.)
5. Recent mass shootings have - understandably - made the public hyper-sensitive to the presence of firearms in public places.
I'm sure there are even more personal "reasons" not to OC, but none of them comes immediately to mind. There are however, innumerable incidents where a legally armed citizen has intervened, in potentially deadly situations for many others, and successfully neutralized the attacker. You haven't heard of any? That's not the least bit surprising. The left-leaning media does not report anything that doesn't support their agenda of disarming the law-abiding citizens of this country. There are also many mass-murder tragedies that could have been minimized, had there been just one armed defender present. One of the best examples of that is provided by a Texas State Representative, who wishes she hadn't left her gun in her car. She provides an excellent defense of our 2nd Amendment rights - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1u0Byq5Qis
Mass murders occur in AREAS DESIGNATED AS GUN FREE ZONES, and it isn't because they don't read the signs - it's because that's where they are least likely to encounter armed resistance! The honest, law-abiding citizen is infinitely more likely to read and heed. "Gun Free Zones" should be renamed as - Abundant Victim Zones. There has never been a mass shooting at a gun store, gun show, shooting range or an NRA Convention... yet nobody wonders WHY? Because there are people there who can and will shoot back!! Just my thoughts on the subject.