POINT: Legal concealed weapons to benefit elderly, women

There are debates in Minnesota and Wisconsin over proposed laws that would allow citizens to carry concealed firearms in public upon the completion of various background and mental health checks. I would like to state right now that I am wholly in favor of these laws.

It seems to me as long as criminals are toting guns, law-abiding citizens should be trusted to carry concealed weapons in order to protect themselves from potential danger. Ideally, criminals would be deterred from attacking individuals on the street due to the possibility of being shot.

However, this is not necessarily the case, and carrying a weapon would allow a potential victim the opportunity to level the playing field with an attacker. Some people, however, do not believe this to be the result of such laws.

Opponents of these proposed laws make it sound like the streets will run amok with gun-toting, trigger-happy maniacs, but that is unlikely to happen. Those in our society who want to commit crimes with firearms are already doing so, and will continue to do so regardless of such laws.

The people who would likely gain the most from such laws are women and elderly citizens who live in unsavory neighborhoods. These two groups are at a much higher risk than others for being mugged or assaulted, so a concealed weapon law might help to ease their consciences.

It is also important to understand that not everyone would be carrying a concealed weapon and killing at will upon the passing of a law, as we don’t live in Dodge City. Although I favor such laws, I can’t see myself applying for a permit. The issue is much like the abortion issue. That is to say, just because people are pro-choice it does not mean they condone the mindless slaughter of fetuses, or would even have an abortion themselves.

Also, stipulations prohibit where an individual would be allowed to carry a weapon, so we wouldn’t have to worry about our children’s teachers busting caps for bad behavior.

It is unfortunate that we live in a society where this even has to be an issue, but the reality is that America is a violent country. It is easy for those of us who grew up in middle-class America and now abide within the relative safety of Eau Claire to let the police deal with crime, but it is important to realize there are places where you don’t have that option.

I’m sure there are residents in cities like Minneapolis and Milwaukee who would praise the opportunity to legally carry a firearm in lieu of being caught without one on the way to their cars. In such situations, a gun might mean the difference between life and death.

It is my opinion that citizens who feel carrying a concealed firearm would increase their chances of surviving an attack be allowed to do so. If such a law saves even one person from a brutal attack or sexual assault, as states with such laws insist they do, then it would appear to me that the law is a success.