Sunday, July 26, 2009

When "Carrying" Doesn't Work

Over the past several years of Republican rule, we have seen the gun laws pretty much gutted here in Georgia. Gun owners are allowed to "carry" on public transportation, in state parks, and in restaurants. I do not have a complete aversion to the carrying of concealed weapons. On occasion, I have considered applying for a permit, though I have never faced a situation where I thought that I needed a weapon.

Saturday night in Atlanta, former professional boxer and WBC welterweight champion, Vernon Forrest, made two fatal mistakes. He was "carrying," and he chased a thief, who had robbed him at gunpoint. Had he not been armed, it is doubtful that Forrest would have given chase. When it was over, Forrest had been shot seven or eight times in the back. More than likely, Forrest's anger overrode his common sense, while his loaded weapon gave him false courage. He probably ran in a blind rage after the man who had robbed him, only to be taken by surprise and killed.

How many "carriers" will react like Forrest? They feel strong and invincible while "packing heat." They talk big about "carrying" and what "Smith and Wesson" will do to anyone who messes with them. When the chips are down, how will they react? Will they fire in a rage at anything that moves and kill an innocent person? Will they give chase and run blindly into an ambush or will the thief take their gun away and kill them with it?

The real world is not TV and movies. Most of us are not fast draw kings, crack shots, or self defense experts. We can load and fire and be safe with a weapon, but when the chips are down, will we be able to protect ourselves and our companions? In Forrest's case, he was a professional boxer, good with his fists. The only thing his "carrying" did was to bring about an untimely and tragic death.

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