Sunday, March 15, 2015

Open Letter to KS Legislators on Unlicensed Concealed Guns

Dear Kansas Legislators,

I’m writing to urge you to reject the bill to allow unlicensed carry of concealed guns. In Kansas you need a license to drive a car on public roads. You need a license to do many jobs (doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc). If you want to open a restaurant and serve food to the public you have to obtain a license. The idea that we should let anybody with no training and no license walk around with a loaded gun under their shirt is complete insanity. A concealed carry permint in KS requires fingerprinting and a criminal background check. Do we really want to do away with this? I can't see how it would make us safer.

Many people argue that there is no difference between concealed carry and open carry. To me the difference is obvious - I can SEE the gun with open carry. If someone walks into a restaurant with a rifle on their shoulder or a pistol on their hip I can immediately walk to the back of the restaurant, go through the kitchen, and out the back door. I don’t know if we have a “good guy with a gun” or a “bad guy with a gun” just by looking at them. But I can clearly see they have a gun. I might even see the gun out the window before this individual gets inside the restaurant.

Many people argue that criminals have concealed weapons so we shouldn’t have restrictions on concealed weapons since it won’t make a difference. This argument is utter nonsense. If laws don’t make any difference then why do we even have any laws? If we have speed limits then only the criminals will drive too fast so we don't really need speed limits. If we have laws against theft then only the criminals will steal so we don't need laws against theft. If we have laws against rape and murder then only the criminals will rape and murder so we don't need laws against rape and murder. Pick ANY law and you can make the same argument that criminals simply ignore that law. And yet somehow, we all agree that laws are good. Laws keep the vast majority of people from doing things that harm other people. Should we eliminate DUI laws? If we have laws against drunk driving then only the criminals will drive drunk. So let's get rid of DUI laws, right?

Here is a great quote from Karl T Frederick, an Olympic gold-medal winner for gun marksmanship: “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” Karl T Frederick also happened to be the President of the NRA at the time. I believe “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is an important part of our constitution. I, Paul Klusman, believe in responsible gun ownership. I also believe in common-sense gun control laws. The 2nd Ammendment does NOT mean the founding fathers imagined a big free-for-all where ANYBODY can carry a gun at any time, anywhere, with zero restrictions, no license, and no training.

Paul Klusman