I just responded to a post on the TF&G website regarding a law that is being contested in New Hampshire – by the police, if you can believe that. In short the law that is working its way through the NH legislature removes the need to retreat from the self defense statutes. It states that a person may respond with lethal force to save the life of themselves or another innocent party, without having to attempt to escape.
The responder stated: “And while I completely agree with that[the right to use lethal force if escape is not possible], I do think that giving everyone the right to deadly force without first being obligated to try retreat could invite irresponsible and unethical killings.”
I said: “ That is the kind of thinking that has curbed 2nd Amendment rights all over the nation, and it is wrong. That kind of logic is used to deny college students that right to carry a concealed weapon on campus (Oh, God, there will be gunfights in the parking lots!). In every instance where such bills have passed there have been no such “unethical killings”, not at all. It is idiotic to think that removing the obligation to retreat from the law will cause murders and rampant violence. A number of states have now passed laws removing the need to retreat from their books and they still have peace in the streets. Imagine that.”
The bottom line is this: the average American has ten times the common sense and self control than the average politician gives him credit for. And the person who wrote the response to the new item seems to feel the same way. Obviously he believes he is more reserved and responsible than most or he would not have posted the response.
What we need to understand in America in this second decade of the 21st Century is that we, at least most of us, are not better than average. We need to accept that Joe and Janet American are intelligent, reasoning adults who can control their desire to choke the living crap out of some moron who really deserves it, but who can and will use lethal force if the situation truly does call for it. The simple fact that there are not fistfights on every corner, every ten minutes is testament to the ability of the average American to control his and her anger. I know, because I feel that way every time I go to town, and I haven’t gotten into a fight since I retired from law enforcement.
The truth is that the cause of the vast number of fights and shootings is alcohol, booze. Almost without exception the fights and shootings I responded to as a police officer and federal agent (while backing up local cops) involved someone drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs, but usually booze.
In the time since the concealed carry laws were passed, it is obvious that the knee-jerk fears of the naysayers have not come to pass. There really have not been gunfights at every street corner and in the parking lots of every mall. But they have learned nothing. When the state tried to pass laws to allow students with legal conceal ed carry licenses to carry their legal handguns on campus, the same people screamed the same things (Oh, God, there will be gunfights in the study halls and parking lots!), when the truth is that such a law would probably save lives.
What needs to happen is that the laws that prohibit the CHL holder to carry his legal weapon in hospitals, churches, federal buildings, schools, and other such places, and yes, I include bars in that list, should be stricken from the books and the legal CHL holder should be allowed to carry his gun any danged place he wants to. It has been proven to my satisfaction that a person with a gun on his hip is even more cognizant of his need to abide by the law than when he is without a gun.
Maybe someday we will grow up enough to understand the truth of the situation, which is that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens prevent crime and save lives.