Skip to comments.Gun Control, Carolina-Style
Posted on 04/20/2007 2:46:06 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
I live in western North Carolina, an area of the country in which there never has been, and never will be, a shooting like the one this week at Virginia Tech. There are plenty of guns in western Carolina. There are two universities and a college, where potential victims like those at Tech, can be found by the thousands.
But, we have a different culture, here. To my experience, more than half of all households in Carolina own multiple guns. More than a quarter of all the local trucks and vans on our highways are carrying guns, mostly handguns. And the people in Carolina who own those guns know exactly how to use them.
Only a small fraction of the gun owners here have taken any formal training in handling guns. Most of them have, however, grown up all their lives using guns. They all know the basic rule: do not aim a gun at anyone unless you intend to shoot them.
Some of the gun owners in Carolina are military veterans, where they received the most thorough training in using weapons, that anyone can get. The New York Times has mentioned, disparagingly, that rural men and women are more likely to join the military than those from suburbs or cities. The Times suggested falsely that rural youths have nothing better to do, and thats why they sign up in greater proportion. No, its patriotism and pride; but those concepts are a tad foreign to the Times.
The bottom line is this: if any gunman started shooting students anywhere in western Carolina, he would never get to shoot more than 50 people, 32 of them fatally. The gunman himself would be dead before then, probably shot with a tight grouping by an armed civilian, even before any police could arrive on the scene. And, I suggest that our police would not hold back, fail to communicate, wait for orders.
The civilian shooter who would end the carnage in our part of the country could as well be a student as a teacher or other adult at any of our institutions. And if it turned out that the civilian shooter who dropped the murderer like a sack of feed, didnt have a permit for his weapon? Well, the Sheriff of the appropriate county out this way would issue him a permit, and apologize for the delay. Any District Attorney who sought to prosecute the shooter who saved lives would be out of a job, as soon as the next election rolled around.
Let me explain the dynamics of gun control. Ill do this in terms so clear that even Senator Barbara Boxer has a chance of understanding it. People who decide to shoot other people dont give a cr*p about laws against murder. Obviously, they dont give a cr*p about any laws on something as trivial as possessing a gun.
Therefore, gun control laws which makes it harder to buy, carry or use a gun, will have zero influence on those intending to murder their fellow citizens. If Senator Boxer wanted to find out how easy it is to get guns illegally, she should talk to police who are experienced in the weaponry available for cash on the barrel head, near any California high school, especially but not solely in the rough sections of town.
Gun control the way it is conceived and practiced by the likes of Senator Boxer means taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, and guaranteeing the criminals that they can ply their trade in a free-fire zone. Gun control, properly practiced, means take a wide stance, use both hands, aim small to miss small, and squeeze, dont pull, the trigger.
Because a majority of the citizens in western Carolina practice that kind of gun control, that is why there never has been, and never will be, a shooting disaster here like there just was at Virginia Tech. A small story in a small newspaper, which the national press totally failed to notice, proves the point.
The Union Leader in Concord, New Hampshire, reported on 17 April a shooting the night before at the Uptown Tavern, Fifty people were present when one customer pulled a gun and started shooting. Nine shots were fired, the last two going into the shooter, from another customer who was carrying a weapon. No one was killed.
Now, thats gun control.
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About the Author: John Armor practiced in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu He lives in the 11th District of North Carolina.
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John / Billybob
Fifty people were present when one customer pulled a gun and started shooting. Nine shots were fired, the last two going into the shooter, from another customer who was carrying a weapon. No one was killed.
Now, thats gun control.
This is the way the whole country was, when I was born (and I’m not yet 50 years old). So sad....
I have long appreciated your commentaries, and this is definitely being saved for future reference, mate! Great one!
—Harrisburg Area Community College — Pa.
I guess it’s true what they say about Pa. — Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in between.
<< there never has been, and never will be, a shooting like the one this week at Virginia Tech. There are plenty of guns in western Carolina. There are two universities and a college, where potential victims like those at Tech, can be found by the thousands. >>
With all due respect John, I challenge you to walk into a typical 9 am college class in Cullowhee or Boone, and find out if any of the students sitting there in class just happen to be packing at that moment in time.
I submit that chances are low anyone is.
BWWWWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! She's such a loser.
BTTT for some COMMON SENSE!!!!!
We do a lot of camping very near there, and I have seen pickups on campus with rifles in the rear window racks. It wouldn't surprise me if somebody in class had something in their backpack.
She has her rifle in my gun rack but if she gets an apartment she’ll take it with her - and she knows how to use it.
21st Birthday - a hideout .38? Hmmmm, time to start “window shopping.”
I bet the chances are greater today that they are packing than they were last week at this time.
You know, for a hideout gun I might prefer a PPK in .380. Most concealable pistol (in a reasonable caliber) that I have, and it’s DA with a hammer block so you don’t have to worry so much about a whoops or leaving it hammer down on an empty chamber.
You said — “I live in western North Carolina, an area of the country in which there never has been, and never will be, a shooting like the one this week at Virginia Tech. There are plenty of guns in western Carolina. There are two universities and a college, where potential victims like those at Tech, can be found by the thousands.
But, we have a different culture, here. To my experience, more than half of all households in Carolina own multiple guns. More than a quarter of all the local trucks and vans on our highways are carrying guns, mostly handguns. And the people in Carolina who own those guns know exactly how to use them.”
Well, as I understand it, they also know how to handle and use guns in Virginia, too. I don’t think there’s a shortage of the same kind of people there, and I don’t think they are ignorant about them. [I’m not from Virginia, by the way...]
I looked carefully at your article, and unless I missed it — I *do not see* where you have addressed the issue of having “guns on campus” at these universities in North Carolina.
Are you saying that on your universities that people *are able* to have their guns in the classrooms and in the dorms, and thus, once the shooter got inside those classrooms, or a dorm building, that someone there would (or could) have taken him out? That’s what I would like to know...
If so, then here’s something for you —
And *this one* is an absolute “keeper” below (copy it...) —
What I do know is that the roads past and through all those campuses are filled with vehicles carrying CB radios and guns. And the people in those vehicles, whether police and fire officials or not, would not hesitate to step in with guns drawn, if need be.
John / Billybob
John / Billybob
You said — Those bans of course apply only to those who choose to obey that law.
Of course, that’s true. But, in all the cases where we’ve heard about these kinds of shootings, it hasn’t come out with a “good ending” where someone decided that they were not going to obey the ban. In about all the cases, it turns out that the legal and legitimate gun owner has obeyed the law. And *thus* — that’s the very problem. Either you’re going to start a movement which say, “Hell no, we won’t obey!” — or — you’re going to have to get the laws change.
And, I don’t think the “disobey the law” route is going to work very well for the gun owners, here.
But, at Virginia Tech there were all sorts of others who were very willing to “rush in” and take care of the situation. As you know (and all other who have read), it was all over by the time anyone from outside could “rush in”. So, that really doesn’t do much good.
In fact, one of the spokesperson for changing the laws in that regard is a woman whose parents were killed in a Luby’s restaurant (I believe in Texas). She *did have* a gun, but she obeyed the law and left the gun out in the vehicle. The problem was, even though the vehicle was just right out in the parking lot — she couldn’t get to it and back again — before her parents were both dead.
And so, that’s the *nitty gritty* of the situation here...
As a fellow Western NC resident I can confirm your assumptions about guns in the home. In fact I just went to the range yesterday and worked out with my .22 for warmup and .45 for fun.
My daughter went to Appalachian. She’s coming over for dinner Sunday and I sure intend to ask her if she knew of any guns on campus when she was in attendance 4 years ago. She’s a pretty good pistol shot by the way.
Your estimates are way off, probably based on old data. We’ve moved out of NC and are living in Virginia now.
Good article - well said!
About that Luby’s incident, the police chief of Belton TX said that if concealed carry was allowed, the death toll would have been much lower. But Ann Richards thought that the people of Texas were too stupid to handle guns.
Personally, I loved that little .45 Star PD I used to have. Short barrel, aluminum frame, and the great knockdown power I prefer was always on call.
The PPK of course kicks like a mule, worse in my opinion than my 1911A1 (it's so small and light, even the anemic .380 ACP can work up a pretty good punch).
I did not have any major problems with the fit on that concealable weapon, and it was going to spend the vast majority of its lifetime hidden away so the finish was unimportant as far as I was concerned.
Thanks for the info! Next week, I’m applying for a lifetime permit and then going *shopping*. I was leaning towards a S&W .38 but will definitely take a look at the PPK! Any problems with it jamming? Also, (if you don’t mind) pros and cons for either?
In ALL cases?
How many have you studied?
First of all, a semi-auto requires a lot more training than a revolver to become proficient and safe.
Second of all, it's now a collector's item (it wasn't really when I bought it - but that was a long time ago). You can figure on spending a LOT more than you would for a quality short barrel revolver.
Third of all, it DOES kick like a mule.
Finally, the .38 Special is a more powerful round, especially if you get the newer +P cartridges.
Disadvantages of the revolver are a bulkier sidearm & less concealable because of the cylinder, and only 5 or 6 rounds.
Back when I had to consider concealability under a business suit, the PPK was my summer carry because the 1911A1 wasn't concealable under a summer jacket. I used a shoulder holster because my suit skirts were fitted and didn't have a belt. (Most women find a waist carry awkward anyhow on account of having a waist and hips - of course a shoulder holster is awkward too if you have a bust. You just have to decide which is less awkward.) I've changed from the 1911 to a Sig P245, it's a little bulkier but it's DA. And because I can wear slacks to work now, I use a straight draw belt holster under a long jacket.
Another revolver you might consider, which has excellent knockdown power, is quite accurate, and doesn't really have any more kick than a .38 Special with +P loads - the old .44 Special (NOT the .44 Magnum, which is a silly cartridge for a carry gun, I don't care who you are.)
It will be a little harder to find ammo for it, but you don't have to hunt for a used one any more because a revived Charter Arms has reintroduced the Bulldog revolver. It runs around 300 clams, you could get a used Bulldog at a gun show for a little less (but not much less because they are in demand - I saw one locally at a gun show here for 250, it had obviously been carried til the blue wore off, but it was perfectly functional.)
I don't own a .38 special revolver - I have an ancient .38 S&W (not .38 special - the caliber is totally obsolete). But I'm not really a revolver person, because they just don't fit my hand right.
If that's the case with you -- if a semi-auto with its flatter sides is an easier hold and you shoot better with it -- you might want to consider devoting the extra time to training and becoming proficient. In that case, I would look at a semi-auto with a little more oomph than a .380 . . . maybe a .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Even a 9mm (not a caliber I love) is better than a .380.
Very, good, article. :)
The comment this pertained to was (post #15) — “I do not know whether Western Carolina University, UNC-Asheville, or Brevard College have policies like Virginia Tech to bar guns on campus. Those bans of course apply only to those who choose to obey that law.”
And then I said (post #17) — “But, in all the cases where weve heard about these kinds of shootings, it hasnt come out with a good ending where someone decided that they were not going to obey the ban.”
Then you come up and say (post #27) — “In ALL cases? How many have you studied?”
Okay, then, now that we’ve got the “conversation” and the “context” for this, let’s look at it.
It was noted in Post #15 that the bans may or may not be there in those universities. But, if they are, the poster was saying, in effect, that one could choose to disobey the ban and carry *anyway* (that’s the point of the comment).
And then I come back, in reference to the fact that one would be in a “no-gun area” and yet, still carry and disobey the law (or rules or regulations) — that in all cases, I’ve never heard of a situation where “such a thing” came out with a good ending (where they decided to disobey the law and carry anyway, and yet, they were able to somehow stop some killer or crime in a university area, as we were referring specifically to that, while generally to “no gun” areas in general).
In all the things I’ve seen on Free Republic, news accounts, TV and so on — and I do say *all* — I’ve never heard of such — absolutely never!
HOWEVER, from your statement/question — “In ALL cases?” — you seem to be implying that you have heard of such a case where one was carrying illegally, in a “no-gun” area of a university (or perhaps some other no-gun-zone), stopped some killing or crime (obviousy with the gun) — and yet have it come out with a “good ending”.
What I have heard of, is people getting prosecuted, after the fact. But, that’s certainly not a “good ending”, for sure...
So, since in “all cases” I’ve never heard of such a thing — and evidently *you* seem to be implying that *you have* — I would be very anxious to hear about that case...
Switched recently to a Sig P245, but the Officer's Model is still my favorite.
I really can't carry a backup anywhere legal under GA law, although I guess I could have it in my purse as far as I'm concerned that's just a free bonus for purse-snatchers.
Most chain convenience stores have an official policy prohibiting clerks from carrying, and they fire those who are caught.
But the clerks quite rightly figure they won't have a job anyway if they're dead, and tote in violation of company policy.
Those encounters frequently have "happy endings". You can always find another job, after all.
The major pizza delivery chains also have no carry policies, but that didn't stop me from carrying when I did that work through college. Heck, the manager at my last store knew I carried - I even showed him my piece and went shooting with him a couple of times. He told me that if I ever had to use my gun on the job he'd have to fire me, and I told him I knew that and that I'd just find another job.
You said — “Those encounters frequently have “happy endings”. You can always find another job, after all.”
Well, the “not happy endings” is referring to the *consequences* that someone suffers when they violate the rule or policy or law.
For instance, the student in Colorado who was thrown into jail (I believe, or perhaps just arrested and released, don’t remember) and that was because he had guns in a no-gun-zone (at his university). Now, he’s facing all sorts of hassles and/or troubles.
Now, as far as the clerk who has shot at a robber, I would like to see that evidence of where there was a store policy and/or law on the books that prohibited that — and yet, when he (or she) shot a thief (or a potential thief, as it may be) — that he had no consequences for that (either legally or getting fired). That’s exactly what I’m talking about in regards to no good ending.
AND, the reason why I’m saying that, is that I hear some suggesting to *do it anyway* — regardless of the laws or policies and it just doesn’t matter. What I’m saying is that it’s *not going to be a good ending*.
That student in Colorado can attest to that right now. But, yes, tell me about some good endings (i.e., “no consequences for breaking university policy, store policy, business policy, city laws, state laws, etc. or whatever)...
I’d like to find that case...
You said — “He told me that if I ever had to use my gun on the job he’d have to fire me, and I told him I knew that and that I’d just find another job.”
Yep, that’s the example that I’m talking about — of “no good ending”. You use it, you’re fired... That’s entirely *typical*...
Between my Dad and brothers, I grew up shooting (and was a better shot than any of my brothers *snicker*), but it’s been awhile so I’ll definitely need some practice either way! lol I’ve always had a shotgun for home, but now I sometimes have to carry large amounts of cash (and even if the bank bag is empty, most people assume it’s not) and need something to carry.
I’m really short, so I don’t think I’d like the kick of the PPK. OTOH, I have small hands so I might like the way it fits my hand better. You’re right, the way my Dad’s .38 fits my hand leaves something to be desired, but I wondered if swapping out the grips might make it more comfortable.
I guess I’ll add the Bulldog to the list and test drive one of each. :\
Thanks for tons of useful info! At least now I have a better idea of what I’m looking for. :D
The shoulder rig was great for the Colt, and back when I was tossing weights about much more vigorously than I can manage today, the extra width across the shoulders made it visually impossible to detect... I also found that an ankle holster works well with comfortable jeans. Since you mentioned slacks, have you considered one?
H&K USP .40 Compact?
. . . talk about a mouse gun! I'm not sure you'd be able to stop a mouse, let alone a rat.
Many of our convenience stores here locally are mom 'n' pop, and of course there are no negative job consequences to terminating the armed robber with extreme prejudice there. There was a little grocery up in NW GA somewhere where the old man who owned it and his wife bagged THREE armed robbers at one time - 2 dead, 1 wounded and arrested. No charges (it was a small rural community) and I think the sheriff wanted to give them a medal for removing three real troublemakers from the county.
The consequences to "carry anyway" are rough if it gets you thrown out of school or arrested. (Seems to me they could only arrest you if carrying on campus was a violation of law, not just school policy as at VT.) But if you lose a job at the Kangaroo or 7-11, it seems to me the risk/reward ratio is acceptable, particularly considering how much more likely it is that you're going to encounter some thug with a gun.
GRNC Calls For Student Self-Protection Law
GRNC President F. Paul Valone issued the following press release this afternoon:
Contact: F. Paul Valone, President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Telephone: (704) 907-9206
Release date: April 17, 2007
GRNC Calls For Student Self-Protection Law
On behalf of its thousands of members and supporters, Grass Roots North Carolina expresses its profound sorrow and condolences to the victims and families of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.
Virginia Endangers Students
Ironically, in 2006 the Virginia General Assembly defeated legislation which could have prevented Cho Seung-Hui from murdering 32 students. HB 1572 would have enabled lawful Virginians with concealed handgun permits to protect themselves and others on college campuses within the state.
Said Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker in 2006: "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and
visitors feel safe on our campus." (1)
Whether or not Virginia Tech administrators responded adequately in failing to lock down the campus following the first round of killings, school shootings over recent decades have demonstrated one indisputable reality: Police have neither the ability nor the responsibility to protect individuals from violent offenders.
Concealed Handgun Laws Deter Multiple Victim Homicides
Not coincidentally, the majority of multiple victim public killings occur in campuses and other locations where lawful citizens are prevented from keeping firearms for self-protection. Researcher John R. Lott, doing a sophisticated multiple regression analysis of such homicides, concluded: "The results...support the hypothesis that concealed handgun or shall issue laws reduce the number of multiple victim public shootings. Attackers are deterred and the number of people injured or killed per attack is also reduced..." (2)
North Carolina Must Act Now
GRNC calls upon members of the North Carolina General Assembly to act promptly to pass legislation similar to HB 1572, enabling faculty members, students and other concealed handgun permit-holders, who have proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding, to protect themselves and others on college campuses throughout the state.
1. "Gun bill gets shot down by panel: HB 1572, which would have allowed handguns on college campuses, died in subcommittee," Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times, January 31, 2006, available at:
"Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement," February 27, 1999. John R. Lott, Jr. and William M.
Landes, The Law School The University Of Chicago.
You may find your representative by going here: http://www.grnc.org/contact_reps.htm
You may write your federal congressman by going here: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
You said — “The consequences to “carry anyway” are rough if it gets you thrown out of school or arrested. (Seems to me they could only arrest you if carrying on campus was a violation of law, not just school policy as at VT.)”
The prosecuting attorney in the case where the Colorado university student had guns in his dorm (in violtion of school policy) — said that he considers it a *violation of the law*, as he puts school policy as “law”. That’s why the university student was arrested.
So, I’m not so sure about it simply being “policy” in some of these cases.
The fact of the matter is — that “law-abiding” gun owners are going to *shy away from* anything that looks like they’re going to run afoul of the law. These *particular kinds* of gun owners (i.e. the “law abiding ones”) are not going to be the ones who decide to see if they can set themselves up for being prosecuted.
Try putting the thin (not the fat) Pachmayer grips on any revolver you like and see if that doesn't help. The checkered wood grips are awkward to hold (and cut your hands up if you shoot a lot).
The thing about the PPK is that it's REALLY small and of course with the German engineering it is a thing of beauty.
This is what our old one looks like, it was made in the 60s.
This is what they're making now, on license to an American firm and produced in Gadsden, AL. The PPK/S is just a PPK with a slightly taller frame to get around the import restrictions of the 1968 GCA.
But pretty is as pretty does. Test drive a couple of the smaller 9mm semi-autos, and try out maybe a .40 S&W (an underrated cartridge) or even a .45, just to see. But if you can get a Bulldog in .44 that feels comfortable in your hand, that's pretty much foolproof protection. No worries about jamming, stovepiping or failure to feed - about the only thing that will jam a revolver short of actual mechanical failure is if you're shooting really hot loads and the primer backs out enough to keep the cylinder from rotating. . . . it has happened to me, but I was shooting absolutely top borderline handloads in a S&W .41 Mag for metallic silhouette. You're not going to be worried about that.
Sounds like a Nifong, Jr. is loose in Colorado.
May i respectfully suggest, as an alternative, Sig Sauer P232? Both are good, but give the Sig a try as well.
Hubby has the P220, also in .45 ACP.
I must concur that a “gun free zone” even in the firearm friendly area of far western Virgina is nothing but a “safety free zone”. This was underscored when the shooter chained out any firepower that might be brought to suppress his evil.
You said — “That prosecutor is exceeding his authority. “School policy” does not equal “law”.
Well, between you and me, that might be right. But, we’re not the ones doing the prosecuting. And, if you’re counseling others about avoid trouble and staying within the “boundaries” set up by the government for “law-abiding” gun usage (which gun owners say “they are”) — you have to point out that there are going to be over-zealous prosecutors who will go after you, even if they don’t succeed in the end — basically — to *send a message* to the public that “You are going to have *trouble* if you attempt to do this!”
And then you said — “A couple of people tried that in personal injury cases here in GA, claiming that violations of company policy or internal rule manuals constituted a violation of law and negligence per se for liability purposes. That was rejected outright by the courts — and in the criminal law, it would be even more so, because a defendant has a constitutional right to have a reasonably understandable violation of the law charged against him. Any attempt to charge somebody in GA that way would result in a demurrer being granted to the indictment (i.e. the indictment would be dismissed).”
And all that wold involve *trouble* and a *real hardship* for a lot of people. And so, it’s *that very thing* which is going to make people shy away from it.
Finally — “Sounds like a Nifong, Jr. is loose in Colorado.”
Yes, very much so. And with the Nifong case, didn’t those families *suffer* a great deal — something that should have never happened? And, will they *ever* recover from that? How about all the lost time, in regards to those students? How about the students who have been forced to go elsewhere and will probably never come back again? How about that story *always* following them around, everywhere they go?
And so, how many people are going to want to find *their Nifong* in court — because of some “policy” that they thought they could easily circumvent? Not very many — and that’s what is happening...