A NC House Judiciary debated House Bill 270 by Representatives Hilton, Steen, Burr, Cleveland (same as Senate Bill 235) which is “an act to allow persons with concealed handgun permits to protect themselves and their families in restaurants.” In practice this would allow people who have been trained and licensed under state law and regulations to legally carry their handgun into a restaurant. Of the 48 states that allow concealed carry, 38 allow this practice and no one at the hearing could give an example of any problems with allowing this practice (I am citing these from memory so don’t hold me to exact numbers).
I currently do not have a concealed carry permit but intend on getting one in the near future. The people who take the time and trouble to get the permit, which includes background checks, are law abiding responsible people. There are no reports in the media of these people running wild in the streets. On the other hand we do have daily reports of people who do not have permits, and don’t worry about the law, shooting people in the street and using weapons in violent robberies – their actions are the strongest case for allowing people to legally carry their handgun wherever they go.
Representatives from both sides of this debate attended and spoke at the hearing but I found the comments of two legislators most illustrative of the divide over freedom and personal protection. Rep. Susan Fisher (D – Buncombe) stated that “…guns should not be convenient…” while Rep. Laura Wiley (R – Guilford) stated “…this is about defense of yourself and your family…”
Guns already are convenient to criminals; the people backing this bill are just trying to level the playing field. It increases personal liberty while requiring people to act responsibly with that freedom.
Personal freedom and personal responsibility, two things which conservatives and all Americans should heartily embrace!