SOMEWHERE BETWEEN CLOUD-9 AND ROCKBOTTOM: CONCEALED CARRY AND COGNITIVE DISSIDENCE

Andrew CrightonAndrew Crighton

Editor-in-Chief

The Bengal has been focusing quite heavily on concealed carry in Idaho. I don’t apologize for that because, not only do I find it interesting, but I also believe that it is an important topic.

One of the reasons that I am so interested in the concealed carry of firearms is because I have a lot of conflicting beliefs when it comes to the private ownership of firearms in this country.

On the first hand, I love guns. I grew up with them like most people in this state and region of the country. I find them extremely enjoyable to shoot, it is an experience that is completely all its own. In addition, there is a skill component to it. Developing and honing a skill is very satisfactory.

The technology and engineering is also an entire world that you can dive into and focus on.

I suppose to put it simply, firearms are a culture, plain and simple. Because of that, there are emic and etic perspectives that must be considered when there is a discussion about it.

The main conflict that I struggle with is where to draw the line. Where is the line on what firearms should citizens be able to own? What should the requirements be to purchase or carry a firearm? Should gun laws be more strict, or less strict?

These are all questions that I cannot answer with absolute certainty. When any single question is evaluated I can usually reach a solid conclusion. The problem arises when I consider several questions at once; because the seemingly solid conclusions are at times in conflict with each other.

For example, I think that is important for an individual to be able to personally carry a firearm on their person in order to protect themselves. I think that this is a fairly easy question to answer, but the details about it are more complicated to me.

I have some real problems with how easy it is to receive a concealed weapons license in this state. All it takes is a little bit of extra time and $60. If you want an ‘enhanced’ license, it takes an extra weekend to take your certification class. But in my experience at least, it is nearly impossible to fail that class.

I do believe that anyone should be able to conceal carry if they would like, with obvious exceptions like felons; however I don’t think it should be so goddamn easy.

Yes, you should have the choice to do so, but keep in mind that it is a choice and because of that, if you choose to do it you should also be held to a higher standard of firearms training and preparedness.

I’ve discussed before how knowing how to handle a firearm safely, how to target shoot and using a gun in combat situation are entirely different things.

The reality is that combat training is expensive. You have to have the money to pay for classes, you have to have a schedule that is flexible enough to allow you to attend those classes. You have to be able to buy ammunition which is NOT cheap. You have to be able to afford proper holsters and other equipment.

You have to pay range fees; yes you can go out into the desert or hills and shoot for free, but you are really not able to train beyond basic skills.

Just because basically anyone can carry a gun, doesn’t mean that basically anyone should carry a gun.

My real source of dissidence comes from the fact that I benefit and take advantage of Idaho’s easily accessible concealed weapon license; while simultaneously criticizing it.

If I have a problem with the system that this state uses, then should I be ashamed of using that same system?

I haven’t decided yet.

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