Yesterday I indicated that I’m against concealed-carry in a post about a Cleveland man defending himself from an armed attacker. The article indicated that the incident may have been the first instance of a concealed-carry self-defense shooting.

The Buckeye Firearms Association contends otherwise.

While it appears to be an accurate list, it is unfortunately not sourced, which is nearly criminal in a hypertext document. I presume (since they clearly changed names of carriers to initials) this is ostensibly to protect the identity of the licensed carriers. This makes it hard to independently verify their list, and since these incidents are a matter of public record, it seems silly to go to such lengths. Regardless, I’ll take them at their word since I don’t feel like trying to source these incidents myself.

As is always the case, I am willing to be convinced that my position is wrong, but this list doesn’t do it. There are several documented incidents there where the CWL holder behaved in a very reckless manner and managed to get away with it. A 12 hour training class does not make you a Marine, nor a peace officer, and too many gun owners seem to think it does (read some pro-gun forums online, if you don’t believe me). I remain fully convinced that a gun in the possession of an ill-trained citizen is more likely to be a liability than an asset. [Emphasis mine.]

The issue of “home defense” or protection against intruders may well be misrepresented. Of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides (Kellermann et al, 1998).

Of course, a gun is the last line of defense, be it in the home or concealed-carry. It seems to me – again from being observant – that too many people rely on the gun, instead of being alert and proactive, working to avoid conflict whenever possible. Many of the BFA examples are exactly that – because they had a gun, citizens would often enter into an avoidable conflict, or escalate an existing one.

The goal should always be to avoid conflict. Make your house unattractive to thieves, rather than counting on brandishing a gun during a robbery to scare them away. Work hard to stay out of bad situations (walking alone down a dark alley in a bad area of town, for example), rather than counting on a concealed weapon.

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