OUTDOORS: Human nature and the carry lawWORTHINGTON — I have often said that no one is immune from an occasional bout of human nature.
By: Scott Rall, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — I have often said that no one is immune from an occasional bout of human nature.
What I mean by this is that as a human being, there are times when an event or action causes us to respond in a manner that is not justified by the event.
An example would be when the phone rings at midnight, the recipient of the call automatically thinks that something very bad has happened. Not unlike a call from a person that you have not talked to for several months or years. The person on the receiving end assumes the worst. This is just human nature in many cases. Most calls are not life changing.
A friend of mine used to tell me all the time that whatever I was worried about would usually not turn out as bad as I thought, and what I was really excited about is also probably not as great as I thought.
In reality, almost all things land somewhere in the middle. There are exceptions, but in my 50 years, this saying seems to be quite accurate.
There is one example that many people thought would turn out just awful. Many screamed and wailed that the entire world was going to come to an end. In actuality, what happened was really no big deal.
The event that I am talking about was when Minnesota passed an open carry firearms law. This law was in the news big time a few years back, and today you hear very little about it.
The law allows a person the ability to carry a loaded firearm on their persons most of the time. There are places that you cannot carry, like government buildings, schools etc.
In past history, in order for a person to carry a loaded firearm on their person, they had to apply to the local law enforcement agency and show just cause why they wanted or needed a carry permit.
It was up to the local sheriff or police chief to make these determinations.
I believe that there were very few permits issued under these circumstances. Minnesota’s open carry law passed as an amendment to a natural resources bill in 2003. In 2004, it was ruled unconstitutional, because it was passed on what was considered a non-associated bill. It was then re-passed in 2005 and became law.
A permit is now “A shall issue” permit after the applicant has passed a background check and receives special training.
There are also substantial monetary costs to have and keep current such a permit.
Any person who is eligible now receives the permit with no ands, ifs or buts. There is no longer any interpretation as to who needs one and who doesn’t.
If you listened to the gun control lobby, you would have had every reason to believe that the world was truly going to come to an end in Minnesota.
There would be wide-spread gun violence in all public places and just imagine what a gun-toting road rage driver would do if some other car cut them off. Mayhem would be the outcome.
What really happened was very different.
I researched the report from the Department of Public Safety that summarized all of the carry permit activity in Minnesota for the calendar year of 2008. The cost of the report was $6,500 and completed in March of 2009.
In 2008 there were 21,646 applicants for carry permits in Minnesota and 20,830 were approved. Of that total, there were 61 in Nobles County, 31 in Murray County, eight in Rock County and 35 in Jackson County. With the exception of one in Rock County, all of the applicants were approved. The most common group to apply was 50-59 year old males.
The most common reason for an applicant to be denied a permit statewide was from convictions for assault or controlled substance crimes. These folks have no reason to ever be issued a carry permit. Other reasons include mental illness or other serious felonies.
I contacted the chief of police in Worthington and he shared with me the fact that they had responded to one call in 2007 for an intoxicated individual that had brandished his gun in public, and had made serious threats to another individual.
He was convicted of several crimes and is now banned for life from ever having a carry permit again.
With more than 20,000 permits issued last year alone, the facts show that lawful carry permit holders have created no serious threat in Minnesota to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Further statistics show that in states with carry laws, violent crime is actually reduced. I have to think that if a mugger has to wonder if their intended victim has the ability to protect themselves, they think twice before they proceed.
I am not recommending that everyone should go get a carry permit. What I am doing is sharing the facts with you that those law-abiding citizens who choose to carry pose no measurable threat to the general populace.
A criminal doesn’t use a background check, but they have to give second thought that now their intended victim just might have done what is necessary to protect themselves and their family.
Carry laws are now the law of the land in the majority of states in the U.S. What is badly needed is a universal carry permit that is good in all the states that allow them.
Minnesota carry permits are not necessarily good in other states and the rules can be very confusing for those trying to stay on the right side of the law. It has been presented many times with no success in Congress. The reason for this is that every state has different levels of qualification and a state that has stringent requirements does not want to honor a permit from a different state that has much looser standards. If the standards became universal, then this would solve this issue.
Remember that it is usually never as bad as you think, it is usually never as good as you think; it is usually ends up being something in the middle.
The outcome of the carry law in Minnesota is nowhere as bad as the gun control crowd wanted you to think.
In fact, it has been just the opposite.
In reality, it has had no noticeable effect other than to allow lawful person the ability to protect themselves.
In my book, that turned out as close to the great end of the results scale as possible.
There are always exceptions to every rule!