Massage Therapists and Manicurists Need Training - but Not Gun Carriers?

It happened at least three times in Walmarts in the last few years--gun accidents. In 2014, a woman was killed in an Idaho Walmart when her two-year-old reached into her purse and retrieved her gun. People who knew the woman said she did not "carry" for self-defense but because it was her "right."

Six months earlier, a man carrying at a Phoenix Walmart, no doubt also because it was his "right,"shot himself in the leg. Nice. Nine days later, a carrier at a Columbus, Indiana Walmart shot a bystander when his handgun slipped from his holster. Do Walmart customers understand their right to not be shot while shopping is trumped by gun carriers' "rights"?

What would the Founding Fathers say about this? by Martha Rosenberg

Accidental shootings by gun carriers have also occurred at Target, Sam's Club, Staples, Starbucks (more than once), a Pro Bass shop and at a million dollar wedding at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York city.

Yet despite such frequent gun accidents, an increasing number of states continue to pass laws calling training requirements illegal. Why? Because requiring people who carry lethal weapons in public-- threatening us, our co-workers, friends and family--to know how to handle or shoot their weapons violates the Second Amendment. Or as the Wisconsin Gun Owners Organization wrote, quoting the NRA, "The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights." Citizens "are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do."

Such state laws sound like a joke. If gun training is not necessary to stop bad guys, municipalities are wasting millions a year on firearms training for law enforcement officials. Let's fund the schools instead.

The aggressive, new class of armed citizens that the "carry" movement has created fails abysmally when actually faced with criminals. While they brim with stories about stopping "bad guys"--there are startling few police confirmations of their bravado. Their stories are like the fishermen whose big fish "got away."

When I asked a nationally known gun advocate why he did not report an incident in which he says he stopped a bad guy because he was "carrying" to police, he said he did not want the police to know the guns he had because it was the first step to the government taking everyone's gun. So you hate the government so much you are willing to let bad guys go free to strike again, I asked him?

National Gun Victims Action Council tested gun self-defense with 77 volunteers at the Prince George's County police department in Maryland with Mount St. Mary's University crime researchers in 2015 and found even highly trained civilians were inferior to trained police officers. "They didn't attempt to issue commands to their assailants. Their trigger fingers were either too itchy -- they shot innocent bystanders or unarmed people, or not itchy enough -- they didn't shoot armed assailants until they were already being shot at," reported the Washington Post which covered the research.

But there is a larger issue than untrained gun carriers walking around in public. The answer to armed criminals is not armed vigilantes to stop them but tightening gun laws. The NRA loves to dismiss better gun laws by saying "criminals don't obey laws" but it is a bald faced lie. All but 12 of 82 mass shooters since 1981 passed their background checks as did the Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Umpqua, Planned Parenthood, Charleston, Roanoke and Chattanooga shooters in 2016 and 2015.

Would anyone venture on the roadways if automobile drivers were not licensed and trained but allowed to decide if "training is the responsible thing to do" on their own? Would people even want to visit a hair stylist, manicurist or massage therapist who was unlicensed?

Thanks to gun lobbyists, anyone can and does buy a gun and, increasingly, carry it with no training at all. Which part of a well-regulated militia are they?

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