Op-ed against permitless carry undermines permitting

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The idea of permitless carry seems to put some people into a frothing rage. How dare we consider letting people exercise a constitutionally protected right without the government’s express permission!


But Florida is considering it, and while many are less than pleased with the limits of the proposed legislation, it’s still a step in the right direction.

Not everyone agrees, though.

In a recent op-ed, one writer trying to express their misgivings actually makes the case against requiring permits.

The Republican legislators hell-bent on making Florida a permitless, concealed carry state must not get around much — or they would’ve routinely encountered way too many of our infamous hotheads.

Road rage. Domestic homicide. Children and adults in gangs killing each other. A history of record-setting mass shootings.

And, a woman who last week pulled a gun on a McDonald’s drive-thru employee in Seminole County over a free cookie.

Yes, we do have it all in our trigger-happy state, the cozy home of the infamous neighborhood watchman who shot and killed a 17-year-old teen, Trayvon Martin, walking home with candy and soda in his pocket — and got away with murder.

From Pensacola to the Keys, we’re no laid back paradisaical landscape of well-behaved, competent people who will soon have the right to legally carry a concealed weapon — without a permit and without training.


So things are just that awful in Florida right now?

All these people, including George Zimmerman; who would be loose on the streets to carry guns without the training requirements, background checks, and fees currently part of Florida’s permitting process?

Um…is it just me, or do all these examples–anecdotes, to be sure, but roll with me for a bit–illustrate things that have happened in Florida already?

Zimmerman, for example, had a permit when he shot Trayvon Martin. Of course, Martin was just a sweet, innocent kid trying to innocently bash Zimmerman’s head into a sidewalk, but that’s neither here nor there. Zimmerman had a permit.

The woman who pulled a gun on a McDonald’s employee? I don’t know if she had a permit or not, but I know she lives in a state that requires one.

In fact, all the examples the author presents are things that permitting failed to prevent.

So, if permitting is such a failure, why oppose permitless carry?

Oh, the author has their reasons, but the truth of the matter is that the only real good permitting does is make sure poorer Floridians don’t get to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.


By their own admission, it doesn’t stop “hotheads” from pulling their guns when it’s not warranted. If that’s true, then what good does permitting do at all?

Rather than counter the argument for permitless carry, the author has simply illustrated that Florida’s fairly restrictive permitting scheme is a waste of time, money, and effort if your desire is to minimize bad actions by those who are carrying.

If it’s that bad, permitless carry could hardly be worse, now could it?

Or is the author’s problem really that “those people” might start carrying?

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