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March 9, 2012

Cash and Carry, Amen

Harry M. Covert

It took a federal judge to say what’s obvious, that Marylanders have a right to carry concealed weapons and they don’t have to prove to anyone why they need them.


Just because ne’er-do-wells, criminals and thugs run amuck is no reason for the State of Maryland and its State Police to make life miserable for good citizens, denying taxpayers carry-permits, making it extremely difficult to receive State Police approval for permits, and saying no to those with certified credentials from other states.


In this time when so many good people are targets of carjackers, home invasions and general thievery and personal danger, it’s time for the politicians to get into line with the guaranteed rights of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution says citizens have the right to bear arms – that means, to own and to carry those Smith & Wesson five-shot Chief’s specials, or the favored automatic Glocks and Sig Sauers, all fine and effective handguns.


The “wizards” in Annapolis should learn something about guns. Handguns are for defensive uses, not offensive, except for the thugs and criminals who endanger the lives of the good people. Yes, the overwhelming majority of residents are “good people.”


I love the story of the Maryland pastor who conducted a funeral wearing an ankle holster. No kidding! It was the funeral where a majority of mourners were of questionable character, mostly from some northern gambling centers.


“Don’t you have any faith,” I asked the man of the cloth. “Most certainly. The Lord didn’t call me to stupidity.” After the graveside service, the pastor discovered he had done the right thing by being prepared, just in case, because most of the “visitors” were packing those sidearms under their dark suits.


A legal secretary I know was leaving court one afternoon. She stopped her car at a stoplight. In a split second, a guy knocked out the passenger-side window with a tire iron. Before he knew it, she pulled out her gun of choice – a nice 9mm – and gave him the shock of his life and a bullet in his shoulder. He lived, went to jail. She went to work and never looked back.


There have been numerous recent home invasions in Frederick the past few years. One elderly resident, though, took care of the situation and downed the intruders with a couple of carefully aimed shots. God bless him.


An off-duty Virginia sheriff’s deputy took his 80-year-old father to lunch. Leaving the restaurant they were accosted by two men.  Before his son could take action, the elder pulled out his concealed.38 caliber Colt revolver and had both miscreants on the ground begging him not to shoot.


One of the most astonishing stories about denial of a carry permit by the Maryland State Police involved a longtime retiree.  He was a respected law enforcement official for years. Such denial is an abuse of power. The retired sheriff finally received his permit but not before a long and exhaustive battle.


It’s not trite to say that good people can’t carry concealed weapons while the crooks, bad guys and those who take a chance, can ignore the law and walk around with illegal guns.


A bail bondsman was in court with his bail jumper. As the case was called, the defendant yelled that the bondsman had threatened to shoot him. “Well, I know him,” the judge said. “He would have shot you, too, and would have been right.” In my opinion, a fine judge.


There’s plenty of public support for the Maryland legislature to accept the right to carry and to do so immediately.


Ever attend the guns shows? They are packed with visitors, men and women. Many federal agencies, primarily the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), participate. It can be noted here that the number of gun-carrying women has increased drastically and lots all over Maryland. They know guns are a better defense than pepper spray.


Here’s a good reminder. Concealed carry isn’t for showing off. Those who like to target practice, those who use shooting ranges regularly, plus those who participate in shooting clubs, are not the problem.


Thanks to the Baltimore judge, it’s time for good citizens to exercise the right they have had for a longtime.


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