Archive for Sunday, August 5, 2007

In the line of fire

A firsthand look at what it takes to carry a concealed weapon

Journal-World Reporter Chad Lawhorn, left, receives instruction from Max Miller, a Lawrence police officer who also is a licensed firearms instructor, on Monday July 30, 2007 at the Fraternal Order of Police firing station near Lone Star Lake. An eight-hour training class is a prerequisite for carrying a concealed weapon in Kansas.

Journal-World Reporter Chad Lawhorn, left, receives instruction from Max Miller, a Lawrence police officer who also is a licensed firearms instructor, on Monday July 30, 2007 at the Fraternal Order of Police firing station near Lone Star Lake. An eight-hour training class is a prerequisite for carrying a concealed weapon in Kansas.

August 5, 2007


Armed in Kansas

This is part of an occasional series about reporter Chad Lawhorn's experiences as he acquires a gun and applies for a permit for concealed carry in Kansas.

Lawhorn will chat online about his concealed carry experiences at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

We were talking about shooting a man.

I mean we were really talking about it. It wasn't just this idle, full-of-you-know-what, usually inappropriate chit-chat based on the flick you caught at the theater last weekend.

Max Miller was telling us the ins and outs of shooting a guy.

"Handgun combat is a lot like real estate," Miller said. "It is location, location, location. If you put a .22-caliber round in the middle of someone's brain, it will stop 'em. A .44 round through someone's shoulder, most people are done playing for the day, but some guys aren't."

I was having this conversation because the state of Kansas says I have to. I'm in the process of applying for a concealed carry permit - the paperwork that will allow me to legally hide a gun on my person - and part of the deal is that I have to take an eight-hour training class.


Max Miller is the trainer. Nice guy, but he wasn't exactly what I expected. On this late July morning, he kind of reminds me of a park ranger: olive khakis, matching shirt with sleeves rolled up above the elbows, wire rim glasses and a calm and pleasant demeanor. The type of man that you can imagine asking directions to the geyser, not the guy who's going to tell you how to take down the guy swinging a butcher knife at you.

But Miller can get pretty serious and pretty heavy when he needs to. He's a sergeant with the Lawrence Police Department, although this training isn't connected with the department. He does this on the side for $100 a student. He's one of the force's licensed firearm instructors and has taught cops how to shoot everything from pistols to sub-machine guns.

Eventually, he's going to teach me and two other classmates a thing or two about shooting. We're inside a firing range just outside the Fraternal Order of Police lodge. There will be a shooting test before the day is done.

But for now, it is still more talk - still talking about how to shoot a man. Miller clarifies that he's not urging us to shoot an attacker in the brain with a .22. That's a tough shot. He's also not suggesting we put a .44 slug in the fellow's shoulder. A .44 is a big gun that probably isn't practical as a concealed carry. Instead, we seek middle ground. How about a .38 in the chest?

The rule for shooting someone is we're not shooting to kill. We're shooting to stop. When they stop, we stop shooting. The best way to do that is to use a strategy called center of mass. In other words, shoot for the center of the largest part of your target. Most times, that's the center of the chest.

Miller tells us we need to be mentally prepared to pull the trigger, and maybe more than once.

"There are several logical responses to getting shot," Miller said. "And one of them is dumping in your pants and running. Some people, though, get enraged, and then you really have to stop them because they're going to tear your head off."

All right, then.


This next part was even more uncomfortable. Miller turned the tables on us. He was no longer talking about shooting a man. He was talking about us getting shot.

After all, if you are having to shoot a man, it may very well be because he has a gun, too. The main message is this: Don't let a bullet stop you from fighting on and protecting yourself.

"Remember, if it hurts, you're still alive," Miller said. "Just because you're hurt and hurt really bad, that's not a reason to give up."

Then he delivered the line that I can just imagine Knute Rockne giving to a bunch of sad-sacks.

"Don't get demoralized and die when you don't have to."

Got to admit, that's good advice. Equally good, though, was his suggestion to figure out how to keep your gun in its holster if at all possible. He reminded us that just because we have a concealed weapon doesn't mean we have an obligation to use it. There are plenty of times, even when danger is in the air, that you will want to keep your hand off your gun.

"Just like they say don't bring a knife to a gunfight, don't bring a handgun to a shotgun fight," Miller said. "You'll probably lose and get killed."

Other things to avoid: Don't try to shoot a gun out of someone's hand, and don't try to "fast draw" someone who already has a gun pointing at you. This all falls under the category of "Hollywood doesn't make good training videos."

If you do use your gun, though, it is not going to be any fun, even if you manage not to get shot. Miller told us the rush of feelings and emotions is something that concealed carry permit holders need to prepare for mentally.

He also cautions us that the stakes are high. He reminds us that Kansas has the death penalty for first-degree murder. He tells us about the jail sentences of several other lesser degrees of homicide. He goes over legal points for when you can use lethal force. I'm not going to get into the specifics here. If you want to learn them, it shouldn't be through a newspaper article. But the general rule is that you can use "such force as a reasonable man would deem necessary" to protect yourself, your family or your home.

"If you know that reasonable man and what he's thinking, let me know," Miller said.

That's his way of reminding us that bad things can happen to good people. If we ever have to shoot a man, Miller tells us, we should know what we could be in for.

"It may cost you a lot of money to pay a lawyer, it may break the bank, it may bankrupt you to get involved in a perfectly legal situation," Miller said.

We took a test. You must score 100 percent on it. It took about five minutes and wasn't hard. It was heavily weighted toward gun safety issues, which we talked a lot about in class.

It was 2:30 p.m. We started the class at 8:30 a.m. The talking was now done. It was time to shoot something.


It had rained all morning. It made the afternoon typical Kansas in July. It was sticky and the sweat poured. It was fitting weather for how I felt.

I wasn't really nervous. Miller already had taken the suspense out of the testing process. "A 5-year old child with a squirt gun could pass it," he said. But there were still some butterflies.

I was shooting two guns today. No, not at the same time. If you remember from my previous article, I bought a cheap .22-caliber Jimenez, semi-automatic. If you want to draw the wrath of area gun aficionados, that's a good way to do it. I got lots of comments about that one. I won't try to go over my reasoning here today.

But let's just say that Miller wasn't in love with the gun either. He wanted me to qualify with something bigger (although I did find several instructors who have would let me qualify with the .22). A bigger gun, though, wasn't a problem. What I didn't mention in the last article is that I have at my disposal a .357 Ruger Security Six. But I hadn't shot it for a long time. I was anxious to see how I would do.

Miller showed us the finer points of drawing a weapon with a reasonable amount of speed. He had us fire about 100 rounds of ammunition from distances ranging from 1 yard to 25 yards. We shot standing up. We shot kneeling. We shot from our hips.

All that was in preparation for the shooting test. Miller was right. It wasn't anything to worry about: five shots from 3 yards with one hand; 10 shots from 7 yards with two hands; and 10 shots from 10 yards with two hands. There was no time limit. To pass, you had to hit 18 of the 25 shots. The target was a bit bigger than a standard 9-inch paper plate.

The biggest thing the test taught me is that I don't want to be anywhere in the vicinity when the guy who passed with a score of 18 pulls his gun.

Now that I've passed the test, I can go on to the next step of the process, which is submitting an application to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. That will involve fingerprinting and a background check, and may take 45 to 60 days before a license is issued. That's another story.

What, you want to know what I scored? Fair enough. With the .357, I hit 24 of 25. With the "useless" .22, I hit 25 of 25.

Yeah, that made me feel good. But not as good as I thought it would.

I guess that's because the one point I really did learn from this class was this: Hitting the target is the easy part.


Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

It sounds like gogoplata is channeling Walter Sobchak.

catseye 10 years, 6 months ago

Well, it looks like this thread is winding down, at least until Mr. Lawhorn's next installment. I would like to leave some parting thoughts. The Second Ammendment is, like the rest of the original bill of rights, an expression of individual rights. In the context of the time, the militia was the individual, collectively gathered to defend their way of life from enemies both foreign and domestic. That means not only repelling an invasion, but also if necessary, rising up against an administration (irregardless of party) that, for example, refused to leave office when their term expired, declared martial law and either tried to use our standing military/law enforcement or failing that brought in foreign troops to maintain power. That is an unspoken purpose of the 2nd ammendment. We The People, if called upon, are the militia.

For those of you who don't think concealed carry reduces crime, look at the Justice Department crime statistics and dates and compare them to the timelines of when the concealed carry wave started sweeping across the country. Violent crime is approximately one half what it was during the hey day of "gun control". Be intellectually honest. Google "Gary Kleck" and look at his studies. You may just find that owning a handgun doesn't automatically make you Rambo or a killer and that in fact, handguns can actually save lives, simply because the one thing a criminal doesn't want is to be caught, and going into a hosptial with a gunshot wound almost guarantees capture. At the minumum, possessing a handgun can reduce the possibility that a threatening individual can just walk up and execute you.

No American government has the authority to take away your right to defend yourself. However, in modern day England, violent crime is up and defending yourself is becoming a crime, along with speaking your mind. Is that what you want for the US?

For the individual who had the "crazily rational reason" to believe that police forces endorse gun control, try talking to the rank and file officers rather than the politicans. You'll get a mixed response. Some will be for gun control, other against it. That especially goes for officers in rural areas where there are times that having an armed citizen that you know and trust watch your back is appreciated. As the author of this article has alluded to, concealed carry is a responsibility to be taken seriously. Not only do you have to be concerned about the consequences of discharging the weapon and hitting the person threatening you, but you also have to consider the consequences of discharging the weapon and not hitting your intended target. Do you hurt an innocent bystander down range? That's why all cc classes stress the legal/ethical aspects as much or more than the other safety aspects.

Mr. Lawhorn, I look forward to your next installment.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

scene, "Uzi" is also a traditional Jewish name.

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

I was quoting First Blood and Red Dawn. Wolverines!!!

Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

Excellent article. Excellent instructor. Well done.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 6 months ago

Kudos to Chad Lawhorn for getting his concealed carry permit.

Becky 10 years, 6 months ago

Any instructor that wants to decide what gun you qualify with is not an instructor. The law says any gun.

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

Becky, any good instructor will tell you the min cal for self defense is .380. And the recommended cal is .40 or larger. Anything smaller than .380 and you might as well just carry a big stick. A 22 cal. will just irritate an attacker and cause more injuries to yourself. His advice was just a recommendation for the student to be adequately armed, not a requirement for the course.

Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

As far as I know, there is no requirement in Kansas law to qualify with the gun you conceal carry. You could qualify with either gun and subsequently conceal carry either. I do have one question, must you conceal carry on your person? If Chad gets his permit and he is driving in his car, can he conceal the gun in the glove box or must it be concealed on his person?

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

Good article, Chad. But, don't bother going to the Do. Co. Sheriff's Office to apply for your CC. That is misinformation off the attorney general's website. You have to go out to the Jail House, way out on E.23rd Street. And they have the "very" convenient hours of 7a.m. to 10a.m. one day a week (Monday) for taking care of these CC licenses. Franklin County on the other hand, will be glad to help you out with genuinely convenient hours of 8:00 - 4:30, Monday thru Friday. But, apparently, you must apply in the county in which you reside.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

Sigmund, it can be concealed in your glove box. It doesn't have to be on your person.

JimMacklin 10 years, 6 months ago

The training for the concealed weapons permit is about when you can use a firearm to save a life. It isn't always about muggers, car jackers and rapists, there are dangerous animals, often in packs. In Wichita the police regularly have to kill dogs. Carrying a concealed weapon is a preparation for what could happen, not what you expect. I have fire extinguishers, not because I want or expect a fire, but because fires are possible. Police and soldiers have to go places where there is known danger. But Danger is mobile and will come to you when you least expect it. The gun under your shirt is a reminder to stay alert.

Janet Lowther 10 years, 6 months ago

When I took the concealed carry class, the instructor strongly urged us to shoot the qualification with something we might carry. I don't know if my class was just old-fashioned, but the most common guns used were snub-nosed .38 Special revolvers, followed by classic police service-style .38 or .357 revolvers.

I firmly believe in self defense and that people have a right to an adequate defense, but Lawrencians need to remember that no one who was not a law enforcement officer has used a gun to defend themselves or their family in Douglas county without going to prison in something like 40 years.

On the other hand, it IS better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. . .

Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

jrlii said "no one who was not a law enforcement officer has used a gun to defend themselves or their family in Douglas county without going to prison in something like 40 years."

Kansas law has changed over the years. It used to be the case that Kansas citizens had a duty to retreat in their own homes before using deadly force. I do not believe there is any such duty today which only strengthens a self defense claim in the event a home owner is charged. Which would be highly unlikely in the case of a break in by a stranger, for instance.

Interestingly self defense was successfully used as recently as 1998 in a case of a lethal stabbing. The defendant, Lafayette Cosby, was acquitted of murder. A second self defense claim by Cosby did not fly when he shot a fellow party goer multiple times and he was convicted of murder in 2004. I do not believe the difference can be attributed to the weapon used (knife or gun) but in the circumstances surrounding its use. The "reasonable man under the circumstances" rule.

Michael Birch 10 years, 6 months ago

Just what we need - more fools with guns!

Don't get me wrong, Max Miller is for the most part a good guy. He is a career serviceman and police officer. Good job on getting the stripes Max! But while your explaining the psychological aspects of shooting a man, you are emplanting that thought in someone elses head. My guess is that someone who you have trained will eventually shoot someone theirself.

JimMacklin-You imply that the Wichita Police are a bunch of dog shooters. You are talking about something you know nothing about and seldom happens. The Wichita Police are the best law enforcement agency in the entire midwestern state area. Don't ever say anything bad about the Wichita Police!

I imagine I will have to eventually apply for a CCW myself. I've chosen pharmacy for my second career and will often be required to deliver shipments of narcotics to various medical clinics. Since there is the possibly that I could be hijacked, I feel the need to carry a handgun myself. I'm not sure what I will go with just yet though. Probably Sig Sauer 9mm model whatever...

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

As long as we're talking about fools, let's talk about the fool who gets a 9mm, a gun which is known for being able to shoot thru the intended target and hit the unintended target behind it. That's foolish!

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

farmgal, if you study ballistics and bullet construction you would know when a 9mm with the right type of hollow-point bullets in it will not completely penetrate through the assailant and pass out the other side. The bigger fool is the one that uses a less powerful cartridge (smaller cal gun) and when they have to defend their own life are unable to stop the charge of an attacker because of lack of stopping power from the bullet. Read up on one shot stopping ballistics of various bullets before you choose a gun to use.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

That's why I would chose 40 or a 45 caliber. Most 9mm cartridges have too high of a muzzle velocity.

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

Stopping Power Chart, This one tells it all and should be read by all cc holders before choosing a gun for self defense. Read this article and then page down to the lowly 22 & 25 cal results before you put your life on the line using one of these calibers to defend your life.

Lonestar1 10 years, 6 months ago

Why would Douglas Co. (Lawrence) the ultra left wing, gun hating capitol of Kansas, what to make it easy for anyone to get something they don't want you to have, even if it is legal in the state to do so. State law says you can apply for a canceled carry permit; the county does not have to make it easy or convenient.

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

Understanding the "One Stop Percentages" for the beginner. Read article above.

50 or higher: You only have to shot an attacker once or at most twice to stop the attack. 30 to 49: Shot em twice to stop the attack. 18 to 20: It will take five shots to stop the attack. 380 cal. 11.1 : Better plan on firing ten bullets to end an attack. .32 cal. 3.7 & 4.2: shoot twenty bullets to get the result of stopping a charge. 22 & 25 Cal

This is what stopping power is all about.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

There's a reason most law enforcement all over the U.S. choose a 40 or 45 and not a 9mm.

Nick Yoho 10 years, 6 months ago

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.As one who will never again own a gun,(and has been shot at).I Do NOT feel any safer reading this article.In fact the thought of all these people salivating to get the concealed permit scares the shizat out of me!Most of these folks are the same chicken hawks,that support the neocon Bush regimes "shoot first ask questions later"policy! Goddess forbid I accidentally cut one of the true believes off in traffic!

Postal 10 years, 6 months ago

Downhomedude said,"JimMacklin-You imply that the Wichita Police are a bunch of dog shooters. You are talking about something you know nothing about and seldom happens. The Wichita Police are the best law enforcement agency in the entire midwestern state area. Don't ever say anything bad about the Wichita Police!" Actually what I think he was saying was that you never know what situation you may find yourself in that you may want a concealed handgun for.If you ever walk around some of south Wichitas neighborhoods the odds of getting attacked by a vicious dog are much greater than being attacked by a bad guy.Dogs get shot more often than you may think in Wichita.As a letter carrier in Wichita,we were told by animal control to call the police for a vicious dog as they can better take care of them.The WPD also has a much faster response time than animal control.It's no offense to the WPD as I would shoot an aggressive dog that was trying to attack me.I commend them for removing several pitbulls that had been giving letter carriers and the neighborhood problems for several months.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

kawvalleykid, just hide under the bed & keep repeating to yourself, "regime change begins in 2008, regime change begins in 2008". I'm sure President Condi will make everything all better for you.

monkeywrench1969 10 years, 6 months ago


That is part of the law. IF the cops check you, for the permit they can also test you for alcohol consumption right on the spot. If you refuse it is like a driver's license, they take it from you on the spot along with your piece.

Before you comment you need to check the laws more closely.

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

Although I rarely seem to fully agree with KawValleyKid, I have to admit that reading some of the commentary on gun issues, with the electric undercurrent of salivation and overwhelming desire for the permit and the right to carry a big honking gun on person, would tend to make me a little more nervous than the general situation should probably warrant.

Of course, then I remember that if there is a commonality on this board, it's that we're mostly just talk, so it's probably not that much of a problem after all.

purplesage 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't think this is a good idea. Some training is better than no training. How well equipped to deal with a victim from a car accident do you feel after a day in first aid class? I have to imagine that 8 hours of info on your concealed weapon results in similar preparedness.

Police spend lots of time qualifying and training - and they don't always stop shooting when the perpetrator is down,

There will not be the needed degree of restraint. People are going to shoot - and get shot - because of the bravado all this is going to inspire.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

purplesage, you have some good points, but at the end of the day, I do believe that good law abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves against thugs and evildoers. My CC teacher did believe that the training class should be at least 2 full days. I had a really good teacher. He was way over-qualified. Retired Marine who trained self-defense to thousands in the military & really knew his firearms.

Joel 10 years, 6 months ago

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Chad will be doing an online chat this afternoon. Please post your questions and thoughts there!

Joel Mathis Managing Editor for Convergence

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

KawValleyKid (Nick Yoho) says:

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. I Do NOT feel any safer reading this article.In fact the thought of all these people salivating to get the concealed permit scares the shizat out of me!

KVK - there are fewer than 300 people who have applied for the permit in Douglas Cty to date and that's with the initial "rush" of the first of the year. With a population of around 110,000 that's less than 3/1000s of the total population. . Not much salivation going on here I don't think. People's reaction to the CCH thing is way overblown. Most people just carry without the that figure would be interesting. People have been carrying concealed weapons around you for a long time.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

This article was definitely less biased than the first. It was a pretty good description of how the CCH thing works for anyone who was interested. And he ended the article with the biggest point of CCH......the absolute LAST thing you want to do is shoot someone. Our civil legal system is set up for wrongful death lawsuits. You only need find the shyster lawyer who will file the claim.

JSDAD 10 years, 6 months ago

Machiavelli_mania (Anonymous) says:

And alcohol and guns do not mix. I think everyone who gets a gun to carry should be checked for alcohol abuse periodically.

I missed the part where that comes into the article or why

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

Machiavelli_mania (Anonymous) says: And alcohol and guns do not mix. I think everyone who gets a gun to carry should be checked for alcohol abuse periodically.

They won't or shouldn't get checked more than anyone who drives a car. Once again, the reaction to this CCH thing is way overblown. It's simply NOT a big deal.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

kneejerkreaction wrote: "Most people just carry without the that figure would be interesting. People have been carrying concealed weapons around you for a long time."

Excellent point.

Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

Can somebody tell me if there is an upcoming chat with Chad? ;)

ksdivakat 10 years, 6 months ago

Ok so here comes the completely dumb blonde questions about this, first with all the people getting them, should we all get them?? I shot a gun once, and closed my eyes when i did it! I hate guns Im not good around them let alone with them, but I am curious...everyone keeps saying that a .22 wouldnt stop a attack? Really? I thought gun shot was a gun shot?? Now im not being a smart-butt about it, im honestly asking, I just always thought that if you were shot by a gun you were gonna stop! So then my next question is, if im uncomfortable handling one, how can I become comfortable to be able to protect myself? I mean its gonna take longer than 8 hours I would think! If anyone could clear up my confusion I would appreciate it.

Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

ksdivakat, you need to answer a basic question for yourself, "If attacked could you kill someone in self defense?" If the answer is no, do not purchase a gun. If yes, find someone you trust to take you to the range to see if you can be comfortable handling a gun before purchasing one. By this time you should know whether you need or want to get a concealed carry permit.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

fellowAmerican, to answer your question. If a Ks. CC person is attacked & feels their life is in danger, then no, we are not required to retreat.

ksdivakat 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for all the great advise, I think Im gonna pass on this one, as I did have fun shooting that gun the one time but it was all for fun and just to shoot. I could never shoot anyone, I would be the one who is to skeered to shot it, so I will just leave that to all you experts, and hope that if you ever see me being attacked and you have a CC permit that you will help me out!! Thanks, and God bless!

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

scenebooster (Anonymous) says: Hate to be a wise-acre, but this ain't LA. Or NYC. Or Chicago. Or Houston. This is Lawrence, KS. You don't need to pack. If you are that scared of being criminally attacked in Lawrence, I don't know what to tell you, other than that your head would explode in any of the aforementioned cities.

Once again, substitute "Virginia Tech" for Lawrence. Or "little Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania" or "quiet Connecticut home of a doctor and his family". Those places were safe too, and still are today, but there was a moment there inbetween that was a pure nightmare....

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

Agreed that 8 hrs of training does not teach firearm safety. But just because someone has little experience doesn't make them safe or unsafe. I've seen plenty of self proclaimed gun experts handle firearms unsafely. Depends on the individual.

Americorps...the vast majority of law enforcement codemns concealed handgun laws? Baloney. The cops are smart enough to know that the threat to them is not from CCH.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

The Amish are nonviolent and probably would not kill someone anyway. At V-Tech, the University did not allow firearms on campus and I haven't heard at the CT Docs house. In any of these situations, it doesn't take a very smart person to see that a handgun being present could have been potentially positive.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

But, if you feel unsure of carrying a handgun, please don't. The comment about feeling "safe" is too naive to dispute. It's just that, a feeling, but not reality.

Bone777 10 years, 6 months ago

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kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

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kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

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kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

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Sigmund 10 years, 6 months ago

The nice thing about the KS conceal law is it lets those who qualify the freedom of choice whether conceal carry or not. No one can force you too CC or not CC. If you feel it will never be a help you and you can't be bothered, by all means feel free not to carry. If you feel it might be of value sometime (even if it is against the stupid violent criminals, we all know how RARE they are) feel free to apply and CC.

Currently, 48 U.S. states allow some form of concealed carry, characterizing Kansas CC as some kind of reversion back to the Wild West is meaningless rhetoric.

farmgal 10 years, 6 months ago

I was disappointed to find out how expensive the CC process is here in Kansas. When I think of the Constitution & the "Right to Bear Arms", I don't think of that beyond the cost of the gun & bullets. But, in Kansas, I think the right to bear arms doesn't apply to the poor. It's costly and will not be w/i some people's income to do this. Cost of the class ($100 to $250.), cost of the license: $150. N O N R E F U N D A B L E, cost of the license itself (don't know yet what that amount will be), and of course, the cost of the firearm, which many people may already have. Then in 4 years, you get to do it again. 2 hour course/class, $100. fees & license fee. Not cheap by any means.

catseye 10 years, 6 months ago

Since I'm not from Kansas, I won't comment on the need for CC in Lawrence. I will ask a couple of questions however. 1. If the crime rate and type such that Lawrence requires a police department? A violent crimes unit? A homicide unit? If so, how can you say CC is not justified? As for Americorp's comment on law enforcement agency endorsements of gun many street cops do you see making those statements...normally it's the politically appointed Chief of Police in front of the mike. Ah, and comparing other countries, like England, to the US? You mean in things like home invasions and such? Studies comparing burgleries in relationship to "hot burgleries" (where the house is attacked knowing that people are inside). In England, the rate of burgleries that are "hot" is 45%. In the US...15%. I wonder why? Gun violence in England may be lower because of the lack of guns, but our cousins are how having to ban the carrying of knives. If people want to hurt others, they don't need guns. A toothbrush, shaving razor and cigarette lighter will suffice. As for the comment about "packing" making someone feel like a "man" in New Mexico, there are a whole lot of women getting their CCs. Speaking of stats...Gary Kleck, a professor of law at Florida State, a member of the ACLU and Amnesty International, looked at 16 studies indicating that, according to which study was cited, between 0.5 million and 1.5 million times a year, people use guns defensively to prevent violent crimes. He found these studies to be inaccurate. He found the upper level could be as high as 2.5 million times a year. That means up to 2.5 million rapes, assaults, murders prevented by ordinary citizens with guns. Oh, by the way, did you know that according to the FBI, victims of violent crimes know their attacker 80% of the time, with family being the highest number? So opportunistic ambush attacks are not as likely, even in Lawrence. And even then, there are numerous times when the ambushing criminal is successfully fought off by an armed victim.

catseye 10 years, 6 months ago

Sorry fellowAmerican, you cited some of the Kleck stats, but I didn't read through your comment throughly.

Tychoman 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't feel safer with an increased number of guns on the streets--regardless of who is carrying them, certified or not. Guns have one purpose: to kill.

For some, crazily rational reason, I believe that if police departments around the country believe that an increased number of guns will do absolutely nothing to lower the crime rate and present a greater danger than what already exists, their opinion should be considered. For that same crazily rational reason, I consider the opinion of law enforcement higher than any armchair analyst or lay person on the street any day.

All that jargon about "freedom" and the 2nd Amendment are completely misunderstood. The country already has a well-regulated militia. More than one, actually. The MILITARY, existing police departments, for starters.

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

One last thought, for those of you that feel secure within the city limits of Lawrence, and can't see the need for concealed carry. Not all of us are confined to stay inside the city boundaries. Believe it or not we often travel to other cities where security is lacking and crime is prevalent. These are the places where the ability to defend ourselves is not only desirable but necessary. This is the reason we opt to apply for the concealed carry license.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

The constitution's 2nd amendment is not being rewritten, it is currently being reviewed and defined by the US Supreme Court, or not. If not, then the 2nd amendment will pertain to "individual" rights, not the rights of an organized militia. If the question, which arose from a lower court's overturning of the Washington DC 1976 categorical ban on weapons, is upheld, it is a great victory for progun people. We'll know within the next 90 days or so.

sfjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Once again Kansas proves itself worthy of being the butt of national jokes. In Kansas there are two solutions to all problems - More Guns and more jesus. We need to change our state anthem to the Beatles "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

sfjayhawk, concealed carry has not increased the number of guns in KS. And, we're one of the last states to adopt CC.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

"Guns have one purpose: to kill." You forget the sport of target shooting.....

deec 10 years, 6 months ago

The long-winded rambling posts. The feeble futile attempt to use a different "voice". Dual names posting simultaneously. And... there it is, the jab at Clinton. I think someone has reincarnated....again.

50YearResident 10 years, 6 months ago

These comments have morphed into a Bush/war thread right before my eyes. LOL

EXks 10 years, 6 months ago

Ok, you amateurs can have your guns & concealed permits and pretend you're the Terminator. If it should come to a shoot out, we'll be reading your obit in the next day news.

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

EXks 10 years, 6 months ago

gigiplata, are you by chance Pee Wee Herman....? LOL

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

You don't seem to want to accept the fact you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who's the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who's been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. Well Rambo was the best.

gogoplata 10 years, 6 months ago

It's 11:59 on Radio Free America; this is Uncle Sam, with music, and the truth until dawn. Right now I've got a few words for some of our brothers and sisters in the occupied zone: "the chair is against the wall, the chair is against the wall", "john has a long mustache, john has a long mustache". It's twelve o'clock, American, another day closer to victory. And for all of you out there, on, or behind the line, this is your song.

EXks 10 years, 6 months ago

So you have a complex, who cares. Like I said, if one feels secure in owning a gun, if it establishes a sense of security in the brain, well.... fine, I have no objections. My point is that it is FALSE sense of security.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 6 months ago

It's quite likely that the small contingent of Kansas CC license holders will simply be happy to create a sense of INsecurity among those in the criminal element. Unfortunately, it seems to have already happened to an extent with the standard gun fearing crowd. Do you think those in Kansas' criminal elemental school are not, or are less, afraid of guns? If so, then why?

As has been mentioned, Kansas is about the last state (Illinois and Wisconsin are left) to allow concealed carry -privileges-. It seems that -good- citizen fear of legal concealed carry license holders hasn't proven to be a legitimate concern in other states. "The current trend towards adopting concealed carry laws has not been without opposition; however, no state which has adopted a shall-issue concealed carry law has subsequently reversed their decision to do so."

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

Fact: Thirty five states1 (and the majority of the American population) live in "right-to-carry" states, and in each the crime rate fell (or did not rise) after the law became active (as of July, 2006).

Lots of other facts here that fly in the face of most of the antigun arguments on this site.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 6 months ago

States that disallow concealed carry have crime rates 11% higher than national averages - FBI Uniform Crime reports, 2004

madisontown 10 years, 6 months ago

couple of comments: 1: The .22 caliber (excluding war) has been used to kill more people than all other handgun calibers combined. The "ballistics" issue is a load of crap, my wife refuses to carry anything but her .22 and that's better than pepper spray any day. The instructor having a problem with his cheap .22 auto probably has more to do with "cheap" than ".22". The Long Rifle ammunition that is used in that weapon was not designed or manufactured to feed quickly enough to be reliable in self defense, especially in a cheap gun. In a revolver, however, it is plenty viable. 2: Law enforcement officers are 3 times more likely to commit a crime than a random sample of ordinary citizens. The 2nd amendment was written to allow citizens to defend the rest of the constitution from their government as much as it was meant to be general protection. 3: Concealed carry freedom is a deterrent because of the uncertainty that it creates in the mind of would-be attackers. The option needs to be left wide open or the crooks will know that you are an easy target. Like a seatbelt or a fire extinguisher: you will probably go your entire life and never need them, but if you ever do, you'll wish you had one. 4: You need not fear your neighbor, fear the crooks. The gun is a criminals source of income and they WILL get a hold of them. Making guns harder to get only makes the gun trade more lucrative, and disarms the law abiding. How could a person think that we could keep guns from bad guys who are so eager to get them. 90 years and 2 trillion dollars into this war-on-drugs, and we still cant keep them out of PRISONS.

I am sick of being legislated for the crimes of others. Punish the criminals, get rid of them, not their tools.

Travis Morgan 10 years, 6 months ago

Folks, not all of us that want concealed carry think we're the "ultimate mall ninja", or Rambo. With the way Wichita is, these days, it just seems like a good idea to be able to keep a gun handy, legally. I used to be able to hold my own in a fight, physically, and didn't much worry much about what part of town I went to. But, now, I'm older, I have a bad back, and a family to worry about. If I had to fight people off, just to make sure my wife and kid could get to safety, I'm not so sure I could do so. Also, the places we used to feel safe going to that are increasingly more dangerous.

We used to be able to carry guns in the car or truck (remember gun racks in all the pickups, not so long ago?) without worry, but now, all of a sudden, people are afraid of guns. This month, we've already had a couple of stabbings, and we're not even halfway through! There was a body found in a field not far from my home! How could anybody read the local news, or even just the tidbits we hear on the radio, and not notice all the violent crime here, and think I'm being paranoid. I really prefer to just trust people, and I don't want to hurt anybody, but it's my duty, as a husband and a father, to keep my wife and kid safe!

I'll grant you, I DO really enjoy guns. I've hunted quite a bit, as well as doing some competitive shooting. And, yes, I even load my own ammunition. For the $35 it costs for me to buy 1 box of 50 rounds of .45 colt ammo, I can reload several hundred rounds. For those of you that don't shoot, 50 rounds goes by in a very, very short time! Too short for effective practice. If I take my son out for a "Guys' night out" we can honestly go through about 500 rounds in one evening at the indoor range. And, NO, I'm not trying to encourage him to be Rambo, either. We concentrate on shooting safely, not just blasting away. I'm hoping he'll show some interest in shooting competitively and, hopefully, win some scholarships.

Well, I realise this was kinda longwinded, but hopefully, you'll see that most concealed carry supporters are not "gun nuts", but rather ordinary citizens. A lot of us enjoy shooting as a hobby. Visit an indoor shooting range. We'll probably be the fist to offer you help when your gun jams, or show you how to get a better grouping on your target. Most newcomers to the shooting sports are absolutely amazed at how polite everyone is.

Nick Yoho 10 years, 6 months ago

I think what bothers me is the concealed part.Why not just strap that thing to your side where everybody can SEE it.Then you will be safe.Criminals wont get within 50 feet of you!As an added benefit,other, possibly more rational people,would be able to usher their kids away from you too. See I don't mind being around guns,but why HIDE them?I don't get it.Shouldn't you advertise your carrying,therefore getting more or better bang for your buck?(sorry really bad pun.)Peace

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