Originally Posted by Gunther
Regardless your fear or trepidation, the numbers are the numbers. CCL holders do not engage in unjustified shootings often, almost to a minuscule degree so your fears are unwarranted. Indeed, they rarely engage in justified shootings so I think it's fair to assume they are a reasonably educated lot both in terms of gun skills as well as people skills, to use your words.
NYTimes/December 26, 2011
lan Simons was enjoying a Sunday morning bicycle ride with his family in Asheville, N.C., two years ago when a man in a sport utility vehicle suddenly pulled alongside him and started berating him for riding on the highway.
Ashville Police Department
The bullet passed through Mr. Simons's helmet.
Ashville Police Department
Mr. Simons, his 4-year-old son strapped in behind him, slowed to a halt. The driver, Charles Diez, an Asheville firefighter, stopped as well. When Mr. Simons walked over, he found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
“Go ahead, I’ll shoot you,” Mr. Diez said, according to Mr. Simons. “I’ll kill you.”
Mr. Simons turned to leave but heard a deafening bang. A bullet had passed through his bike helmet just above his left ear, barely missing him.
Mr. Diez, as it turned out, was one of more than 240,000 people in North Carolina with a permit to carry a concealed handgun. If not for that gun, Mr. Simons is convinced, the confrontation would have ended harmlessly. “I bet it would have been a bunch of mouthing,” he said.
Mr. Diez, then 42, eventually pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
The bedrock argument for this movement is that permit holders are law-abiding citizens who should be able to carry guns in public to protect themselves. “These are people who have proven themselves to be among the most responsible and safe members of our community,” the federal legislation’s author, Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, said on the House floor.
To assess that claim, The New York Times examined the permit program in North Carolina, one of a dwindling number of states where the identities of permit holders remain public. The review, encompassing the last five years, offers a rare, detailed look at how a liberalized concealed weapons law has played out in one state. And while it does not provide answers, it does raise questions.
More than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, excluding traffic-related crimes, over the five-year period, The Times found when it compared databases of recent criminal court cases and licensees. While the figure represents a small percentage of those with permits, more than 200 were convicted of felonies, including at least 10 who committed murder or manslaughter. All but two of the killers used a gun.
Among them was Bobby Ray Bordeaux Jr., who had a concealed handgun permit despite a history of alcoholism, major depression and suicide attempts. In 2008, he shot two men with a .22-caliber revolver, killing one of them, during a fight outside a bar.
More than 200 permit holders were also convicted of gun- or weapon-related felonies or misdemeanors, including roughly 60 who committed weapon-related assaults.
In addition, nearly 900 permit holders were convicted of drunken driving, a potentially volatile circumstance given the link between drinking and violence.
Ricky Wills, 59, kept his permit after recently spending several months behind bars for terrorizing his estranged wife and their daughter with a pair of guns and then shooting at their house while they, along with a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a 911 call, were inside. “That’s crazy, absolutely crazy,” his wife, Debra Wills, said in an interview when told that her husband could most likely still buy a gun at any store in the state.
Mr. Wills’s permit was revoked this month, after The Times informed the local sheriff’s office.