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Dangerous Combination or Wise Protection?

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January 22, 2008, 07:18
Dangerous Combination or Wise Protection?
The State's New Gun Law Has People Talking


The Castle Doctrine allows people to use whatever means necessary to protect themselves and their property without fear of civil liability, but now a new law expands on the castle law.

This law, nicknamed the "Carjacking Law," allows Texans to carry guns in their cars for self defense, even without a concealed handgun license. All you have to do is meet the law's other requirements, such as not being involved in a gang, not committing a crime, and keeping the gun out of sight.

Some are worried it promotes a shoot first, ask questions later strategy.
January 22, 2008, 08:09
Gordon LeMaire
Isn't that a bit of a leap? The castle doctrine, which Texas has always had, allows self defense in the home. But doesn't the carry law only allow carrying the weapon and not use?
January 22, 2008, 08:25
As a lawyer, you may know that, but we also know that nonlawyers draw broader inferences from changes in the law. The story seems to suggest that the message derived from both new laws (and perhaps their nicknames) is that using guns in public is good and approved for more purposes than before. The expressed fear is that this will result in inappropriate use of deadly force where it might otherwise have been avoided. True or not true?
January 22, 2008, 08:30
Gordon LeMaire
I'd have to say True.
January 22, 2008, 09:39
Terry Breen
I'd have to say "True" as well, but the question is too simplistic.

Will there never be a case when some idiot uses in an inappropriate way, a pistol he keeps in his car? I'm sure there will be such cases.

But will the greater presence of pistols in autos that the law allows result in more lives being saved, and fewer successful carjackings? Surely that is true as well.

The question is: which will predominate. I believe the new statute will result in far more "appropriate" use of pistols, and save more lives, than would be the case under the old law.

Its always been legal to carry long guns in autos, and I can't recall any case where a ticked off motorist used one inappropriately. I'm sure its happened, but I can't recall such a case. I know of cases where the presence of a long gun in a vehicle saved an innocent life.
January 22, 2008, 10:38
I reckon It would be tough to aim a rifle in a fit of road rage.

Also, anyone behind the wheel of an automobile is already wielding a deadly weapon. Our transportation system DEPENDS on mutual trust. Cars kill a lot more people than guns.

Deaths by firearm are more dramatic and therefore probably get more coverage in the news but in a "Man Bites Dog" sort of way. People die in car wrecks every day.
January 22, 2008, 11:08
And no crime scene is more gory than that involving vehicular injuries/deaths.

January 22, 2008, 11:38
Shannon Edmonds
Originally posted by AlexLayman:
I reckon It would be tough to aim a rifle in a fit of road rage.

NOW I know why Max sawed off that shotgun of his ...

January 22, 2008, 13:14
Originally posted by Terry Breen:
I can't recall any case where a ticked off motorist used one inappropriately.

I had a case a few years ago where a ticked off motorist, thinking he was confronting a young woman, got out of his car and aggresively approached her. Her two large male friends, previously unnoticed by Angry Man, got out of the car before he got too close. Angry Man then ran back to his own car and pulled out his gun which he then used to threaten them. They jumped back in the car and sped off to call the police.

Not sure where this case falls in your scale, Terry, but I just thought I'd share. I do think guns have some tendency to make people who are overly aggressive more confident about acting on those feelings. Not sure what would have happened here if the victims had been armed as well. Maybe the same thing, but if not, I doubt it would have come out better.
January 22, 2008, 15:20
Once again, we all seem happy to pass out the guns, so long as they only get in the hands of "good" people. It will be interesting to watch the SCOTUS wiggle around with that concept in looking at the constitutional right, which seems to suggest that the right to bear arms must be related to some socially appropriate function.
January 23, 2008, 13:29
<Bob Cole>
I prefer the policy of South Dakota where posessing a handgun is legal and they have some of the nation's lowest violent crime rates.
January 23, 2008, 15:03
No wonder--South Dakota contains fewer than 10 people per square mile; Texas has almost 80 (despite having three times the land area of S.Dakota). Who cares if everyone has a gun if nobody is in range?
January 23, 2008, 16:27
Okay, how about Vermont? (66 people per sq mi, no gun restrictions, lower homicide rate than S. Dakota and Texas).
January 23, 2008, 17:31
They are all high on maple syrup.
January 24, 2008, 08:45
But we in Texas (more specifically, East Texas' Upshur County) have Sweet Potatoes!!! All that sugarry goodness. Yum, Yum!! Surely that ought to put miles 'o smiles on the faces of our fellow Texans. "Turn those frowns upside down: We've got yams!" (Crowd echos, "We've got yams! We've got yams!")

Oh, wait. Oops. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber. Fiber probably contributes to people bein' cranky. Cranky people shoot other people.

Okay, JB, I guess we can't compete with maple syrup after all.

January 24, 2008, 09:23
<Bob Cole>
I would have thought the fiber would make folks less cranky.......

For those interested, you can see through the Yam Cam here

Yam Cam
January 24, 2008, 09:44
Terry Breen
The former chief economist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D, did extensive research on gun control, and has written the definitive book on the issue, "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime & Gun-Control Laws."

As you may surmise from the book's title, the empirical evidence heavily favors those who say gun control laws are counter-productive in lowering crime.

I am unaware of any research on the correlation between eating sweet potatoes and violent crime.