Who's Packin' Heat in Philly?

More and more young urbanites join the right-to-carry movement.

By Jon Campisi
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 104 | Posted May. 25, 2010

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Photo by Jeff Fusco

Dan Pehrson rolls up to 1 Shot Coffee, a cafe in Northern Liberties, on two wheels, much like many of his environmentally conscious urban peers. He’s just the type of patron this establishment is accustomed to serving. The 28-year-old computer programmer is cool, calm and collected. And his look—blazer, jeans, sneakers, black-rimmed eyeglasses, hair tussled and neat at the same time—say hipster all the way. Pehrson, who lives in the Art Museum area, appears and acts much like everyone else at the coffeehouse. The fact that there’s a deadly weapon under his shirt seems to have no bearing on the way he carries himself. Truth be told, he wears his gun about as well as he rocks his navy blue blazer.

The upstate New York native has lived in Pennsylvania for the past decade and says one of his favorite things about the Keystone State is the relative ease with which law-abiding citizens can obtain a license to carry firearms. “It goes across all boundaries that you could possibly imagine,” Pehrson says of gun ownership, and more specifically, of carrying a pistol on a daily basis. “Most of the people I know who own guns are doctors, lawyers, programmers and photographers.”

The rise in gun ownership by urban dwellers has been well-documented over the past few years. In August 2007, the late Steven Wells penned a PW cover story about the diverse crowd of Philadelphians arming themselves for in-home protection. And the numbers continue to rise: It’s no secret that gun sales in this country began skyrocketing the day after Barack Obama became president.

But Pehrson represents a gun-owning demographic not often discussed: Young, professionals packin’ (legal) heat on Philly streets. As Pehrson tells his tale, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s a gun under his shirt. When asked to reveal his weapon, he politely declines. “Concealed means concealed,” he says with a smile.

Pehrson didn’t always pack a pistol. Back in 2004, he was looking for a hobby, and his quest led him to the Philadelphia Archery and Gun Club on Ellsworth Street in South Philly. There, he met friendly and knowledgeable staffers who taught him how to properly shoot. He was hooked. “If everybody is more educated, less people are going to get hurt due to accidents,” he says.

Soon, Pehrson was making regular visits to the gun club, carrying his weapon strictly to and from the range. But without a carry license, gun owners who transport their guns must adhere to a host of laws: keeping ammunition separate from the gun while in the vehicle, no stops between home and the range. Pehrson figured it was just easier to get a carry license. As time went on, carrying a gun became a part of his daily life. He even carries his gun to work, and says it’s not an issue for the Center City company that employs him.

Pehrson says that carrying a gun makes him feel safe, and points to one incident in particular that reinforces his decision.

It was late June 2008 about 10 p.m., and Pehrson found himself walking from North Bowl on Second Street in Northern Liberties to his then-girlfriend’s house near Front Street and Girard Avenue. He was followed, he says, and subsequently surrounded by three teens wielding a stun gun—he later found out the boys had been zapping people and robbing them. Pehrson says he drew his firearm, never pointing it at anyone and keeping it angled toward the ground the entire time, and the youths dispersed.

“They realized they weren’t going to get to roll some hipster kid in Northern Liberties,” he says. Pehrson called 911 to document the incident. “What it underscored is this concept that I’m responsible for my own safety.” Pehrson says he believes statistics show most people who carry a gun for protection never have to draw their weapon, let alone fire it. “I really am probably one of the few people who have had to,” pull his gun in self-defense, he says.

As his love of guns grew, so too did Pehrson’s need to become more involved in the legalities of gun ownership. “I always had in the back of my head that it could be political,” he says.

And political it is: Pennsylvania has been a “shall-issue state,” meaning authorities must award carry licenses to applicants with clean records who meet certain criteria, since 1988. At the time, only five other states had the designation. But while licenses have been available to residents for over 20 years now some Philly residents say police often drag their feet on the applications, making the process more restrictive than allowed by law.

In Philly, there were approximately 5,890 LTCFs issued in 2008 and 5,043 last year, according to Lt. Lisa King of the Gun Permits Unit. There are currently about 23,500 active licenses in the city. LTCFs are good for five years. By comparison, Bucks County issued about 5,618 licenses in 2008 and 5,771 in 2009, according to a spokeswoman at the county’s Sheriff’s Office. There are more than 28,000 active licenses in that county at this time. Considering Philadelphia’s population soars above 1 million, and Bucks County’s hovers around 600,000, the disparity in the numbers of licenses issued raises some questions for those who complain that police are delaying their right to carry.

Pehrson’s thirst for gun owner information led him to conduct extensive research, but the more he searched, the less satisfied he felt. “There were 18 different websites that all said something slightly different,” he says. So in 2006, he started the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association, pafoa.org, a site that today has 30,000 registered users. “It’s part education, part ... politics,” he says of PAFOA. It was a way to help change people’s views of guns, or at least help them open their minds to the possibility that firearms can be used for good instead of misery, he says. Despite the negativity surrounding guns, Pehrson asks people to be open-minded, and realize that “self-defense is ultimately a personal choice.”

These days, Pehrson meets fellow gun owners in unlikely places, including trips to the bank. (Carrying a firearm in a bank is not prohibited by law in Pennsylvania, although, like any business exercising private-property rights, individual banks can have a policy against it). “I’m depositing a check and I meet another gun owner,” he says. “It’s one of those things—gun owners are everywhere.” One teller asked him for information about PAFOA, now a registered nonprofit organization. Pehrson handed him a card.

One amazing thing about PAFOA, he says, is membership diversity. While gun owners are often stereotyped as “rednecks,” Pehrson says this couldn’t be further from the truth. One member on his site, he says, is an extreme leftist, a card-carrying socialist labor organizer. Others are Libertarians. Still others are conservatives. There’s the firearm dealer, the teacher and the journalist. The computer programmer, the cop and the stay-at-home-mom.

Then there’s Al, a 33-year-old IT guy, and his wife, a 28-year-old project manager for a corporate company in Center City. Al can’t be more than 5’6, sports long hair pulled back in a ponytail, struts around in flip-flops and dons thin-rimmed glasses. And he’s a practicing Buddhist, prayer beads and all. His wife, who requested anonymity, rocks a necklace with handcuff charms, sports a bob haircut, blond with purple streaks, and has the air of punkishness. The mild-mannered couple love living in Northern Liberties, and are otherwise unassuming. They also both carry a firearm for protection on a regular basis. “I always carry wherever I can,” Al says. “She does the same thing.”

The couple got into guns after a home scare three years ago. They had just moved to the neighborhood when one night a banging on their front door woke them up. They figured it was a drunk who mistook the place for home. “As soon as I woke up I realized we had nothing to defend ourselves,” Al says.

They had talked about getting guns before, but only in passing. The incident prompted them to act. First thing was a trip to the range to learn about gun safety and proper shooting techniques. What developed was an obsession. They won’t say how many guns they own, but it’s a lot. Mostly for educational purposes, since Al takes neighbors out to the range for shooting instruction, requests he says seem to be increasing lately. “For me, guns become very academic,” Al says. Based on the number of people who contact him for lessons, Al surmises gun ownership, and in particular those who legally carry on public streets, may be on the rise in Philly.

Surprisingly, Al’s wife says there definitely seem to be more women taking up arms, as is evident by those who have reached out to her husband for shooting lessons. Self-admittedly afraid of guns in the past, Al’s wife warmed up to the idea after taking a few lessons. “You kind of just have to open your minds,” she says. “You need to practice, get comfortable with it.” She adds: “A lot of times, women are better first-time shooters than men because they actually listen.” Al chuckles in the background.

Al sees a need to carry a gun because of the unforeseeable. “When you carry, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that’s the reason why you carry,” he says. “You carry because from your home to the office is where everything happens.”

Al says Northern Liberties seems to be a hot spot for burgeoning gun enthusiasts. After a spate of recent home invasions, Al posted invitations for gun lessons on the neighborhood Internet forum. He received a number of responses. “Even in the nicest neighborhood, anything can happen,” he says. His wife points out that carrying is insurance in a sense.

The couple make it clear that carrying a gun doesn’t give one the right to quick-draw. There’s a social responsibility to be reserved when tested. “If you’re in a situation, and you have the ability to retreat, that would be my first choice,” Al’s wife says. Al continues: “You don’t have these things because you plan on using them. We know that the threats are there. It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it ... It’s kind of hard to practice Buddhism when you’re dead.”

Josh Dillon refuses to be a blurb in a yellowing obituary. The 33-year-old Northern Liberties resident, who operates a solar-energy company, and lives an urban life much like his peers, is another gun owner who constantly has a firearm at his side. Dillon understands how guns can be demonized in a city like Philadelphia, where firearms, especially the handgun, have become a symbol of neverending pain. But he says it’s important not to blame an inanimate object for society’s problems.

“Do you blame the drug on the person who died from an overdose, or do you blame the person who put the drug into their body?” he asks. Dillon says he’s not “pro-gun,” he’s pro self-defense. He likens it to the abortion debate; it’s not “pro-abortion,” it’s pro-choice. And he wants the option to pack his piece.

Someone else who enjoys having that option is a 33-year-old Germantown man who has his gun with him 24/7. “Dave,” who requested anonymity, decided to seek out firearms as a means of protection after being body-checked by a stranger on the street while walking to his job at a Philadelphia university more than a year ago. Today, Dave carries a gun everywhere he goes, though he’s never had to use it. “It’s made me a lot more responsible, quite frankly,” he says. “I think I’ve grown up a little bit since I started to carry. You kind of think twice when somebody in traffic messes with you.”

Dave says most people assume in a city deemed liberal that it’s hard to find folks who share this protectionist outlook on firearms. But they’re out there.

During a visit to a South Philly gun range some months back, less than a dozen young people, probably in their 20s and 30s, spent a sunny Sunday afternoon shooting away at paper targets. One young woman who was with a group of male companions appeared uneasy at first—she was jumpy and lacked confidence—it appeared as though this may have been her entry into the shooting world. As for general gun ownership in the city, Dave suspects it’s on the rise for a number of factors. “It’s only a growing movement as far as I’m concerned, with the economy, and the city’s inability to protect people,” he says.

With the rise in armed citizens walking the streets of Philly, one might expect police officers—who see rampant gun violence everyday—to be offended that people are looking to protect themselves. But a canvassing of city streets shows they’re the first to admit they can’t be everywhere at once. One Northwest Philly bike cop who spoke anonymously says he sees absolutely nothing wrong with a citizen carrying a handgun for protection. As long as he or she is properly licensed, he says.

During an April rally in front of the Shooter Shop in Kensington, where religious protesters gathered to decry urban gun violence, and specifically call for firearm dealers to sign a code of conduct that would aim to cut down on straw purchasing (the act of someone who can legally buy a gun doing so for a prohibited person), another police officer said that carrying a gun was a right, and who was he to deny that to average citizens? Asked for his opinion on everyday folks carrying, he said: “I really don’t think it matters what our feelings are ... you have a right to bear arms.” The officer, Cpt. William Fisher of the Civil Affairs Unit, stressed he was speaking as an individual, and not as a representative of the Police Department.

David Laden, a West Mount Airy resident who has been carrying a gun since the ’90s, claims he was integral in helping to pave the way for Philly residents to obtain carry licenses more easily than they had in the early years of shall-issue legislation. Laden, 67, says he applied, and was subsequently turned down, for a carry license after shall-issue first took effect. So he sued. “After a five-year court battle, my permit was issued, and I like to think my egregious case had something to do with the subsequent change in state law that removed the Philadelphia Police Department’s ability to arbitrarily deny permits to law-abiding citizens,” he says.

Act 17 also had something to do with the change.

Actually, it had everything to do with it. The law led to the creation of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act. While addressing licensing, the law also instituted changes to the way firearms are dealt with in the commonwealth. Most notably, the act led to the creation of “preemption.” To this day, municipalities are forbidden from enacting their own gun laws. But this hasn’t prevented them from trying to do so, as is evident by Ortiz vs. Commonwealth. In 1996, a year after the UFA’s creation, then-City Councilman Angel Ortiz joined other Council members, and their counterparts in Pittsburgh, in a lawsuit that centered around their respective municipalities’ desire to regulate so-called “assault weapons.” Ortiz and the others lost, and their case is the most commonly cited example of preemption remaining the law of the land in Pennsylvania.

Laden says the case is more relevant than ever, “because the City continues to piss away tax dollars enacting stunt gun laws that can never be enforced,” he writes in an email. Just as the Police Department has been known to make the licensing process more difficult than necessary, it is also known as the issuing authority in Pennsylvania that revokes the largest number of licences.

Jon Mirowitz, an attorney specializing in Pennsylvania gun laws, has drawn the ire of the Police Department more than once. He has sued, numerous times, on behalf of clients who have had their LTCF’s revoked under what they term illegitimate reasons. He’s won some, he’s lost some, but Mirowitz says the fact that he has gotten even one license reinstated shows the department is pulling licenses for questionable reasons at best, illegal ones at worse.

One example is revocation for having a firearm stolen from a vehicle. While some say it’s not the smartest thing to leave a gun unattended in a car, it’s not illegal, Mirowitz says. More importantly, however, it’s not spelled out as a valid reason for license revocation in the Uniform Firearms Act.

Police cite a provision in the UFA giving them certain leeway where revocation is concerned. “It’s not specifically stated, but it falls under the discretion of ‘good cause,’ and we’ll exercise that discretion,” says Lt. Francis Healy, a special advisor to Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

Meanwhile, soon after the creation of the UFA, Laden says, there was little reporting on the fact that carry licenses were now more easily available in Philly, and virtually no mention in the media of how to go about getting one. So Laden and some friends printed out fliers, (in pre-Internet days), and began passing them around. He also compiled statistics that showed a drastic drop in Philadelphia murder rates between 1990 (503 homicides) and 2001 (309 homicides), which coincided with the issuance of a greater number of carry licenses for private citizens. All of this happened after the Police Department was forced to start issuing LTCFs after years of not complying with shall-issue regulations, the basis for Laden’s lawsuit in the first place.

Laden says he is glad to see the existence of many other gun-rights groups, such as the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Club, of which he is a member, and says it’s always good to see more interest generated, especially among younger people. “That might be the future of activism,” he says referring to Dan Pehrson's PAFOA.

Regardless of the specific organization, Laden says the important thing is to make people see firearms in a more positive light, like they were viewed when he was young.

“Times were not always like this,” Laden says of the anti-gun culture, especially in Philadelphia. “Propaganda works. You’re seeing 30 or 40 years of propaganda and it has an effect.”

Laden says that when he was in college, students kept rifles in dorms, since they would go shooting together for fun. But despite the presence of guns, there were no mass shootings and murder sprees. “Nobody shot anybody,” he says.

As for carrying, Laden says it’s a right. “I always thought it was normal to carry,” noting his grandfather holstered a revolver while running a local taproom in the 1950s. “Basically, I carry a gun because, unlike Nutter et. al., I can’t carry a cop. ”

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 104 of 104
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1. Chris said... on May 25, 2010 at 11:50PM

“Great Article! As for the "statistics show most people who carry a gun for protection never have to draw their weapon, let alone fire it" comment, I thoroughly believe that. When I was shot at by street thugs, I was able to find cover, therefore I only readied my sidearm in case the assailant were to come at me. He fled without my needing to unholster. Things like this happen often but they go unreported by the media outlets. When it happened to me just one station ran the story & all they said was that there was shooting and property damage in a normally quiet neighborhood.”

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2. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 07:57AM

“Why might one expect police officers to be offended by people wanting to defend themselves? The city is cutting more police due to Nutter's tantrums, so they can't be everywhere when needed. This was a surprisingly unbiased article on guns in Philadelphia...but
I don't understand why the author uses the word "rocks" when he means "wears".”

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3. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 08:12AM

“It's good to see any Philadelphia paper put gun owners in a positive light. Most of us are not the gun-toting crazies that the Inquirer makes us out to be.

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4. alex said... on May 26, 2010 at 08:41AM

“While I applaud a reasonable view of urban gun ownership, the amount of fashion comments disappoints me.

I was almost expecting to read recommendations on the best post-ironic firearm to carry.

But that's nitpicking. I think I'll have to show this article to my fellow urban professionals after they find out I'm a firearm owner”

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5. Josh said... on May 26, 2010 at 08:44AM

“What I can never understand is the fact that governors and mayors are protected by police and security personnel that carry guns. So if those public servants are anti's, they are in fact saying that their lives are more important than the publics lives.”

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6. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 09:19AM

“I agree with the comment that It's good to see a Philadelphia paper put gun owners in a positive light.”

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7. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 09:56AM

“Guns don't kill people, white kids with guns kill people. Of all the stupid things to laud, PW picks paranoid yuppies that carry concealed handguns every day. There is no reason, none, for Philly residents to carry a handgun all the time. People that do have more of a defense fetish than a clear position. Just ask them. I have. They also keep guns in such dubious places as under their pillow or mattress at night, or in their car glovebox or under the seat. Its a psychosis, not a statement.”

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8. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:22AM

“Anyone who tells you 'There is no reason, none, for Philly residents to carry a handgun all the time.' usually lives in an affuent area with heavy police protection ;)

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9. janey said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:30AM

“What a bunch of scaredy-cats.”

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10. Grumpy said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:32AM

“"There is no reason, none, for Philly residents to carry a handgun all the time." <-------------FAIL

With that logic, there is also no reason to wear a seatbelt all the time. Simply put on right before you have an accident.”

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11. Dannytheman said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:40AM

“Nice article. I live 20 miles to the west of Philly in the suburbs. I love the PAFOA web site, I use it all the time. Great place to ask questions and seek like minded gun owners and shooters.

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12. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:42AM

“@anon - no doorman here - live in the neighborhood with all the risk associated (or perceived) - and based on the article it appears the gun-toters are the affluent. Did your read it? Its about the urbane gun carrier. It has tones of the elite taking the neighborhood back - as it were. Ask Gerald Ung, I suppose, about daily carrying. PW is negligent to present the daily-gun-carrier as just "a person in your neighborhood" without digging deeper into the causes/delusions that lead someone to do it.”

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13. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:45AM

“LB, you are an ignorant and small minded person. A gun is just a tool like a car, a chainsaw or a hammer. If used incorrectly and without training, it can be dangerous, but it is not inherently good or evil. When carried by a law-abiding citizen for self-defense it is no different than a gun carried by a police officer, and I'm sure you wouldn't deny our brave young men and women in blue the ability to carry a gun. If you need a reason for lawfully concealed carrying a weapon, just look at the crime statistics of Philadelphia, any other major urban center in the US or our nation at large. And if you need a reason why limiting the ability of the good citizens of a nation to own and carry firearms is a bad idea, just look at Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, etc.”

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14. J G Gunn said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:52AM

“I am not against guns. I am against concealed weapons. I have a problem with articles which talk about sharp rise in guns since Pres Obama without the reason (NRA paranoia?); I am against promoting fear out of proportion to actual danger (most people are killed by someone they know. Look it up.) And why didn't he include the mayor's declaration, the 10 points that Shane and company are working toward, so that gun shops will NOT break the law? (Straw purchasing is illegal.) Would the guy with the drunk on his porch have shot the drunk in fear if he'd had a gun? What is he doing to make sure that drunks have other options than sleeping in the street? How will articles like this promote a society that does not HAVE to use weapons that kill for defense? A really informative article would have made those points within the framework of the article at the same time it told the stories of the gun owners in a neutral way.”

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15. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:54AM

“@anon - Anon, if you are one of the daily gun carrying residents of a Phila. neighborhood, then try this: Put down your weapon and go walk around without it for an hour. Have a cup of coffee. Have a beer at the most local bar you can find. What do you feel? Uneasy? Less protected? Anxious? More alert? Bare?

If you do then your gun-carrying is causing you to view the world differently - to act differently around others. You have the beginning of a problem.”

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16. matt said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:10AM

“great to see a fantastic, unbiased article about RESPONSIBLE folks - everyday folks whom are utilizing their right to defend themselves. I personally know a couple of these people and would like to commend them for speaking out - many people wont on such a polarizing issue. There are enough laws on the books to make nearly anything one does illegal, but then again, when was the last time a criminal really cared about the law. It boils down to taking responsibility for yourself.... these people are not freelance cops, but rather people that refuse to be a victim of an assailant. Hats off to you!”

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17. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:18AM

“I am not sure which delusion is greater: the sense of everyday people carry with regard for their own safety or LB's impression that because he/she can walk around the neighborhood for hours without being raped, beaten, shot, robbed means that will never, ever happen to him/her or anyone else in the neighborhood.

How about asking David Sale, Sean Patrick Conroy, or Beau Zabel about what Gerald Ung did?”

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18. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:35AM

“I'm an American currently residing in disarmed Canada. Oh, we can own pistols, after training and the most intensive background checks (the gov. asks the permission of your current and your ex's.) But CCW is virtually impossible. We can take our pistols to the range as an unlicenced Pennsylvanian would. Perhaps LB might change his mind if he realized that his daughter, in Canada, would have to assume a fetal position and beg for her life. Later, if she is alive, she could make coffee for the police when they drop around later to take a report. I prefer my rights protected by The Second Amendment.”

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19. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:40AM

“@anon - David Sale? The guy jumped at CBP? You want people packing at the Phillies game? I'm sorry. Nobody wants that. Not ever. That suggestion just illustrates the kind of delusional thinking that I'm talking about.”

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20. George kinney said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:47AM

“My wife and myself will not be visiting PA again due to the lax gun laws. We will miss Geno's and Le Bec Fin.”

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21. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 12:00PM

“LB, the fact that you can walk around Philly and feel "safe" means that you are naive; it doesn't mean that I'm paranoid. I am aware of the dangers that face us everyday, that there exists a portion of our population that would do the rest of us harm if it profits them, and that the ability of the police to protect us each individually is virtually non-existent. Thus, the only person with the responsibility of protecting myself and my loved ones is me. I hope to live my entire life without ever having to draw or use my gun, but I am glad that I have the Constitutionally protected right to have it and not need it rather than the other way around. If you want to live your life oblivious to the dangers that surround you and be totally reliant on the police for your own protection by all means do so, but do not presume to infringe upon my God-given, natural right to defend myself or ridicule me for choosing to do so.”

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22. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 12:03PM

“@JG Gunn Most people are killed by someone they know? How about actually cite studies that categorize those killed by law abiding citizen vs those killing by thugs with GUNS. I wonder how many were killed by someone they know with knives in relative percentage to those killed by knives? How about citing stats of people who are SAVED by someone they know AND don't know, including themselves, carrying a gun?

I'm not sure how much more "neutral" this article can be. Did anyone in the article say everyone should carry a gun? Did anyone say "we want to take back the neighborhood"? All that was said was WHY we carry. We don't care if YOU carry.

Hey, if you believe that you can talk your way out of a beating, rape, murder, maim, by all means let diplomacy be your guide. Maybe you can pitch the story to PW of how victims in the past had paved ways for diplomatic solutions "to not use weapons to kill for defense" with extensive experiences on how to deal with the criminals in Philly.”

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23. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 12:13PM

“@LB I also don't want criminals to carry guns around my neighborhood, so not sure what your point is about "want" with respect to carrying at the ball park. As a matter of fact, many people do, as do I. Gun carriers with a valid license to carry can check their guns into the police locker inside Citizen Bank Ball Park.

The David Sale parallel was clearly drawn to illustrate against your insinuation "look at what happened with Gerald Ung". The fact was that David Sale was attacked by 3 drunks, Gerald Ung drew and shot when 5 drunks attacked him and his companion. Gerald survived, David didn't. In both cases, the assailants were unarmed. I am not really sure where you were going with that other than proving yourself wrong that "no one should be carrying".”

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24. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 12:17PM

“@JG Gunn If you know anything about gun laws, you know that 8 out of the 10 points are ALREADY legally required. The other 2 are ILLEGAL. Do you really think if a gun shop broke the law, it's STILL in business? You have no idea what the ATF do do you? Why don't protesters stand outside of straw purchaser's homes and protest there? How about in front of parole boards and judges who don't follow through with punishments for breaking the thousands of gun laws already in the book?

As for whether or not I would've shot the drunk guy, you really need to learn a thing or two about gun laws, home defense techniques, and limitation of the use of deadly force to understand what can legally transpire. Start with PA UFA, study the duty to retreat, learn about locking yourself and your family up in a safe place and call the police.

For the records, we did not know whether it was a lost drunk or someone checking to see if anyone was home before breaking in.”

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25. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 12:47PM

“@ George Kinney
If you think that way, I suggest you search for 2010 Brady Brady State Gun Law Scorecard and avoid visiting any state that scores 25 or less (PA = 25).

However, may I suggest you also search for most dangerous cities in America and cross reference their states with the scorecard and see if strict gun laws have any relevance in this discussion.

Here's a few for you to inspect: Baltimore, MD; Camden, NJ; Washington D.C; Oakland, CA; Newark, NJ; Springfield, MA; Compton, CA. ... guess what they all have in common? The are ranked well above Philadelphia, PA and their states scored 50 points compared to PA 25 points on the Brady Scorecard.

While you're at it, maybe you should look at the numbers for your own state.”

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26. matt said... on May 26, 2010 at 01:20PM

“George Kinney - Ill be happy to help you get out of PA should you ever find yourself inadvertently here. Bottom line is that the folks that have subject themselves to the scrutiny of the powers-that-be to obtain a LTCF (or CCW permit, depending on where you reside) are not the problem, its the ones that dont (and are most likely the criminal that simply doesnt obey the law anyway). I personally have multiple permits form multiple states. Trust me, the authorities know who I am... can we assume the same for you?”

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27. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 01:27PM

“Al, I know I speak for a great many when I ask you, for all our sakes, next time you go watch the Phillies, please leave your weapon at home.”

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28. squidbox33 said... on May 26, 2010 at 01:43PM

“I've met Dan Pehrson and agree, he's totally a hipster.”

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29. JID said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:21PM

“Al, you can bring your gun to a Phills game. For my sake.”

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30. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:23PM

“A guy/guys break into your house. Would you rather have a phone, a gun, or both?”

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31. Broncits said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:34PM

“Great article! It was SO refreshing to see a story about the average, real, law-abiding gun owners!

Unfortunatly, it seems that most every other "gun story" is just a slanted tail of how carrier criminals use evil guns and how making new "feel-good" laws (which by thieir own definition, criminals will not follow anyway.....HELLO Legislators!) will make us all safe!

The sad but true dirty little secret the anti-gun lobby distorts with is that almost every piece of gun legislation proposed only restricts people like the law-abiding folks like in the article, but does absolutly nothing to prevent or reduce crime!

We need to enforce and prosocute with the existing laws we have on the books. They ARE there, USE THEM!”

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32. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:39PM

“@LB How about you ask the same of all the criminals that may lurk along my walk from my house to Spring Garden station, on the Blue Line, at the Market St. station, on the Orange Line, at the Pattison station, along the walk to the gate....then the whole trip in reverse...add to that the drunks, punks, and darkness.

LB, I know I speak for a great many when I ask you, for all our sakes, stop telling other people what to do with their personal safety, based on irrational fear, misplaced blames, and the complete lack of knowledge about the topic at hand. The more I think about it, the more I incline to think that you are actually a criminal who fears getting shot by a law abiding citizen, so you beg them not to carry.”

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33. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:40PM

“Al, I'll have my gun at the Phils game, but you're welcome to bring yours, too.”

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34. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:42PM

“@LB How about you ask the same of all the criminals that may lurk along my walk from my house to Spring Garden station, on the Blue Line, at the Market St. station, on the Orange Line, at the Pattison station, along the walk to the gate....then the whole trip in reverse...add to that the drunks, punks, and darkness.

LB, I know I speak for a great many when I ask you, for all our sakes, stop telling other people what to do with their personal safety, based on irrational fear, misplaced blames, and the complete lack of knowledge about the topic at hand. The more I think about it, the more I incline to think that you are actually a criminal who fears getting shot by a law abiding citizen, so you beg them not to carry.”

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35. Broncitis said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:54PM

“For those who may doubt the importance of the 2nd Amendment, or feel that other bastions of anti-gun laws are the answer to protect our citizens, here is an article from today in Chicago:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/26/year-old-chicago-man-kills-armed-home-invader/

80 year old man defends himself and his wife from an armed intruder.

Of course the criminal was most likely already a criminal, but if this citizen followed Mayor Daley's bogus logic, he'd likely be dead right now!”

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36. Crazy Horse RVN said... on May 26, 2010 at 02:55PM

“I have a God given right to self protection. I have the obligation to protect my wife and children. I also have a constitutional right under the 2nd amendment to keep and bear arms. To bear arms means to carry on one's person a weapon for self and home defense anywhere I may happen to be.
No one has the right to deny me said God given and Constitutionally declared rights. No one!”

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37. WM said... on May 26, 2010 at 03:20PM

“Gerald Ung almost killed someone who didn't actually injure him or threaten him with a firearm, and now both his life and the life of the person he shot ar both forever altered for the worse, so I agree with LB that he is an example of when this is a terrible idea!”

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38. LB said... on May 26, 2010 at 03:26PM

“You guys sure there's nothing paranoid about what you're saying - cmon really? Read those posts 32-36 again. Nothing? Guns at the Phils game. Guns to fend off "the drunks, punks and darkness." Speculation that I'm one of the criminals hiding to get you . . . Yikes. You have trouble sleeping, right?”

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39. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 03:48PM

“LB, let's stop and examine the facts here. David Sale was beaten to death by unarmed men at a Phils game; that kills two birds (fallacious arguments) with one stone: (1) We shouldn't carry at CBP, and (2) unarmed men are not a threat to life or limb that should be resisted with deadly force. Also, Sean Patrick Conroy was beaten to death on the subway, again by unarmed men. So, where in Philly, or anywhere else in the state for that matter, can you guarantee my security to the point where I would consider going unarmed to "respect" your ill-conceived notions of public safety? You can't, so I won't. Also, keep in mind that I realize that court houses and the like are off-limits to CC, but they are protected by armed men and security gates so that's one case where I do feel comfortable "leaving it to the professionals" so to speak.”

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40. WM said... on May 26, 2010 at 04:11PM

“Wanting a gun because you "got body-checked" by someone on the street or because a drunk person banged on your door one night (in a neighborhood full of bars and restaurants) probably means you shouldn't live in a city”

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41. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 05:01PM

““Wanting a gun because you "got body-checked" by someone on the street or because a drunk person banged on your door one night (in a neighborhood full of bars and restaurants) probably means you shouldn't live in a city”
.
Both of those examples do not seem to require deadly force. What's your point. I can tell you from experience that both of those things happened to my while I lived in the city, and not once did I think I needed to use deadly force.

Do you know what projection is?”

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42. Just saying said... on May 26, 2010 at 05:07PM

“Breaking news

A woman was just abducted in broad daylight in front of the Moshulu Restaurant on Columbus Blvd. 4 guys jumped out of a white van and grabbed a girl out of her car, put a bag over hear head, and threw her in the van. The van was last seen fleeing on Columbus Blvd.”

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43. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 05:57PM

Well, it's a good thing neither she or anyone around her had a gun otherwise they probably would have just hurt an innocent bystander or otherwise made the situation worse since the cops were already there to rescue her and apprehend the bad guys. Oh wait, that's right...

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44. JB said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:00PM

“Another article about saying "Hey, gun owners aren't all jeans shorts wearing Nascar dads! Some are groovy hipsters who live in funky parts of town and wear kitchy outfits!" My response: "Hey, who gives a shit?" If they're so concerned with image, why won't they actively address glaring problems like reducing straw purchases, rather than re-actively slamming any attempt to make PA gun laws more reasonable and responsible as "unconstituional" (Constitutional law scholars that they all are.) You would think they would want licenses to be issued with discernment and for irresponsible gun owners to be held accountable for their negligence.

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45. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:20PM

“JB, what kind of "reasonable and responsible" gun laws would you suggest? Any crime that you can commit with a firearm (murder, robbery, rape, etc) is already a crime. Prosecute violent offenders to the fullest extent of the law and tack on a stiff penalty if a firearm was used. Don't criminalize law-abiding gun owners by passing nonsensical, feel-good firearms laws that will only make it harder for honest people to exercise their Constitutionally protected 2nd Amendment rights. Speaking of which, I don't need to be a "Constitutional law scholar" to understand what "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" means. I doubt that you are a "Constitutional law scholar" either, but I'm pretty sure you understand the concept of the 1st Amendment right to free speech that we're exercising here. How would you feel if the government wanted to create "reasonable and responsible" restrictions on that right?”

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46. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:26PM

“Or maybe we could solve Philadelphia's crime problem by quartering National Guard troops in Philly homes for added security. I don't live in Philly, so that seems pretty reasonable and responsible to me, as it wouldn't violate a right that I cared about.”

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47. Elmar said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:26PM

“What many people don't seem to understand that the emotional judgment of "safety" is extremely subjective and has no bearing on the reality of the situation.

One may feel safe because they are unaware of danger or willfully ignorant of them. Feeling safe never means that one is safe. Conversely one may feel unsafe (eg. on a roller coaster, scary movie) where one is actually very safe.

Safety is a subjective emotional evaluation and has nothing at all to do with reality. Those who feel safe when there are proven statistical risks are foolishly deluding themselves. One can never know when or where one may be accosted so much like having a fire extinguisher in your home no matter how you know you're home will never catch on fire, having the right tool always available is the best way to manage a low-risk high-consequence action such as fire or battery.

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48. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:27PM

“@WM Once again completely missing the point. These events are the beginning of the realization of vulnerability and real threats that DO exist. Whether or not the actual event might have justified deadly force is entirely a different matter. The anticipation of the exact same event to happen again is meaningless. Why don't you tell those people in Philly who were beaten, raped, maimed, or killed that they shouldn't have lived in Philly in the first place? Or is it only after THEN they should carry a gun?

Being content with your life as it is and just worry about best case scenario only is entirely up to you. Set your threshold for safety concern at your own measure, but don't impose that on others around you.”

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49. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 06:40PM

“@JB I don't know how many times we can say straw purchasing is ALREADY illegal. Throw some resources to enforce the law. How many more times can we say criminals don't abide by gun laws. Until law enforcement and judges can throw the UFA book and the NFA book at criminals AND punish them for violated the hundreds of laws ALREADY there, any more law is going to only infringe the rights of law abiding citizen to protect themselves.

How about citing statistics of these "irresponsible gun owners" and their actual negligence, in percentage, in comparison to the percentage of those who are licensed and are responsible? Hey, how about compare that figure to car owners, license, unlicensed drivers and compare how many people are killed daily by cars?”

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50. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 07:58PM

“@WM : Danger exists outside of the cities as well. I live in a town that probably hasn't had a violent crime in years, but that is no guarantee I will be safe. Every so often, criminals realize that unprepared naive people like you live in the 'burbs and are easy targets.

If I am being paranoid as LB suggests, then so what? Non-psychotic paranoia doesn't cause somebody to be reckless. It just means you experience fear and anxiety without evidence of a threat, and sometimes it helps to be a little on edge to be somewhat prepared for the unexpected.”

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51. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 08:34PM

“"If I am being paranoid as LB suggests, then so what? Non-psychotic paranoia doesn't cause somebody to be reckless. It just means you experience fear and anxiety without evidence of a threat, and sometimes it helps to be a little on edge to be somewhat prepared for the unexpected.”

You're a delusional, paranoid NUT. You need a gun to 'prepare for the unexpected'.

ALSO, the kid that is pictured who is supposed to be a 'hipster' looks like a total hick.”

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52. Al said... on May 26, 2010 at 10:15PM

“"You're a delusional, paranoid NUT. You need a gun to 'prepare for the unexpected'.

ALSO, the kid that is pictured who is supposed to be a 'hipster' looks like a total hick."

I'm curious what a typical crime victim looks like in your mind?

As for delusional paranoia, explain yours please...why is there such profound fear for guns and people who carry guns legally? Unless you truly believe no armed criminal exists, it seems like you have no fear or concerns against them at all.

All I've heard so far is "we don't want law abiding citizen to carry" without a shred of plausible rationale with statistically supportable evident WHY we shouldn't.”

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53. Anonymous said... on May 26, 2010 at 11:47PM

“Anyone here think Al's approach to threat analysis is decidedly un-Buddhist? And what's a "body check?" Someone bumps into you, and you decided, "I need a gun?"”

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54. chefryan said... on May 27, 2010 at 12:18AM

“why do we have to go into detail about the people who carry guns legally. it is there right. just like you drive a car or have free speech. well written article but all the bullshit feedback is not needed. if you dont agree dont carry. if you dont like the law do what you can to change it. otherwise just deal with it and maybe work on a way to lower the crime in the city,people who carry legally are not the problem here.

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55. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 12:32AM

“"“Breaking news
A woman was just abducted in broad daylight in front of the Moshulu Restaurant on Columbus Blvd. 4 guys jumped out of a white van and grabbed a girl out of her car, put a bag over hear head, and threw her in the van. The van was last seen fleeing on Columbus Blvd.”"

And if she was armed she could've gunned down her fiance or bachelorette party friends ... that smelled like b.s. from the moment it happened, a lot of police sniffed it that way too. There's actually a Chinatown based outfit that will provide "abduction/hostage" experiences for people willing to fork over money to play.”

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56. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 12:58AM

“@ChefRyan, so folks can exercise their 2nd ammendment rights, but you're upset about people exercising their 1st ammendment rights. Right?”

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57. Al said... on May 27, 2010 at 06:04AM

“"“Anyone here think Al's approach to threat analysis is decidedly un-Buddhist? And what's a "body check?" Someone bumps into you, and you decided, "I need a gun?"”

Do you think the Shaolin Temple invented and taught every monk Shaolin Kung Fu so they can look pretty prancing around?

When exactly would a threat, a concept that is semi-objective as best and varies among individuals, be enough to warrant obtaining/carrying a gun? After you're severely beaten? Robbed in your own home? Raped? Stabbed? Bludgeoned? Murdered?”

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58. Lisaa said... on May 27, 2010 at 06:51AM

“What? They got a gun because someone banged on their door in the middle of the night? Because someone body checked them?

Lets see, I've been mugged, (ran after those kids too) body checked, home invasion.. twice. I have never felt need for a gun. Ever.

Maybe it's because I'm from the Bronx originally, and I have lived in Philly (Germantown and then Queen Village) for 30 years.

Why don't they go live in suburbia and leave the city to real city people who can deal with the irritations of city life without having to pack heat.”

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59. Al said... on May 27, 2010 at 08:22AM

“@Lisaa Maybe we should get rid of the cops and save a bunch on city taxes because since you didn't get hurt, it must mean NO ONE EVER gets hurt in mugging, body check, home invasions, etc... Yup, move to the suburb because there are no crimes there. Keep at that logic if it makes you happy.”

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60. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 09:18AM

“Lisa enjoy being the victim for the rest of your life.... and keep calling it an irritation of city life. That makes your argument even weaker.”

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61. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 09:19AM

“@annon :And if she was armed she could've gunned down her fiance or bachelorette party friends ... that smelled like b.s. from the moment it happened, a lot of police sniffed it that way too. There's actually a Chinatown based outfit that will provide "abduction/hostage" experiences for people willing to fork over money to play.”

Well my friends all know that to attempt something like this on me is a risky proposition as I will protect myself from abduction with any means neccessary up to and including utilizing the firearm that is generally secured to my hip (aside from locations I am going that can't be avoided where they are prohibited). I would assume that if this young woman had been someone who carried regularly the friends or fiance or whoever it was that pulled this would have known and not done this. I am curious though what you would say if there had been police there who had utilized force to stop the mock abduction.”

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62. Jahwarrior72 (banned) said... on May 27, 2010 at 09:57AM

“deez comments mades me more dumberer.”

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63. J G.Gunn said... on May 27, 2010 at 10:19AM

“Interesting to see that, thankfully, Penna. is not on the 10 states with highest firearm violence... but also not on the lowest. Sigh. Those of us who own guns should do our best to make sure our state turns up on the 10 states with lowest firearm violence.
See analysis posted here: http://washingtonceasefire.org/resource-center/national-firearm-injury-and-death-statistics
AND source of statistics here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/injury/injury_mortality.htm

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64. Al said... on May 27, 2010 at 11:33AM

“@JG Gunn
1. 39% homicide - how many of those were committed by criminals who ignore gun laws outright? How many would have committed homicide with some other tool if there was no gun? How many would have done it regardless of how may people in the country have the right to carry?

2. 57% suicide - same 3 questions.

WCS conveniently ignores how many are saved by guns each day, including the deterrent, prevention, injuring and killing of criminals.

It's no more gun owners' job to reduce gun violence than chef's job to reduce knives violence (yes, I am talking about the UK). It's the job of law enforcement and justice system: to insure that existing laws are enforced and criminals are punished to the full extend of the laws.”

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65. JB said... on May 27, 2010 at 12:48PM

“To the Anonymous guy who responded to me earlier: the right to carry will never be outlawed -- that is so far from being the issue, it's a distraction. I was talking about how the law currently facilitates the sale of illegal guns. You understand what straw purchases are and how the law enables them, right? Why is there no limit to the number of guns one can purchase in a month? Why aren't gun owners legally required to report stolen weapons and be held accountable when these weapons are recovered by police after being used in crimes (if it was your car you'd be in trouble, but your gun? That's fine...) You really believe that is a reasonable state of affairs? Yeah, you can always sit back and say "Constitution covers it" (particularly as long as you have a huge, rich lobby making sure the 2nd Amendment continues to be read that way), but why don't you want to do anything about it? There's something wrong with that.”

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66. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 01:32PM

“JB, the right to carry is still outlawed in two states, and left to the whimsical discretion of governmental officials in several more, so saying that "[it] will never be outlawed" is either a demonstration of your lack of awareness in politics or a willfully constructed falsehood. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the former, since you apparently hadn't heard that Pennsylvania's very own HB1044 (thankfully killed in committee May 25th by the Judiciary Committee), would have destroyed preemption in the state of PA. You know at the very least Philly, and probably many other local governments, would have repealed our ability to lawfully carry a concealed handgun! Remember, a right is like a muscle, if it isn't used it goes away. Only by constantly reaffirming our 2nd Amendment rights can we ensure their survival!”

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67. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 02:04PM

“Furthermore, don't insult my intelligence regarding straw purchases. I understand what they are and how they work. I also understand what gun control laws are, and how they DON'T work (see previous posts comparing the crime rates of highly Brady rated states vs. those that aren't). I don't find gun control laws "reasonable and responsible" because they don't don't address crime in any manner whatsoever. I don't care if a one-gun-a-month law "only" limits me to purchasing 12 guns a year. What if I wanted to buy 13--who are you to say that I can't? Straw purchasing is already illegal, as are any crimes that you can commit with those same illegal guns, so how can we make it any more illegal? Further restrictions just infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens while doing nothing to prevent crime. Rather than wasting money time and effort on the false sense of security provided by "reasonable gun control laws," go after the criminals on the streets.”

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68. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 02:12PM

“Or better yet, spend that same time and effort to address the underlying issues of that criminal activity (poverty, illegal drugs, lack of education, etc). It's about time for the people and the politicians of this country to stop trying to slap band-aids (like gun control) on the cancer of these difficult issues and cure the disease that lies beneath. Everyone just wants to pass a "one gun a month" law, get a photo op with the politician who proposed it and some smiling policemen and a 15 second sound bite about how we're just all that much safer now that we've made guns even more illegal, and obliviously go back to our celebrity TV shows all the while turning up the volume to drown out the sounds of gunshots and police sirens in the background. You can choose to bury your head in the sand with the rest of the sheeple, or you can stand up for your God-given rights (not just those of the 2nd Amendment) as a proud American. I know which I choose to do.”

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69. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 02:58PM

“At the end of the day, this whole argument boils down to personal responsibility. Hold violent criminals accountable for their actions, and I will continue to be responsible for mine. Do not strip rights away from me or any other law-abiding American because of the actions of a few. The illusionary feeling of safety that you--and sadly many others--derive from proposing these "reasonable and responsible" gun control laws is not a valid reason to limit MY personal freedoms.”

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70. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 03:58PM

“Well said post #69. That sums it up.”

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71. Al said... on May 27, 2010 at 04:13PM

““At the end of the day, this whole argument boils down to personal responsibility. Hold violent criminals accountable for their actions, and I will continue to be responsible for mine. Do not strip rights away from me or any other law-abiding American because of the actions of a few. The illusionary feeling of safety that you--and sadly many others--derive from proposing these "reasonable and responsible" gun control laws is not a valid reason to limit MY personal freedoms.”

1000!”

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72. gloria goldstein said... on May 27, 2010 at 04:33PM

“Well thought out article. I applaud the writer for his great job of researching this information. More people should be aware of their responsibility when carrying a weapon.”

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73. JB said... on May 27, 2010 at 05:02PM

“Al -- Thanks for bringing up your car analogy earlier. That's my point: If there were a right to drive covered by the constitution, any nut job could get a license and there would be no revoking it. He's a citizen; it's his right to drive, no matter how many people end up dead. And, right, straw purchasing is obviously illegal, but there is a huge loophole there that no one on your side seems to care about. It's the source of the problem, but nah lets just react by arming more people rather than even attempt to stem the flow of illegal guns. You can't look at that and think, there actually is a problem there and it's on us to address it? I think that's where the "irresponsible" talk is coming in. If your a responsible gun owner, legitimately concerned about a negative image, why do you want to simply hope that other owners are doing the same rather than facing penalties for negligence.”

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74. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 05:25PM

“I'm not sure I see the whole loophole that you're talking about. Sure someone can buy a gun for someone else, but that's already illegal. And any nut job CAN just drive without a license, but that's already illegal, too, just as if he had a concealed firearm without a license to carry. To take the car analogy even further, then because irresponsible individuals drive without a license, we should require background checks on private transfers of automobiles, establish a waiting period before you can take possession of said car, limit you to only purchasing one vehicle a year and ban motorcycles as they are needlessly dangerous to their owners. Rephrased in your own terms your argument sounds silly, and even more so when you can't even take the time to learn or understand the facts about your subject: not any "nut job" can get a concealed carry license (there's an application process that includes a background check), and LTCs can be and are revoked when people break the law.”

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75. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 05:36PM

“Again, if you are a responsible, law-abiding citizen the government should assume that you are and treat you as such until such time as you prove otherwise. Only after due process (generally a jury of their peers, not some unelected government employee) should any citizen be deprived of their rights (2nd Amendment or otherwise). Attempts to legislate away said rights because someone "might" do something wrong, or a small subset of the population choose to commit a crime, does a grave injustice to the rest of us. I am a responsible gun owner--please extend to me the courtesy of treating me as an adult and not force feeding your Nanny State regulations down my throat. If you want the government to control every aspect of your life, then feel free to move to Europe, but please don't ruin the ideals of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" that our great Country was founded on.”

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76. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 05:55PM

“JB, just what "huge loophole" regarding straw purchasing are you referring to? Federal law, confirmed to the best of the retailer's ability through the mandated paperwork, prohibits someone knowingly purchasing a gun for the purpose of giving it to someone with a criminal history or otherwise disqualified (mental instability, etc.) from owning a gun. THIS is a "straw purchase", and I am still at a loss wondering how it has become such an issue that you and folks like you are constantly dredging it up.

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77. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 09:01PM

“I was held up in Mt. Airy a couple years ago by two kids with a couple of semi automatic pistols.

Trust me, unless you've looked down the barrel of a 9mm gun being held by scared kids out to make some quick money, you don't know how it feels or how it can change your paradigm about personal safety.

The more law abiding citizens that carry the better, whether it's me or my neighbors. If enough good people carry, maybe the wayward bad guys will think twice about doing what they did to me.

Then maybe we can work on helping them find a more constructive path for their lives.”

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78. JB said... on May 27, 2010 at 11:02PM

“Yer all right, of course. We're talking about deadly weapons so advocating regulation, or certification, insurance, inspection, it's all kooky talk. But, in the midst of the usual rhetoric you can read on any troll-infested board, one of you Anonymous guys said something interesting: you support attacking the problem through education and addressing poverty. I couldn't agree more. Better watch that civic-mindedness, though. You know it leads to social programs they want to tax your for. I'm used to you talking like yer some veritable Dan'l Boones out there surviving on the prairie with only your wits and trusty steel to protect you (rather than what you are -- guys who benefit from belonging to a community who depend on its continued functioning). But, that education/poverty stuff is the same kind of thinking that might someday lead you to question whether your right to that 13th gun is worth another dead kid in N. Philly. Oh, I forgot, one of you will save 'em. Pow! Pow!”

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79. Anonymous said... on May 27, 2010 at 11:44PM

“JB, just because I choose not to post a name doesn't make me an internet troll, and I resent your implications that I can't or won't think for myself and merely regurgitate the NRA party platform. If you would just open your eyes, look at the world around you and think for yourself (like I do), you might actually uncover some truths of your own. And you obviously don't agree with my statement about attacking the roots of our nation's crime problem, because you just continue to spew out the usual garbage about gun rationing limits and straw purchasing "loopholes"--which you still haven't managed to think hard enough for yourself to clarify despite our repeated attempts to get a straight answer from you--that don't do anything to reduce crime or make our communities safer. Can you actually give an example of where one of your laws actually worked, or are redneck jokes and emotional appeals to think of the children the best arguments that you can manage?”

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80. Al said... on May 28, 2010 at 10:07AM

“@JB Clearly you are not able to win the debate with facts, figures, and sense so you start attacking "Anonymouses" as trolls. Now the typical "think of the kids" rhetoric and personal attacks on the "rednecks" which show how sorely you've missed one major point of the article.

Why don't you do some research on 1 gun a month in other states and see how effective their laws have been against straw purchasing? Start with VA, MD, and now look at SC which repealed it 30 years later because the asinine law did not do a thing to curb anything. If 1 gun a month makes you feel safer, I suggest you move over to NJ. I hear Camden real estate prices are prime for the buyers market and since gun laws are so "common sense" in NJ, feel free to leave your doors unlocked.”

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81. TK said... on May 28, 2010 at 11:44PM

“You know, I just wanted to throw out a couple of things. I live in VA, and lived very close to Blacksburg when the VA Tech incident occurred. VA Tech is a gun-free zone, meaning that guns are not allowed on campus at all by anyone but police officers. However, Cho (the murderer who killed 32 people on campus that day, and wounded many others) evidently DIDN'T OBEY THE LAW. The gun laws didn't cease to exist that day. The criminal just doesn't care about gun laws, so more gun laws do not deter the criminal, but only the law-abiding citizen. It would have only taken one law-abiding citizen with a firearm that day to stop the massacre. Instead, students and teachers were at the mercy of a killer while they waited for the police to rescue them, which isn't even the responsibility of the police in the first place.”

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82. TK said... on May 28, 2010 at 11:55PM

“I know it says "to protect and serve" on most police cruisers, and in most cases, a police officer will help a citizen in distress. However, it is not the responsibility of the police to give each citizen personal protection. The protection of the citizen is lawfully the responsibility of the citizen alone. It is the responsibility of police to pursue and apprehend individuals that break the law and bring them to justice. That sounds great in theory, but what if the police are apprehending the crook while you're laying in a pool of your own blood, since you weren't able to stop the crook while waiting for the police? Like mentioned above, we can't all have a cop in our pocket, so we carry the next best thing: a firearm. God bless you guys.”

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83. MJV said... on May 29, 2010 at 09:03PM

“There. As one of the "trolling Anonymous'es, I have hopefully simplified the identification game. TK, you've hit upon the exact issue that the average person must come to grips with in the journey from blind trust in "the system" to personal responsibility. The Rodney King riots (remember the stories of police staying buttoned up in their cars and driving away from the scenes of mob attacks on innocents, and the Supreme Court confirming that it is NOT the responsibility of the police to protect individuals, but society as a whole) proved this for many people. May it not take a social catastrophe like this to make some realize that the government is not going to stand by your side in a life-threatening situation, but you have to make your own choices.

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84. Anonymous said... on May 30, 2010 at 11:57PM

“Well, once again confronted with the realization that they have no valid factual examples to back up their arguments, the anti-gunners have fallen silent.”

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85. ccphilly said... on May 31, 2010 at 05:23AM

“"A guy/guys break into your house. Would you rather have a phone, a gun, or both?”
i'd rather have both, so then i can post that my life was just saved on the pafoa forums god forbid something would happen...”

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86. Anonymous said... on May 31, 2010 at 10:44AM

“White, lifelong democrat, gun owner, lawyer, with a LTCF.

First, i am disgusted by LB and other's comments over Gerald Ung. He could easily have been killed during an assault by 4 oversized, drunk lacross players, looking for some fun at 2:00 am, following him for over a block, and [ON VIDEO] assaulting him, and ignoring his demands that they walk away and leave him alone. He even retreated AFTER he withdrew his gun, which was AFTER he was assaulted.

Gerald Ung did the right thing. Eddie Didonato will live with the consequences. The only sad part is that Ung has to as well. But he's better off living with the consequences of defending himself, than dying over the consequences of NOT defending himself.

Any the moron who says their problem is with "concealed" weapons is more foolish than the next guy. I am annoyed by all the 2A nutjobs who insist on carrying openly. concealed is far better, culturally.”

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87. Bobby said... on May 31, 2010 at 11:10PM

“Good article. I carry. I'd run when faced with danger before trying to defend myself with my gun. It's used as a last defense, not an offense. Try looking up the safest/happiest country in the world, and cross reference it with gun ownership/carry in the same country. What do you find? (Give you a hint, it's not America)”

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88. Former Marine said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 11:13AM

“A hammer, a screw driver, a bic pen, a pencil, car keys, a credit card, a large pin, a newspaper, a handgun. Which of these are everyday items and which are weapons. The answer is, they are both. Does this mean we should regulate the use of these items? No. It means, we should be properly trained in their use before we use them as we should with ANYTHING. BTW, I'm a Director of Health & Safety and I've seen guys misuse some of these tools and seriously injure themselves or others.”

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89. Former Marine said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 11:20AM

“Re: Bobby's comment, let me add this. IF YOU PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS, YOU'RE LESS LIKELY TO WALK INTO A SITUATION WHERE YOU WOULD NEED TO USE YOUR WEAPON IN THE FIRST PLACE. If you see three teen age kids hanging around, then don't walk up on them and then turn down a dark street. The predators only go for the prey they can separate from the herd. They will also (except the galactically stupid and the psychopaths) will start to think about somewhere else if they know that the people in a certain area are more likely to be able to defend themselves. The only people that gun laws prevent from carrying guns are the law-abiding citizens. Criminals don't give a sh*t about the law in the firstplace, why would they care if they are caught carrying an illegal weapon?”

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90. LB said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 04:31PM

“Good grief, you guys are in more dire need of a blowjob than any white men in history. G'head, pack em everyday - but if its such a good idea then don't be surprised to see others packing them too, including the "lacross players", "oversized people", "strangers", "punks", "drunks", "teen age kids", "Canadians(?)" and everyone else you listed as potential targets. Better work on your quickdraw skills.”

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91. Bobby said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 05:48PM

“Dude, Canadians? Uncalled for.
I wish everyone carried guns. I don't live in fear, I was however a boyscout. Scout motto is "be prepared". Point is, to make the bad guys wonder if the person they're about to attack/rob/rape is armed or not. Might make them think twice. Or we could just live in a fairy-tail world where crime does not exist. Step into the way-back-machine, and un-invent gun powder. Then we'll all be equal again! What are you afraid of LB? Are you jealous that I carry a gun, and get blow jobs? I don't understand the correlation.

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92. Anonymous said... on Jun 2, 2010 at 12:38PM

“"God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal."”

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93. JD said... on Jun 2, 2010 at 12:47PM

“@LB

Lacrosse players having guns- if they are 21 or over with no criminal history, good for them
Oversized people- as long as they pass the backround check. It's a lot harder for "over sized" people to flee from a threat, so having a weapon is probably a good idea.
Strangers- If they are licensed, then they are the good guys
Punks- Are you basing that label of appearance?
Drunks- Shouldn't have a gun while under the influence. If they are habitual drunks, they probably have a record of some kind and would not be able to carry legally.
Teen age kids- Can't have them anyway
Canadians- what are they good for anyway?”

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94. Jethro said... on Jun 3, 2010 at 07:12AM

“LB and Bobby should just blow eachother already. ROMADOMADINGDONG!!!!!!!!

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95. Anonymous said... on Jun 3, 2010 at 09:01AM

“Congratulations, LB, you're the new winner on "Are You Smarter Than a Brady Bill Supporter?"!!!!! When asked to rotely recite all three major anti-gun "arguments" (by which I mean emotional appeals completely devoid of facts or rational thought), JB quickly stepped up with "gun owners are just redneck hicks" and "think of the kids," and you finished it up with "gun owners are sexually frustrated and/or compensating for certain sizes." Not to go into any details, but my sexual life is not an issue here. I'm about to be happily married to the girl of my dreams, and it is for her sake, and the sake of our future kids, that I carry my pistol for protection. BTW, she carries, too, so exactly what is she compensating for (and she can't be fellated, either)? LB/JB, do us all a favor and stop posting comments about a subject you obviously know nothing about until you take the time to learn some facts and can actually attempt to create a rational argument.”

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96. JD said... on Jun 3, 2010 at 01:17PM

“It's hard to create a rational argument when the facts and the stats go against the anti argument. As some of us know, there was a mass shooting in the UK yesterday. Many people were killed and believe it or not, guns are banned in the UK. You can't even carry a knife!! Despite the fact that there is a gun ban, a crazy person found a way to carry out his murderous plan. Even an all out ban didn't stop a mass murder. And since most people follow the law, not a single person was armed. Once again, gun control had a hand in killing innocent people.”

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97. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2010 at 12:58PM

“2009 FBI Uniform Crime statistics out last month. Gun Ownership up. Violent crime at 42 year low. This at the same time unemployment is up and people are more desperate. Every state thAt has pass shall-issue concealed carry laws has shows a measurable decrease in violent crime. John Lott's peer reviewed analysis of the Annual crime victim survey shows that the more you resist an assault the lower the chance of physical harm. Guns reduce the chance of harm to about 3%. not resisting at all? 50% chance of being harmed. Which side of that math would you, your mother, your wife, girlfriend or sister want to be on? Guns can and are used for evil. Guns can and are used for good. Studies show about 5x as man 'good' uses as evil.”

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98. Fact Bringer said... on Jun 10, 2010 at 06:55AM

“@ LB "There is no reason, none, for Philly residents to carry a handgun all the time. "

In 2009, there were 10,561 burglaries, 8,398 aggravated assaults, 8,738 robberies, 957 rapes, and 305 murders, for a total of 28,959 logical reasons to carry a handgun in the city of Philadelphia that you claim do not exist.

"People that do have more of a defense fetish than a clear position."

So the desire of a women to not be raped and/or murdered is just a "defense fetish" (sic), and not a "clear position"? I somehow think that any females in your life would be aghast at the inate idiocy of your statement, but nothing said on here is going to cure you of your willful ignorance, and since ignorance is bliss...enjoy your blissfulness!”

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99. YllwFvr said... on Jun 22, 2010 at 02:03AM

“Got a link for this?
"2009 FBI Uniform Crime statistics out last month"”

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100. Anonymous said... on Jul 1, 2010 at 09:02PM

“Great article!”

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101. CenterX said... on Aug 27, 2011 at 06:54PM

“Great article covering a subject of unreal controversy. Good responses from many - but the same narrow armchair dribble from a few. Ah yes - to be the one that is always aware of their surroundings and able to swiftly move at a moments when there is a shift in the tide - to you I say - best of luck! For those of us that are not swift and less agile to adjust in an ever changing see of complex characters in the world. We have found that carrying a nicely designed and well tuned firearm allows us the same freedom of movement in the range of characters in the crowd - whether the crowd is one or a thousand. I, with limited movement and weaker physically than my minds imagination, have a fighting chance thanks to carry laws.
I travel a bit here and there and reading the crowd is a pastime of mine. I've seen a nice quite street become an angry mob in a few seconds, a harmless looking waif switch a smile into harmful intent in an instant. As such, n other reasons I'll carry until I die.”

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102. Anonymous said... on Aug 29, 2011 at 07:38PM

“For those against law abiding citizens carrying guns, you can wrong about needing a gun only once whereas the law abiding can be wrong everyday for the rest of their lives... by the way I also have a loaded fire extinguishers in my home.”

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103. buffalo soldier said... on Apr 12, 2012 at 02:00PM

“I carry my army 1911 45 because I trust my self, and belive in all life.
and I carry in 28 states.”

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