West Virginia now permits people without a gun permit to carry a weapon concealed.
I have always considered that a mega-stupid idea. But now it’s the law. And the strength of America is that we follow the law even when we think it’s stupid.
So let’s consider what we do now:
(1) Get the training anyway.
Many people dislike the NRA. Hell, sometimes I dislike some of the stupid shit the NRA does and I’m a member. But one thing they do right is certify instructors. There is no shortage of instructors who will gladly share their knowledge.
The reason I don’t use a chain saw is simple: I’m not trained. The reason an untrained person should avoid using a gun is the same. You may hurt somebody.
(2) Be prepared for a law enforcement response.
Officers are going to be more careful. They’d be idiots not to be. There will be more dangerous people out there carrying guns. Don’t get all huffy when an officer who doesn’t know you treats you like you may be dangerous. After all, to him/her, you just may be dangerous.
(3) When you encounter an officer, if you are armed tell the officer that you are, and where the gun is. Don’t be surprised if the officer relaxes and you talk about guns. If you have a permit, show it to the officer FIRST. Until you identify whether you have a weapon, the officer HAS to consider that you may be dangerous.
(4) Remember that there are still places you cannot legally go armed.
A person/business can ban guns. Right now, there is a sign on our office door: "NO GUNS ALLOWED - unless you have a concealed weapons permit." And many places will not make the “unless . . .” distinction. Live with it. You don’t like it, don’t come to my office. I will NOT put up with a pretend-gunsl at my office. You cannot go onto school premises, you cannot go into a courthouse, you cannot go into federal premises, e.g., a post office, while armed. Live with it.
(5) Unintended consequences.
If one is charged with a domestic assault or battery, it will be much harder to dispose of it without a trial. Police will be wanting to hold down irresponsible people with gun rights. You don’t like it? Too bad. It’s the law. See the second paragraph of this post.
(6) Be polite.
If someone has a gun who has never had one, s/he is more likely to reach for it without understanding the consequences.