Concealed carry bill a bad idea

Whatever happened to the voice of responsible gun owners? You know, the people who, in defending their right to own guns supported laws restricting the ownership and carrying of them by people who have no business doing so.

Responsible gun owners, and I include myself, believe in teaching how to handle weapons safely and preventing guns from getting into the hands of children, and criminals.

Where are their voices now when our Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a bill to allow anyone to carry a concealed gun without a permit?

Granted, just about anyone nowadays can obtain a concealed-weapon permit in this state. It used to be you had to demonstrate a real need to carry a gun in order to get a permit, but that’s gone by the wayside. But at least the permit process offers some review and legal authority to have a gun on your person and in your vehicle. This new legislation throws that out and flings open the door to anyone to legally carry a lethal weapon: the mentally unstable, gang members, mean drunks, hot-tempered idiots and young people fascinated by violent computer games.

For what reason have our state legislators – and I am singling out state Sen. Camera Bartalotta here – endorsed this legislation, other than to cater to a highly vocal minority in order to protect their lucrative jobs, expense accounts and fat state pensions? Do they want to live in a society like the Old West, where everyone is armed and shootouts are commonplace?

It’s getting to that place now, with daily reports of road-rage shootings and teenage gun battles, and with little children accidentally killing themselves with guns found in their home.

Amazingly, we wonder why there has been such a spike in the murder rate in this country, while our television and film industries cannot seem to produce a program or movie that’s not punctuated by gunfire and brutal slayings, while the video-game industry seems intent on training our youth for warfare and joyous slaughter.

It used to be that responsible gun owners agreed that not every idiot should be allowed to walk or ride around with a loaded weapon.

Why the silence?

Parker Burroughs

South Franklin Township