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Seattle Jewish Federation Shooter had Permit to Carry Concealed Handgun

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The gun lobby's predictable response to the latest office/school/mall/church/restaurant/day-care center shooting is almost always some version of the following: if only a law-abiding citizen had a permit to carry a concealed handgun they could have stopped it. This pro-gun mantra is repeated from the National Rifle Association's flagship magazines, to the web sites of the pro-gun faithful, and beyond. This logic employs a small-caliber version of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) as its cornerstone. Random good guys, armed with concealed carry permits, are there to protect those foolish enough to not want to pack heat. So what happens when one of these "good guys"--and according to the NRA they are, by definition, all good guys, or else they wouldn't have received the permit--goes bad?

According to police sources cited by the Seattle Times, 30-year-old Naveed Afzal Haq--accused of opening fire with two pistols last Friday at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle killing one woman and wounding five others--had been issued a license to carry a concealed handgun despite his history of mental illness and a charge of lewd conduct pending against him. According to a fellow tenant who lived in the same apartment building, he and Haq often talked about guns and politics. Haq told the tenant that he owned a 45-caliber handgun, which he kept in safety deposit box.

The pro-gun response to a concealed carry permit holder who commits a mass shooting is as predictable as it is creative. First, it's held up as an example of how "gun control laws" don't work--as this poster from keepandbeararms.com argues:

Comment by: mnTAPdancer (7/30/2006)

You mean this fine fellow got his hands on a gun and CARRY PERMIT with a history of mental illness and criminal charges pending? All those laws didn't stop him?

Second, it's cited as just one more example of why law-abiding citizens still need to carry concealed weapons permits. Once again, back to www.keepandbeararms.com:

Comment by: Defender (7/30/2006)

As the Other Side likes to ask, "Why would anyone need a gun in their office, place of work, synagogue, church..."

The fact that concealed carry laws are claiming more lives then they're saving is not news. A 2002 Violence Policy Center study, License to Kill IV: More Guns, More Crime, analyzed arrests of Texas concealed carry license holders. The VPC study found that from January 1, 1996, through August 31, 2001, there were 41 arrests for murder and attempted murder by concealed handgun license holders in Texas and permit holders were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81 percent higher than that of the state's general population aged 21 and older. The study, the fourth conducted by the Violence Policy Center looking at the Texas data, was the last one conducted by the VPC. As a result of the studies' findings, Texas passed a law banning release of the information.

Some might argue that banning release of this data makes about as much sense as getting a concealed carry permit to protect yourself against other people with concealed carry permits.

Oh wait.