My biggest fear about concealed carry, based on letters to the editor and Opinion Line calls, is that many proponents seem to think that getting a permit makes them deputized.
A common concealed-carry argument is that the new law will be useful not just for self-defense but for vigilante justice on the streets, with gun toters thwarting crimes they see unfolding in public. “There are many anecdotal cases where individuals with firearms and permits to carry have saved the lives of strangers and law enforcement by happening upon a violent crime or an attempted arrest gone wrong,” state Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, one of the law’s sponsors, told a Lawrence Journal World online audience.
But a caution to would-be Dirty Harrys: The city of Wichita this week forked over $4.75 million to a man who was shot and paralyzed two years ago in a confrontation with police. The incident underscores how even highly trained officers can make tragic errors in split-second decisions.
Local government and taxpayers pay the high costs of occasional mistakes. But private citizens are on their own. If a concealed-carry permit holder plans on playing street enforcer, he’d better make sure he has a big legal fund.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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