We are not a nation that likes to feel helpless. Or to live in fear.
So it’s no surprise that when a shooting such as the recent one in San Bernardino occurs, people react.
That reaction is being seen locally in the number of people applying for concealed weapons permits.
So much so that some police departments have had to increase the number of hours available for folks to get fingerprinted.
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The Kennewick Police Department added an additional day last week and this week for fingerprinting for those seeking concealed pistol licenses. In Spokane, officials had to shut down the line of applicants just to get them processed by the end of a business day.
Other departments have seen additional demand as well.
Along with recording their fingerprints, applicants must also go through a criminal background check.
It’s easy to put ourselves in the same kind of scenario in which those California victims found themselves. Company gatherings are commonplace this time of year, as are large public gatherings from college bowl games to parades and concerts. Lots of people letting their guard down in one festive location. But what happens if one nut brings a gun and bad intentions to the party?
It looks like many of us are willing to stand up to that kind of terror.
And while the recent attacks here and abroad have spurred a wave of applications, Washington was already seeing an increasing number of people with concealed carry permits, with women leading the charge in recent years.
Not all threats are from foreign nationals. We have our own set of troubled souls here at home, and many women are tired of feeling vulnerable to predators looking for a seemingly easy target.
People want a way to protect themselves and stop the madness.
And while we’re all for the Second Amendment and some of us will be shopping the ammo aisles for Christmas gifts, we are most certainly for responsible gun ownership first and foremost.
The fact that so many people are pursuing a concealed gun license shows us that they are responsible enough to do the paperwork and confident they’ll pass the check. But are they ready, really ready, to be carrying a gun around safely in public, and use it should the need arise?
Our wish is that anyone with a concealed gun permit go the extra step to take some training. Sure, it’s a law-abiding citizen’s right to carry a gun and training is actually not required to get the permit. But it sure makes a lot of sense when you talk about a deadly weapon.
“It’s more than just carrying a gun; you have to know what you are going to do with it,” said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin. “At the end of the day, its purposes are to take a life and save a life.”
We’ll leave you with those words to ponder.