Denver Post columnist Mario Nicolais writes here that officials made the right call by not pressing charges against Colorado State Rep. Lori Saine, who was caught carrying a concealed weapon through airport security.
I’m not so sure.
It was “an honest mistake,” writes Nicolais, who says he carries, too, and easily forgets that he’s doing so. He says the lawmaker shouldn’t have to defend herself in court for an honest, understandable episode of carelessness. Presumably he is now absolved, too, in advance.
Mistakes like Saine’s, however, aren’t much different from those that lead to the tragic deaths of children who find guns that parents or others forget to secure properly and safely.
Saine likely beat herself up inwardly, Nicolais said. Maybe even with expletives! He guesses that she asked herself within a second of being caught how she could be so careless.
Yes, how horrible that imaginary inner dialogue must have been for her.
An individual who is prone to forgetting he or she is carrying a deadly weapon should not be permitted to carry a deadly weapon, concealed or otherwise.
Still, forgetful Coloradans Saine and Nicolais could be carrying in any state soon if proponents of concealed carry reciprocity get their way.
A few weeks ago, I posted a simple equation as a comment on a news story about toddlers and others who had been shot over the weekend.
Armed = dangerous
Just yesterday I learned that it isn’t simple enough for some gun-ownership advocates to comprehend. One asked me what it means. Another, if I understood the fuzzy thinking, took it to mean that I am for banning personal firearms ownership. When I said that I am for no such thing (I used the term “paranoid bullshit”), I was called a liar.
The equation neither says nor implies anything about intent. It’s a simple statment of fact. An armed person is a dangerous person. If good guys with guns weren’t a danger to bad guys with guns, what would be the point?
Unfortunately, armed men and women with the best of intentions routinely prove to be dangerous to themselves and others by handling firearms carelessly, wrongly assuming weapons are not loaded, and accidentally shooting themselves and others.
Armed people who don’t understand that carrying a deadly weapon makes them dangerous need to learn this.
Responsible gun owners recognize the danger that is inherent in carrying firearms. They learn how to handle guns to prevent accidental discharges. They keep guns out of the hands of children who don’t have the knowledge, judgment or experience to handle deadly weapons safely.
You hear news reports of suspects at large who are described as “armed and dangerous.” That they are armed says it all.