Our good friend Jennifer Mascia, who is a feature writer at The Trace, has just published an article which is sure to get everyone in Gun-control Nation upset. What Jennifer is talking about is the continued spread of states which allow residents to walk around with a concealed gun even if they have never shot that gun or any other gun before.

              Her article was prompted by yet another attempt in Florida to pass a law that will enable residents to carry a concealed weapon without first applying for a concealed-carry permit or taking any kind of safety or proficiency course. What is referred to as ‘permitless carry’ is now the law in 32 states, up from 26 states back in 2016.

              In other words, a majority of states now allow any law-abiding resident to walk into a gun shop, buy a Glock or a Sig, pass a background check, and then stick the gun in their pocket and walk down the street with a loaded and extremely lethal pistol, having never actually even experienced what would happen if they pulled out the gun, pointed it at someone, pulled the trigger and – blam!

              There isn’t a single jurisdiction anywhere in the United States which allows someone to get behind the wheel of an automobile or a truck, turn the ignition and roll off down the highway without first demonstrating that they actually know how to drive. And even though gun deaths have now exceeded vehicle deaths for the fourth consecutive year, somehow the state legislatures in 32 states don’t seem to think that walking around with a gun that you have never fired represents any kind of danger at all.

              The Trace has performed a valuable service by pointing out the continued spread of concealed-carry licensing without proof of proficiency, except unfortunately, Mascia’s article creates the assumption, based largely on interviews with so-called gun trainers, that states which require training in gun usage and proficiency are imposing a valuable requirement on gun owners which will make us all just a little bit safer when it comes to being around guns.

              With all due respect to Jennifer Mascia’s careful and conscientious reporting, the idea that the pre-purchase training imposed by a minority of states makes us any safer when it comes to gun violence is an idea that can only be believed by members of two groups: the so-called gun trainers who earn some extra bucks by running a training course, and people who have little or no experience carrying and using guns, a group which happens to include lots of American who own guns.

              Every couple of years we get a new survey which claims that so-and-so many American households contain a gun. The number goes up, it goes down, but it usually sits somewhere around 40 percent. I’m still waiting for the first of these surveys to ask gun owners how often they actually pick up one of their guns. I mean, the idea that some rusted piece of shit shotgun sitting somewhere in the basement represents anything other than a rusted piece of shit is a joke.

              As to these so-called gun trainers, the fact is that there does not exist any industry-developed process to certify someone who wants to call themselves a gun trainer. Want to be a gun trainer? Call yourself a gun trainer. Or better yet, take a one-day class from some old guy who stands up there and mumbles his way through the NRA training manual, pass a short-answer quiz which everyone passes and guess what? You’re a ‘certified’ NRA trainer.

              Mascia mentions that even states that require some kind of training don’t make the applicants actually fire a live gun. But what about the states that do impose a live-fire requirement? In Florida you have to fire a gun once. In Connecticut, I believe the minimal live-fire requirement is 5 rounds. Of the 18 states that still require live fire, 10 of them require shooting 30 rounds or less.

              When I was in the service, which is what we used to call the military before anyone who reads this column was born, I would have given anything to have been forced to shoot only 30 rounds before I ran in for chow.

              And by the way, I can guarantee you that none of these live-fire exercises require that you hit the target within a specific period of time. I can just see some guy yanking a gun out of his holster and telling the bad guy who’s coming towards him to slow down so that he can point his gun at center mass just right.

              Let me break the news to you gently, okay? Want to walk around with a gun that holds 15-16 rounds of military grade ammunition? Join the police department in your town. Otherwise, if you are really worried about self-protection, when you leave your house, don’t go to the gun shop. Take a ride to the pound.