GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 21, 2012

Letter: Guns and our own self-protection


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I can’t in good conscience neglect answering those anti-gun letters, and their cliche-filled rhetoric about the Wild West.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

And at this point, I’m going to make an educated assumption: the gun control letter writers probably would not know how to use a side arm. That, to an extent, explains why so many young people are shot and killed by their own weapon; they have probably never had to carry a fully loaded sidearm, for an extended period of time.

Allow me to lay out a case for carrying one under our Constitutional right to bear arms.

I believe it was the late 1970s, and the place was the state of Kansas. After a year of unusually high volume of violent crimes against women, a blue ribbon panel of criminal justice figures came up with a pilot program called; “This Gal Shoots.”

Here’s how it worked. Any woman was eligible to apply, and after a cursory background check — similar to our CORI checks — was interviewed to determine what make and model firearm was best suited to her wardrobe ease of concealment, etc. With the best-suited firearm determined, every woman applying was issued a permit, told to buy a weapon and return for an in-depth training course in its safe and proper use.

Upon completion of their training in the responsible safe use of their personal weapon; each woman was given a certificate of competence — and two, bright red decals that were in the shape of the iconic “Colt .45 Cal Automatic, imprinted with the words; “This Gal Shoots!” One decal was for prominent location in a front window of their home, the other for use in an automobile.

After one year of the program’s inception, statistics showed that violent crimes against women had declined by a whopping 75 percent, without the ladies ever having to fire a single shot.

That would be I believe, a modestly price program worthy of finding its way into our schools, and other public venues. That bright red decal is tantamount to one of those little signs in your home publicly saying this house has a security system giving pause to would-be burglars.

In closing, I remember that, in one of the first multi-screen theaters on Long Island, the manager took it upon himself to hire an armed guard to be highly visible at all times.

The manager’s rationale was that high amount of receipts, in cash that was their during the last show on a Friday night, warranted the hiring of a trained armed guard, usually an off-duty police officer in uniform.

“This Gal Shoots” enhanced law enforcement, by adding eyes, at virtually no cost to either the city or county.

It’s a cards-on-table program worthy of being used nationwide.

That’s my defense of the good a gun can do!

GERALD MAHIEU

Langsford Street

Gloucester