Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CBS News Article About Women and Guns

Article is here.

I commented on the article and reproduce it below:

----- Comment Start -----

"Most states require training and safety courses before using firearms, and there are programs popping up throughout the country teaching women to do just that."

This is untrue. Most states do not require any training or license to purchase and use a handgun or any firearm. In fact New York City and New York State is only one of a small number of states that require a license to own handguns: the vast majority of states have no such requirement.

Most states to require a license and training to carry a concealed weapon, but that is entirely a different matter than owning and using a gun at a gun range.
This problem stems from most writers at the television networks being based in New York City naturally assuming that New York City laws are typical, when in reality they are atypically strict when compared to almost everywhere else in the United States.

---- Comment End ----

This alludes to another thing I hear all the time, even in California: the phrase "licensed gun owner".  I hear it in conversations, and I read it in articles like this one.  To most non-gun owners it seems to be held as a truth that one must be licensed to own a gun.  

I blame television shows for this.  How many times have we seen characters in procedural police dramas say lines like: "We recovered an unlicensed gun at the crime scene."  Many TV writers are ignorant of gun laws in general, and many are based in New York City where one must obtain a license to possess a handgun in ones home, so they assume that such laws apply everywhere.  There we hear TV show characters talk of licensed firearms and licensed gun owners in shows set in places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Atlanta even though those places do not require a license to possess a handgun.

This leads new gun owners to be ignorant about the law, assuming that one must get a license to own a gun.  I have actually had people ask me how to get a handgun license in California, and I tell them that it is pretty much impossible in Santa Clara County, only to learn that they want to BUY a handgun, not carry a concealed handgun.

Even though firearms are becoming ever more popular, I really don't see this changing.

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