New Ohio law makes streets safer

Do you see that person sitting to your left? Well, they could have a weapon in their backpack or even tucked away in a coat pocket. If you actually noticed a weapon on this person, your immediate reaction would be to walk away and probably call the police.

However, a bill recently signed into law by Governor Bob Taft now allows some Ohioans to carry concealed weapons in public. Is this a bit scary? Well, it could be, especially if you are a criminal. Criminals now have to wonder who is carrying a weapon and who is not. It really could be that creepy looking guy to their left or even the fragile old lady to their right. Will these people even know how to use the weapon they are now allowed to carry?

Well, as one of the conditions of the bill, all people applying for the permit will have to undergo training on how to use the weapon. Still, not everyone will be allowed to carry a weapon. Applicants must undergo a background check, pay a fee for the permit and be 21 years of age according to the law.

Some further restrictions also apply. Concealed weapons will be prohibited on college campuses and many other places. Weapons in vehicles must be locked away or holstered in plain view.

Now let’s get to the real question: Will this new law make the streets safer?

Criminals will still have the advantage of choosing their targets and the element of surprise. A person who is surprised (even after the 12 hours of required gun training) could still freeze in the moment, especially if the criminal has already brandished a gun. Maybe the victim actually draws his or her own gun and points it at the assailant. Now there is a stand-off. Who will back down? Or better yet, who will fire the first shot?

Now, let’s rephrase the questioned posed earlier: Will this new law make being a criminal more dangerous?

Criminals thrive on targets they see as weak and vulnerable. Even the shakiest person will now have the same advantages as their would-be assailant. A gun can make even the frailest person 100 times more dangerous —- and less vulnerable.

The identity of who is weak and who is strong is now more hidden. Criminals will now think twice when choosing a target they consider weak.

Criminals will no longer have the advantage of being the only people on the street with a concealed weapon. This law will make the criminals leary and hesistant as to whether or not they are approaching a victim or a trained individual with a weapon.