Is Living Social Really Offering a Concealed Handguns Class?

posted in: Opinion 54 comments

I love a good deal. I love new and fun activities. I check my email in the morning to see if there is anything good for my family. This morning, I saw that Living Social is offering its subscribers 50% off a NC Concealed Carry Handgun Class.

Living Social Handgun Class
Honestly, I was shocked and disappointed. This is a site dedicated to bringing new and fun social activities and the occasional spa package to our lives at a discount.  Learning about handguns is serious business, and as a huge advocate of gun control, I thought that their usual cheeky introduction was inappropriate, to say the least.  Actually I would think the serious owner of a gun might question the tone of this too.   This is not the first Concealed Handgun class they have offered in the country.  All were presented in the same light hearted manner, as if getting a permit to walk around with a hidden gun were some sort of fun social activity and not learning and being allowed to carry a weapon that is made to kill people.

The days of Annie Oakley are long gone, so before you can start splitting playing cards on their edge (or packing some self-defense), you’ll need to fire $85 at today’s deal (Link)

There’s no need to look like Elmer Fudd when it comes to handling a gun. To save you from feeling like a silly wabbit, we’re bringing out the big guns with today’s deal (Link)

Envious of how fictional characters like James Bond and Lara Croft are cool under fire and able to handle anything that comes up? You can become that way too, in real life, just by going to school – Badass School, that is (Link)

Phoenix might not be the Old West of yore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to saddle up and protect yourself (Link)

I understand that North Carolina (along with every other state excluding Illionos) is a Concealed Carry State.  That does not mean that all of us Charlotteans are cool with it.  I know that gun control is a very divisive issue.  For my part, I am all the way gun control.  I actually am fully against the personal possession of handguns outside of a weapon stored and used at a shooting range.  I don’t like guns in homes and on people and I am extremely uncomfortable with the thought of people having guns on their person I do not know about.  In some ways that is besides the point.  Whether you are a card carrying member of the NRA or an avid gun control supporter like myself, we should agree that guns are a SERIOUS issue and a SERIOUS responsibility.

Guns are not about being Badass.  That one made me gag.  We should not feel like a silly wabbit if we don’t pull a trigger and really…Annie Oakley…you do not need to conceal a weapon to become one of the best female sharp shooters and perform.  Everyone knew Annie Oakley had a gun.

I am one one side of gun control.  Many people, including people in my family, are on the other side.  We all feel strongly.   Gun control is a major issue in our country and a daily deals site is not the place to offer such a course.  Given that handguns are used to kill people,  I do not think that this class fits the Living Social idea.   I wonder if anyone in the office there thought about this deal and how some of us might feel before they ran it?  The thought of making it easier than it already is in N.C. to get and conceal a handgun made me cringe.  As of this morning 49 more people here want to hide their handguns.  That just makes me sad.

I am sending an email to Living Social and hope to receive a response.

What do you think?  In your opinion was the language used to present these deals and / or the deal itself inappropriate in your eyes?

I will write more on gun control in the future and welcome responses from all.  I know that as people we have different view points and that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens.  I still love all of you.  I just don’t love your guns.   I am happy to hear your opinions.

Brittany
I'm Brittany. I believe that simple is best and that smiling can make or break a day. I love being a woman, a wife and a mother. I like to make pretty things and making things with big tools. I am a huge fan of good design. I love to travel. Hugs make me happy. I share my life, experiences, tips and tutorials in the hope that this community can find a whole lot of awesome together.
Brittany
Brittany
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54 comments… add one

  • September 16, 2011 LC Scotty

    You raise a few very good points-points that many of us on the side of preserving the right to keep and bear arms would agree with. For example, carrying a concealed weapon is not about being badass. I do think that that particular marketing ploy is contemptible. Carrying a gun is about realizing that you, and you alone, are responsible for your safety (google Warren v DC or Gonzales v Castle Rock to see what I mean) and taking one of many positive steps to ensure that safety.

    As someone who views keeping and carrying arms as a fundamental human right, I am not alarmed by the sight/thought of others carrying even when I am not. I would not be the least bit uncomfortable sitting in a diner with my children knowing that the table next to me held one or more armed adults, any more than I would be if they were of any particular religious faith, political party etc. A gun is an inanimate object, whose effects are determined solely by the wielder-they are nothing to fear.

    Yes, guns are serious, but they are also fun. I see no reason why shooting would not be considered a social activity, nor any reason why a group like living social would not promote this activity. From my perspective, anything that gets more average Americans to the range and de-stigmatizes gun use and ownership is probably a good thing.

    Best regards,
    S

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      S – I agree that a shooting range or or facility could be a social activity. I know that just because I am uncomfortable with guns does not mean others must follow. I am mainly concerned that this offer was presented numerous times to appeal to the “badass” or “gunslinger” side of people who might click on it and that is not what gun ownership is about, right? Had the offer been for a range or something I would have no problem with it. Heck it could be for a sharp shooter course or one of the other courses offered by this same outfit. The specific course is a very serious oe intended to teach people that laws and basics of gun ownership and use and certainly will not make anyone a badass. It is sad if they think it will. Thanks for your respectful comment.

      Reply
      • September 16, 2011 LC Scotty

        And thank you, Brittany, for not squashing debate. Had I left the previous comment with Ladd’s group (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) on Facebook, or as a reply to a blog post/youtube video of theirs it would never have seen the light of day.

        You mentioned that some of your family is on the other side of this issue-have you ever considered going to the range yourself? Even if you decide that keeping/carrying arms isn’t for you, you may find that shooting is a pleasurable hobby. There are several “gunbloggers” in NC active in the 2A rights scene who might be tickled to take you to the range and if you like I could give you links to their blogs.

        Reply
  • September 16, 2011 thirdpower

    It is a social activity. Friends and family can all have an enjoyable time at a range and it doesn’t need to be a somber occasion. People can laugh and have a good time doing it.

    If it’s not your thing, that’s fine. Nobody’s forcing you to. But there’s no reason to criticize other organizations for promoting a healthy event.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      While we are not in agreement on gun control, I state that I agree that time spent on a range with friends could certainly be social. That is not what was offered here. This is a state mandated 8 hour course to enable an individual to carry a concealed weapon. I have no problem with a deal on target practice or sharp shooting classes. This is very different. The tone makes light of the serious nature of being a gun owner.

      Reply
      • September 16, 2011 Thirdpower

        Again, I don’t see the issue of making it light-hearted. Yes, owning a gun is serious. That doesn’t mean one can’t have fun w/ it. And even a course for CCW can be a social event w/ friends and family.

        I definitely appreciate the discussion however. It’s very rare.

        Reply
        • February 12, 2013 Matthew

          A conceal carry class can be a social event. I took the class with my mom and wife. It was very informative and we learned a few things we were not aware of. I think it is actually a class that anyone who has questions about gun ownership should take. It might just show you a new side to consider on the gun debate, to see a group of responsible people doing the responsible thing and staying informed and trained. Thank you for not shutting out pro-gun comments on your site. You have earned my respect since the majority of gun control advocates tend to block anything I have posted.

          Reply
          • February 12, 2013 Brittany

            Matthew, while I am sure that we have very different opinions on gun control, I don’t have an issue with the class being offered in states that have, as much as I personally dislike them, concealed carry laws. What I took issue with primarily (and this post is a year old) and still do is the marketing position. I believe that for something as serious as guns, the tone should be serious as well and should not at all promote the idea of being a badass, which this promotion did. I honestly do not like guns, but I am not looking to take away a citizens 2nd amendment right to own one, as much as I wish no one did. I am for more gun control and I am not ashamed of that. Responsible gun owners would still be able to purchase guns. But, people would not be marketed to in such a way to make them think that by having a gun they would be cooler. I just don’t get that at all. Interestingly, Groupon recently pulled gun related deals from their offerings and I know it upset people a great deal. I was happy to it happen and I think a huge part of the reason for my joy was the way these deals were marketed. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my site. I always welcome respectful discussion.

            May I share something with you? I have had to delete some comments on this post that threatened me and my family, that wished me dead, that called me a communist…etc. I would not say those words on a blog or in person and this is a site I want my kids to see as they get older. I was shocked that people would come out and say those things here and to me. While I welcome different opinions, threats are never okay.

  • September 16, 2011 Ladd Everitt

    Thanks for taking the time to write that email to LivingSocial, Brittany. You have every right to express concerns about them making a joke out of individuals carrying guns in public around your family.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Miguel

    It never ceases to amaze how people are ready to smash somebody else fun just because they do not “like” an activity or even how it is presented. Just because you made the decision not to protect yourself or your kids, it does not mean it gives you the power to prevent anybody else from doing so. And no, calling the cops is not a viable option, they tend to get there way after the crime has been committed.
    More and more women are taking gun classes because they found out the hard way all those promises made to them about being protected if they followed the “rules” or carried a whistle or used their keys to scratch their attacker are nothing more than deadly hogwash. Demanding that Living Social withdraw a great opportunity for women to fend for themselves against a violent attacker is nothing more than being the a priori accomplice of a rapist or a murder.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      I like to keep discussions respectful here, even when disagreements over big issues are discussed. I did not ever say to take away your fun. This class is not intended to be fun. It is to teach people the laws around concealed handguns in NC and the very very very basic aspects of owning and maintining this very serious piece of hardware. It was not marketed this way at all. In fact, it was not marketed at women specifically although the photo was of a woman. I am sorry that you think I was smashing anyone. I was saying that I believe this particular course is not neccessarily living social approproate. This is not the class teaching how to protect yourself with a gun, it is the class to allow you to hide the gun.

      Reply
      • September 16, 2011 Miguel

        “allow you to hide the gun”
        Your choice of wording is a less than candid attempt to make legally carrying a Concealed Weapon appear as something shameful or criminal and it is neither. You have stated your own illogical prejudices against people being armed and that is fine. But if people can obtain a deal on something they like or need via Living Social and you don’t like it does not mean it should be removed from their offerings.

        Reply
        • September 17, 2011 Brittany

          Miguel, we all have a right to our opinions, as illogical as you think mine are. If I had used the word conceal instead of hide I still think it carries the same meaning. I was not trying to make it sound shameful or criminal. I know that it is legal. The fact remains that it scares me. I know people who have and carry guns that I would never issue a permit to. That doesn’t mean you are not a responsible gun owner, but there are plenty out there.

          Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Fadra

    I know personally of two people in NC that have concealed carry permits. I am okay with responsible gun ownership. The problem is that it’s extremely difficult to enforce. I’m not crazy about people being allowed to carry concealed handguns, unless there is strong reason.

    When you take the class for your permit, they don’t really ask you WHY you want the permit. One of the people I know is extremely responsible and has never carried a concealed weapon even though he has a permit. The other one carries his everywhere he goes (even into establishments that have a sign saying no weapons allowed). He falls into the “because it’s badass” group.

    I agree with you. The law is one thing. The marketing of it is another. This is in extremely poor taste and is irresponsible if you ask me.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2011 ddbaxte

    It’s advertising. Going into hysterics over it is as silly as a vegetarian up in arms over a BBQ restaurant advertisement. No matter what anybody’s feelings on concealed carry or private ownership of guns in America are, it’s not going away. Ever. With that in mind, residents should be happy that there are opportunities for people who wish to carry concealed, no matter what their reasons are, to receive training and instruction on safe practices and gun handling.

    Have you ever been to a gun handling class? Firearms are treated with the utmost of respect and safety is stressed above all else.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      Thank you for your comment. I do not think I went into hysterics but then, you have not seen me go into hysterics. I do have to say I think vegetarianism and gun control differ greatly. We both have a right to our opinions. I was less than happy with the offer and wording here and as a resident I am not happy that an 8 hour course serves as a 5 year pass to carry a concealed weapon. Like I said, I know that people have a different view. I am simply expressing mine.

      You may be right that I should attend a class as well as speak to local law enfocement before I complete my writing on gun control and where I personally stand. It would certainly give me a better view of all sides. I am sure it won’t chang my mind, but perhaps I will be able to better understand what people do learn before they can obtain a permit.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2011 ddbaxte

    And to be fair to the businesses, they are not the ones who write the daily deal descriptions. Living Social hires people “Freelance Writers” http://livingsocial.com/jobs do to that for them.

    You’ll notice, no matter what the daily deal is, they all sound equally as cheesy.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Kia

    The offer itself I think is a good idea, yes gun classes can be a social activity. I myself have considered taking one and I am sad i missed the deal they were running on this side of the state. I cannot shoot a gun my 13yo daughter on the other hand had been taught to shoot a rifle for several years. I’ve very much in favor of the deal. The wording now so much. Sometimes cheeky advertising fails, well it fails more often than not and this is one of those times the cutesy attempt is ill placed and borderline disturbing. Would i have bought this deal if i lived in Charlotte? Sure, but i probably wouldn’t have read the blurb either, i tend to completely gloss over that and go straight to the fine print section.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      I learned to shoot a rifle at camp and personally did not love it. Yes, the wording was a big problem in that it encourages the “badass” view of gun ownership. I would think that the course you would want would actually be one of the courses moe focused on how to shoot a gun before you even considered this regulated permission to carry a concealed handgun one. That is part of the issue I had. This particular class, in my opinion, is not a very social activity. Usually I think the cheesy blurbs are funny so I read them – clearly this one caught my eye as being out of the norm.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Mike Cavanaugh

    You’re entirely correct in that carrying a firearm for self-protection is indeed a serious matter. And getting educated by a qualified instructor is absolutely necessary.

    But I’ll let you in on a secret: shooting is fun! Whether it’s making a bowling pin fly off a table with a well-aimed shot, shooting a steel plate with a resounding “clang!”, or enjoying the peace of mind that comes from taking your and your family’s safety seriously — guns make life better & more enjoyable. Give it a try & you’ll see! :-)

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      I remember rifle shooting at camp and the kick back – well, it hurt. I get a shot of adrenaline from building furniture and using my nail gun so that will probably be it for me! I’m pretty busy with 3 kids 4 and under. I think we are all entitled to our opinions on guns, and I totally dig respectful conversations and debate. I am sure there are parts of firing a gun that are fun. The only thing I personally have a problem with is guns in homes and in particular, concealed weapons. I’ve got no real probem with rifles stored and protected properly in the home I suppose. Just not in mine. But like I said, I can like you and not like your guns. We can still have a fun time with friends who like different things than us :)

      Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Samantha

    I am also a believer of gun control and I’ll spare you all of my feelings about it. That being said, I know a lot of high string individuals who shouldn’t carry guns but would not be legally blocked from doing so. And that is enough for me to be disappointed at Living Social for encouraging an activity that is pretty divisive in our country.

    And if you ask me, the “passionate” responses of the gun toters above does not give me any comfort.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2011 Brittany

      Haha. Clearly I am planning on not sparing anyone my feelings when I finish my other post. ne of my main concerns is the ease with which one can obtain a gun here in NC and many other states. If they meet basic requirements the state MUST allow them to purchase and conceal a weapon.

      Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Da Troot

    “I am mainly concerned that this offer was presented numerous times to appeal to the “badass” or “gunslinger” side of people who might click on it and that is not what gun ownership is about, right?”
    You’re right. It’s not. But it IS what firearm education is about, right? I mean, isn’t it obvious that those are the types most in need of a safety class? Okay. Case closed, then.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011 Brittany

      I was going to write your name but I was not sure if that is just what you go by online. Anyway, you do have a point. :) Even the people who think owning a gun is badass would learn something…in my opinion not enough to own and conceal a gun but that is beside the point. Why not offer a training class and not this regulatory class required for the concealment of handguns?

      Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Missy~

    http://agirlandhergun.blogspot.com/
    Start at the very beginning and read this ladies story, she was a lot like you and has a great story! While she has kids in her home she is still very safe and she is able to protect her children. I’m not telling you you have to have a gun that’s the only way, there are just a lot of things to think about.
    There was a lady about 30 miles from me who had a guy breaking in her house with a gun, she shot him while she was on the phone with 911 and it still took police 20 minutes to get there AFTER the shot was made. Police are great but not always on time, you have to be able to protect yourself in the event that police are not there to do it for you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv8TEUunl-8
    This lady watched her mom get executed because she left her gun at home because it was illegal to carry. She has done amazing things for Texas gun laws!
    While you are entitled to your own opinion and they will always clash with someone elses, I pray you never have to face a situation where you need a firearm and don’t have one and instead you have to watch your child or parent or spouse get executed.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Darkside007

    I think the ad copy was dumb, not inappropriate.

    However, your position that LivingSocial, or any deal site, should *not* offer deals on weapons training is an instinctual response of most people who hold left-of-center views. They seem the believe that:

    1) They have a right not to be exposed to ideas they don’t agree with, or reminded that people deviate from their worldview

    2) Ideas that they don’t agree with must be quarentined from the general public – Even a coupon for gun training might convince people to learn about guns, which makes them not scary tokens of evil. That might lead to more people disagreeing with the “correct” position, and so the possibility of information must be stifled.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011 Brittany

      I actually do not think I would have the same problem with a class on guns. I understand that people have a different view point than me and find shooting a gun to be social. In fact, my brother and sister are at a range together today. It’s just not my thing. I took issue with the tone and I do think that marketing guns as being badass is irresponsible. If you disagree then we can just agree to disagree.

      I am sorry you think I am so close minded. I really am not and certainly have no problem with gun training or even gun ownership. I just wish people did not have them in homes or carry them around. But I know there are other view points and that is okay with me.

      Reply
      • September 17, 2011 Darkside007

        How can people own something, but neither possess it on their person nor at their home?

        I’d love to have an extended discussion with you on the issue.

        Reply
  • September 16, 2011 Brian

    Brittany;

    We often get students (wives whose husbands purchased guns) who are extremely uncomfortable with firearms. What they learn is this: A gun is just an inanimate object until a human picks it up – it can harm no one in and of itself. Once you learn to handle a firearm safely, you realize there is no danger to innocent people other than the danger YOU might cause. Its just like driving: a car is a 2000 lb missle moving at 70 miles per hour. It can be deadly if mishandled but hundreds of millions of people safely drive a car everyday. Hundreds of thousands of concealed carry permit holders carry safely every day. According to national statistics, less than 3% of all concealed carry permit holders lose their permit due to weapons related charges. Here in Georgia, where the state DOES NOT require training prior to obtaining a permit, the rate conforms with the national statistics – even after we legalized concealed carry in bars. Law abiding citizens who carry guns for protection, have proven to be universally responsible and safe in their firearms use.

    You mentioned that “handguns are used to kill people”. Yes they are. So are knives, baseball bats, rope, pillows, etc., but they don’t carry the imposed stigma that handguns do – why not? Isn’t that an intellectually inconsistent position?

    In our defensive classes we quite frankly teach concealed carry pistol holders the most efficient way to stop a threat with a handgun – and if the perpetrator dies in the process – well, too bad. If the perpetrator obeyed the law and didn’t prey (and I use “prey” in its literal sense here) on innocent people, they wouldn’t be killed.

    From interviews with victims we learn the universal comments from victims of violent crime is “Why me?” and “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me”. These people were in denial about the level and ruthlessness of the threat – and the need to have the right to use whatever means necessary to defend themselves. These perspectives arise because the average citizen doesn’t appreciate the criminal mindset because the criminal’s world view is so fundamentally removed from that of the law abiding citizen. Violent criminals don’t see you as a mother of three, wife to a wonderful husband, loving confidant to close friends – someone of value to those who lover her. They see you simply as an opportunity – an opportunity to get something you have and they feel entitled – literally entitled – to use any level of force to get it. They don’t care that you are “Brittany” – they see you only as a object that impedes their ability to get what they want. In short, they will kill you without ANY remorse if necessary and they will do it with any means necessary, a gun, a knife, a baseball bat, or a garrot. For an education on this subject, read “Inside the Criminal Mind” by Dr. Stanton Samenow who has worked as a criminal psychologist in the prison system for 30 years. When you understand the criminal, you will understand the need to have the ability to meet force level with equal force level in order to survive a criminal attack.

    Dr. David Grossman, an expert on the psychology and physiology of lethal encounters states that there are three types of people in the world, wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. The sheep are helpless because they refuse to obtain the knowledge and skills to defend themselves against the predators in human society – they are either too lazy to do so or idealogically in denial about the existence of the threat. Sheepdogs, according to Grossman, are the military, police, and trained concealed carry pistol permit holders. The sheepdogs have the ability to turn on the same level of ruthlessness as the wolves but it is a precision controlled ruthlessness that is turned off once the threat is neutralized (rendered incapable of further being a threat) and the sheep (their families and friends) are safe.

    Number one, gun control advocates in my view are in, let me say this delicately, total ignorance of the threat out there on the streets and are fundamentally not prepared mentally or physically to save their lives and the lives of their families if confronted with one of these predators. They abhor the tools of self defense and see no need for them because they are in denial of the level of ruthlessness and evil in the hearts of some humans

    Number two, they don’t understand that it is the human, not the tool used to impose violence that is the problem because they don’t understand the difference. This results in an intellectually dishonest position: If they were consistent, they would be arguing for the banning of baseball bats, screw drivers (number two choice after handguns for criminals ) and kitchen knives .

    Number three they don’t understand the danger of banning private ownership of firearms on multiple levels. One, criminals by definition don’t obey the law. Example: Let me suggest that we make illegal the private ownership and use of cocaine, heroin, meth, and marijuana. That should eliminate the drug problem in the USA………oh wait – those drugs have been illegal for decades – then why do we have a drug problem? You see my point? If you ban firearms, only criminals will have them. Armed robberies went up 40% in England after England banned the private ownership of handguns. The other danger is constitutionally related. Gun ownership is a constitutional right. If the government can take that away from you, they can take away your right to free speech, the freedom of the press, and any other right delineated in the constitution. THAT is a slippery slope you do not want to go down.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 SL

    I agree with you that the tone of the advertisement is inappropriate given the seriousness of the subject, but that’s about where our agreement ends. I’m willing to bet the actual classes are conducted with the utmost professionalism and safety in mind, and without all the Lara Croft/Badass references. Responsible gun owners discourage and disdain the Hollywood perception of firearms.

    I wonder though, since you describe yourself as “all the way gun control,” what exactly you mean. I.e. what gun laws specifically would you like to see changed and how would you change them? How much do you know about guns, about the relationship between guns generally and crime, between concealed carry laws and crime, and the role of the right to bear arms in a Constitutional and legal sense as it relates to other rights? Allowing government to arbitrarily restrict one set of fundamental rights creates a slippery slope when it comes to restrictions upon others, most likely including some of those you hold dear.

    You’re in good company among gun control advocates when you say things like “I don’t like guns… I am extremely uncomfortable… the thought makes me cringe” etc. The problem is, statistics do not provide rationale for these feelings of fear. The cornerstone of the gun control movement has always been essentially “more guns = more crime.” However, gun laws (especially concealed carry laws) have been getting increasingly looser in this country since the late 1980′s. In the same time period, the crime rate and violent crime rate have dipped to near record lows. We now have more lawfully armed citizens than at any point in our nation’s history, and our murder rate hit a 45-year low in 2009 (and preliminary data show it dropped again in 2010). The drop in crime could be contributed to a variety of factors, but whether or not more guns had anything to do with it, one thing is clear: More guns and looser gun laws DID NOT lead to more crime. The gun control movement was wrong, and they continue to be wrong. That much is indisputable.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 JR Ewing

    Brittany,

    I understand your positon very well, having grown up in Massachusetts, where it is allowable to have a cocealed handgun, it is very much frowned upon. I do have one question for you… how do you feel about abortion? Do you believe it’s a choice? If so, do you believe the government or anyone else should be able to take that choice away? It’s the same with firearms…those of us that want them should be free to chose to…just as those who don’t, should be free to chose not to.

    I’m going to send you a link to a good piece of information that you may find enlightening…

    one other thing I would suggest you keep in mind is the following:

    You Don’t Know Me, and I Have a Gun!

    You don’t know me, or maybe you just don’t know that you do. I am your neighbor, doctor, clergyman, nurse or just another nameless, faceless stranger in the crowd. I have a state authorized, court issued permit to carry a concealed handgun. I do so whenever possible.

    Though you don’t know me, there are a few things, however, you should know about me.

    In my case, I was fingerprinted by the local police for an FBI criminal background check. Before that, I had to pass state and local background checks. I had to present evidence to the court of approved training in firearms laws, safety and marksmanship before my application would even be accepted.

    I am not a felon, junkie, drug dealer, stalker or even a shoplifter since any number of indiscretions including alcohol or other drug abuse or even simple assault or a restraining order would disqualify me from holding a permit.

    My classroom training covered when it is appropriate and legal to even indicate that I have a gun, much less display it or actually use deadly force.

    Doing so in any circumstance, under which I am not in immediate fear for my life or the life of another, would mean more than the loss of my permit. Most likely, I would also be charged with brandishing a weapon, disorderly conduct and/or assault.

    If it was determined that my use of deadly force was not to protect a life in immediate danger, I would probably be charged with second-degree murder or first-degree manslaughter. On top of these, I would also face civil liability.

    Like most people who legally carry concealed handguns, I practice regularly at a range. I am well aware of the laws and regulations affecting me. I and my fellow permit holders are generally more well trained and practiced than many law enforcement officers.

    I am not a non-resident alien. I am a good citizen, and I vote.

    I am aware of the responsibility I bear, and I will walk or run away rather than risk confrontation. I will retreat as fast and as far as possible. I always avoid conflict. I know that should a situation escalate, I could be identified as the instigator and face losing my right to carry, or much worse.

    Should the need arise, however, I will act swiftly, intelligently and decisively to protect my life and the lives of those around me

    Are you still afraid of me?

    In my home state of Virginia, not one permit holder has been convicted of a violent gun crime despite more than 120,000 issued permits. Throughout the entire United States, no police officer has been killed by a person with a permit to carry a handgun. A number have, however, been assisted and even rescued by armed, law abiding citizens.

    You should feel a degree of comfort knowing that there may be someone nearby with means, motive and training to possibly save your life, or that of those around you.

    Criminals, on the other hand, should feel fear. They never know if their next intended victim may armed, trained, and ready to effectively defend themselves.

    If you feel safer patronizing establishments with a NO GUNS ALLOWED policy, please keep in mind that the criminals don’t obey the signs or the laws. That is why we call them criminals.

    Criminals know that the law-abiding customers of that establishment are easy prey, and will have little to no fear of the consequences of their actions. The hallways and parking lots of these establishments might just as well post a sign saying…

    ATTENTION CRIMINALS
    This is a Defense Free Crime Zone
    All Law Abiding Patrons of this Establishment
    Have Been Disarmed For Your Convenience

    There is no need to fear me, I am just another loyal, law abiding American.

    You should, however, be very afraid of those who endeavor to turn the entire law abiding population of our great country into defenseless victims.
    (Thank you Eggman!)

    Take care and God Bless!!

    J.R.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2011 Brittany

      J.R.

      I am not afraid of the responsible gun owning citizens. I am afraid of the many people who own guns and are not responsible and simply don’t have the criminal background to block them from carrying a gun. So no, I do not fear you. I am concerned about people who do not try to avoid conflict, who do feel “cool” when they are armed, or who use the knowledge of their gun to scare others. Of course, I also fear criminals.

      I will respond to all of your points on gun control and why I am where I am when I have completed my post. This Living Social thing came up as I was writing and researching. I do plan on talking to the establishments that offer these classes and learning first hand a little more. Sadly, I fear I will not come out of an 8 hour course feeling that I should be given the right to buy, carry and conceal a gun. That is beside the point. I did not want you to feel like I will not respond to your entire comment. In this response though, I am really responding to the marketing of this class.

      I actually am Pro-Choice. I have posted on that too. Looks like I like conflict huh? I actually don’t. I really do want open conversation. Being Pro-Choice, I would have been just as befuddled if I had received a half off abortion coupon in my inbox. Some things, to me, are very divisive and personal and just don’t “go” with the living social idea. I don;t know if you read my other comments, but I did say that I would not have had the same problem if the ads had not marketed to the gun slinging and badass part of the gun owner community or had the class been one in sharp shooting or gun practice and the ad had a more serious tone. I can see how there are gun activities that are social and that could easily fall under Living Social’s entertainment umbrella.

      Thank you for commenting. I am literally running around with the kids and will certainly try to approve and respond as fast as I can. So you know, I need to approve one comment and then you should be able to comment without approval. As long as your comments are respectful I will publish them whether you agree or disagree with me. Do you still want me to publish your other comment?

      Reply
      • September 17, 2011 JR Ewing

        Brittany,

        My apologies. I didn’t realize while the comments were undergoing moderation, they disappeared from the site….then again, I also just realized, since I’m on a different computer then I was when I originally posted the comment…I don’t have the (possible) cookie that was left on the other computer. Again, I offer my sincere apology and no, there’s no need to post my other comment.

        Take care and God Bless!

        Reply
    • September 17, 2011 Wild Bill

      J.R.

      Very, very, very well stated!!!!!! I, too, am a conceal carry permit holder in North Carolina.

      Reply
  • September 17, 2011 deminimus

    Having dealt with some of the more violent and least law abiding people that the world has to offer, it would be my advise to anyone to both train and arm. This may be more important in the future than you can imagine. The police cannot help you, they are only the cavalry who will get to you too late, unless you protect yourself first, giving them a chance to act.

    As for the gun control issue, I used to think as you do but that changed very quickly in the real world. Truth and logic are hard masters. I don’t believe that one can make one’s self safer, by surrendering one’s ability to protect one’s self and others. That has never been the case throughout history and nothing will ever change this because it is an immutable truth that he who cannot protect himself, becomes prey to those who will do anything to get what they want. They do not obey laws and cannot be stopped by wishes and interpersonal communications skills.

    The state has an interest in disarming you and keeping you that way, this has always been so except at the founding of our country. I cannot be trusted with decisions about your individual safety. It inevitably decides against you from a guarded armchair a thousand or a hundred miles from your danger. It cannot be trusted because while it states that it wishes to protect you, it lies to you and places you in greater danger and then lies to you again a says that it didn’t do it. Meanwhile you are victimized and if lucky. you survive. No thank you.

    If you want to be an assessable victim that is your choice, I don’t and won’t allow you to put me or mine in that most vulnerable of positions because you think you know more than I do and are more intelligent and better able to judge my needs than I am. No one is, certainly not the state. My experience and knowledge makes these things facts and I would ask you to reconsider your position of placing yourself and others in jeopardy.

    The water you seek is on the other side of the fence.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 Wild Bill

    Brittany,

    I have a conceal carry permit in my state and I definitely do NOT feel like a ‘Bad Ass’ or some ‘Macho Gun Slinger’ at all. In fact, I do NOT carry a gun at all. I took the course to learn the gun laws and about my right to protect my family, my home and myself. Why? I have NEVER lived anywhere where there were enough cops to protect us.

    Banning gun ownership will only disarm all of the LAW ABIDING people, but no one is going to disarm, criminals, gang members, drug dealers, the drug cartel members or even the Mafia. By banning guns, you will create a TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT for your average home burglar. Brittany, these days we have GANGS of people doing home invasions and not just one person. I’d rather have the ability to defend myself than to set myself up as a VICTUM of these kinds of people. God gave you a life and supposedly a brain and he expects you to use it.

    Some people say the days of the Wild West are over. Honey, the WILD WEST was nowhere near as violent or dangerous as it IS today!!! As Martha Stewart would tell you, “Wake up and smell the coffee!!” You indicate that you have 3 small children. Well, WITHOUT a gun you have NO CHANCE of survival, but WITH a gun you have a GOOD CHANCE of survival. What I am trying to say is that WITHOUT having a gun and knowing how to use it, YOU are leaving your family COMPLETELY DEFENSELESS!! You are literally a TARGET!!

    There is NO POWER in the world that is EVER going to confiscate my guns and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

    The media and our politicians would have you believe that gun owner’s are evil. Well, I’m 63, I’m a retired airline captain and I have never even had a parking ticket in my life. I don’t know what you know about World War II, but look at what the NATZI’s did to the German citizens. They came in and DISARMED the entire country and the citizens of Germany went from being citizens to being subjects of a DICTATORSHIP!!! Our FUHRER, Obama, would just love to disarm America. Think before you type!!!!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 Tracker 3

    Everyone has their opinion…
    Owning, carrying, shooting and discussing weapons are in fact a social event for many. Just look on the internet and you will find a forum for any topic to include the items I mentioned. Posters discuss gear, incidents, best practices, advice, legal matters etc. So, I would infer that weapons and carrying concealed is a social activity and topic.

    As mentioned, everyone has an opinion. What I don’t agree with is, whether someone is for or against personnaly owning a firearm is, opiners saying that “I” or anyone else shouldn’t have a weapon on me or in my home…that is a personal decision. If people are adamant or indifferent about not having a firearm, that is “their” choice. It would be equally unfair for people (enthusiasts) to lobby and mandate that all homes will be issued and must store a firearm, against the person’s wishes.
    Many people choose, because of personal needs, circumstances, training and experiences…it has served me well. I have children and there are prudent and secure means to prevent any problems with firearms. The greatest thing I can do for my children is to teach them to responsibly care for their own safety and provide them with the tools/skills to ensure their positive outcome in any circumstance.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 Alex

    While you have the right to be fearful of people who lawfully carry concealed weapons, your fears really have no base. The state of Florida has issued permits to 1,704,624 people. The number who have had their permits revoked for firearms-related violations is just 167. That is a revocation rate of 0.00014 percent. True, that’s just in Florida, but if you do some research for yourself you will see that numbers like that are the norm.

    Also, in Washington D.C., the average police response time to a PRIORITY ONE 911 call is over 8 minutes. Next time you see a large, scary gang member on the street, try to imagine if you’d be able to hold him off for 8 minutes if he broke into your house. That’s assuming you are lucky enough to have time to dial 911. Believe it or not, DC has the highest ratio of police officers to citizens of any major city in the country, and as a result has one of the faster response times. Most big cities are a couple minutes slower.

    I attended college in Tempe, Arizona several years ago, and had the wonderful experience of having a 6’4 lowlife who was high as a kite break into my house, screaming that he was going to kill me and my roommates (no idea why, we didn’t even know the guy). We were able to barricade ourselves in a room and dial 911 almost immediately. The police were there within 6 minutes. Had one of my roommates not had a gun, they would have been about 4 minutes too late, because the guy did succeed in kicking the door down, only to find himself facing the muzzle of my roommates shotgun. This caused his aggression to evaporate instantly, and he ran away. He was arrested a few minutes later, and it turned out he had a knife on him. So, you think people should be able to own guns, just not keep them in their homes? It’s a good thing lawmakers in Arizona felt otherwise, or I’d probably be dead right now.

    I didn’t own any guns at the time, and didn’t really care either way about gun ownership. That incident changed my mind pretty quick. You always think things like that will never happen to you, but they can and they do. The reason you are against guns being carried or kept in the home is because you have never had an experience where you wished you had one.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2011 Julie

    Hm. Well, while I agree with your assertion that the copy was dumb, I have to wonder, how would you have me protect myself had the intruder gained access to my home during the TEN minutes it took the police to arrive after my 911 call last month?

    I will be armed, I will be educated about my choice of firearm, and I will be proficient in its use. These are my rights as an American.

    On the flip side of that right is that everyone, felons excluded, is afforded the same right and might not be as responsible as me.

    This seems like another good argument for me to be armed. :)

    Taking away the right to own and conceal a handgun only leaves those with no regard for the law with access to them. Criminals will always be armed, no matter what laws are passed.

    So why conceal? Well, Missouri allows for open carry. It draws much more attention to the fact that I am armed, which is something I do not want. If I had spent time and energy learning a deadly fighting skill, I certainly would not wear a t-shirt around proclaiming such and inviting any conflict. I would simply go about my day with the security that comes with knowing I could protect myself if the need should arise, which it could at any time.

    The same feeling of security comes from having my weapon securely holstered and tucked away out of sight.

    Kudos to you for being brave enough to speak about your opinion, knowing that there will be so many out there who oppose you. I’m sure you are open minded enough to look for valid points in any argument that comes your way.

    Reply
  • September 19, 2011 Ladd Everitt

    Brittany and Mommy Words readers:

    I enjoyed this excellent blog and wanted to provide some helpful background information.

    For starters, there is no constitutional right to carry a concealed handgun in America. Even the Conservative wing of the Supreme Court, which in 2008 established an individual right to own a handgun in one’s home for self-defense (for the first time since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791) in the case of D.C. v. Heller, made it clear that the Second Amendment “is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Justice Scalia then wrote, “For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.” So even outright state bans on the carrying of concealed handguns are perfectly constitutional. You can read the full Heller opinion here:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf

    Second, the laws concerning the carrying of concealed handguns are incredibly weak in North Carolina. In terms of training, a resident of North Carolina is only required to have 8 hours of “training” to carry a concealed handgun for life. You read that correctly. A single, 8- hour day-class is all that is required when you initially obtain a concealed handgun permit in North Carolina. You are required to renew that permit every 5 years, but there is no additional training requirement for those renewals.

    Compare that with the amount of training a law enforcement officer in North Carolina receives over the course of a career—not only in how to safely handle firearms, but in how to use discretion regarding the use of lethal force in public.

    The screening process for permit applicants in North Carolina is also minimal. North Carolina is a “Shall-Issue” state, meaning that law enforcement must issue a concealed handgun permit to any applicant who completes that 8-hour class and passes a computerized background check (there is no actual background investigation, just an instant computer check).

    The chief problem is that many people who you and I would consider potential threats to public safety can pass that background check and get a permit. For example, law enforcement would be required to issue a concealed handgun permit to the following NC residents:

    1) Any resident who is mentally ill, as long as they have not been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution (forced to go in) or adjudicated as a threat to themselves or others by a court. Very few people who are mentally ill in America fall under one of these two categories. Many never seek treatment at all.

    2) Any resident who is a chronic substance abuser, as long that person has not been convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; or been arrested multiple times for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year. Again, pretty limited categories… There is no drug test—ever—for those who carry concealed handguns in public in North Carolina.

    3) Those who have been convicted of drunk driving, as long as those convictions were 3 or more years prior to the application for a permit.

    4) Those convicted of one or more misdemeanors, as long as they are not violent offenses.

    You can see North Carolina’s laws for concealed carry here:

    http://www.lcav.org/states/northcarolina.asp#carryingconcealedweapons

    Needless to say, these weak regulations have led some dangerous people getting concealed handgun permits in North Carolina. For example, multiple members of a terrorist cell in the state (busted in 2009) got permits. They had planned terrorist attacks both abroad and domestically in the U.S.:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5722096/

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2009974739_apusncterrorarrests.html

    Reply
    • September 20, 2011 Alex

      I’m sure those terrorists would have left their guns at home and committed the attacks with their bare hands had their permits been denied!

      Reply
  • September 19, 2011 Ladd Everitt

    Additionally, here is a list of several more individuals who were issued concealed handgun permits in North Carolina and then convicted of murder:

    http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/ccwtotalkilled.pdf

    This list only includes homicides that occurred between May 2007 and present. It is taken from media clippings and does not represent a full account of the criminal activity of concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina during that period.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2011 Alex

      How many of these crimes would have been stopped if these people didn’t have concealed weapon permits? Very few. It’s easy to list a bunch of stories to make it seem like something is a huge problem, when in reality it is extremely rare. Refer to my earlier statistic that Florida has revoked .00014 percent of their issued permits for firearms-related violations. If concealed handgun permit holders are really so prone to “criminal activity” how is banning concealed handguns supposed to help?

      Reply
      • September 20, 2011 Ladd Everitt

        Florida is hardly an example of a state that does a good job of auditing its permitting system. An independent investigation revealed that Florida had issued concealed handgun permits to more than 1,400 people who plead guilty or no contest to felonies; 216 people with outstanding warrants, including for murder; 28 people with active domestic violence restraining orders against them; and 6 registered sex offenders:

        “In Florida, It’s Easy to Get a License to Carry a Gun”
        http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2007-01-28/news/MGUNS28_1_carry-a-gun-license-to-carry-concealed

        Florida also issues concealed handgun permits to individuals in other states without ever actually seeing them. This has led to them issuing permits to individuals who have committed murder outside their borders:

        “Denied Elsewhere, Applicants Try Florida for Concealed Weapons Permits”

        In addition to those who have killed in Florida after being issued permits there (Control-F and search for “Florida”):

        http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/ccwtotalkilled.pdf

        Reply
  • September 21, 2011 emily l

    SO glad to see I’m not the only one on my friends list who is anti-gun. Ugh. I just can’t believe how many people I know who have children also have guns. It’s such a terrible idea. Danger all the way around and the idea of everyone arming themselves absolutely terrifies me with the current mentalities out there. I am scared of the future of this country. I reeeeally am. There’s so much hate, and so much inequality and it’s going to bubble over. Who knows, maybe when it does I’ll regret not having a gun.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2011 Kia

    I had to come back because they are now offering a concealed carry class locally for me with different wording.
    http://livingsocial.com/deals/125677-concealed-carry-handgun-class

    I know i originally said i would attend such a class but this deal requires you have your own gun which i don’t, the other deals I’ve seen don’t require you bring your own firearm.
    The local news here did mention that there’s a sharp increase in the past year of concealed carry permits being issued but that gun incidents, gun related crimes, and gun homicides are all down. So a possibly flawed correlation could be people are believing the hype that the current administration is planning on taking away the guns that the tea party has been spreading. But who knows since those 2 numbers moving away from each other defies logic.

    Reply
    • September 21, 2011 Ladd Everitt

      Defies logic, indeed. I wonder where the Tea Party got that conspiracy theory from?

      Hmmm…probably from right here:

      http://www.gunbanobama.com/

      Who really benefits when Americans buy handguns to carry around in public? The gun industry. And the NRA, which gets millions of dollars in corporate contributions from the gun industry:

      http://www.vpc.org/studies/bloodmoney.pdf

      Don’t fall for the fearmongering.

      Reply
  • June 1, 2012 B Mackay

    Where I live in northern Canada we do not have the right to carry guns. Not conceled or outherwise. I really feel sory for people who live where this is a daily need for safety. I have tried shooting pistols but did not like the croud of poeple here in the hand gun club. I have and use hunting rifles yearly but they are not for defence or home protection and I keep them all locked up and not loaded.
    B Mackay recently posted… Rollator Walkers For Mobility & Independent LivingMy Profile

    Reply
  • December 6, 2012 Betty

    It’s bizzare that you object to what Living Social chooses to offer its members, in this case, gun safety courses. Those who seek to responsibly own and operate a firearm are disposed to follow the law – hence their interest in the course – and protecting themselves and family. Those who have no intention of honoring your rights to safety with their illicit use of a firearm will also have no such use for a class like this.

    As much as liberals pontificate about choice, such the rights of those incarcerated for heinous murderers on death row, I would think there would be some compassion for those who choose not to be a victim of their lawless behavior. In spite of the conveniently false narrative of corelating guns and crime, check the sales of guns over the last decade and compare it to gun crime. I think you will find a 60%+ increase in guns sales, and a distinct recession in gun comitted crime. Turns out that criminals choose to prey on the defenseless and avoid those who just might fight back. No big surprise there, except to liberals who refuse to admit that outlawing guns does little but ensure that only outlaws will have them.

    “Freedom is always the subject of objection for those who demand others conform to their definition of it.” – Sir Wellington Ross

    Reply
    • December 13, 2012 Brittany

      This is not a gun safety course. It is a course providing a certificate for a concealed carry permit. If you read the article, what I objected to the most was the way these courses were marketed by living social, not as a legal and safety course but for people who wanted to be cool. Marketing guns like this, in my opinion, is not responsible. Of course, we all have a right to our opinions.

      Yes, we will probably disagree on the basic gun control issue as well, but this was simply about the marketing.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2013 Gary Kroegman

    You are an idiot. Gun owners are required to take this 8 hour, instructor led class to carry a gun. The class is for learning, memorizing, and being thoroughly tested to make sure people who carry weapons understand the law regarding exercising their RIGHT to own and carry a weapon. Responsible gun owners advocate this class and so should everyone else. This doesn’t market guns at all. Would you rather have people carry weapons and not know the laws and proper procedures of how to use them? When you live in a rural area where everyone and their mother has a gun, you need one, and you need to know how to use it. GUNS ARE USED FOR SELF DEFENSE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT BY RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS. “Handguns are used to kill people” is the most ignorant shit I’ve ever heard.

    Reply
    • January 12, 2013 Brittany

      Gary, I approved this comment but I would ask that you refrain from name calling on this site. If you read the article, I was against specific marketing that made the gun class appeal to the Annie Get Your Gun, badass idea and I objected to that as did responsible gun owners. While I am positive we disagree on gun control, I would not call you a name and this article was specifically about the marketing of this course. Have a wonderful day.

      Reply
  • October 14, 2013 Bill

    Hey Brittany – Really classy of you to approve some of these comments. There isn’t any reason for the name calling.

    You have some excellent points and I agree with your points regarding the marketing aspect from living social. Most of their write ups are pretty excessively sales-y so this one really took it to the extreme. Thanks.
    Bill recently posted… Best Fingerprint Gun Safe or Biometric Gun SafeMy Profile

    Reply

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