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Is It Time for Citizens to Arm Themselves?

A South Carolina sheriff advises citizens to obtain a concealed weapons permit after a woman is attacked and sexually assaulted.

A clearly frustrated South Carolina sheriff had some harsh words for the criminal justice system after a man with a long history of arrests attacked and sexually assaulted a woman in a Spartanburg park.

“I can tell you that our form of justice is not making it,” said Sheriff Chuck Wright in a videotaped press conference posted on YouTube.

Wright said the suspect in the attack, Walter Monroe Lance, 46, has been arrested multiple times and convicted of 20 charges dating back to 1983. The charges range from disorderly conduct to assault and battery with intent to kill. Most recently, the suspect served 14 months for a federal probation violation.

“I’ve had liberals call me and tell me ‘a chain gang is not going to work.’ Well, let me inform you that your form of justice isn’t working either,” Wright said.

A clearly exasperated Wright said he does not believe every criminal should be permanently jailed, but added, while holding up a photo of the suspect, “I believe that this animal right here don’t deserve to be out in our society walking alongside of our women.”

Wright said it was “almost too bad” that someone with a concealed weapons permit had not walked by during the attack and heard the victim’s cries.

“That would have fixed this,” he said.

Sheriff Wright encouraged females to walk in groups and get a concealed weapons permit.

“I don’t want you to go for the mace, I want you to go for the concealed weapons permit,” he said.

Though Wright said he did not want to see citizens placed in a position of having to use a firearm, he said there was only one form of gun control as far as he was concerned.

“Gun control, to me, is when you can get your barrel back on the target quick,” he said.

What are your thoughts on gun control? Do you believe citizens should arm themselves? .

R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew November 02, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Yes - that said the ABLITILTY to use it must be paramount. Once pulled, one must be prepared to fire it. The comment about mace simply underscores the current “catch and release” approach is no longer effective. (As demonstrated unfortunately by our borders)
Brian Crawford November 02, 2011 at 10:27 PM
I think all of the Occupy protesters should arm themselves to show support for the 2nd Amendment as well.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Proper training is very important. I also agree that one must be prepared to use it or be prepared to have it used against you. For that reason, maybe mace is more appropriate for those unwilling, unable or unprepared to use a firearm should the situation warrant.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 11:01 PM
Hopefully they won't all come with AK-47s like the guy in Woodruff Park...
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew November 02, 2011 at 11:01 PM
IF they qualify to carry per law it would be their right, would it not? It would CERTAINLY make identifying them easier as finger prints are recorded upon issuing a permit, among other things.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 11:05 PM
This may be one of those cases where just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. I don't really think that guy was showing his support for the Second Amendment given his statement to WXIA: "(The gun is) a symbol of the last line of resistance against a government that's going to try to push people out because of their ideals." Perhaps he did not mean it to sound inflammatory, but I can see why Mayor Reed became concerned. I am a gun owner, but I can tell you I would be really uncomfortable if someone showed up at a gathering I was attending with an AK-47. Just saying.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew November 02, 2011 at 11:31 PM
I've yet to see a permit that allows for concealed carry of an AK-47, so at some point you "leave the reservation" when you link this to the South Carolina Sherriff’s comments. HOWEVER, I wonder if the Federal Firearm License (FFL) would be yanked in the ATL case, unless that specific firearm was just on its way to Mexico...
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 02, 2011 at 11:49 PM
The AK-47 has nothing at all to do with the Sheriff's comments - it was only in response to Brian's about the Occupy protesters ; ) +1 for "unless that specific firearm was just on its way to Mexico..."
Gail Young November 03, 2011 at 11:16 AM
The sheriff has my vote.
Sheila A. November 03, 2011 at 04:10 PM
From a carjacking and almost kidnapping at the Texaco on Harbins Road earlier this summer, to vandalism and home invasions in and near my subdivision, it is becoming increasingly clear that crime is on the upswing in our Dacula area. We as citizens have choices to make. We can either depend on someone else to defend us and our family, or we can get the proper permits, get trained and protect ourselves. I choose to do the latter. It is a personal choice and that said, having and/or carrying a gun is not for everyone. If you are not clear, without a doubt, that you are willing to kill to protect your life or the lives of your family, you do not need a gun. It is not realistic to think that the police will arrive in time to "save" you if some thugs decide to kick in your front door and beat or rape you or your daughter. If I only have seconds to react to crime, I want to be taking aim and not calling 9-1-1. Gun owners are some of the most law abiding citizens on the planet. We have to be fingerprinted, checked by the GBI and follow strict rules as to where guns can be worn and what we are allowed by law to do with them in an emergency. I cannot say that for criminals. Guns are out there, criminals are out there and they have no respect for me or my family. I choose to protect myself and have learned how to do that effectively. That said, I pray I never have to use my gun, but I will if I have to. Even the SC sheriff realizes the system is broken.
Sheila A. November 03, 2011 at 04:21 PM
I agree with you. Also, mace does not work in every case. Criminals that are high are seldom affected by mace. There was a case in Atlanta a few years back that had a criminal on PCP coming after a police officer. The office shot the man FIVE TIMES before he stopped trying to kill the officer. There is no way mace would have stopped him. Mace is a close range deterrent and I do not want to get within a few feet of someone attacking me. Also, you must hit the person in the face. That is a small target. A lot of people are scared and mace themselves instead of the person attacking them. A taser is somewhat better, but is usually a single shot device and sometimes does not penetrate through clothes, so there is no shock. People need to realize nothing is foolproof and they should not get a false sense of security unless they have practiced with their chosen method of defense. This includes getting maced, if you decide to use it. Remember, it is in your hand and closer to you than it is to the person you are trying to spray. That can be a big problem.
TheLaw November 08, 2011 at 04:04 PM
The guy with the the SEMI-Auto rifle (AK47) was perfectly legal in carrying down at Woodruff park. What difference does it make what weapon he chose? He was not there to commit a crime and posed no threat to any law abiding person. I do not know him personally but I have heard his side from a local GA gun forum. He states he does not agree with what the Occupiers are there protesting but that he supports their right to protest. First amendment, Second Amendment type thing... Any of the occupiers that are legally able to do so, should arm themselves. Based on the information I have read, it's apparently quite dangerous down there, even more so for the women that are being molested and raped. (peace and loving people and all that) It's always funny to hear the supporters of the 2nd, as long as the chosen weapon is something they agree with.. A standard hunting rifle is far more accurate at greater distances, would that have been OK to bring down there? And let's please not get into the number of rounds one can carry. I can just as easily carry multiple magazines with less capacity to meet or exceed the number of rounds that were in this AK47, so that's a mute point as well.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 04:24 PM
It is not a question of legality, it is a question of appropriateness (and perhaps mental state) in my opinion. If I am carrying a weapon for protection, the AK-47 is not going to be my weapon of choice. That is a combat weapon and to me is not a weapon a reasonable person would choose to carry to a public gathering. Also, let's be very clear -- if I carry a weapon in an open and unconcealed manner, I am making a statement that has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. Why do police officers carry a gun on their hip instead of concealed? That gun in open view sends a very clear message. Why do soldiers walk around with their weapons at the ready? They aren't doing it to support the Second Amendment, they are doing it because they expect to use that weapon. If I see someone toting an AK-47 in public, my first thought is going to be why. I simply cannot think of a good reason why anyone would need an AK-47 at a public gathering. If I see a guy with an AK-47, I'm not thinking he is carrying that for self-defense, I am thinking he is a potentially dangerous individual who has the means of inflicting great bodily harm or death upon a large number of people in a short period of time. Open carry of any weapon -- knives, guns, mace, whatever -- demonstrates a different mindset, or a different level of readiness if you prefer, than concealed carry.
TheLaw November 08, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Who decides what is appropriate? According to the law, he was perfectly legal. Maybe I decide that it's not appropriate for a handicapped person be able to carry a weapon. Or how about a Mother? Maybe I decide that no Left Handed people can carry? To be clear, anyone that has had any real training with firearms will tell you that you use a pistol to fight your way to a rifle in a self defense scenario. That's why Law Enforcement carry rifles/shotguns in their vehicles and pistols on their side. It's a tool to get back to the weapon that's going to make a real difference. The whole Open versus concealed argument is another one I'm not going to waste my time on. In the state of GA, it's perfectly legal to carry a legal (by GA law definition) firearm openly or concealed. The fact that a person chooses to carry openly does not suddenly make them more dangerous than if they had chosen to conceal. For those that believe it does, then the problem is with you, not the person carrying. For the record, I've been legally carrying for almost 20 years and I choose to conceal. The best firearm for home defense is a rifle or shotgun, Law Enforcement choose to go to rifles/shotguns when things get really bad. Our soldiers carry rifles and shotguns, capable of doing much more damage much more quickly than the civilian versions yet if a law abiding citizen decides to use a rifle or shotgun for self defense, they are suddenly too far out there and a danger to society.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 08, 2011 at 05:47 PM
No LEO is going to count on being able to get back to his or her patrol car to retrieve a rifle if things suddenly break bad. That is where good training comes into play. An LEO will be focused on one thing and one thing only -- stopping the threat. Tactical retreat for a bigger, better weapon is not how they operate. While I agree that carrying openly does not in and of itself make a person more dangerous, I do think it reveals something of their mindset. You must agree to a certain extent or you wouldn't choose to carry concealed as most of us choose to do when we carry. As for home defense, a rifle is a terrible choice. For one thing, it is not a close range weapon. For another, you could end up shooting straight through your house and into your neighbors or your neighbors' house with one. Frankly, you could do that with a handgun too if you are a bad shot. A shotgun is a decent choice and racking a shotgun does produce a psychological deterrent to criminals second only to the actual sound of a shotgun discharge. Personally, I prefer a pistol, but to each his or her own.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew November 09, 2011 at 02:34 AM
Law, Good luck carrying that AK CONCEALED, you must have one heck of a trenchcoat... As to "using a pistol to fight your way to a shotgun", may you never be MY backup when things go south.
TheLaw November 09, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Oh, where to begin. Ms. Reed - it's clear you have a misconception on what "training" the average LEO goes through. Having personal experience in the profession as well as current contacts at many levels in different departments today, I have a good understanding of how and what happens "on the job". The average LEO qualifies once a year, maybe twice if his/her department requires it and they never shoot their firearm again until it's time to qualify again. There are obvious exceptions and I am not including specialized units in that statement. (SWAT, SRT, etc) I also stated that, those that are trained will fight back to a rifle when possible. They aren't going to turn their back on a threat to retrieve their long gun. Consider how the well trained Operators prepare for an event, like a felony warrant search or an active shooter call. They put the pistols in the holsters and break out the long guns. There is a reason for that.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 02:55 AM
Given that I used to be a Gwinnett County Police officer, I think I have a better than average understanding of what training the average LEO goes through.
TheLaw November 09, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Also, your comment that there is some sort of magical affect on a bad guy when a shotgun is "racked" just goes to show how little you are informed on the topic. You continue to display lack of knowledge when you discuss how a rifle is a bad choice due to over penetration in a home. With today's modern ammo, a proper self defense rifle (like an AR15 or an AK47) is a superior choice for many reasons. When trained properly, a modern rifle is an excellent choice in close quarters or at longer distance. Rifles like an AR or an AK are good examples, just like the one the guy was carrying at the park. Pistol rounds penetrate dry wall in a home as easily as a rifle round. That 1/2" sheet of dry wall isn't going to protect your little Timmy when you are firing in his direction during a home invasion. This is where training and having a plan, that is practiced, comes into play. I carry a pistol on my side daily. I do so because carrying a rifle slung over my shoulder isn't practical. And to Mr. R - I'm not sure where you continue to get concealed, as the AK47 that was carried at the park was not carried concealed, and nor is it the requirement in the state of GA to carry concealed. If you believe your pistol is a better choice of weapon than a long gun, then you too should seek out some actual training in real world scenarios. Furthermore, an AR would be my choice, not a shotgun given some magical advanced warning of a self defense scenario.
Kristi Reed (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 03:20 AM
I think we can both concede that proper training is critical for carrying a weapon. As for the choice of a rifle over a pistol - you have your preference, I have mine. I've had training in real world scenarios and am very comfortable with my choice.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew November 09, 2011 at 03:23 AM
I just read the top of the tread since the law enforcement officer was discussing CONCEALED carry. Novel approach staying on topic, I know. I hunt with with long range rifle and conceal carry for SURPRISE if required. Gun control also means you have to KEEP your weapon at all times - in a crowd carrying an AK47 in the open at an event like "Occupy whatever" is just asking for someone to SURPRISE and disarm you in close quarters ...
TheLaw November 09, 2011 at 02:26 PM
R - In SC it is a requirement to conceal. It is not in GA. Being that I have been discussing self defense and the use of firearms, I believe I've been right on topic. Maybe you should read all the comments before posting. Novel Idea I know. Ms. Reed, I will agree that anyone that chooses to arm themselves should take and continue to take training in the proper use of their firearm(s) from qualified individuals. With that said, for those that may be interested in taking proper training, I'd like to point out that beyond the very basic of firearm safety, the NRA type courses are not the types of courses you are going to need to pursue.

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