Under the Hat: A Culture of Fear - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: A Culture of Fear

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We've heard so many stories about crimes committed with firearms these days.

We wondered if that is translating to more people looking for permits to carry a concealed weapon.

That answer seems pretty clear, especially after meeting a grandma who was plunking down her 20 dollars in the Sheriff's Office for her permit to carry.

"I just don't feel safe anymore," she told us.

In 2011, requests for a concealed weapon permit jumped 28 percent, up 828 from the year before.

Attendance at firearm safety classes are up 20%-30% as well.

Equally fascinating is the fact from one store owner that women now buy 60% of all the handguns he sells.

After seeing our story one guy called to ask how we can justify saying that an increase in lawfully obtained permits is leading to more shootings on the street.

"Quite the contrary, gentle viewer," I assured him. "We're not saying that more permits are leading to more shootings. We're saying that more shootings are leading to more permits."

Law abiding Americans have a constitutionally protected right to bear arms.

I respect that.

But I also have to tell you that it concerns me a little that so many people are choosing to exercise that right all at the same time.

Despite the recent publicity, it's still a statistically small group of people shooting at each other.

Police officers will tell you that home invasions are rarely random.

What are you going to do, draw down and shoot it out with a 16-year old kid over 50 bucks at the Country Fair?

I guess what I'm saying is that the response must always match the threat and that we must be careful to guard against living in a culture of fear.

Because when that happens, then the bad guys really win.


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