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Poll: Concealed Weapons Allowed On Public Transit

April 15, 2012 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy, Public Transit 46 Comments

The National Riffle Association is in St. Louis and outstate Missouri legislators are trying to change Missouri law to force concealed guns onto public transit. House Bill 1483 was introduced in January but it had it’s first hearing last week in the “General Laws” House committee.  The bill summary:

This bill specifies that a political subdivision in the state cannot prohibit a person with a valid concealed carry endorsement from carrying a concealed firearm onto a train or public bus.

This isn’t about preventing the City of St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Louis County, Richmond Heights or any over “political subdivision” from prohibiting concealed weapons on public transit vehicles. No, this is about preventing the Bi-State Development Corporation, the political subdivision that operates as Metro St. Louis, from prohibiting concealed guns.

ABOVE: Sign on MetroLink train, no such sign exists inside MetroBus vehicles

Metro St. Louis is the Bi-State Development Corporation is joint political subdivision of Missouri & Illinois. I personally don’t have fear using public transit but some seem so struck with fear they feel the need to carry deadly force on their person. The only guns I think should be on public  transit would be those of law enforcement:

Law enforcement officers (including reserve officers, police cadets and turnkeys) may ride whether in or out of uniform. These individuals must present an appropriate badge and identification card to the bus operator or fare inspector when boarding out of uniform. Firefighters may ride free of charge when in uniform and wearing appropriate insignia. These individuals are permitted to ride free of charge because of their ability to assist an operator with dealing with emergency situations that might occur while on the bus. Any of these individuals identified “above”, who accept free transportation are in fact, expected to assist in emergencies in return for their free transportation. (Metro FAQ)

What do you think about concealed guns on public transit? The weekly poll is in the right sidebar. Vote there and share your thoughts below.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "46 comments" on this Article:

  1. Eric says:

    The biggest problem with transportation based on single-occupant-vehicles is that they are unavailable to large parts of the population – the young, old, poor, disabled, etc. In other words, you should not promote a means of transportation when for many people it is not a form of transportation at all.

    The same issue is present, though to a lesser degree, when you ban concealed weapons on transit. Transit should be a seamless way of continuing or extending your journey. If a person is prevented from using it for arbitrary trips (i.e. whenever they happen to be carrying or feel the need to carry a gun) then they are less likely to use it for other trips. Habits are hard to change, and if transit has failed you on one occasion you are much less likely to use it in the future.

    Personally I’m not sure whether concealed weapons should be allowed at all. If not, then ban them altogether. If so, then it is in the interests of transit to allow them there also.

  2. Eric says:

    Oh, and please ditch the hysterical language. Nobody is being “forced” to carry a gun, carrying a gun is optional (though maybe one we shouldn’t permit) and it’s quite Orwellian to describe gaining an option as being coerced. And gun carriers are not necessarily any more “struck with fear” than anyone who ever does anything to protect themselves, for example vehicle passengers who fasten their seat belts.

    • The bill would take away the decision from Metro to decide what’s best for the transit system, they’d be forced to allow concealed guns even if they felt that’s not in the best interest of transit riders.

  3. JZ71 says:

    One, I think we have way too many guns floating around in society, both legal and illegal ones.  Two, I think it’s pretty silly for any adult to feel like they need to take a “security blanket” with them everywhere they go, be it a teddy bear, pepper spray or a Glock, especially one that is just as likely to be lost, forgotten, fumbled with or used against them as it is to be a viable defense.  Three, like it or not, there are already conceled weapons on Metro, carried illegally every day by both CCW holders and by unlicensed criminals.  And four, the current prohibition is already essentially unenforceable.  By definition, a concealed weapon is one that is not visible.  Who’s going to check?  The unarmed security guards on the platforms?  The unarmed fare inspectors on the train?  And how?  By wanding and/or frisking everyone?  “Suspicious-looking” patrons?  Randomly?  The problem is not that guns are being carried, the problem is that they may actually be used, and that is already covered by other laws (brandishing, assualt, armed criminal action, murder, castle doctrine, stand your ground, etc, etc.)

  4. moe says:

    I agree with JZ to a point.  There are many laws on the books and those only come to light when we actually need them.  But Guns….really?  Constitutional rights being taken away?  Really?  This and it’s companion (which allows gun toting employees to be protected from descrimination) is pure pandering to the right who have been made so scared of “losing more personal freedoms” to the big bad Goverment by the fox non-news and gasbag Rush, that in their hatred and blindness, they have become the sheep they so shallowly hate in the left.  They have learned they don’t need to think smartly or of their neighbors and in the process, their mantra of “less goverment” has become more goverment intervention.a

    Gay men can’t get protection from job discrimination, but gun toters can….really smart legistators!.  There are no other issues more important out there?  Like perhaps jobs?  the fact that Missouri ranks in the lower 1/2 or at the bottom of most measerable lists?

    So yeah, I’ll be more apt to ride Metro knowing that some idiot is ready to replay the OK Corral because “well Officer, he just looked suspicious” (and in my bigotry and racism, I shot him before he could pull out his….skittles, phone, mp3).

    And yeah, I think any person that needs to carry a gun with them everywhere (and a gun is NOT like a rape whistle or pepper spray… these doesn’t kill) should just do us all a favor and stay at home in your fantasy world with your doors locked and windows closed.

    • Eric says:

       What’s outrageous about the Zimmerman case is not that he was carrying a gun, but that Florida’s unique “self-defense” law let him feel justified in using it in that situation.

      • Brian Wittling says:

        What’s outrageous is that Zimmerman chose to be a vigilante and put HIMSELF in that sitation, then used a clearly inapplicable law designed to protect law-abiding citizens from harm to evade prosecution for his misconduct. Florida’s law is far from unique, and anyone with half a brain knows that it was not a law designed to protect imbecile criminals like George Zimmerman

  5. Zgare says:

    Why are we wasting money on a large costly inefficient elected government, when we could just eliminate the middle man and let the NRA run the country directly?

  6. Steve says:

    Somebody has been watching too many movies and TV.  I ride back and forth daily and something that would make me feel really unsafe, are people untrained at in dealing with trouble-makers; walking around with guns hidden under their clothing.  I shudder to think about what could happen, if one of these untrained, gun wielding do-gooders, let go with their weapon in a crowded train car.  Not only that, how could the police or security in the heat of the moment, tell the difference between a so called “good guy” and a bad guy?  Then the police would have to defend why they shot a “good guy”.

    No, keep guns off of Metro-Link.

    • JZ71 says:

      I agree completely with your sentiments, but how do we accomplish your goal?  TSA-style metal detectors and acreeners at every station?!

    • Brian Wittling says:

      by definition a Missouri CCW holder would not be “untrained” and would also know that pulling the trigger in a crowded space would be negligent and not an option.
      As for the police, they would just shoot whichever one was blacker. And I wish that was a joke.

  7. Chris says:

     I hate to sound like a Republican, but there are already tons of illegal gun owners on the Metro; why does it matter if legal owners are allowed on too?  Concealed carry permit holders have to undergo a background check and other safeguards that the average gangbanger does not.  The Zimmerman case is anecdotal evidence of the danger of CCW.

    • Have anything to substantiate your claim that tons of illegal gun owners carry on Metro transit?

      • Chris says:

         Considering there are thousands of illegally carried guns in this city, I’m sure that least some of them wander onto a Metrobus every once and a while, doncha think?

        • JZ71 says:

          People conceal all sorts of things, some legal (underwear and tats) and some illegal (guns, and drugs).  The only way we’ll ever know is to completely ignore the Constitution and to strip search every passenger without any probable cause.  Like I said, the real issue isn’t the carrying of some concealed item, the real issue is the USE of some illegal item.  A concealed gun, knife, taser, pepper spray or joint isn’t a problem on Metro as long as it stays concealed.  It only becomes a problem once it’s no longer concealed and used, and we have plenty of other laws that limit or prohibit the actual use – let’s focus on applying those.  Heck, it’s aginst the rules to eat or to play loud music on transit, and those rules, being visibly violated, daily, and are rarely enforced!

          • Armed_Liberal_in_MO says:

            Actually, non-lethal self-defense tools make you a felon if they fall out of your pocket while a ticketed rider that can otherwise possess these items anywhere else including buildings with the proper anti-weapon signage. Fortunately for me, my Saber spray canister never left my pocket no matter how dodgy someone near me on the train got.  The same would go if I were able to legally carry it on the train. 

            If the Securitas/Pinkerton guards on the train had patted me down for any reason, I’d be a felon now.  They would not have cared one bit that I had to walk a block from their train station to my car on a poorly lit street, hoping that my spray would be enough to slow any attackers down long enough for 911 to show up.  That is why I hope that this passes so my CCW permit will allow me to carry my non-lethal self-defense tool without felony issues possibly occurring.

  8. Cheryl says:

    By the way, how do you conceal a gun? In a holster just under your jacket? Trains frequently get crowded with people pushed up against each other where the gun could get revealed or even grabbed. Seems like carriers of concealed guns should stay away from crowded situations, which includes trains and some buses. 

    Also, is the legislature going to find other places where people can carry their concealed guns? How about crowded rock concerts? Same argument. The concert may not be dangerous, but you could be in a dangerous situation getting there.

    And don’t forget about air travel.  Have people lost their rights by not being able to take their gun on board against a possible terrorist?

    I definitely don’t want to allow concealed guns on transit or many other situations either.

    • JZ71 says:

      Rock concerts and pro sports already generally prohibit weapons and patrons are physically searched prior to entering the venue.  Weapons are definitely prohibited on airlines and the TSA physically searches passengers prior to boarding.  This won’t be changing anytime soon.  The challenge with public transit is that it’s much more open system and much harder to secure from both potential terrorist attacks and from patrons carrying illegal and potentially-dangerous items, but the same can be said of shopping malls and public sidewalks. 

      And the challenge on the legislative side is that people who feel a need to carry a gun feel a need to carry it everywhere, and continue to push the legislatures for that “right”.  The latest questionable expansion of this is, I believe, in Ohio, where you now have the right to bring your concealed weapon with you into a bar.  Can’t see anything going wrong with mixing alcohol and bullets . . . .

  9. moe says:

    ….you raise a good point also….many that use metro ride it to events.  Also I’m reminded of the shooting in St. Charles 2 months back at the bingo night….his gun “fell out of it’s hoster”.  Real, real safe.

    And yeah, the problem in Florida is the law, so yes, let’s have Missouri join them in stupidity.

    • Armed_Liberal_in_MO says:

      For the record, the Cobra Arms Derringer is one of the least safe handguns to carry in your pocket, like the guy at the bingo game found out.  The safety can be jostled off and since there is no trigger guard it is easy to snag it on anything in your pocket which is exactly what happened.

      The problem in Florida is that a guy showed horrible judgment by leaving his car to investigate when NOBODY on a citizen patrol should do more than observe and report in to the police.  I see no problem with someone that shoots someone else in self-defense being held harmless from civil lawsuits and that is really what Stand Your Ground does in MO.  My home is mine and I refuse to abandon it if faced with an intruder.  I also know far better than to ‘play cop’.  I’m not in the Law Enforcement workplace and have no business trying to do so as a ‘hobbyist’.  Much like you don’t hunt bears in caves, it is not a good life choice to enter occupied houses uninvited.  

  10. Gailgartelos says:

    This kind of legislation gets passed because it is labeled as “right to carry.”  that implies the right to carry guns (which we have ALWAYS had), is being taken away.  Semantics.

    • Armed_Liberal_in_MO says:

      Sort of.  This sort of legislation gets passed due to civil lawsuits filed by the surviving relatives of the criminals who were just trying to turn their lives around in someone else’s living room  uninvited.

  11. Msrdls says:

    Florida, among a few other states, cites significant decreases in crime since passing CCW in 1987. The State of Vermont has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the country, even though they permit CCW without a permit. Washington DC is a gun-free zone, and has one of the the highest crime rates in the country. I acknowledge that all the above is true. But I’m uncomfortable knowing that my neighbor, who is a CPA, might be carrying a concealed weapon. (NO! I’m not less/ more uncomfortable knowing that a hardened criminal might be carrying. I’d just feel a bit easier knowing (thinking) that only law enforcement personnel are carrying!)  And I I find it even more distateful knowing that everyone but me on a particular metro train car might be carrying! (NO, I won’t be “carrying” just to keep up with the Joneses)  I don’t feel particularly comfortable riding public transportation anyway,  and if the right of CCW is extended to those using public transportation, I know absolutely that I will never experience my maiden trip on a St. Louis bus or train.

    • Armed_Liberal_in_MO says:

      Huh?  If you are the only lawful citizen NOT carrying on a train, what do you have to fear from the other lawful riders?  You do understand that the average armed citizen tends to be a better shot than LEOs and will hesitate longer to draw their weapon due to not having a police union lawyer to get them out of trouble legally.

      You stated that there has been a drop in crime and that is accurate.  At this time there is nothing more than casual relations between a reduction of gun restriction laws and a decrease in crime.  I’m sorry that you would rather delude yourself to falsely thinking that nobody is armed, but that is better than the paranoid delusional that fears that everyone is armed and reacts incorrectly to someone pulling out their cellphone quickly.  Thankfully, the majority of Missouri-approved trainers for CCW classes are able to teach folks to NOT be teh quickest draw but to know WHEN to draw.

      • Msrdls says:

        In answer to your question, Armed_Liberal, I fear that one of those “lawful” riders might panic and set off a shootout between the bad guys and the good guys. And all the while I’m sitting in the middle! I would think that anyone, even an experienced law official, would feel at least a tiny surge of adrenalin if confronted by a bad guy, and it is my opinion that (mostly) only the EXPERIENCED good guys can more reliably  deal with the efffects of that adrenalin and, therefore,  should have guns.And (FYI)  “experienced” means that the good guy has more than a few hours’ training at a shooting range, firing at fixed targets that don’t shoot back. I use the metro train ONLY when I travel out of town, and ONLY THEN when I know that at least one of the legs of the trip will conflict with a scheduled family event. But if CCW is approved for Metro, I’ll never use public transportation in STL again. (I seriously doubt the accuracy of your claim that the average armed citizens are better shots than law enforcement officers. Sorry. Your claim just doesn’t click!)

  12. Armed_Liberal_in_MO says:

    As someone that rides Metro fairly often – when I am not carpooling I’m on mass transit – I am all for lawful residents being armed for self-defense.  I’ve stood on some scary corners waiting until 11pm some nights for a bus so I could get home.  I was not able to carry due to the restrictions placed on Metro passengers.

    What is the fear of lawful citizens having guns?   Improper use means that you loose access to them forever and your life is ruined.  Violent felons have a nearly impossible time at getting their rights restored after they have served their time and paid their debt.  Besides, more police officers break the law than Concealed Carry permit holders.  😉

    Violence does occur on trains and buses, especially ones that have no visible security guards or cops.

  13. Brian Wittling says:

    I am an armed Liberal, socialist, pro-choice, anti-death penalty, pro drug legalization, ACLU-lovin’ and especially PRO BILL OF RIGHTS, which includes the RKBA. Remember also, that the Bill of Rights describes fundamental rights of citizens which are *protected* by the Constitution.. not *granted* by them.

    I voted yes because while the loss of a life through any means is a tragedy and to be avoided if any way possible, I could never support any laws or regulations which would restrict, punish or impair an otherwise law-abiding citizen from defending their life from a violent criminal by any means necessary, including deadly force if required.

    I feel that citizens who chose to LEGALLY carry a CCW are the least of our worries. At least in Missouri, we have mandatory training and a permit process which includes instruction in safety and a range test. We are also taught (despite what any so-called “stand your ground” laws might say) that the first and foremost option self defense is retreat. If you can avoid confrontation, your duty is to do so.

    On transit in particular however, this may not be a readily available option – you’re confined to a small space, perhaps moving and can’t simply run away can you? Many MetroLink stops, and perhaps a few bus stops also are not ideally designed with fast routes of egress should you find yourself in an undesirable situation.

    In the unlikely event that you found yourself in an armed confrontation, would you wish to tell your fellow law-abiding person that he/she is not allowed to carry their personal defense weapon of choice? Would you tell them to just submit and be killed? I do not. If you were caught in that situation with them, would you wish a CCW holder to defend you, or simply sit there or walk away and leave you to the violent criminal?

    Whether you agree or not, the state of Missouri has granted law abiding citizens the rights, means, and rules to follow in order to legally carry a CCW in public. I make the argument that Bi-State, being a *public transportation* entity thus has the obligation to allow on its vehicles and premises the same rights we allow a citizen in any other public space. Anything less in my opinion, is a restriction of basic rights.

  14. Mahna Mahna says:

    Handguns in my view are there for a purpose, self defense.  If nobody had guns, I would not have a need to carry or own guns.  I might still get beaten up by an attacker, but I would not likely die from such an attack.  But in real life, it isn’t just the bad guys that carry guns, the good ones can carry too.  And with a gun in hand, and the ability to use it, the victim becomes equal to an attacker.

    If the thought of people carrying a concealed weapon causes some apprehension, consider that a lot of people are trained in various martial arts and they already sit next to you on the train or bus.  They could easily cause some harm to someone if they wanted to, but they aren’t posing a risk to anyone except the mugger.  The same thing goes for someone carrying concealed weapon.  

    I think there is a misunderstanding of where the risk lies, and where there is none. 

  15. moe says:

    mmmmmm…..a Judo expert can only take out the person next to them, not 20 feet away.  A hunting gun is one thing, but a semi, a 357 magnum, armour piercing bullets….all unneeded regardless of what the NRA says.

    And between an armed citizen shooting at a threat versus a police agent trained in dealing with stress moments, weapons the such, and ….I’m going with the police.

    And again, a car, the bus, the train, the park…those are not your homes.  Protecting your home is one thing and if a criminal wants to risk it, I say shoot him and don’t miss.  But if one is so afraid of going outside without being armed, then do us all a favor and stay home.

    • Bob says:

      What is your plan for keeping yourself safe and unharmed until the police arrive?  

      • Axelwik says:

         Yeah, how long does it take for the police to arrive? For some reason people think that the police will protect them, when in reality the police arrive in time only to clean up the mess. Yes, the police catch criminals in the majority of cases, but I think people are confusing “police protection” with investigation and prosecution. Police protection is having a cop at one’s side all the time – not many of us can afford that luxury.

        All this talk about “protection in one’s home” begs the question, “what about protecting one’s life.” Isn’t protecting one’s life more important? Is a life more important at home? I don’t get it.

        I am a liberal and I have a license to carry a concealed gun. I don’t always carry, but when I do it’s because a police officer is too heavy to carry.

  16. Punkinlobber says:

    I have lived eleven years in Alaska which was made a constitutional carry state during my residence there. There was no increase in violence and in many areas there was a dramatic decrease. No permit was needed since the law was fashioned after Vermont’s law. I rarely carried but did in times when I had to travel in questionable areas and was thankful that I could. I do know that when violent offenders and other felons were interviewed at the Anchorage jail they all pretty much said they hated or despised the law because it made it very difficult when trying to chose a victim. Simply put, a law abiding person abides by the law and I have never found just cause to fear one.

  17. Phil says:

    What a frightened country we have become. Not once has anyone been shot on a Metrolink train in the 19 years the system has been running.  The gun lobbyists disseminate fear through mostly hypothetical situations. We don’t need a Bernie Goetz or a George Zimmerman loose on public transit.

  18. Axelwik says:

    There may not have been a shooting on the train, but how about on the way to and from the train? If a law-abiding citizen can’t carry on the train they also can’t carry while walking home from the station.

    Carrying a gun is exactly the same as wearing a helmet on a motorcycle, wearing one’s seatbelt, or carrying a spare tire in your car. You hope you never need it, but sure glad you have it if you do. To a law-abiding citizen it is nothing more than a tool.

    • Not the same, I don’t know of a bike helmut, seatbelt or spare tire that injured someone else accidentally. The overwhelming majority of the transit users I’ve talked to all oppose the idea. This is an academic exercise mostly by people that don’t even live in areas swerved by transit.

      • hitterg says:

        Really? But of course you do know of a gun that injured someone accidentally, Right?!?  Please explain…

        • Accidental shootings happen all the time.

          • hitterg says:

            Yes, and I do not dispute that, but look at the context of the comment.  It put three inanimate objects up for debate, but only put animation by humans on one of them. Someone can and has been accidentally injured by improper use of seat belts also.  I’m just saying, debating an issue is fine, but do it properly.  No disrespect intended. 

  19. moe says:

    Would one of you gun touting people please explain to me:   Why is it that if, as many of you point out, an armed population reduces crime, why is it that North St. Louis City, Fergerson, Pine Lawn and a few other municipalities (see…I’m not limiting it just to the City), why is it then that these areas aren’t safe?

    If more guns=more safety, then those areas should be so safe I could walk down the middle of the street with cash hanging out of my pockets!

  20. Brian Wittling says:

    Why are people more violently opposed to fur than leather? Because it’s easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs.

    Likewise, anti-gun persons are more outpoken about gun control and gun bans because it’s easier to blame an inanimate object than it is to address the larger and far more complicated social issues such as poverty, racism, disparity of wealth, the “war on drugs”, lack of adequate health care, etc which lead to violent crime in the first place.

    The equation is simple: violent crime follows poverty, and I don’t think it’s a misstatement to say that the majority of regular transit users in St. Louis are below the poverty line.  

    Violent crime takes place to and from stops & platforms, on stops & platforms, and in the vehicles themselves.  This is not an assumption or projection – I’ve witnessed it first hand and persnoally know victims of the crimes taking place. Sure, statistically someone may be able to prove that it’s rare.. but it’s common enough that I’ve seen it all in just my own casual and infrequent use of transit in St. Louis.

    But beyond that – the question is not just about CCW on transit alone. It effectively restricts a CCW holder who relies on transit from carrying throughout his or her entire day or course of their travel. If their ultimate destination was a job which requires them to carry (e.g. security guard) or to simply be in or work in a location where CCW would certainly be more justified than on the transit itself (certain areas of north St. Louis or near north suburbs come to mind) then you have essentially restricted this persons state-given and personally earned right to carry in an otherwise allowed environment. 

    What does a transit-dependent person do if they want to go to a firing range to practice their skills with a legaly possesed weapon? (and yes, there is a firing range in the city serverd by transit). Is OPEN carry or transportation of a weapon allowed on transit? I really do not know. If not, this persons freedom of movement is now restricted.

    Tactics like these used by anti-gun rights groups are not unlike those of the Pro-Life lobby, who faced with Supreme Court rulings (or in the case of firearms the Bill of Rights) rather than a direct challenge of the rights & laws of the people instead attempt to add restrictions and regulations on the use of firearms until it is too complicated, inconvienient or expensive to have them, thus creating a de-facto ban on the intended target. (a gun, or getting an abortion) Ironically these regulations disproportionally effect the poor, who are the ones most in need of protecting themselves from violent criminals. (or unwanted preagnancy, but I digress)

    As a Liberal I am open to, and in favor of REASONABLE measures of gun control. In this case however I cannot accept the restriction of CCW’s on transit simply because it goes too far in imparing legal CCW holders in their free movement, some of whom may be entirely dependent upon the public service of mass transit.

    And knowing you Steve, I would expect that you may sympathise with this arguement, though you may not condone it. 

    And also for Steve: an “accidental” shooting in the gun enthusiast circles I participate in is mostly regarded as a euphamism for “negligent”. And we all agree that the consequences for firearm negligence are dire – both legally and personally.

    • Cheryl says:

      Brian, I am not opposed to gun bans for the reason you give that  it is easier to blame the gun. Instead, I am opposed because easy access to guns increases likelihood of violence. So, I don’t agree with your  analogy. 

      Also, I can’t understand how you, as an infrequent user of transit, have seen so much crime on transit and on the platforms and at the stops. I use transit all the time and have a monthly pass. I have never seen a crime. The most I have ever seen is someone drinking or eating on the train – which is banned, people being escorted off the train for not having a valid ticket, and some loud talking.  What crimes did you actually witness?

      Also, it does not make sense to say that you agree that statistically crime is rare, but  crime is common enough that an infrequent user is likely to witness it.

      I do agree that it is harder for CCW holders to get to places where they want to have their weapon if they don’t drive a car. With a car, you can always leave the gun in the trunk if you can’t take it into the store, say.  But I am still more concerned about safety for the general population of transit users than this particular problem for CCW holders.

      • Brian Wittling says:

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts Cheryl. I appreciate the dialog.
        First, let me say that I am unaware of any study which backs up claims that easy access to firearms has a direct relationship on the likelihood of violent crime. If you can source such a study, please provide a link. In fact, the opposite is often claimed, and frequently the example of the D.C. firearms ban (now deemed unconstitutional) is used to support this as it is the most violent-crime ridden area in the country. Second is that I believe a criminally inclined violent offender is just as likely to still be violent whether with bare hands, knife, board with a rusty nail in it, bat, nun-chucks etc if a firearm was not available to them. In fact none of the violent crime I mention above was perpetrated with a visible firearm.I also freely admit that my experiences are probably not the norm, nor does one datum point support a conclusion. I don’t know why I had such experiences, but I did. The metro stop I personally witnessed the crimes at was notorious for it – the S Grand Metrolink and bus stop. In my approximate one year of ridership between Wyoming & Grand, and the Grand Metrolink stop to Washington, I witnessed several assaults and at least one mugging. One of the assault (a large group beating up an individual)  broke out on the Metro platform between me and the only point of real egress at the time – the stairs up to the Grand viaduct. I was genuinely frightened.  Other assaults occurred up on the bus stop (where I was able to simply walk away and call 911) and other broke out in the back of the S Grand bus in which several bystanders was also injured as it was so crowded. Again, only fists and kicking. Another time I was able overhear a small group of “youths” discussing whether or not it would be advisable to rob me of my laptop bag while I waited for the train. Luckily it arrived just in time and I was able to get in and position myself next to the rarely seen guard before anything happened. Again, they were positioned between me and the only exit of the platform.I personally know one person who was mugged on their way to a bus stop (U City area) and another who was mugged on the S Grand viaduct bus stop. And though not a transit user, I know another person who was in fact mugged at gunpoint while a block away from a large metro stop area in the Kingshighway and Delmar area. As winter came and it would be dark by the time I was heading home, my concerns only grew, and being a very “not scared of the boogeyman” person by nature, my own feelings of concern for my safety were almost as disturbing to me as the actual perceived  threat to my safety itself. What I would like to ask of those opposed to CCW on transit is why they feel more threatened by CCW holders on transit than they would in any other public setting where CCW is allowed? Do you go about your daily life in mortal fear for your safety from the millions of legal carriers? Or do you go about your business and not even think about it until someone brings it up as a wedge issue that costs votes and elections on the Left? If more of the proverbial “left” held rational and educated positions on firearms, we would be able to draw in more moderate gun enthusiasts who potentially vote on this single issue to our larger and more worthwhile causes (health care, anyone?)Lawful gun owners/carriers are not the threat, criminals are.


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