I am writing in response to a letter from Kenneth Lewis published in The Paducah Sun on Aug. 14. In his letter the writer contends that the person who took a firearm from a booth at the Paducah southside location of McDonald's was performing a public service and should be rewarded, while the gun owner should be charged with a crime for his carelessness.
As a longtime gun owner and a firearms instructor, I agree with Mr. Lewis' contention that the gun owner was careless. Just as when we drive or operate machinery, when one chooses to exercise the constitutional right to carry a firearm, you must do so with due care for the safety of other citizens. However, in this case, the gun owner's forgetfulness I don't believe rises to the level of a crime, although it does bring into question his gun handling habits obviously.
As to the naÃ¯ve and dangerous contention that carrying a firearm makes one paranoid and that there is no reason to be armed in today's world in McDonald's or anywhere else for that matter, Mr. Lewis have you lived under a rock for the last 30 years? How many shootings, robberies and terrorist incidents in locations ranging from a schoolyard to a college to an army base, and yes, a McDonald's restaurant, does it take for you and others such as yourself to understand that an armed populace is the best defense against not only tyranny but common thugs.
As I tell my firearms students, if you could predict when and where you would need a firearm to protect yourself, you wouldn't need the firearm because you could avoid the situation. Don't try to portray all concealed carry gun owners as paranoid simply because they take responsibility for their own safety.