I’m back in the office this week after an action-packed weekend at the 5th annual USCCA Concealed Carry Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. More than 10,000 responsibly armed Americans from across the country attended this year’s expo. Attendees heard speeches from a wide range of speakers and attended a variety of training seminars. The 2019 Expo featured 200-plus exhibitors, world-renowned firearms trainers and even a mobile firing range.
Anti-gun lawmakers consistently fail to recognize that responsibly armed Americans are often the first line of defense in an active-shooting situation. That’s why our Expo focuses on education, training and consumer awareness. As Kevin Michalowski, executive editor of the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine, told Pittsburgh’s Action News, “[W]e don’t want to dictate how you protect your house of worship. We just want to help you do what you want to do in order to make your house of worship safer.”
One highlight of the event included former U.S. Marine Sam Rosenberg’s session, “Spotting the Wolves,” where Rosenberg educated attendees on how to identify a potential mass shooter. Other seminars included “Family Firearms Education,” “Countering the Mass Shooter Threat” and “Pennsylvania Firearms Law for Responsible PA Residents.”
All in all, the Expo was a great success, and I hope to see you there next year.
Pay Attention to the Primaries
On another note, as we approach the first round of presidential primary debates, it’s worth noting that a handful of anti-Second Amendment presidential candidates are updating their policy platforms to include strict, unconstitutional and ineffective gun-control measures. John Lott with the Crime Prevention Research Center recently studied the proposals being touted by top contenders. He found that these measures would largely hurt the poor and minorities. As he explains in an article for Fox News, “The regulations [Sen. Kamala] Harris [(D-California)] and [Sen. Cory] Booker [(D-New Jersey)]are proposing would hit low-income Americans — many of whom live in high-crime neighborhoods — particularly hard. [T]he regulations would effectively prevent them from owning guns for protection by making gun ownership more expensive. Black Americans would be disproportionately affected because of their disproportionately high poverty rate.”
As the presidential primaries heat up, our country needs to take a serious look at these proposals and call them out for what they really are — just another way to limit our Second Amendment right to self-defense.
Luckily, one lawmaker is standing up for our God-given right to self-defense. In Congress this past week, Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota introduced the Constitutional Carry States’ Rights Act “to give law-abiding citizens in states with constitutional carry laws the same legal authority to possess a firearm as individuals in states that require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.”
Our Children’s First Line of Defense
And in case you missed it, after a series of deadly school shootings rocked the nation this month and students walked out after lawmakers tried to use these tragedies to push their anti-gun agenda, I wrote an op-ed in Townhall explaining why it’s time we got serious about proposals to arm teachers:
…Regardless of political views, we can all agree that we need to do everything in our power to stop these horrific school shootings from taking place. One life is too many, and we are seemingly back in this same position every few months. Despite some vocal objection, the fact is that allowing teachers and other school personnel to carry concealed weapons could very well help prevent future mass shootings. Schools make easy targets precisely because these murderers recognize they will likely be the only armed person inside. Having a teacher, janitor or anyone else with a concealed weapon after undergoing extensive training could very well stop a shooter in his or her tracks before we see more mass casualties.
If there are other proposals to stop these school shootings, they should also be a part of the dialogue, but rejecting teacher carry proposals outright simply because of an opposition to any and all firearms is not a productive way to move forward.
Quote of the Week
“We don’t remove any other constitutionally secured right when an individual walks on a college campus, and we shouldn’t be removing their right to defend themselves. We’re told that we’re going to see the wild, wild West … that people are going to go out and have a simple argument, guns are going to be drawn and people are going to get shot. And that just doesn’t happen. If it did, we’d be hearing about it in the news.” – Missouri State Rep. Jered Taylor on why college students should be able to carry on campus (The Rolla Daily News)
Data Point You Should Know
Currently, 13 states have no concealed carry permit requirements. Pennsylvania would become the 14th, if a new constitutional carry bill announced earlier this month passes in the Pennsylvania House. (NBC-Johnstown, PA)
About Tim Schmidt
After receiving a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech University, Tim Schmidt worked with a medical equipment company and a computer hardware company. He started his first successful business, Schmidt Engineering, in 1997. Tim, along with Tonnie Schmidt, began publishing a self-defense magazine in 2003. This focused on responsible firearms ownership and grew into a national association that provides self-defense education, training and legal protection to its members. The USCCA president and founder enjoys boxing, running, reading, shooting and riding motorcycles.