Jacqueline Kahn, a rape survivor made a compelling case in favor of reforming Maryland’s “may issue” concealed carry laws during a Senate committee hearing last week, explaining to lawmakers why women need to be able to defend themselves.
“I need you to know this is so incredibly difficult for me, but I feel like if I don’t humanize this, if I don’t make it clear how this legislation actually affects your daughters, your mothers, the women of this state, then it’s all just a bunch of numbers.”
Lawmakers are currently discussing a bill that would add “self defense” as an acceptable reason to need a concealed handgun permit. It’s ridiculous that self-defense is an afterthought and a reason to change existing legislation. It should have been the primary reason for allowing concealed carry at all and it should have applied to all citizens. It’s good that they’re readdressing this, but they should have gotten it right the first time.
Also addressing the Maryland Senate committee was retired Maryland Police Officer and former commander of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division Jack McCauley.
McCauley openly admitted he was once a strong advocate of Maryland remaining “may issue,” but illustrated how his stance and fear over citizens with permits came from a lack of knowledge on the issue.
“They not only schooled me — they embarrassed me. They humbled me. I was wrong. I was completely wrong.” McCauley stated referencing his experiences speaking to gun rights advocates, notably the AGC Gun Club.
McCauley stated, “These crazy people, these Second Amendment activists, they’re all going to want these, they’re trophies. They’re all going to want these permits, it’s going to be scary. Dangerous people are going to be getting guns. Just any Joe citizen is going to get a gun.”
But after making those remarks, former Officer McCauley began doing some research on the issue for himself. He said, “When I say I studied it, I mean I slept two hours a night studying it. And I found out some staggering information about handgun permits and what was going on. My fears were not justified.”
That he was such staunch advocate for gun control makes his testimony that much more significant. It’s an admirable quality in a person to admit he was wrong and to be able to back it up with facts instead of fears.
Ms Kahn stated her case quite well and her map got their attention, but the best part was her parting comment after the Senator asked her where she lived. “You can come for tea.”
Maybe someday we’ll get it across to lawmakers that the Second Amendment doesn’t give you a right to own a firearm, but rather it was supposed to prevent the federal government from making law to infringe on carrying and owning firearms.
Will Maryland get it right this time?