My husband always feels safer traveling when he carries a gun along on a long trip - just because you never know. Is there a link somewhere that describes the gun-carrying laws in each state?
packing.org or gunlaws.com
I ran a search for "gun laws 50 states" and it came up with quite a selection of hits.
Common sense and a well-honed situational awareness is, in my view, a far better defense than any sort of firearm. I have personally driven a couple of hundred thousand miles in recent years -- including assignments that took us into four of the roughest neighborhoods in America --- rarely were we ever threatened and, in fact, in 99% of all places visited, we were afforded courtesy and assistance beyond our expectations.
Unless your husband is a sworn peace officer -- I hope he leaves the gun at home --
What exactly does your husband expect to encounter where he would need a gun? I can see why carrying a gun would make him feel safe, but unless you know the laws or have a very good lawyer, it probably isn't a good idea. I suppose in state like Texas, where the stereotype is that everyone carries a big gun, it wouldn't as big of an issue, but if you're in California or similar state, you can almost be assured of jail time if you're caught. Even if you're a law abiding citizen and aren't commiting a crime with it, it's defintely a trip to jail while they sort it out the legality of whether or not you can carry one. Last I heard (from a friend who's a gun nut), the only way you can transport a gun while driving is unloaded, locked in a box w/the ammo in a separate box, in the trunk, or something insane like that. So that pretty much defeat the purpose of having one if you can't get to it in an emergency. And don't even think about trying to carry it hidden under your clothing, I don't even think the police officers are allowed to do that. Yup, too many rules over here, I don't know if it's good or bad though. That said, the chances of being caught are probably slim (as long as you're not waving it around). So it's up to your husband if he wants to take that risk. Oh yeah, this is all second hand info from people a lot more knowledgable on the subject than me, so I don't know how accurate it is. but I had some friends (some people I actually know, not a friend of a friend's cousin's sister kinda thing) who used to carry guns on them, and amazingly, they've never been caught. but I don't want to be around when they are.
well, we *are* in Texas, so ... guess he's fitting the stereotype there. I know, I hesitated to even post that question... I'm not a big fan of guns myself. I probably will talk him out of taking it along. Seems like we're always hearing about carjackings, or things like that, and his theory is: if somebody ELSE has a gun, he'd rather have one too. Just a protection thing, nothing else.
By the way, as I've looked around at some of the web sites mentioned - I have discovered that the laws differ from state to state, and some are in the process of changing.
Do you personally know anyone?
As a member of the national media, I know the pressure to feed the apparent hunger for the sensational news bite (car-jackings certainly fit the bill). Question: Do you personally know anyone who has first hand experience with a carjacking?
I have met and had the pleasure to get to know literally hundreds (maybe more) of people all over North America -- to my knowledge, none of them has ever been a carjacking victim. It doesn't happen that often. In fact, the only incident I can recall was at least three steps away from any personal friendship and happened to a police dog waiting for his two-legged partner to return. (It didn't turn out too well for either participant).
In my former life I had the most unpleasant experience (more than once) of being smack in the middle of urban gun fights between police, gang members and a couple of "concerned" citizens. Bystanders were usually the ones who caught some of the hot lead being distributed around the area. I know that some folks believe that guns can offer some measure of deterrent with respect to certain unfriendly behavior -- but in my experience the presence of a firearm (or 10) usually makes the situation much worse.
Further for some one intent on purposes of criminal behavior the chances that a defender would even get a chance to produce a firearm is slim.
All opinions are welcome here -- thanks for the post.
Pepper spray is a GOOD alternative and will work on both four legged AND two legged animals.
Having been put in the position of having to defend myself twice w firearms in highway incidents I WISH I'd had it then both times.
WOW yes, - ya know when Mark posed that question to me - (did I ever know anyone *personally* that had been carjacked,) I did not think about the one time that I did have to defend myself against an attacker. Of course, this was when I was young and stupid, and he wasn't exactly a car jacker, he was a hitchhiker that I picked up. BAD mistake. Long story, and totally my fault because I was very stupid and naive, but had it not been for my pepper spray, I would have been a rape victim or worse. Crisis averted, but thank GOD I had that pepper spray.
Thanks so much for that reminder. Now I know what I will do on our trip.
I was going to suggest pepper spray as an alternative, good thing they brought it up. That's what I usually carry. You won't have to worry much about legality, plus you'll be a lot less hesitant to use it over a gun because you dont' have to worry about the legal problems. That alone is a definite advantage. Plus, you can hide it in those ten gallon hats that I always imagine people in Texas wear.
Another thing I would suggest is a really good, bright flashlight. Not a little penlight, but a real flashlight. They have some extremely bright, small size lights out there, only disadvantage is a short runtime. Gives most people a sense of security to be able to light up your surrondings and can be used to temporarily disorient an attacker. Or you can do both the light and pepper spray. Check out www.tigerlight.net. I don't know much about it, but I've heard good things about it. it'd be nice to have one in the car when I travel.
I recommend the Mag Lite! They're fine quality flashlights, and if the batteries die, you can flip 'em around and use them as clubs! ;)