Gibbs, of Blacksburg, is an emeritus distinguished professor in the departments of Geosciences, Material Science and Engineering and Mathematics at Virginia Tech.
It is gratifying to know that it is easier in Virginia and in many other states to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon than it is to obtain a permit to drive a car. It is also gratifying to know that one can obtain a firearm of choice at a Virginia gun show without a check of one's criminal record.
It is further gratifying that the guns-in-bars legislation, passed by both the Virginia House and Senate, and vetoed twice by Gov. Tim Kaine, will at long last likely become law under the governorship of either Creigh Deeds or Bob McDonnell, both strong advocates for giving Virginians their Second Amendment-given rights, as deemed members of a well-regulated militia, to carry concealed weapons in bars.
Indeed, according to Larry Pratt, the esteemed president of Virginia Gun Owners of America, when one is having a friendly drink in a bar, it would be gratifying to know that when you're carrying a concealed weapon there would be a greater element of surprise than if you were carrying the weapon openly.
It is even more gratifying to hear his assertion that a concealed weapon would give one an edge over any attacker. In effect, when in a bar, keep your pistol loaded, cocked and concealed.
As aptly point out by Dan Casey, "With burning cigarettes banned from most restaurants, perhaps the most likely kind of bar smoke we'll see is the smoldering wisps that emerge from a hot pistol barrel after some permit-holding, gun-hiding patrons get into a face-off" ("Get ready for guns in bars," June 21 column).
Such potential face-offs may well be gratifying to Pratt and to some of the sophistic members of the Virginia House and Senate, together with Deeds and McDonnell, but it would hardly be gratifying to the one at the end of the smoking gun barrel.
When I was in the Navy in the 1940s, sometimes but not often I experienced altercations in bars that sometimes resulted in a black eye or perhaps a bloody nose, but I never experienced anyone being shot.
What has happened to us as a reliant nation in the last half century that nearly 190,000 citizens in the great state of Virginia, for example, feel unsafe to the extent they have acquired permits to carry a concealed weapon?
In short, are we fast becoming a nation of paranoids? If so, is the solution more concealed weapons?