The Social Implications of an Armed Citizenry
This chapter examines the social implications of concealed carry policies, including the process for obtaining a CHL in Texas. One of the key features of that training is the development of situational awareness—the practice of being alert to potential danger in public places. While carrying a firearm in public is often explained as a no-cost self-defence strategy, this analysis suggests that CHL training might heighten feelings of risk while also making license holders feel more prepared. One of the most significant social costs of CHLs as a response to violent crime, including mass shootings, is that they focus a disproportionate amount of attention on people who are least likely to be victims of crime while ignoring the effects of violent crime on the communities that need the most help. In this way, CHLs impede the pursuit of social justice, suggesting a need to reimagine the “good guy.”
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