I was reading in this month’s US Concealed Carry Association magazine about a truck driver who was badly beaten and unable to defend himself because he stopped carrying a pistol over a stupid rumor. What was this bad information that led this man to being defenseless? It is widely rumored in the trucking industry that federal law makes it illegal for truckers to carry a firearm.
Wrong! The article even talks about a guy who has a standing $1,000 bet for anyone who can show him the regulation that supposedly makes it illegal for truckers to carry. Carry laws are state laws and many states allow for some form of carry in a vehicle (commercial or not) and even more so if one has a CCW.
Nevada Carry exists in part due to the proliferation of rumors. People don’t ask if open carry is legal in Nevada anymore. Open carry has been normalized, not just because of my work, but because of the Las Vegas Open Carry group on Facebook that a good friend founded and runs. Throughout the almost six years I’ve been doing this, the amount of bad information out there has been slowly dying off.
The Internet revolution is a large part of changing the game in how people were (mis)informed about things. If one takes they time, they can dig right into the law and find out the answers for themselves, though many people who don’t read a lot or are unfamiliar with legal stuff are intimidated. Two decades ago, to get reliable information on gun laws you would have to order on of those gun law books out of a magazine or hope the gun store had a bookrack.
Today, sites like mine and others leave no excuse for any literate person to get quality information. Even for low-interest curious people, it’s trivial to get on Facebook and ask a question to get a variety of quality answers and source material.
We can’t forget the contribution of instructors. The explosive growth in people seeking CCWs has driven people to obtain knowledge where in the past they may have just broken the law and hoped for the best. Quality instructors don’t just dot the I’s and cross the T’s, they provide the how’s and why’s.
There is no excuse for assuming scuttlebutt is the truth today. If someone tells you something that doesn’t sound right, question it. Research it. Even if it probably is true, it can’t hurt you to check. And even if they are right, verify it yourself. You may learn something else that they didn’t tell you. Word of mouth lacks the nuance and depth that learning first hand has.
Your life isn’t worth a rumor.
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