Journalist (and former Tucson Weekly intern) Kellie Mejdrich recently learned how easy it is for the average Arizonan to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in one hour, regardless of whether or not they've even picked up a gun.
The one hour course I took, taught by Bob Denis of CCW AZ School, LLC., advertises on the website “1hr Law Gets Permit!”
There’s a disclaimer, that the one-hour stint is “for the person with experience with firearms, who does not have time to seat through several hours of additional firearms training” [sic], as well as a statement in class that the one-hour class is not designed for those new to guns.
But Denis never asked me whether I had shot a gun before, or evaluated my proficiency once I sat down for class.
Now, most responses (focus on the comments section there) to Mejdrich's article say that she misrepresented her experience to game the system, that she is a liar, a perjurer, that she doesn't respect the law and that she should be held personally accountable for what she did (on top of the usual internet slander, of course).
But one could make the case that her gaming of the system exposes loopholes that could be exploited by more dangerous folk than a 22-year-old woman with no gun-ownership experience.
Of course, that case would be ignored by legislators, such as Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise.
When I showed him my CCW permit and presented him with my experience, he replied, "well, you know, it’s still a background check. That’s important. Obviously you took a one-hour course, that is some kind of training,” he said.
But after pressing Harper on whether he thinks the law should be changed back to the training requirements he boasted the CCW involved, he defaulted to the Second Amendment.
“You’ve been influenced by academia,” Harper said. “The constitution is absolute.”