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Charles A. Nichols: Restrict criminality, not civil rights

THE Daily Mail's recent editorial, "Emotions should not color gun debate," dealt with only one aspect of the city of Charleston's gun ordinance - the three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun.

Oddly enough, it takes only minutes for me to be cleared for the purchase of a handgun through the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS - but three days in the city of Charleston to pick up a firearm after being cleared.

Plus, the city allows only one handgun purchase by an individual in a month. One could not purchase a weapon for his wife or daughter at the same time, only one per month.

That perversion of the right to purchase a firearm has not stopped the drug trade in the city, as many headlines in your paper show us. It has however caused many gun owners in the Kanawha Valley to go to Spring Hill or St. Albans to purchase all of our firearms.

As a matter of principle, I have not bought a handgun in the city of Charleston. I am sure that doesn't bother the liberals in the city, nor does it bother me.

However, House Bill 2760 would have given the state of West Virginia a one-state, one- law guideline that could be easily understood and would protect more of its citizens.

What the Daily Mail editorial failed to talk about was the fact that an armed citizen may be illegal to carry in areas of the city considered public property.

Charleston's ordinance stipulates: "Carrying weapons upon municipal public property. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person any revolver or pistol, dirk, bowie knife, slingshot, razor, billy, metallic or other false knuckles, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like kind or character in or upon city hall, municipal auditorium, the civic center, and all parks and recreation buildings and facilities, including recreation centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, dressing areas, tennis courts, parks and recreation areas and all other buildings, structures, facilities, and grounds thereof, owned or occupied by the City of Charleston."

Want to protect yourself after leaving Tidewater in case you are beaten by two men while you have your wife and child with you, as happened in May of 2012 in Charleston in front of the Brickstreet Office building?

How about protecting yourself while waiting for a bus in the Charleston Transit Mall, such as occurred earlier this month?

In the city's parking buildings?

While jogging along Kanawha Boulevard to enjoy the river?

We don't want to talk about that do we, Mr. Mayor, Mr. Senate president, Governor, Sen.   Wells, Madam Secretary of State and/or the editors of the Charleston Daily Mail?

Mayor Jones is elected by the citizens of Charleston, which I do not live in so I have no vote, but I can avoid that city as much as possible.

I use to love going to the movies in Charleston and to a nice restaurant like Tidewater, Soho's, or Fazio's. I loved supporting Taylor Books and the country singers at the Charleston Civic Center.

Now we go to the movies and restaurants, bookstores, and the concerts in other cities - cities that deem I am not dangerous because I passed a federal background check, and cities where as a citizen of West Virginia, my rights are not nullified by a city ordinance taking away my God- given right to protect myself, family and property - all in a world that does not seem to recognize real evil and who the real criminals are.

Nichols, retired from the chemical industry, lives in the Cross Lanes area.


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