Thursday, July 07, 2016

We Need Safer Protocols and Autos in the Age of Concealed Carry and Rampant Crime

Christopher Jon Bjerknes

Cops, understandably, have adopted an, "I'm not taking any chances!" approach to traffic stops and arrests. If they in any way sense that a gun might be used against them, they are prone to shoot whomever they suspect is armed.

We have the requirement that citizens maintain a license to drive. Police exploit this opportunity to demand that citizens provide an ID/driver's license when questioned by the police, so that the police can check for warrants to make arrests and conduct searches. Police also exploit this opportunity to check a person's age for various reasons.

All other issues aside, the fact that most males carry their IDs in their wallets creates a very dangerous situation for civilians and police, police who often demand that an ID be produced. The exact same motion is employed to draw a wallet as is usually performed to draw a firearm. The same applies where a concealed carry permit holder stores his or her weapon in the glove compartment of a vehicle where proof of insurance and vehicle registration are also stored.

I suggest we change the manner in which IDs, proof of registration and insurance are stored and presented to the police upon request. This creates an opportunity for automobile manufacturers to appeal not only to concealed carry permit holders, but also to the general public, who are also at risk when approached by the police. Motor vehicles should now come with special compartments visible to the police where a driver's license, vehicle registration card and proof of insurance card can be stored and easily accessed without the risk that the police will see a gun, or suspect that a gun is being drawn. The first car company which comes out with these options, or standard features, will distinguish their brand in the market place. Until that occurs, the aftermarket should provide options and make them generally known to the police, to protect both law enforcement and the public from unnecessary shootings. Then we can all enjoy greater safety and freedom, instead of risking confrontation and death.

A simple compartment on the dashboard of a vehicle in plain sight from both sides of the vehicle, which does not pose a visual obstruction to the driver, is one such possibility. Auto, van and truck manufacturers who offer concealed carry options which tuck the guns in easily accessible places would appeal to a vast new market. They could offer unique inserts for various common models of handguns and magazines, just as they offer cup holders.

Too many have died at the hands of police for us to continue to do nothing to safeguard the public and police. We need new protocols and accessories which will provide a reasonable solution to this dilemma. People should no longer draw their wallets to produce a driver's license. We need a new approach. Either the police should no longer be permitted to demand ID, or ID should be carried elsewhere, or take a form that enables it to be carried conveniently around the neck or something like that.