My Gun u2018Permit'

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by Laura Haire

If you see a 39 year-old woman grinning with a concealed lump somewhere on her body as you pass her on the sidewalk somewhere in Tennessee, that will be me. No, I'm not crazy and deformed; rather, I've just received my Handgun Carrying Permit, and am packing a Smith and Wesson .357 snub-nose.

At least, that is what I am hoping. You see, the DMV still has to send in my detailed personal information, that is: my address, phone number, social security number, gender, age, original hair color (ha), weight (ha, ha) eye color, and most important, my finger prints. Then, after they do a thorough background check and run my finger prints through their system to see if I' ve committed any felonies, they will send me, within 90 days, my "permit" to carry a concealed weapon.

I find the word "permit" quite offensive. After all, "permit" means to "let or allow." Whatever happened to, "the RIGHT of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed?" I found that my "right" to carry a gun, cost me in more ways than one.

It all started back in February. My husband and I had to come up with $50.00 a piece for the handgun safety course. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent learning about the laws and legal aspects of carrying a gun, and got a rush of adrenaline at the shooting range, it was quite an expensive date for my husband and I, who still live the archaic way, with only one bread winner in the family.

Then, we had 3 months to apply for our "right" to carry a concealed weapon. Well, those 3 months sure do go by fast. With just a few weeks before we lost our window of opportunity and would have to start all over again with the whole process of obtaining our "right," I managed to secure two appointments in another County to apply for our Handgun Carrying Permits. Why another County you ask? Another County because the employees of my County, of whom I help pay their wages, are too busy granting license to aliens and reading Avon books. The waiting period in my County, after you have an appointment, is approximately two hours.if they would ever answer their phones.

So, I entered the DMV, in another County, armed with (not a gun, that is a felony) $115.00 to apply for my "right." I only had to wait fifteen minutes before I was called to give them my money, my mug shot taken and get finger printed. If it was not for the fact that now the government knows everything about me — like my actual weight, and original hair color (ha), and the fact that my "right" cost me a total of $165.00 and my fingerprints — the whole process may have been enjoyable.

So, until my "right" comes through the government mail, I wait patiently.maybe.

    Laura Haire [send her mail] is a stay-at-home mom.

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