...is the power to deny.
Whether the denial comes in the form of delay, in the form of high costs, or in the form of a big rubber stamp with the word DENIED carved into it.
A few days back, I posted about renewing my Concealed Pistol License. I'm somewhat happy that local and State laws make this process somewhat painless. As long as the Police can't find anything really bad on my record, I can have the permit.
Last Friday, I saw a story about a woman in New Jersey who was killed by an ex-lover.
She had applied for permission to carry a pistol for protection. Under the laws of New Jersey, such licenses are only issued to people who can show that they are threatened. But the license process (which depends partly on non-Local-Police agencies that process fingerprints) can take time.
And the Police didn't fear the repercussions of turning the 30-day wait into a 60-day wait, or a 90-day wait. But Carol Brown did fear those problems.
And she is now dead.
Which is why I'm wary of government-issued permits for that kind of thing. Especially if the permit-to-carry is only "for people who can show a valid threat to their lives", and has a process that can still result in long delays.
If a person can't ask for permission to carry a weapon until they can point to a specific threat against their lives, how will they have time to practice carrying and using the weapon safely?
If a person can't trust the System to provide that permission in a timely manner, how does that system support their right to self-defense?