Libertarians Say Bus Hijacking Illustrates Need For Concealed Gun Laws

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

( - Wednesday's Greyhound bus hijacking that left six people dead illustrates the need for every state to pass "Vermont-style" concealed gun laws, so Americans can defend themselves against terrorists or deranged murderers, according to the Libertarian Party.

The party's national director Steve Dasbach said Thursday, "Let's put the Second Amendment to work to protect Americans. The best defense against hijackers or run-of-the-mill copycat madmen is to give every American the legal right to own a gun and carry it everywhere."

The attack occurred when a Croatian man used a box cutter to slash the throat of a Greyhound bus driver just outside Manchester, Tenn. The driver is undergoing medical treatment. The man grabbed the bus steering wheel and drove it into oncoming traffic. Six people including the hijacker were killed and 34 people were injured.

Dasbach believes the attack shows that no form of transportation is safe from potential attack, which is why every law-abiding American should have the right to carry a concealed weapon.

"After terrorists hijacked four airliners on September 11, the consensus was that greater airport security could stymie such attacks. That may be true, but a similar solution won't protect Americans who use buses, trains, taxicabs, or other forms of travel. There are simply too many modes of public transportation," he said.

"The only way to keep Americans safe is to decentralize protection: Give every law-abiding citizen the right to carry a weapon at all times," Dasbach said.

"No, that won't stop every attempted hijacking and may not even have stopped the tragedy in Tennessee, but criminals and terrorists will be far less likely to attack if they know they'll be staring down the business end of a dozen American guns," he concluded.

Vermont is the only state in the nation that doesn't require a license to carry a concealed weapon.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence doesn't think giving Americans the right to carry weapons is a good idea.

"The gun lobby claims that only 'law-abiding citizens' apply for and receive carrying-concealed weapons licenses and that more people carrying hidden guns will make our society safer. However, it is a serious mistake to assume that only 'good guys' have these licenses, and that the people carrying the weapons are responsible, mature and abide by the laws," the Brady Campaign said in a statement on its website.

"Thanks to the lax CCW laws in many states," the Brady statement continued, "abusive husbands, mentally unstable individuals, people with a grudge and people who are simply careless or uneducated about firearms safety can and do get CCW permits, posing a potential danger to their families and communities."

The Brady Campaign also believes the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not permit people to carry concealed weapons.