The more people who are legally carrying sidearms, the safer our communities will be, as predators tend to prey on the weak and defenseless, a problem that carrying a legally-permitted sidearm usually resolves.

An article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on the issue.

An excerpt.

“It’s become another thing Pat Cannon makes sure he has on him each morning before heading out the door of his south Minneapolis bungalow.

“Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Handgun?

“Actually, the gun usually goes on with the pants,” said Cannon, who tucks his loaded Ruger .357 Magnum revolver into a holster he conceals inside his waistband. He positions it far enough forward on his right hip so that he can drive comfortably, but far enough back so that the grip doesn’t poke out and alarm someone at work or in the grocery store.

“He’s not a vigilante. He’s not a nut. He’s just another average Minnesotan who has acquired the power to kill.

“Cannon, 59, a gray-haired production artist, is one of 103,000 state residents with a permit to carry a handgun — more than 10 times the number there were a decade ago. They, in turn, are part of a growing “carry’ culture across the country: a record 8 million people who have taken on the means to use deadly force if they decide it’s necessary.

“Handgun owners have more freedom now than they’ve had in nearly a century, with every state except Illinois offering average residents the option of getting a carry permit, up from just a few states in the 1970s. In Utah, where gun laws are so liberal public schools can’t even prohibit them, one in nearly seven adults has a permit. In New Jersey, where local authorities have retained the discretion to deny permits, just one in 4,200 adults has one.

“This spring, in the wake of the killing of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in Florida and a vigorous national debate over “Stand Your Ground” laws, Minnesota surpassed 100,000 permits, putting it in the numeric middle of the states, with one in 40 adults now licensed to carry.

“There’s a big explosion in more people being interested,” said Evan Easton, a Twin Cities software designer who runs a side-business called Personally Safe and is one of the state’s 400 or so private, certified instructors of the 1-day course required to get a permit.

“Easton said the permit holders he knows “are lawyers, real estate agents — especially women who have to show houses alone — landscapers, a video engineer, a network technician, a radio show host, a couple of legislators, a mediator who talks divorced couples through sticky situations … a lot of typical, average careers.”

“Country changes direction.

“America has long had a gun culture, but now it’s becoming a carry culture,” said Adam Winkler, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and author of “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.”

“Winkler traces the roots of the shift to fears spawned by the social and political upheaval of the 1960s.

“People began to see the gun as something for personal protection, not just hunting,” Winkler said. Meanwhile, as gun-control advocates pushed to get handguns banned in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, the NRA “changed overnight” in 1977, Winkler said, from stressing support for hunters to focusing like a laser on the right to bear arms.

“Those factors helped trigger a handgun rights movement that swept the country, and by 2011, 37 states adopted so-called “shall issue” permit laws, taking away officials’ discretion to deny permits to people who are of legal age, sound mind and have no criminal history.”