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No guns here Carlos R. Davalos | Thu, Apr 22 2010 05:50 PM

Guns scare me. Yes, I realize people kill people but a) I don't think I'll ever cause a fatality by firing off an especially tart zinger at someone and b) guns and bullets sure make it easy to leave someone's life splattered on the sidewalk.

It's a commonly held belief that to overcome one's fears you meet them head on. In this case, one way of doing that would be to visit a local shooting range and have experts teach me the proper way of handling a firearm.

At the very least I could visit the corner gun store and hold a Glock or Berrata in my hands the way I might hold a fuzzy scary tarantula at a petting zoo.

The problem is, however, there are no gun stores or public firing ranges in Chula Vista. Who knew?

My desire to face my fears was motivated by a bill making its way through the California legislature.

San Diego Assemblywoman Lori Salda–a wants to place restrictions on people who openly carry handguns (of course the measure is aimed at private citizens and not law enforcement personnel).

Currently, California law allows individuals to carry non-concealed unloaded handguns in public. Bullets must be kept separate from the gun. Also, anyone carrying a gun must at anytime submit their weapon to inspection by a police officer.

In recent years, armed Second Amendment advocates have taken to gathering in large groups and meandering through shopping malls, walking along beach boardwalks or gabbing at a local coffeehouse. The gatherings are meant to bring attention to the lawful open-carry movement.

As you might imagine, the sight of seeing a bunch of people parading around with guns in their holsters makes some bystanders nervous. Others barely flinch. Count me among those who are skittish.

But if I'm going to be scared of something I ought to at least have firsthand knowledge of what it is that scares me. Hence, the trip to a local gun store.

Or not.

The Chula Vista Gun Store on Broadway actually doesn't carry guns, specializing instead in accessories. If I wanted to buy a handgun I'd have to shop in San Diego, said the not-too-talkative employee there.

In fact, it's not quite clear when, if ever, there was a gun store in Chula Vista. Which raises an interesting question: Are residents safer because you can't buy a hangun in the city limits? Let me rephrase that: Because you can't buy a handgun legally in Chula Vista? I'm sure that if you were to ask the right people, buying a gun would be as easy as purchasing medicinal marijuana.

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