December 2013 - Pg 20-Book Review
By Don W. Leach
Suggested Retail $15.00
Reviewed by Gila Hayes
Written by a retired attorney, Oregon Concealed is no ordinary state gun law book. In addition to making sure his reader understands laws covering carrying a concealed handgun in Oregon, author Don Leach cements those lessons with true stories from his years practicing law, adding his opinions on the role of intent in commission of a crime, maintaining our rights as Americans while staying out of jail, how Oregon law is applied and sometimes misapplied and a tremendous amount more.
Leach’s chapters are presented in a conversational tone, sometimes jumping from one topic to a related topic, much as if you were sitting across the table sharing a pot of coffee with Leach, exploring Oregon law, often learned by hard experience by the author’s clients. It’s best to learn from another’s troubles, and this the reader does from Leach’s stories, with names and locales changed to protect people’s identity. Reading Oregon Concealed is enjoyable, though one has to smile that the idea that Leach’s mythical Pandora County is like River City in The Music Man, where “ya got trouble…with a capital T.” Leach’s stories not only clarify the application of Oregon law, but also help the reader remember the lessons. Following the discussion of the law and the stories illustrating its application, the author summarizes the point in a paragraph or two, often spiced by his opinion and leavened with advice on prudent behavior for those who carry firearms.
A number of the clients Leach defended before retiring were good, law-abiding citizens found with loaded guns in their cars and charged with concealed weapons infractions.
Sometimes they were returning from the range, hunting, or other lawful pursuits. Because each made an effort to be a good citizen, they had trouble grasping that they were viewed as and treated like criminals by the police and courts. Too often, they made admissions of guilt through their generally helpful responses and a mistaken belief that law enforcement, district attorneys and other representatives of the criminal justice system were on their side. The author emphasizes how these rationalizations do not comport with the real world, and drives home the point by telling the stories of other unfortunates who lost their gun rights, served jail sentences or community service because of a “mistaken belief that the system was designed to protect him, the good guy.”
In addition, Oregon Concealed includes lessons about—
–Accessibility to loaded firearms by non licensees in automobiles
–Standard of the reasonable and prudent person and its applications
–Open carry practices
–Defense inside the home and on surrounding properties.
Additional advice recommends obtaining a license to carry that enjoys recognition or reciprocity from a number of states. Leach believes carrying your handgun on your person, not stowed in the car, when traveling by automobile the best option, and has the stories to support his advice. Additional cases illustrate the value of “Don’t ask; don’t show; don’t tell” when you are carrying a concealed handgun.
Leach offers intriguing commentary on–
–His conviction that a national concealed carry permit would infringe on states’ rights to self-governance
–Comments about judicial incompetence
–The intrusion of administrative law upon legislation and Constitutional rights and a lot more.
Leach writes several key chapters on justifying use of force in self defense, richly illustrated by cases and commentary.