I posted some information on how to apply for a CCW permit in California, and mentioned an ongoing effort by Jim March to liberalize (in the real sense of the word) California's permit laws; via email, Mr. March sent me a pretty disturbing PDF file that contains clippings from LA Times articles detailing some abuses of the current system.
Celebrities, politicians, and millionaires are the only people granted CCWs by many (not all) of the issuing authorities in California, and it's nearly impossible for "normal folks" to get the permits that are readily supplied to these privileged few unless you're fortunate enough to live in a city with a fair-minded police chief. For instance, anti-gun Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer fight tooth and nail to enact as many national gun restrictions as possible, and yet they both have permits to carry concealed weapons and they both employ armed bodyguards. Apparently there are different standards for the "elite" and for the rest of us. It's obviously important that they be able to defend themselves from criminals, but shouldn't we all have that right? [Corrected; used to say "should we all..." and it looked like I took the opposite position -- MW.]