Moving right along: The Daily Signal has documented eight stubborn facts about gun ownership in America. Read the entire article, of course, for detailed explanations of them all, but as a thumbnail, those eight are:
- Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.
- The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.
- A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
- Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.
- Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
- There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
- Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
- Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
Now, long-term readers of these virtual pages probably know that I mislike utilitarian arguments for policies of this type; the Second Amendment says I have the right to own and carry guns (that’s what keep and bear means) and that’s that. Also, as a minarchist libertarian, the only legitimate law I recognize is “you can’t take my stuff,” which means that unless I transgress against another person, my liberty and property are sacrosanct.
But, it’s true, utilitarian arguments can be useful to persuade fence-sitters who have not yet formulated a strong position on a given issue. And there are some pretty solid utilitarian arguments here. For example:
- Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives in:
- Rockledge, Florida (2017);
- Antioch, Tennessee (2017);
- Arlington, Texas (2017);
- Lyman, South Carolina (2016);
- Winton Hills, Ohio (2015);
- Conyers, Georgia (2015);
- New Holland, South Carolina (2015);
- Chicago, Illinois (2015);
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2015);
- Darby, Pennsylvania (2015);
- Chicago, Illinois (2014);
- Portland, Oregon (2014);
- Spartanburg, South Carolina (2012).
Over the years I’ve had plenty of people ask why I collect and use guns. I’ve given a variety of answers, depending on who was asking the question and what their purpose was in doing so. But the main reason I own and carry guns is this: Because it suits me to do so. As a law-abiding taxpayer, I require no other reason or justification Anyone who thinks otherwise is certainly entitled to their opinion, but I am under no obligation to alter my actions even a bit because of it.