Every time the subject of concealed carry comes up, you hear the same arguments from opponents of this overwhelmingly successful public policy: The same old carp about a return to the Wild West (which was actually a pretty peaceful place) shootouts over parking spaces and the like.
That’s all bullshit, of course. John Lott Jr. has recently released another study showing just how full of shit these arguments are. From the abstract:
There are now over 16.3 million permit holders, a record 1.83 million increase in permits since last July. Nationwide, 6.5% adults have a concealed handgun permit. Outside of California and New York, 8 percent of adults have a permit. Permits for women and blacks are increasing much faster than they are for men and whites. There are also significant differences in not only the number of permits issued but also who gets them when politicians have discretion in granting them. Los Angeles County provides a vivid example of how women and Hispanics are given few permits when politicians decided who can defend themselves. We also provide evidence that death threats don’t let people get permits for protection and how incredibly law-abiding permit holders are and how crime rates have changed in the states that have had the largest increases in concealed handgun permits.
Take a look at this sentence from the abstract:
When politicians decided who can defend themselves.
That, True Believers, is a recipe for tyranny.
The full paper by Dr. Lott is behind a free membership; you have to sign up to view the entire thing, but I’ll give you a few key bits here:
In 2013, LA Weekly obtained a list of the 341 concealed carry permit holders in Los Angeles County, California. That is only about 0.0045% of the 7.7 million adults living in the county in 2013. LA Weekly pointed out that the people given permits were judges, reserve deputy sheriffs, and a small group who gave campaign contributions or gifts to then-Sheriff Lee Baca.
That’s what happens when politicians decide who can defend themselves. Your Constitutional rights, on auction, to the crony with the biggest purse.
Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000. That is just 1/7th of the rate for police officers. But there’s no need to focus on Texas and Florida—the data are similar in other states.
In other words, whatever worries anyone may have with the misuse of firearms, legal concealed-carry permit holders are not and never have been a problem. Trying to make that case is dishonesty of the first water; trying to restrict the issue of permits to the political elite and their cronies flies in the face of individual liberty.
Download the entire report. Add it to your arsenal of pro-CCW arguments. As usual, Dr. Lott presents some great data.