On November 1, Wisconsin became the 49th state to recognize the right of its citizens to carry firearms. Now, only one state remains in the Dark Ages -- that being the state of Illinois.
As can be imagined, the anti-gun media is predicting that letting citizens carry firearms will result in carnage in the streets, shootouts in bars, and angry parents settling scores on the ball field with their firearms.
And to supposedly prove their point, they cite a bogus report of the Violence Policy Center (VPC) entitled “Concealed Carry Killers.”
The faux report says that “since May 2007 at least 300 people -- including 11 law enforcement officers -- have been killed by private citizens legally allowed to carry handguns in killings not ruled self-defense ….”
But according to an analysis found on PajamasMedia.com, less than half of the deaths which were attributed to concealed carry holders by the VPC were actually “committed by a permit holder drawing and firing his or her concealed weapon.”
Less than half? Yes, that was the figure as of December, 2009. Sadly, VPC’s reporting has not gotten any better in the following two years.
After all, the VPC double counts victims or considers self-defense killings as murder … uses non gun deaths (like strangulation) to inflate “concealed carry” killings … and adds accidental killings to its totals -- such as a case where an errant shot was fired at a robber.
More startlingly, VPC counts non-permit holders who, in some cases, were even prohibited by law from carrying a firearm. A notable case on their website is Jared Loughner, who shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- injuring her and killing six people.
The VPC claims that because of Arizona’s new law which allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns without a permit, “Loughner was able to legally carry his pistol to the Giffords event in his assassination attempt.”
But what VPC misses is that this right applies only to law-abiding citizens. Section 13-3102 of Arizona law specifically prohibits and disallows the concealed carry of a handgun with the intent to commit a crime! Jared Loughner was most certainly NOT able to legally carry his pistol to commit the crimes he perpetrated in January, 2011, as the VPC claims.
The VPC wants to focus on the few bad apples in the concealed carry community and suggest that citizens can’t be trusted to carry firearms. But using their own logic, they should be arguing for cop disarmament, because they break the law far more often.
Gun Owners of America recently posted Fact Sheet on its website comparing crime rates between concealed carry permit holders and the police. As compared to those who carry concealed, the average American is almost 8 times more likely to be convicted of crimes and over 40 times more likely to be convicted of burglary -- and police officers are almost 800 times more likely to violate the law.
There are an estimated six million citizens who possess a concealed carry permit. The number of legal concealed carriers is probably higher, considering the growing number of states that recognize the right of their citizens to carry without a permit.
Press reports indicate that concealed carry is at an all time high, even while crime rates have been dropping in the U.S. over the past few years. Yet, we’ve been hearing the Chicken Little cries of doom and gloom as far back as the mid-1980s, when Florida kicked off the modern concealed carry movement with the enactment of its “shall issue” law.
Prior to its passage in 1987, there was a vigorous debate in the Florida legislature. Opponents of the law claimed that a carry law would turn the Sunshine State into the “Gunshine State.” It was a cute jingle, but their dire predictions never materialized. Murder rates started dropping immediately after the passage of the law, prompting one of the chief opponents, Rep. Ron Silver, to admit that he had been wrong about concealed carry.
Such was the case in Texas, as well. One of the chief opponents in the Lone Star State was Senior Cpl. Glenn White, who is president of the Dallas Police Association. White lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because he thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict.
Senior Cpl. White admits, though, “All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert.”
It takes guts to look at the evidence and admit you were mistaken. Kudos to Rep. Silver and Senior Cpl. White for being “man enough” to admit they were wrong.
Who knows, maybe the VPC will own up and admit they were also wrong about all the fear and paranoia they’ve peddled in their faux report. But then again, don’t hold your breath.
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America. This article is based on a Fact Sheet which is posted on the GOA website at http://gunowners.org/vpc10122011.htm  -- a resource which includes the documentation for the statistical information in this article.
Article by Erich Pratt