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Latest Cutting Edge Google Research from VPC

Josh Sugarmann shows that people with concealed carry permits have murdered 85 people from 2007 to 2009. Source? News accounts, no doubt found through intensive research using Google. But if you look carefully at the actual reports, for the report which shows law enforcement officers killed, only one has actually been convicted, though the circumstances in the other cases, I will agree make a guilty verdict likely. It’s less clear when you look at private citizen incidents, since only 10 of the 42 incidents involved people who were convicted, with a further 10 committing suicide in likely murder suicides. Of the incidents not yet resulting in a conviction, one doesn’t even involve the use of a gun, eight could arguably be self-defense, depending on circumstances (something for a jury to decide).

I’d also point out that by dividing the incidents up like this, it makes it look like we’re dealing with more incidents overall, rather than just 46. So out of the estimated 5 million concealed carry permit holders in the country, Josh Sugarmann managed to dig up 46 people, many of which only might be murderers because of a lack of convictions. Even giving Josh the benefit of doubt, that means that concealed carry permit holders murder at a rate 1/4 1/8 that of the general population. Not surprising for a group of people that have gone through a background check.

UPDATE: I should note that of the 46 incidents listed, there are a number of them which the concealed carry permit was not really material to the crime, because they either happened in or near the home.

UPDATE: Joe informs me I forgot to correct for the fact that Sugarmann’s study is over two years, so the real number is 1/8 not 1/4, and is noted above.

209 Responses to “Latest Cutting Edge Google Research from VPC”

  1. Ruzhyo says:

    It is wearying to see the same sort of slap-dash hackwork parroted as “research” time and time again by these groups, and even more disturbing that the organizations that produce these reports actually employ people to do “research” that would not pass muster in a junior high school persuasive essay.

  2. Turk Turon says:

    My calculator says 85 homicides in a population of five million adults over three years yields an annual murder rate of 0.57 per hundred-thousand adults. How many U.S. cities comprising 5,000,000 adults have a homicide rate that low? I believe the overall annual homicide rate in the U.S. is 5.62 per hundred-thousand population. New York City had 522 murders in 2008, and that was considered low! And comparing murders per hundred thousand population (instead of just adults) would reduce that by several fold. The murder rate of CHL holders would appear to be lower than that of the U.K. or Japan.

  3. Turk Turon says:

    Just looked it up. Japan has a murder rate of 0.499 per hundred-thousand population. So a rate of 0.57 per hundred-thousand adults is substantially lower.

  4. BobG says:

    46 possible murders or accidental shootings by CCW people? Hell, the police probably have that many. Has anyone looked at the figures for LEOs shooting people?

  5. Glad to see he wasted that much of his time on nothing.

  6. K-Romulus says:

    Well, according to NOAA, there were 105 deaths from lightning strikes during the same period.

  7. Mark Henricks says:

    Criticism of Sugarman’s survey of media reports must be tempered by the acknowledgment that there is no other comprehensive source of information on concealed carry permit holder crimes, because most records of permit holders are secret and the rest are difficult to access. In the case of the one exception, Tennessee, I cross-checked media reports of gun deaths over a 12-month period against the online database of Tennessee permit holders and found nine. Tennessee has 222,000 of the nation’s 5 million concealed carry permit holders. If Tennessee’s experience with killings by concealed carry permit holders hold true elsewhere, this suggests there could be more than 200 killings by concealed carry permit holders nationwide.

  8. Sebastian says:

    Do you mean gun deaths as in unjustifiable homicide or do you mean gun deaths including suicides? That’s a pretty key consideration.

  9. Sebastian says:

    In 2008, TN had 408 homicides, so even assuming they all were unjustifiable homicides, that’s a pretty small slice of the total crime picture in TN.

  10. Mark Henricks says:

    I mean unjustifiable homicides, generally. This includes murders, suicides and accidental deaths. Some charges are for second-degree murder, manslaughter, negligent, etc. As a general rule, these are cases that have not gone to trial. It is difficult to check Tennessee concealed carry permit records against convictions, because a conviction results in the permit holder’s permit being revoked. Therefore, we are left with checking against media reports. Some of these cases will likely result in acquittals or lesser charges such as assault or reckless behavior. However, it’s the best we have, and it is suggestive of just how much crime by concealed carry permit holders occurs undetected.

  11. Sebastian says:

    Thinking about it, if 1.23% of the 408 homicides in TN are committed with Concealed Carry permit holders, which number 220,000 according to your data, if the entire population of TN were composed of this group, which is about 5% of people, the number of unjustifiable homicides would be 1/4 would it is now.

  12. Sebastian says:

    If you’re looking into the criminality of concealed carry permit holders it’s fair to look at unjustifiable homicides (which would include accidents). It’s dishonest to count suicides, because a concealed carry permit is not at all material to whether someone commits suicide. It’s also less than honest to count cases that might be adjudicated self-defense or ruled self-defense based on circumstances. That is, after all, the reason people carry firearms.

    I admit this is a difficult area to research, but lots of people have tried, and repeatedly has shown concealed carry permit holders are more law abiding than the general public, which is only to be expected of a pre-screened demographic.

  13. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian, what do you make of the fact that four (five if you count Nidal Hasan’s expired permit) of the 2009 mass murderers possessed concealed carry permits? These four account for 45 dead and twice that many wounded. If one in a million ordinary over-21 citizens committed mass murder, we’d expect to see 200 or so mass shooters a year. The actual number of homicides involving three or more victims is about 85, occurring in no more than a couple of dozen cases. It seems concealed carry permit holders are over-represented among mass shooters.

  14. Turk Turon says:

    The Tennessean newspaper covered some of this same subject last August, although the URL to the original article has gone “404”. If memory serves, the newspaper compared the names of the 200,000 Tennessee CHL holders to a list of the names of thousands of convicted felons. There were hundreds of matches. The paper turned the names over to the Dept. of Public Safety (or whatever). But upon investigation, the DPS found that 95% of the matches were not the same person. They did identify about a dozen persons whose licenses should have been revoked or suspended, and they acted. But apparently matching the names yields an error rate of over 95%.

  15. Tam says:

    Sebastian, what do you make of the fact that four (five if you count Nidal Hasan’s expired permit) of the 2009 mass murderers possessed concealed carry permits? These four account for 45 dead and twice that many wounded. If one in a million ordinary over-21 citizens committed mass murder…

    Perhaps not coincidentally, the overwhelming majority of DUI convictions were by automobile operator permit holders.

  16. Mark Henricks says:

    When cross-indexing Tennessee killers with concealed carry permit holders, I matched names, ages and cities of residence. Since I lack both training and talent in this area, mistakes surely occurred. A 95 percent error rate, however, I doubt. As far as concealed carry permit holders representing a lopsided percentage — perhaps even a majority — of mass murderers this year, I think it may be somewhat significant. At the very least, the fact deserves to be widely known and understood if we are to discuss intelligently the pluses and minuses of indulging the wishes of a few people to go secretly armed among the rest of us.

  17. Sebastian says:

    And if you stop me from doing it, the mass murderers and criminals will keep doing it. Once you’ve crossed the line into actively trying to hurt people, you’re not going to give a whit about the rules of polite society, which is what you’re trying to enforce with laws banning concealed weapons.

  18. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian, I believe that no private citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed weapon to stop a spree shooting, defined as one claiming more than two lives, in progress. At least, no one has ever been able to point one out to me. It’s always a cop, ex-cop or off-duty cop or, if it’s a private citizen, it’s someone using a weapon retrieved from home, business or car, or not more than two people were killed. Arguments that expanding the privilege of concealed carry would prevent spree shootings are, it seems, theoretical. The claim that spree shootings only happen in places where guns are not allowed holds no water either. Four of the five mass shootings involving concealed carry permit holders as the shooters — people who could be relied up on to know where guns were allowed — occurred in places where guns were allowed. Hasan is the only one of the bunch that chose a gun-free zone.

  19. Sebastian says:

    At least one here. Both Dan McKown and Mark Wilson are cases, but McKown froze and Wilson was up against someone wearing body armor armed with a pistol. Most police officers would have lost in that situation. He at least saved the kid, even if it cost him his own life. There was the guy who stopped a guy who attacked eight people with a knife, successfully. There’s also this one here.

    It seems a bit more than theoretical. It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of them were off duty or ex cops, because they are more likely than your average CCW holder to actually carry a firearm on their person.

    But regardless, do you really think mass killers are going to call off their rendezvous with fame because they can’t get a license to carry the gun legally?

  20. Turk Turon says:

    K-Romulus is right about the lightning deaths. According to the National Weather Service, there are an average of 62 deaths annually from lightning strikes. The VPC claims that 85 murders were committed by CHP-holders in a three-year period; that’s an average of 28 deaths annually. Can we agree that one is twice is likely to be struck and killed by lightning than murdered by a CHP-holder?

  21. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian, neither Wilson — with whom I coincidentally attended high school — nor McKown represent examples of a citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed weapon to successfully intervene in a mass murder underway. Wilson was home when the incident began, took his pistol to the scene and attempted to intervene. He was killed — the only person killed by the shooter — and police later killed the shooter. McKown was nearly killed and did not kill, wound or apprehend the shooter who was later arrested by police after wounding several bystanders. Neither case can be considered a mass murder, since only two people died. These may be technical distinctions. And expanding the privilege of carrying concealed, loaded pistols may be a viable deterrent to mass murder. However, in the absence of any example of a citizen without law enforcement background successfully using a legally concealed weapon to intervene in a mass murder in progress, the often-presented argument that “if somebody with a concealed carry permit had been there, the death toll would have been a lot less” must be considered theoretical.

  22. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk asks: “Can we agree that one is twice is likely to be struck and killed by lightning than murdered by a CHP-holder?” No, we cannot, because the data on concealed carry permit holder crimes is incomplete. Trying to overcome this lack of information by cross-indexing Tennessee shooting deaths against concealed carry permit holders suggests that the annual nationwide death toll by concealed carry permit holders exceeds 200.

  23. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    Do you really think banning the carrying of concealed weapons is going to stop mass killers?

  24. Sebastian says:

    Also, you keep using gun deaths, which is deceptive, because you’re comparing apples to oranges and hoping no one notices. You have to look at unjustifiable homicides. That’s the only telling statistic. If you want to hold yourself to the same standard you hold to us with concealed carry holders stopping mass murders, you should only count unjustifiable homicides that happen on the streets where the concealed carry license is at issue. Otherwise you’re being misleading, and expecting people won’t notice.

  25. Carl from Chicago says:

    Those of you outside IL and perhaps WI …

    It is my own opinion that Josh is trying to head off the inevitable … passage of concealed carry in IL and WI.

    Note that the only groups pushing this “study” (so far, at least) are the VPC, Illinois Council to Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) and Freedom States Alliance.

    Note that all three groups receive the majority of their funding through the Joyce Foundation.

    Note that the Joyce Foundation is located in Chicago and that “gun violence” is one of their pet funding initiatives.

    Note that Chicago is not only going to lose their handgun ban, they are going to bring incorporation of the 2A to the rest of the nation (very embarrassing for Chicago-based gun control groups).

    Note that the activity levels on getting a good carry law passed in Illinois are mounting strongly, and quickly.

    Chicago (and Illinois) is the gun-controller’s Alamo. It’s no coincidence that this study was done by Joyce-funded groups, and done at this time.

  26. Turk Turon says:

    Even if one is able to infer from the Tennessee data that holders of concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) may have killed as many as 200 people annually nationwide, many obstacles remain. Some of these we can read in the VPC reports:

    1) some of those killings will be adjudicated as “self-defense”
    2) some of them will be ruled “suicide”
    3) some of them will be ruled “accidental”

    And of those which are found to be felonious homicide (“murder”), some will be in circumstances in which the CHL was not material to the act:

    4) CHL expired
    5) CHL revoked or suspended
    6) offense occurred in offender’s home or property
    7) offense did not involve a firearm
    8) offense did not involve a handgun
    9) CHL not valid at place of offense

    These details will not matter to some who may have a low tolerance for the very concept of civilians carrying concealed handguns, and would regard any kind of fatal shooting by a CHL-holder to be a “Concealed-Carry Murder”, even poisoning or hit-and-run. Dr. Arthur Kellermann used similar reasoning in his research papers on guns and homicide. He used the term “gun-related homicide” which he defined as any homicide of a person who owned a gun, or any member of their family, irrespective of the weapon used in the slaying. For example, most of the victims in Kellermann’s 1993 study were not shot, but he referred to them as victims of “gun-related homicide” anyway, because they lived in a home where a gun was kept.

    In some states the requirements for receiving a CHL include a vision test, other states require fingerprinting, while other states require a rigorous range test. But all states require a criminal background check. So nearly all CHL-holders who commit murder are “first time offenders”, having committed no disqualifying offense prior to committing murder. So we might be able to use “first time offenders” as a proxy for CHL-holders who murder.

    It might tell us something about this issue if there was a source of data in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports with a table such as: “Felonious Homicide by First-Offenders, by Year”. That would probably act as an upper limit on murders by CHL-holders nationwide. Granted, some of those homicides might not involve a handgun, or any gun for that matter.

    Is there a URL for the Tennessee murder records? It appears that the Tennessean newspaper explored this area just three months ago and found 500 matches, but when the DoS checked 300 of the 500 names, only 14 of the “matches” were actually the same person. Did the Tennessean use names, ages and place of residence to find matches? And did the Tennessean ever explain why the DoS stopped after only 300 of the 500 names?

  27. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk: No single URL for Tennessee murder records exists that I know of. Surveying media reports is the only method I’m aware of for learning about killings involving concealed carry permit holders. Some, at least. of the questions you raise could be significant. More significant, however, is the fact that we simply are unable to see crimes committed by concealed carry permit holders because the records of permit holders are secret. I’m no Kellerman.

  28. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: If you wish to believe I’m being deceptive, dishonest, hoping no one notices and otherwise trying to misrepresent what I know to be the truth, there is little I can do to deter you, especially since I have no idea how you could have arrived at this determination without knowing me or ever laying eyes on me. What is the source of your knowledge of my secret thoughts and feelings?

  29. Herb says:

    It seems like we are missing the point here. Handgun Safety Training and a concealed weapons permit give citizens options and empower them to use those options should something ever go horribly wrong.

    Example – a young lady here locally in Gainesville, Fl recently was informed by a friend of hers who happened to be a LEO that the apartment complex next to hers was seeing a big escalation in crime: break ins, excessive noise at night and even drugs.
    She sat down with a local gun dealer and purchased a handgun and started training. Not a week later she heard a loud noise downstairs in her kitchen and immediately grabbed her phone and her handgun. She dialed 911, stayed on the phone with them and continually shouted downstairs “I have a gun, I will use it and I am on the phone with 911”.
    The noises ceased and when the police arrived they told her someone had been trying to break in through her sliding glass door.
    This won’t show up on any stat sheet but this young woman went from being scared and possible a victim to being empowered with options.

  30. Mark Henricks says:

    I’m not a big logician, but I may detect a problem here. If guns don’t kill people, then do guns empower people? Or do people empower themselves? It seems as though either guns kill people or guns don’t empower people. Perhaps it works both ways, but I don’t see how.

  31. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    Why do you keep using gun deaths, then, when most reasonable people would understand that suicide has nothing to do with criminality? Would gun death also encompass justifiable homicide, which is the reason people carry guns for self-protection to begin with?

    There’s only one reason gun control advocates use that term — because it allows the public to think the problem is bigger than it really is, because they hear “gun death” and think “crime death” if you’re speaking in that context. Most people hear “gun death” and aren’t thinking suicide. Perhaps dishonest isn’t the right word, because technically speaking it’s not dishonest. But it is misleading to use the term. Much like the term “assault weapon” is misleading, much like the term “gun show loophole” is misleading.

  32. Sebastian says:

    Guns are a tool that take a projectile and hurl it at very high rates of speed. Nothing more, nothing less. What the person wielding it does with that capability is a matter of what’s in that person’s head. If he has murder or robbery on his mind, the gun is a tool to accomplish that end. In that sense, it empowers people to have the capability of killing.

    But the gun in and of itself is just a tool. An effective one for sure, but I fail to see the logic in restricting decent law-abiding people from having them because a very small percentage of the population misuses them. And a not insignificant percentage of that criminal and sociopathic class are going to have guns no matter what laws you pass against it.

  33. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I use the term gun deaths to describe deaths brought about through the instrumentality of firearms. This seems straightforward. It’s no more misleading than, say, categorizing an instance of someone grasping their firearm and shouting at a possible burglar as a defensive gun use. Generally, I try to encourage people I’m having a discussion with to avoid reading my mind and reacting to what they have determined to be my secret plans and motivations. In return, I’ll do the same, and take what you write at face value, and respond to it and not a hidden, coded meaning that I have discerned within it.

  34. Mark Henricks says:

    All logic and anecdotal evidence aside, repeated studies published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals of criminology and related topics have found that expanding concealed carry privileges has little or no effect on crime. Therefore, it cannot be considered as a public safety issue. Rather, the question is why should a small minority — approximately 1 percent — of ordinary citizens be privileged to secretly carry hidden, loaded pistols as they go about their business among the almost entirely unarmed rest of us. It seems a strange interpretation of the Second Amendment to claim Constitutional protection for hiding a Glock in .40 under your coat as you pick your kid up from school. At the very least, we need to seriously improve the training and oversight of concealed carry permit holders. One-day training, range-free training, even online training wide open to fraud and abuse — these are clearly inadequate and may have much to do with the fact that no citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed firearm to successfully intervene in a mass shooting involving three or more killings. As far as screening, given the propensity of concealed carry permit holders to engage in mass murder — four this year, five if you count Hasan’s expired permit — this would also seem to be an area that should be looked into. I am not convinced that guns are mere tools to improve personal safety. For instance, I don’t know of any fire extinguisher clubs where members get together down at the landfill every weekend to practice putting out fires. I have not communicated with a single concealed carry permit holder who carries any other device for self-defense, such as chemical spray, alarm whistle, etc. It is, as far as I can tell, all about the gun.

  35. Sebastian says:

    It’s no more misleading than, say, categorizing an instance of someone grasping their firearm and shouting at a possible burglar as a defensive gun use.

    I think Kleck’s numbers are probably overinflated, but there’s reasons to believe the NCVS numbers of 80,000 DGUs a year are probably understated, though I suspect the true number is probably closer to NCVS than Kleck.

    But even just using media counts, the number is still quite high. Nonetheless, it’s a difficult statistic to gather, I’ll grant you.

    Generally, I try to encourage people I’m having a discussion with to avoid reading my mind and reacting to what they have determined to be my secret plans and motivations. In return, I’ll do the same, and take what you write at face value, and respond to it and not a hidden, coded meaning that I have discerned within it.

    Fair enough. But why is using suicide statistics in a discussion about concealed carry relevant? If a CCL holder offs himself with a pistol in his own home, what implications does that have for public policy when it comes to guns being carried in public?

    Rather, the question is why should a small minority — approximately 1 percent — of ordinary citizens be privileged to secretly carry hidden, loaded pistols as they go about their business among the almost entirely unarmed rest of us.

    If it doesn’t have any impact on crime, why not? Liberty should be the default. Sorry if you’re uncomfortable with it, but really, even if the law were changed, you still have a lot of police officers, who also sometimes commit violent crimes, carrying guns around in public with you. You’d certainly have criminals walking around among you with concealed weapons, because they don’t care about the law. And why should they? I’ve carried for years, and I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve had to flash a license to law enforcement, and that was because I told him I was armed.

    It seems a strange interpretation of the Second Amendment to claim Constitutional protection for hiding a Glock in .40 under your coat as you pick your kid up from school. At the very least, we need to seriously improve the training and oversight of concealed carry permit holders.

    What part of “keep and bear arms” isn’t clear? Maybe the state can regulate how you may wear a firearm, but it wouldn’t seem to have the power to outright prohibit the practice. Though, limiting firearms on school ground is probably constitutional.

    At the very least, we need to seriously improve the training and oversight of concealed carry permit holders. One-day training, range-free training, even online training wide open to fraud and abuse — these are clearly inadequate and may have much to do with the fact that no citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed firearm to successfully intervene in a mass shooting involving three or more killings

    Even though, as you said, there’s no increase in crime caused by concealed carry? It’s a self-selected bunch Mark. Most of the bozos who get a carry permit because they think it’s cool carry for a few days and realize it’s a pain in the ass and they stop doing it. Most of the people who carry regularly are more serious about it than most police officers are, and practice regularly. If we have to increase firearms training for citizens, we should have to increase it for cops too. Have you ever shot with cops? Some of them are good, and some of them are pretty atrocious. The ones that are really good tend to also be competitive shooters. I am a competitive shooter. Requiring more training for me, or most other people in my category, is rather absurd.

    For instance, I don’t know of any fire extinguisher clubs where members get together down at the landfill every weekend to practice putting out fires.

    We tend to call them volunteer fire departments. There’s a ready-made government sponsored outlet for that passion. I know because my father was one for 30 years, and my sister is one now.

    I have not communicated with a single concealed carry permit holder who carries any other device for self-defense, such as chemical spray, alarm whistle, etc. It is, as far as I can tell, all about the gun.

    I carry a flashlight, a folding knife, OC spray, and a Glock 19. If I’m in a situation where I can’t carry the firearm, I minus the Glock. The pepper spray is with me more often than the gun. More CCL holders need to carry spray, I will give you that. Those of us that are serious about the subject preach that. The problem is that people have a lot of misconceptions about pepper spray, how to use it, and in what situations it’s useful.

  36. Alex says:

    More gun hugger proganda. I actually have read Josh Sugarmans website and this article is a gross misrepresentation of what it says. Only 45 people killed by concealed handgun license holders? Would that number be more significant if one of them was your mother, sister or neighbor? I thought not.

    If you think America is so dangerous that you feel you need to be armed everywhere you go you must be crazy to live here.

  37. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I don’t include concealed carry permit holders who commit suicide, except for murder-suicides. Indeed it does make me uncomfortable to have people hiding explosive devices under their jackets in public. I own a shotgun for hunting and have owned other guns and have a good idea of how dangerous they are. The small risk of the typical concealed carry permit holder requiring deadly force to protect life or limb does not, to my mind, justify extending to this tiny minority the peculiar privilege of secretly carrying loaded sidearms among the rest of us. In essence, the permits cater to the discomfort of approximately 1 percent of people, who don’t feel safe walking around unless they have a gun on their hip. In fact, they are generally quite safe, probably safer than if they left the gun at home — see Plaxico Burress, for example. Also, the most likely scenario in which a concealed carry permit holder is to be killed or injured is one involving a relative, significant other, friend or acquaintance. In these cases, a concealed carry permit is likely to be of little use. See Steve McNair for an example. In short, I think it’s foolish and I am aroused to comment by the misinformation on the topic. For instance, all the comments every time there’s a mass shooting stating that “if only a concealed carry permit holder had been there, the death toll would have been lower.” In fact, many if not most mass shootings are perpetrated by concealed carry permit holders themselves. And it remains true that no private citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed weapon to stop a mass murder involving more than two deaths in progress.

  38. Sebastian says:

    More gun hugger propaganda.

    I can’t say in my years of participating in the shooting sports, I’ve ever seen anyone hug a gun. Any more than I would expect a carpenter to hug his radial saw, or a fireman to hug his fire extinguisher. What part of “they are tools” is hard to grasp?

    I actually have read Josh Sugarmans website and this article is a gross misrepresentation of what it says. Only 45 people killed by concealed handgun license holders?

    Read what I said carefully. That is the number of incidents not deaths. For deaths, see Josh’s numbers. Some of those incidents involved multiple deaths.

    Would that number be more significant if one of them was your mother, sister or neighbor? I thought not.

    Would you blame all African-Americans for the death of a loved one if they were shot by an African-American? I thought not. Blaming a group of people for the irresponsibility of one member of the group is generally something we ought to frown on in a just society.

    If you think America is so dangerous that you feel you need to be armed everywhere you go you must be crazy to live here.

    Just because I keep a fire extinguisher in my car, and smoke detectors in my home, and sprinklers in my place of business, doesn’t mean I’m constantly worried about the danger of fire, and more people are victims of violent crime every year than are victims of fire.

  39. Sebastian says:

    Indeed it does make me uncomfortable to have people hiding explosive devices under their jackets in public.

    That would make me uncomfortable too. But fortunately for both of us, guns are not explosive devices, either by regulation or definition.

    I own a shotgun for hunting and have owned other guns and have a good idea of how dangerous they are. The small risk of the typical concealed carry permit holder requiring deadly force to protect life or limb does not, to my mind, justify extending to this tiny minority the peculiar privilege of secretly carrying loaded sidearms among the rest of us.

    Is it really that small a risk? I’ve had two friends successfully defend themselves with a firearm, with neither having to fire the gun. One had a group of kids surround him and pull a stun gun on him. They fled when they realized that Glock beats stun gun. The other drew a pistol on a knife wielding mugger after throwing his coffee in the guy’s face. The guy also ran. Anecdotal, but even statistically, your likelihood of being the victim of, say, aggravated assault, over a lifetime, isn’t that remarkably low.

    In essence, the permits cater to the discomfort of approximately 1 percent of people, who don’t feel safe walking around unless they have a gun on their hip.

    I feel perfectly safe without a gun on my hip, and regularly go places I can’t carry a gun without feeling pangs of withdrawal. I think you misunderstand why people who carry guns carry guns.

    In fact, they are generally quite safe, probably safer than if they left the gun at home — see Plaxico Burress, for example.

    Plaxico Burris was an idiot who was carrying a gun in a place where it was illegal, and in a manner no responsible gun owner would condone.

    For instance, all the comments every time there’s a mass shooting stating that “if only a concealed carry permit holder had been there, the death toll would have been lower.” In fact, many if not most mass shootings are perpetrated by concealed carry permit holders themselves.

    You’ve had a few this year. That’s certainly not grounds for “most” or “many.” It seems absolutely silly to me to believe that if we stopped issuing licenses to people, that mass killers would be deterred by not having a license to carry the gun they are planning to use to murder people. All banning concealed carry is going to do is make sure there definitely isn’t anyone there with a gun handy that can stop the person quickly.

    And it remains true that no private citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed weapon to stop a mass murder involving more than two deaths in progress.

    Let us put that to the test, shall we. I will do a post and see if an incident can be dragged up. I will put conditions on it as appropriate.

  40. Turk Turon says:

    Actually, I do carry chemical spray, too.

    I know dozens of people with CHP’s, and many of them will gladly tell you that having studied the matter, as civilians, they will draw their weapon only to defend their own lives and the lives of their families. They say that they will not draw their weapon to protect a stranger or to defend property. Police officers have limited legal immunity, but civilians do not. Even if no criminal charges are brought, the resulting civil suits can be financially ruinous. Even if you win, you’ll have to sell your house to pay your lawyer. Cops don’t have to face that.

    In the early 21st century, there were two federal “macro-studies” of the effectiveness of gun control laws in reducing gun crime. These panels examined hundreds of rigorous, scholarly, peer-reviewed research papers and were unable to find one that could show that any gun control law had any effect on gun crime. Nevertheless, the panels recommended “further research.”

    If there are currently no rigorous, scholarly, peer-reviewed studies showing that expanding opportunities for concealed carry is associated with lower levels of violent crime, there’s nothing wrong with “further research”. Certainly the contrary is demonstrably untrue. As concealed carry becomes more common, the national violent crime rates are decreasing.

  41. Mark Henricks says:

    When discussing crimes committed by concealed carry permit holders I have noticed a consistent tendency to rule out consideration of any crime by stating that the concealed carry permit holder was violating the law, would technically have been ruled ineligible to have the permit if the system had worked as it was supposed to, was being foolish or simply acting “in a manner no responsible gun owner would condone.” Under these circumstances, it’s difficult to see how any concealed carry permit holder has ever committed a crime, since the moment the incident occurs the concealed carry permit holder is no longer considered a legitimate concealed carry permit holder. Something of a Catch-22, I’d say.

  42. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk, I would take a sophisticated social scientist, as opposed to a lay knucklehead like me, in order to identify and account for all the factors involved in the long-term reduction in crime in the U.S., and I suspect the result would still be considered improperly done and unacceptable to many people, no matter what it said. Still, I think it is safe to say there is more to a decreasing crime rate than increasing concealed carry. I mean, Texas has something twice the violent crime rate of Wisconsin, which does not allow concealed carry, and Alaska, which has almost no prohibitions on carrying weapons, has a higher violent crime rate yet. I don’t think it’s so simple that you can point to one factor and say that’s the cause.

  43. Turk Turon says:

    I read the VPC’s accounts of the 77 civilian slayings. The descriptions were very sobering. Among them is the terrible “LA Fitness Center” shooting, and several tragic murder/suicides involving domestic disputes and romantic triangles.

    Of the 42 offenders, one, Villegas, is charged with strangling his victim. Another two, Burroughs and Gumm, were security guards. Two others, Noriega and Littleton, are reported to have used rifles only. No material link to their CHPs in those cases.

    Many claimed self-defense but were later convicted. Of the 42 offenders, there were 4 convictions (Brake, Garcia, Hough and Jensen), one was ruled an accident (unidentified), one had charges dismissed under self-defense (Podany), 4 plea-bargains/no contest/guilty pleas with light sentences (Conley, Beasley, Gumm and Donaldson), 2 guilty pleas to lengthy sentences (Kallenbach and Ragsdale), 10 suicides (McLendon, Burroughs, Phillips, Hamilton, Rodecker, Sodini, Mobley, Agee, Gonzalez and Jackson) and 20 cases remain pending (Berry, Noriega, Garrido, Horn, Villegas, Hill, Hobbs, Seidl, Drake, Hoover, Littleton, Gallaher, Ersland, Miller, Whiteside, Pate, Coleman, Johnson, Wright and Royals).

    One case was especially noteworthy: according to reports, Hamilton owned and used in his crime a federally-registered full-auto AK-47 machine gun. That’s very unusual; those are expensive collector’s items. There are only one or two other cases on record of a legally-owned machine gun being used in a murder. Hamilton thus probably passed at least three criminal background checks before his crime: one to purchase the weapon, one to get the CHP, and one to get the tax stamp for the machine gun. He was probably fingerprinted for the latter.

    But one thing all forty-two of these people (one woman and 41 men) had in common was that they were all first-time killers. That’s pretty rare, I’ve heard criminologists say. Not all murders are solved, so we don’t know for sure. But most murderers have long criminal histories, including several violent crimes, before they commit their first murder; and it’s usually not their last murder, either, sad to say. These forty-two people are the exceptions.

    And one observation: it appears that VPC is updating their records as some of these legal proceedings move along, and they are dropping from their records cases in which the shooter is found “not guilty” or where charges are dropped or dismissed. See the “update” under Podany. That could be why we do not see any “not guilty” or “self-defense” cases, although there are plenty of “convicted” cases. For cases of documented civilian self-defense with firearms, Clayton Cramer has an extensively cross-referenced online database of over 4,000 incidents in the last several years.

  44. “Alex Said:
    If you think America is so dangerous that you feel you need to be armed everywhere you go you must be crazy to live here.”

    Wow. If you want to the think America is a shiny, happy place where nothing bad happens, you go right ahead. I choose to face reality, where I recognize that while America is a relatively safe place, bad things can still happen, at any time and when I least expect or plan for them. I have a responsibility to take care of myself and my family, and if I must use force or the threat of force to do so, then I will.

  45. Caleb says:

    Rather, the question is why should a small minority — approximately 1 percent — of ordinary citizens be privileged to secretly carry hidden, loaded pistols as they go about their business among the almost entirely unarmed rest of us.

    Because we passed a state, local, and federal background check more rigorous than what most people will have to go through in their entire lives? Because we submitted to be fingerprinted and have our names and addresses added to the public record?

    Look, if you don’t like concealed carry, don’t carry. You admitted that concealed carry has no effect on crime, so what do you care if people are carrying guns that you don’t know about?

  46. Mark Henricks says:

    One interesting ratio consists of the number of people killed in justifiable homicides by concealed carry permit holders, versus the number people who die by murder, suicide or negligence at the hands of concealed carry permit holders. The FBI says in 2005, of 30,694 Americans who died by gunfire, 147 were justifiable homicides by private citizens. If you compare that to the estimate of 200 gun deaths annually attributable to concealed carry permit holders, it appears the expansion of concealed carry permit privileges is approximately a wash, or perhaps a little worse than a wash. We can’t get firmer figures on deaths attributable to concealed carry permit holders because the records of permit holders are secret. But, compared to other types of defensive gun uses, justifiable homicides are easy to track. It’s safe to say that few deaths go unrecorded or unexplained, while the majority of instances in which people report defending themselves with guns consist of waving a gun in someone’s face, if that, and are never reported. So, do concealed carry permit holders kill more people unjustifiably than justifiably? Even if we assume that all 147 justifiable homicides were committed by concealed carry permit holders, the answer would appear to be: It looks like it.

  47. Sebastian says:

    That might work is every defensive gun use resulted in a body, which it does not. I know several people who have were legitimately attacked by criminals, but who defended themselves with firearms.

    When the chips are down, criminals appear to not want to be shot, and most ordinary, non-sociopathic people don’t want to kill someone if they don’t have to. Who would have guessed?

  48. Caleb says:

    Man, I need to try new debating tactics: “make up statistics and pretend that they’re facts”.

    Except if I did that, I’d be like Mark. Your magical “200” number has already proven to be bogus, yo. In fact, after a cursory reading of your arguments, it seems that the total of your point is “concealed carry is scawwwwy”. You seem oddly concerned about what boils down to a statistical drop in the bucket. Even using the VPC’s ludicrous numbers, carry permit holders are LESS LIKELY to kill people that the average joe.

    Actually, being scared of permit holders is sort of like being scared of the monster in your closet/under your bed, when I think about it. You can’t see it (because the gun is concealed) you don’t that it’s going to hurt you (because statistically it won’t) but that doesn’t matter because dammit, there’s a monster under there!

  49. Mark Henricks says:

    Caleb: Thanks for the feedback. The estimate of annual nationwide unjustifiable gun deaths attributable to concealed carry permit holders is derived from cross-indexing names, ages and cities of residence of people charged in Tennessee shooting deaths over a 12-month period against the online Tennessee concealed carry permit database. This exercise yields nine deaths. Tennessee has about 1/22 of the estimated total of 5 million nationwide concealed carry permit holders. Multiplying nine times 22 gives approximately 200. The estimate is not made up and, until somebody comes up with a better one, I suggest that approximately 200 is the best estimate.

  50. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: My point is that non-fatal uses of a gun are not tracked at all well, while fatal uses of a gun are very well tracked. Looking at fatalities lets us use solid data and compare apples to apples — deaths resulting from justifiable use of a gun compared to unjustifiable use of a gun. When we do, it appears that concealed carry permit holders kill somewhat more innocent people than guilty people, even if we assume that all the justifiable homicides were committed by concealed carry permit holders, which may or may not be the case.

  51. Caleb says:

    Shit, at least the VPC tried to use Google to get theirs, Mark. That’s not even an estimate, that’s making a number up out of whole cloth.

    Seriously, I have got to try this – I can just make stuff up now and pretend it’s fact? That’s awesome.

  52. Sebastian says:

    It’s MikeB’s “Famous 10%” applied to concealed carry permit holders. The thing is, no two states have the same crime rates as another. So it’s quite, quite a stretch to use one state and extrapolate every other state based on that one state. I understand it’s hard to collect data here, but that doesn’t mean you get to make up 1/22nd of it and pretend it’s valid, and make arguments based on it.

  53. Caleb says:

    Let’s see, Indiana’s murder rate is .06/1000 citizens. (356 reported murders in 2008). We have approximately 350,000 concealed carry permit holders. Using Mark’s exhaustive method of cherry picking news archives, I have deduced that three murders were committed by concealed carry permit holders in Indiana in 2008, which means that our per thousand rate is 0.0086/1000 permit holders.

    Since Indiana accounts for 7/100ths of the nation’s permit holders then using Mark’s own EXACTING STANDARDS OF SCIENCE, we can then deduce that concealed carry permit holders committed 43 murders across the nation.

    What I’m saying here Mark is, well, that you’re full of shit.

  54. Turk Turon says:

    In Vermont, there were 17 murders in 2008. In Vermont there is no permit required to conceal-carry. Vermont has a population of 621,000. That’s a murder rate of 2.7 per hundred-thousand population.

    In New York City there were 522 murders in 2008. In NYC it is nearly impossible to get a permit to conceal-carry. The population of NYC is 8.2 million (2007).

    If New Yorkers murdered each other at the same rate as Vermonters, NYC would have experienced only 221 murders in 2008.

    Murder and murder rates are very unevenly distributed in the United States and attempts to extrapolate can lead to huge errors.

  55. Mark Henricks says:

    Caleb: I’m not sure I follow your methodology. It does not sound like you surveyed a year’s worth of Indiana shootings, then cross-indexed the names, ages and places of residence of those arrested against a statewide database of concealed carry permit holders. If not, how did you determine that Indiana concealed carry permit holders committed three killings?

  56. Dod says:

    Mark, as others have pointed out your extrapolation from Tennessee to the whole nation doesn’t work. It’s what my old stats professor called “valid mathematics, invalid statistics”. Unfortunately it produces meaningless numbers.

    The problem with your approach is that it assumes the characteristics of all states and their permit holders are the same. Clearly this is not the case. You would need to control for the usual factors in this type of study: age, race, education, crime rates, murder rates, etc. Importantly, you would need to have data not only for each state as a whole but for the permit holders of each state.

  57. Mark Henricks says:

    So, Sebastian and Turk, what is your estimate of the number of people unjustifiably killed by concealed carry permit holders annually? How should the estimate of 200 be modified to reflect the valid concerns you have raised? I mean, it’s one thing to say I’m full of shit, which may or may not be the case, and it’s another to actually have something useful to contribute to the discussion and perhaps develop some useful information. Which way would you like to go with this?

  58. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: That’s a reasonable point. Tennessee’s murder and non-negligent homicide rate of 6.4 [er 100,000 is higher than the national rate of 5.6. That’s a difference of approximately 15 percent. So say the Tennessee concealed carry permit holder murder rate is also about 15 percent higher. If we adjust the the number of shootings by concealed carry permit holders by 15 percent, it gives us roughly 170. Any problem with using that as an estimate?

  59. Dod says:

    Mark, that’s good a start. But you’d really need to do it for each state. And ultimately it would still be an incomplete analysis since it would only accounting for one factor out of many. As you can see from the results of making just one change, controlling for variables does matter in statistics.

  60. Turk Turon says:

    There is just not enough data to make a meaningful estimate.

    So much research into criminal matters is confounded by “false negatives” – subjects give false answers because telling the truth could result in legal jeopardy for them or their families. For example, The New England Journal of Medicine has, over the years, published several studies which attempted to answer the question, “Is a gun kept in the home more dangerous to the residents than to a burglar?” But gathering the necessary information involves interviewing hundreds of sociopathic subjects about their backgrounds, drug use, arrests, gun ownership, etc. Criminologists, who toil in the same vineyard, point out that if fewer than ten subjects answer falsely, it would change the outcome of the study completely, i.e. change the answer from “yes” to “no”.

    But the fact that I have no satisfactory estimate does not mean that I must therefore accept the first one that is proposed, just because there is no other.

    The available data does tend to show, and fairly strongly, that, compared to other adult populations, the five million CHP-holders are a very law-abiding cohort.

  61. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    Your latter estimate makes more logical sense, but it can’t be considered a credible number. What if TN had 10 incidents as opposed to 9? Or 7 as opposed to 9? What if the year you were looking at was anomalous for that state?

    I’ll be the first to admit it’s very difficult to collect this kind of data, but that doesn’t mean you get to make wild assed, but educated guesses and tell us we should accept your public policy prescription based on that.

  62. Mark Henricks says:

    Fair enough, folks. You’re as civil and informed a bunch as I’ve had this discussion with to date. I got interested in it because I heard so many times that the difference in crime in Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C., could be explained by concealed carry privileges that I started looking into, first, the number of justifiable homicides and, later, the justifications for expanding concealed carry privileges. There is a major dearth of information on the topic, which I have attempted to fill to some degree. Thanks.

  63. Turk Turon says:

    I don’t think that the huge discrepancy between the murder rates in Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA can be explained by the fact that VA allows concealed carry and DC does not.

    However, one thing we can say for sure is that allowing concealed carry in VA has not been associated with a sharp rise in homicides there.

    Interviews with criminals indicate that they will change their plans to avoid confronting an armed victim, and that may be a deterrent. Oddly enough, crooks seem to be more afraid of confronting armed civilians than confronting police officers. A frightened civilian, awakened in his own home by a burglar will likely shoot first and ask questions later; all the police want to do is take the suspect into custody. Even if the crook has never personally been confronted by an armed civilian, he has likely had cellmates or accomplices who were.

    In one instance, a criminologist interviewed an inmate and pointed out to him that if he was arrested just one more time for auto theft, he could get an “enhanced” sentence as a “career criminal”.

    “So what?” the crook responded.

    “So have you thought about getting into another line of work?” the criminologist asked.

    “Such as?” said the crook.

    “Well, for example, home burglary?”

    “Home burglary?! Are you nuts!? That’s a good way to get shot!”

  64. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk: If I’m not mistaken, you rely on a single 20-year-old study for the conclusion that criminals are extremely worried about meeting armed civilian resistance. In any event, your argument works only if one presumes that you accurately represent the logic of a criminal. That seems far from certain. For instance, can we be certain criminals are knowledgeable about gun laws? And, assuming that muggers, for instance, think that permissive concealed carry permit laws increase the likelihood that they’ll meet with armed resistance, might they not be more likely to shoot first and ask questions later, out of concern that a mere demand for money will be met with gunfire? I think if you back off from your certainty a bit and ask yourself what questions your assumptions fail to address, you might be somewhat closer to the real truth.

  65. AntiCitizenOne says:

    We’ve had nearly a decade of concealed carry laws and so far no such incident occurred where the robber actually fired first, out of pre-emptive fear.

    That’s because thanks to the Brady Campaign and other silly pacifistic ideals, not everyone carries a gun, criminals do know this fact as well.

    If everyone were FORCED to be armed then your scenario would be more likely. Criminals can be smart, and criminals can be stupid as well.

    The fact is you roll the dice every time such an unfortunate encounter like this happens – the criminal’s mentality and IQ will vary. However human behavior is always unpredictable under uncontrolled conditions. Relying on a behavioral script stemming from a complex decision process isn’t going to help anyone. What we’re doing is countering the physical manifestation of that decision.

  66. Carl from Chicago says:

    “It seems a strange interpretation of the Second Amendment to claim Constitutional protection for hiding a Glock in .40 under your coat as you pick your kid up from school.”

    What? Doing just that is clearly part of the bearing of arms that’s protected by the 2A.

    How on earth can you possibly not see that?

  67. “Mark Henricks:
    It seems a strange interpretation of the Second Amendment to claim Constitutional protection for hiding a Glock in .40 under your coat as you pick your kid up from school.”

    By using the term “hiding”, your statement infers that a law-abiding citizen with a License to Carry is doing something sneaky or underhanded. Nothing can be further from the truth. As is well known, License to Carry permit holders are vetted by local, county, and/or state authorities to a level much higher than the public at large. Even if a LTC holder commits a crime, it doesn’t tell us that all LTC holders are more likely to do anything. It merely shows that ANYONE with malicious intent will ignore whatever laws are in place to accomplish their twisted goal. Laws don’t apply to those who choose not to follow them, it doesn’t matter how many laws are on books, or how stringent they are.

    On a related note, would you prefer that we open carried instead of “hiding” it? Most states in the Union constitutionally protect Open Carry, and I’m sure many here would prefer that if it weren’t for those of your ilk having a stroke at the sight.

  68. Turk Turon says:

    Twenty-year-old studies are quoted all the time by editorial writers in the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, etc. And the same studies are still being cited in contemporary research papers on criminology and sociology. So I wouldn’t dismiss them out of hand.

    Criminals are not monolithic, any more than any other population, but they can be studied, and some statistical conclusions drawn about their behavior.

    Criminologists seem to have settled on the idea that criminals will take the path of least resistance, usually. Only the most desperate, or highly motivated, will challenge an armed victim. Some criminals, a few, have even been known to attack armed, uniformed police officers with their bare hands in order to steal their guns. But that sort of thing seems to be rare.

    But the concept that burglars, by and large, will avoid entering an occupied house because the residents might be armed, is widely accepted. In the UK, every year the Home Office releases the annual crime report, and every year for the last couple of decades the burglary “numbers” have been up: more and more “hot burglaries” – that’s what the Brits call them, we call them “home invasions” – burglaries that target the residents at home. That way they can compel the residents to turn off alarms, enter security codes, open safes, and generally show them where they’ve hidden their valuables. And every year the Fleet Street reporters pepper the HO crime experts with tough questions: “Why are the burglary figures in the UK nearly triple those of the United States?” And they get the same answer, year after year: “Because American homes are likely to be armed.”

    No statistic on human behavior can be relied upon to accurately predict what an individual will do. Statistics only work in the aggregate, not the individual level.

  69. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: Have you found a private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed firearm to stop a mass murder in progress?

  70. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk: So what’s the source of your data on criminals’ fear of armed citizens? Can you identify the study for me?

  71. Sebastian says:

    Here. But really, it’s kind of pointless. Logically there’s no practical difference between whether there’s a piece of paper in someone’s pocket or not when they stop a mass killer. You also don’t get to discount this one because the mass killer couldn’t shoot straight. Same with this one. I’m sure you’ll dismiss this one because the attacker used a knife, and was stopped before he could kill too.

    You see, if someone is actually there with a gun when the attack starts, he’s likely not going to rack up the two bodies you’re demanding for it to be considered a mass killing. I also don’t really care if someone has the gun in their car. In most states, that’s considered concealed, and is the way most license holders carry. You’re just upping the requirement because you know you don’t have a leg to stand on with your argument otherwise.

  72. Mike w. says:

    Turk: No single URL for Tennessee murder records exists that I know of. Surveying media reports is the only method I’m aware of for learning about killings involving concealed carry permit holders.

    Wrong. Texas DPS keeps data on crimes committed by CCW holders.

  73. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I’m familiar with the Winnemucca case, although you are the first person I’ve conversed with to have mentioned it. I see two problems with considering this a mass shooting stopped by a private citizen concealed carry permit holder without law enforcement background. First, the shooter killed two people, which does not make him a mass murderer per FBI specs. The third death was his own and was a justifiable homicide, not a murder. Arguably, that’s hair splitting, so let’s ignore it and address the other problem. That is, that we don’t know who the armed vigilante was. Was it a cop? Ex-cop? Former cop? We don’t know, since this person has chosen — probably wisely, since this shooting stemmed from a feud between two groups, one of which may want revenge — to remain unidentified. So, without further information, I concluded some time ago that this one can’t be called an example of a private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed weapon to stop a mass shooting involved more than two fatal victims in progress. Until one turns up, the claims that expanding concealed carry permit privileges will stop mass shootings remain theoretical.

  74. Mark Henricks says:

    Mike W.: Thanks for mentioning the Texas DPS crime stats on concealed carry permit holders. Like other states, Texas concealed carry permit holder records are secret, so we can’t check DPS’ stats. Nor does DPS offer much explanation of what we are looking at. One note could be informative. It states that the data only includes convictions of concealed carry permit holders that are reported to the DPS concealed handgun license office. Two questions need to be answered. First, is there any reason to think that all or even most of the convictions by concealed carry permit holders are reported to DPS concealed handgun license office? Second, in cases where shooters commit suicide, for example, are these reported as convictions? If the answer to either of these questions is negative, then the DPS statistics must be regarded as incomplete. And, since the DPS stats reflect significantly lower crime rates than we find when we look at crimes in Tennessee, where concealed carry permit records are available, I suspect that the DPS stats mislead more than they inform.

  75. Sebastian says:

    No concealed carry holder is going to wait for a body count to rack up before acting, so if you’re going to use that definition, it will remain theoretical. But I think that definition just allows you to keep claiming concealed carry permit holders can’t stop mass shootings, and be technically correct, by your definition, but completely wrong by any reasonable definition.

  76. Mike w. says:

    Oops, I see Sebastian beat me to it.

    Regardless, who’s to say that in this case a mass shooting (per FBI specs) wasn’t prevented? 2 people were murdered before the shooter was killed by the CCW holder. Had he not stopped him more people could have died.

  77. Sebastian says:

    Second, in cases where shooters commit suicide, for example, are these reported as convictions?

    Suicides have nothing to do with the topic of concealed carry.

    UPDATE: Ooos… sorry. I misread that. I missed -shooter- in that sentence.

  78. Mike w. says:

    Texas concealed carry permit holder records are secret, so we can’t check DPS’ stats.

    You most certainly can check DPS stats. They are avaliable online and that has nothing whatsoever to do with the permits themselves not being a matter of public record.

  79. Mark Henricks says:

    Fellas: Just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it won’t. But, until then, it hasn’t happened. You might keep that in mined next time you feel tempted to claim that “if only a concealed carry permit holder had been there, the body count would have been far lower.” As far as employing an unreasonable definition, I don’t recall anybody complaining when Turk Turon reeled off a list of reasons the media survey of concealed carry permit holder murders was flawed, including: “9) CHL not valid at place of offense.” His criticism of that report was much more detailed and fine-toothed than my plain definition: A private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed firearm to stop a mass shooting involving two or more murders in progress. Find it. Point to it. Until then, it hasn’t happened. Ever.

  80. Screw Josh Sugarmann. All he is a leftwing Commie Pinkco Hippie Who is on Prozack. Someone needs to stand up to this dirty bag and tell him off.

  81. Mark Henricks says:

    Mike W.: Apologies. I wasn’t clear. Certainly, we can see the report DPS generates from its records. What we can’t do is see the actual records, which makes it impossible, or nearly so, to check the report’s accuracy and relevance. Does that make sense?

  82. Craig says:

    I want to point out a couple of things here. Just because only 1% of people HAVE CCW doesn’t mean only 1% support it. I do not have a CCW permit currently because I spend an inordinate amount of time in “carry-free” zones which would make it logistically difficult to carry. Given that, I would still have the permit if it weren’t so expensive in FL to get a permit I couldn’t use most of the time. If my situation changes I will likely be getting mine. Don’t assume that this issue only affects the 1% of the population that have them currently.

    Mark, you ask “why should a small minority — approximately 1 percent — of ordinary citizens be privileged to secretly carry hidden, loaded pistols as they go about their business…?” In many (most?) states the privilege is widely available to the law-abiding public. How many choose to go through the hoops to exercise that may be another story but many more than the small minority have the option and may want to use it at a later date. If we go around taking away the rights of people just because they are a small minority it leads down a very dark road.

    Also, I find it absurd that since we don’t have good, valid data that we should just extrapolate from the inaccurate data we have to support an argument. You can’t just say this is the best available so we have to use it when we know it to be incomplete. If we don’t have good data then we just don’t have good data (for either side of the argument.)

  83. Mark Henricks says:

    Craig: Good points all. It’s worth pointing out that the reason we don’t have good data, in large part, is because the gun lobby has arranged to keep the concealed carry permit records secret in most places, and hard to access almost everywhere else. Why is it so important that no one know who has a concealed carry permit? The notion that burglars would then know which homes to target to steal guns runs directly counter to the contention that criminals avoid armed citizens. So do they seek out armed homes, or avoid them? It it’s both, what are the circumstances under which these criminals — whose mental processes seem so clear and obvious to everyone except me — do one or the other? If it’s not the fear of burglars, why the secrecy? Many concealed carry permit holders issue comments that indicate they relish the idea of going secretly armed among their unsuspecting, unarmed fellows. What’s up with that?

  84. Sebastian says:

    Why is it so important that no one know who has a concealed carry permit? The notion that burglars would then know which homes to target to steal guns runs directly counter to the contention that criminals avoid armed citizens. So do they seek out armed homes, or avoid them?

    Are you home all the time? I’m not. It wouldn’t take much casing for a burglar to figure out someone’s schedule. Nor would it take much to break into their car while they are gone/asleep. In most states, it’s unlawful to shoot someone breaking into your car. I also don’t want potential employers to know I have a license, and I’m not in a profession, like school teacher or day care worker, where that might really be a concern.

    In short, how I protect myself is none of anyone’s damned business other than mine.

  85. Craig says:

    Mark, I don’t want my data out there for many reasons, burglary among them. I would say criminals might avoid OCCUPIED homes of gun owners but might target them when they are certain the home is unoccupied. This certainly doesn’t apply to ALL criminals but I imagine some of them would do the research. As it stands there isn’t a public record anywhere of my owning a gun. I have a closet full – but they were all purchased legally second-hand from individuals. That’s not by design but I don’t think it’s a bad thing either and I see no reason to change it.

    In the end, there is no reason to make any of my personal data public unless I have infringed on the law. Should we track people going about their lawful business because someone wants to make a political point? Should we register HIV patients or H1N1 patients because the public has a right to know about something potentially dangerous in their midst? It’s far more likely one of them will cough on you than you will get shot by a CCW holder. How about public records of people who are diagnosed with severe depression or other mental illness like the VA Tech shooter?

    This is a country where the rights of the minority trump the desires of the majority (at least that’s the ideal) and that is one of the things that make us great. I respect the rights of others and I expect them to respect mine even when they are unpopular.

  86. Caleb says:

    When I grow up, I want to be like Mark. It must be frickin’ sweet to be able to start arguments by making shit up, then when people present evidence that counters your point, construct an elaborate and irrelevant straw man to “disprove” everyone else.

    You’re so cool, Mark. Is this your first time on the internet?

  87. Mark Henricks says:

    So fear of burglars appears to be the reason concealed carry permit holder records must remain inaccessible. I guess until that fear subsides or we find some way to generate useful information out of the records in a way that doesn’t expose concealed carry permit holders to unreasonable risk, we just won’t know for sure who these concealed carry permit holders are or what they are up to. That’s unfortunate. Personally, I think there may be more to it than fear of breakins. I have noticed before the relish with which concealed carry permit holders describe the way they walk among us secretly armed. “We could be standing right next to you, and you’d never know it,” is a representative comment. Does anybody else feel that way or notice other concealed carry permit holders expressing similar sentiments?

  88. Mike w. says:

    ” the gun lobby has arranged to keep the concealed carry permit records secret in most places, and hard to access almost everywhere else.”

    And why should all of my personal information be avaliable to the public so that people like you can exploit it in order to push your anti-gun agenda?

    I am not a public figure, and as such I expect a certain level of personal privacy. Quite frankly you have no legitimate reason to have access to the records of CCW holders. If you want to know how many permits are being revoked and for what offenses that information is avaliable and contains no personal information on any one individual.

  89. Mark Henricks says:

    Caleb: Which straw man do you refer to?

  90. Turk Turon says:

    Turk: So what’s the source of your data on criminals’ fear of armed citizens? Can you identify the study for me?

    No, sorry, this is a “table stakes only” game. We’re all advocates here, not researchers, and the sources and studies are out there for anyone who wants to Google them up.

    For some people it all comes down to how they view an orderly society. Some would say that if we criminalized self-defense, the way they have in the UK, that there would be fewer people injured in criminal attacks. There would probably be more criminal attacks as a consequence, and more innocent victims would be hurt than criminals, as long as the victims did not resist, but fewer criminals would be injured, and the total number of injuries might actually be smaller. Some would say that is beneficial to society.

    On the other hand, in the US we prefer to forcibly resist criminal attacks, even up to and including deadly force. Probably this results in more injuries, but they are more likely to be suffered by the criminal attackers, and less likely by the victims, compared to the UK. Most of us in the US seem to feel that our freedom to choose violent resistance to criminal attack, in the aggregate, will deter some attackers, and shift the burden of injury from the “civilian class” to the “criminal class”. The British might say that that attitude represents “an appalling disregard for human life”, but here in the US we might say “he got what he was asking for”.

    I don’t think that there will ever be enough data to show that there are fewer felonious homicides than justifiable homicides committed by CHP holders. Or the other way around. Too many variables. And there are valid reasons for keeping the individual records of CHP holders secret: some of them are parole officers, victims of stalkers, bail bondsmen, jewelry dealers, etc. who have a perfectly legitimate interest in keeping their home addresses secret. Their addresses are available to law enforcement officers only, and that is appropriate.

    As for the question of whether a CHP holder without law-enforcement experience has ever stopped a mass-shooting in progress, I doubt that it will ever be more than just an anecdote. Mass shootings, for all of the attention they get in the media, are statistically rare (although, of course, not rare enough). And most of them take place in locations where concealed handguns are forbidden (college campuses, schools, Ft. Hood, churches, recreation centers, etc.) thus the murderer is unlikely to encounter a legally armed civilian.

    Last summer in VA, an armed robber entered a convenience store and in front of half a dozen customers immediately shot the clerk behind the counter. He shouted that he was going to kill everybody. At that point one of the customers drew his own gun and shot the robber dead.

    Now, in the UK they would say that that was a tragic loss of life and try to prosecute the customer. But in the U.S. we say “he got what he was asking for.”

  91. Turk Turon says:

    I have noticed before the relish with which concealed carry permit holders describe the way they walk among us secretly armed.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have sat in a restaurant with as many as two dozen legally armed people, and nobody talked about guns for nearly two hours. And I never saw a gun. We laughed and chatted about travel, TV, movies, music, the internet, politics, taxes, the weather; anything but guns. How do I know that they were armed? Because I’ve been to the range with them.

  92. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk Turon: I’m unable to counter your philosophical observations, even if I wanted to. I asked for the source of your findings on criminals’ fear of guns because I have often noticed the tendency gun fanciers to cut-and-paste, so to speak, from sources such as “Gun Facts” and firearms fan blogs. I avoid this tactic in my own study of the topic, preferring to obtain information from less obviously biased sources such as scholarly studies, news stories and government reports.

  93. Sebastian says:

    I’ve heard people use that argument in the context of how silly it is to worry about it. Would open carry make you more comfortable Mark?

    As for keeping the records private, there is more to it than fear of theft, though that’s generally why we’ve gotten touchy when they get published in newspapers. The primary reason is just a desire for privacy in general. Keep in mind that as an activist, I would actually benefit from the records being public, because they are useful for a lot of things for our purposes too, including finding out which anti-gun politicians actually have concealed carry licenses (which is a lot more than you might think). But in general, I think it’s appropriate to keep those records private, even if there would be advantage to both sides in keeping them public.

  94. Mark Henricks says:

    With apologies to Mike W., I believe I do have a legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor has, say, a Sig Sauer in .380 ACP snugged in a quick-draw Kydex shoulder holster while he’s walking the dog or picking up his mail. It’s at least equal to his right to keep secret the fact that he feels the need to carry a gun around in public all the time.

  95. Sebastian says:

    So you’d be more comfortable with people openly carrying then?

  96. Mark Henricks says:

    Open carry would not make me more comfortable. I believe it is unwise and unsafe to have minimally trained, inadequately screened, utterly unsupervised ordinary citizens carrying loaded firearms around crowded shopping malls, nightclubs, grocery stores, post offices and schools. When I go bird hunting, all shotguns must be unloaded and breeches or actions opened before we get in the truck. That’s a safety issue, and it’s one that is not adequately addressed when individuals carry around loaded handguns in public places. It’s a safety matter that advocates of expanding the privilege of carrying loaded guns are willing to ignore, so they can ease their worries about being unable to defend themselves in the event they feel threatened. Personally, I think they might be better off with a little introspection, asking themselves why they are so much more concerned about being attacked than the rest of us, and then coming up with a less drastic solution than carrying a pistol. But that’s just me. Well, me and about 150 million other Americans. Here’s a thoughtful examination of surveys asking about attitudes toward concealed carry privileges. http://volokh.com/posts/1249426862.shtml

  97. Sebastian says:

    Open carry would not make me more comfortable. I believe it is unwise and unsafe to have minimally trained, inadequately screened, utterly unsupervised ordinary citizens carrying loaded firearms around crowded shopping malls, nightclubs, grocery stores, post offices and schools.

    So the concealment aspect isn’t really an issue for you, you’re just afraid of ordinary citizens with guns. That’s understandable, but it’s pretty good evidence you’ve not spent much time shooting with police officers, many of which are minimally trained and inadequately screened, and who generally carry loaded firearms around in public.

    Having a badge does not automatically mean you’re an expert marksman and know your way around a gun. Police don’t get a whole lot of training in marksmanship, and the standard police qualifier is a joke. Reason? Being a cop is mostly about other things aside from handling firearms, so they spend more time training in things that are more relevant for the job. It might make you feel better that they have a badge, but really, that doesn’t mean they are any safer with a gun than your neighbor.

  98. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I believe the usual concealed carry permit training course consists of one day, approximately 8 hours. Ist that your understanding as well? And are you contending that exceeds the typical police training in related areas such as firearms safety, policy and marksmanship?

  99. Turk Turon says:

    I began my own study of the subject with the Kellermann reports from 1986 NEJM (“43-to-1”) and 1993 (“2.7-to-1”). I also read the press coverage that accompanied the release of these reports. I found them convincing.

    Then I read criticism by skeptics like Gary Kleck and David Kopel. And Edward Suter. I was skeptical that peer-reviewed research papers could be so misleading, so I went back and re-read the Kellermann studies.

    It wasn’t that the studies themselves were false or misleading; if they were they could never have survived peer-review. But the researchers’ speeches, interviews and editorials (Kellermann as recently as July 2008 was penning anti-gun editorials for the Washington Post) were grossly exaggerated and misleading about the findings of their work.

    I would not say that I am well-read on the subject. But I have read the writings of Daniel Polsby, Cathy Young, Wright and Rossi and other academic and journalistic skeptics. Most of what passes for research into “gun violence” published in the medical journals is “data sculpting” – designing a research protocol to capture as much negative data about gun ownership as possible in order to show it in the worse light possible. The researchers actually believe that they are performing a valuable public service by announcing that the average American is more likely to be shot by his own gun, than by a burglar’s gun. It might actually be true for all I know but that is still not a valid reason to disarm all law-abiding, mentally-competent adults.

    But it’s probably not true. The subtext of many of these studies is “You can be hurt by your own gun.” For example, in NEJM 1993, according to press reports: “If you keep a gun in the house it increases the chance that you will be murdered by a factor 2.7”, or “Buying a gun said to triple homicide risk!” as another headline put it. When the raw data of the study was published, it turned out that fewer than half of the victims had been shot – most of them had been stabbed, or strangled, or suffocated or even poisoned, fer cryin’ out loud. And of the shooting victims the researchers had been unable to document a single fatality using the gun kept in the victim’s home. Not one shooting by the victim’s gun among the 388 matched pairs. No wonder the researchers used the term “gun-related homicide” instead of “gun homicide” – this allowed them to count drownings, stranglings, beatings, etc. as “gun-related” since someone in the residence owned a gun – even if no gun was used in the homicide.

    What point is there in recommending that people not keep a gun in the home if you have not demonstrated any mortality or morbidity as a direct result of doing so?

    Kellermann and his team interviewed the families of all of the homicide victims – these were all residential homicides – and they never asked where the fatal weapon came from. That’s an amazing omission. I would say that it’s stupid, but these researchers are not stupid. That one question goes right to the heart of their thesis, which is that, “You can be hurt by your own gun.” The only plausible reason for not asking is that the researchers either knew, or strongly suspected, that the answer would directly contradict their hypothesis. So they didn’t ask.

    So ask me not for sources and URLs. They are out there, but it has to be a self-guided tour.

  100. Sebastian says:

    It varies from state to state, Mark. My state doesn’t require training at all, and yet we’re not regularly shooting people by accident or mistake on the street. It doesn’t take a remarkable amount of firearms training to teach people to handle a firearm safely and be able to hit a target at the distances you’d typically expect in a street encounter.

  101. Sebastian says:

    I should also point out there are people who you can train until the cows come home, and they will never be safe handling a firearm, because they aren’t serious about it. That could be a strike against concealed carry, but it’s also a strike against arming police officers.

  102. Mike w. says:

    Mark – Can you show me evidence that states without training requirements for CCW holders also have higher rates of firearms-related accidents by those same permitholders than states with rigorous training requirements?

    Surely if lack of training equtates to CCW holders being a danger to the public then you have ample evidence to prove it.

    I believe I do have a legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor has, say, a Sig Sauer in .380 ACP snugged in a quick-draw Kydex shoulder holster while he’s walking the dog or picking up his mail.

    So what’s your “legitimate interest” and how does that negate his right to privacy? Furthermore, what do you plan on doing with the information?

    Do you also believe that you (and everyone else) should have unfettered access to your neighbors medical history to ensure that he’s mentally sound, that he doesn’t have HIV or AIDS?

    I’ll bet if the tables were turned YOU wouldn’t want your own information avaliable as public record because of some busybody’s perceived “legitimate interest.” You’d assert your right to privacy. In fact I’ll bet you’d scream about it.

  103. Craig says:

    Mark, you said “Personally, I think they might be better off with a little introspection, asking themselves why they are so much more concerned about being attacked than the rest of us, and then coming up with a less drastic solution than carrying a pistol.” I disagree that CCW (or gun owners in general) are more fearful of attack – just more willing and prepared to fight back. It goes to a more central theme – personal responsibility. The government has no direct responsibility to keep me employed, healthy, financially secure, or safe. They should do what they can to create a good environment for those things but in the end I am ultimately responsible for them. Guns are far and away the most effective tools to enable that.

  104. Mark Henricks says:

    Mike W.: Maybe I would scream about it. Maybe not. One thing is sure: Your opinion about what I would do is speculative. You have no way of knowing what I might do in some hypothetical scenario. I have noticed time and again that when people I’m conversing with about some issue report on what I’m secretly thinking, planning, wishing for, etc, it always supports their own position. I never seem to have thoughts and feelings and wishes that support my own position. It kind of makes me wonder if they aren’t just imagining it all, especially since I know few if any mind readers. In fact, I’ll tell you now that I speak plainly, not in code, and my agenda, if anything other than simple curiosity and a desire to understand other people and the backgrounds of significant issues, is never a secret hidden away so I can deceive others. I suggest you take what I write at face value, and stop looking for underlying messages, speculating about what I really mean, etc.

  105. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: Your state requires no training at all for a concealed carry permit? In that case, it’s more than safe to say that the average police officer in your state, at least, is infinitely — word chosen carefully — better trained in safely carrying a loaded firearm, as well as the circumstances in which it’s appropriate to draw and fire it, and also in marksmanship, than the minimum required for a concealed carry permit. Under these circumstances, to suggest that concealed carry permit holders with loaded pistols secreted beneath their clothing are somehow no more, or even less, of a threat to public safety than openly armed law enforcement officers seems a trifle odd.

  106. Craig says:

    Mark said, “I believe I do have a legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor has, say, a Sig Sauer in .380 ACP snugged in a quick-draw Kydex shoulder holster while he’s walking the dog or picking up his mail. It’s at least equal to his right to keep secret the fact that he feels the need to carry a gun around in public all the time.”

    To what end do you have legitimate interest in knowing that? I’m fairly sure that your “interest” in his habits is not equal to his “right” to privacy. Again, what makes it different than his mental health status or do you also support publicizing that as well?

  107. Mark Henricks says:

    Craig: Can you find any support for your opinion that concealed carry permit holders are not more fearful of attack, but just more prepared to fight back? Here’s a link (http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a909823377~db=all~jumptype=rss) to an abstract of one study that found people in New Orleans who sought concealed carry permit holders were not necessarily those most at risk of being violent crime victims. I’m not surprised by that. Most examinations of concealed carry permit holders indicate that they are typically white, middle-aged men who live in the suburbs and work in low-risk jobs. So even if concealed carry permit holders are, as you say, more interested in fighting back than the rest of us, it also appears that they may be more concerned about being threatened than others, even including those more likely to actually be attacked.

  108. Mark Henricks says:

    Craig: One thing that makes carrying a loaded handgun hidden under your coat different from mental health status, HIV infection and other traits is that secreting a pistol in your pocket is something you can choose to do or not do. You can’t necessarily do anything about being crazy or having AIDS. You can always choose not to demand the special privilege of secretly carrying a loaded firearm in public.

  109. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    You’re assuming that all 600,000 permit holds in PA have no idea how to shoot a gun, like they’ve never seen one before. That’s not the case in most cases. You might not believe this, but one of the things that tends to make people go get permits is a pre-existing interest and familiarity with firearms. I mean, I’m a competitive shooter. Sending me to a basic pistol course isn’t going to make me any better at gun handling. Thunder Ranch or Insight might be worthwhile, but that’s a level of training beyond even what most police officers get.

  110. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I assume no such thing and have stated nothing resembling that. I point out that your claim that the typical concealed carry permit holder presents less danger than an armed cop doesn’t, certainly in your state and very likely in all states, seem justified. If anybody is making an assumption, it’s you, assuming that all, most, many or any of the other Pennsylvania concealed carry permit holders share your and your friends’ devotion to firearms. The facts, as you have agreed, are that no training whatsoever is required for a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. Clearly, police acquire some training, almost certainly, in fact, far more than is offered in the typical one-day concealed carry permit course.

  111. mike w. says:

    Mark – I noticed you didn’t even try to answer my questions…..

  112. Sebastian says:

    But nor do you have any evidence that most of them aren’t people familiar with firearms. Why would someone with no interest or familiarity with firearms get a license to carry? There might be some people legitimately in fear of their safety out there, but I don’t think most people carry because of an articulable fear for their safety.

  113. Dod says:

    Mark, backing up slightly, are you saying an article that mentions nothing about a law-enforcement background for a defensive shooter is invalid as evidence that the person does not have an LE background? That’s highly problematic. Why would an article note the absence of something that is expected to be absent? In other words, you don’t expect the average person to be a former LEO, so why would it be noted in an article if they are not?

  114. Mark Henricks says:

    Mike W.: My apologies for not answering your questions. To answer one, I can’t show any evidence that show states that require no training before issuing a concealed carry permit have more gun accidents involving holders of concealed carry permits than than states with higher training requirements. Since the records of permit holders are generally hidden from the public, I probably won’t be able to do that until the law changes and somebody with more skill than I have undertakes to study it. My legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor is secretly carrying a Glock 27 with 13 or so rounds of .40 caliber ammunition available should he feel threatened. This would be good to know in case I, for instance, want to ask him to turn his music down. Does this make sense? Would you approach someone the same way if you knew he or she was packing?

  115. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: I’m saying that no private citizen without law enforcement background has ever been shown to use a legally concealed pistol to stop a mass murder involving more than two deaths in progress. The article didn’t note so much as the vigilante’s name, much less his profession or background. However, given that in all of the many instances in which the person who stopped a mass murderer is identified that person was a cop, ex-cop or former cop, it’s difficult to support an assumption that the Winnemmucca vigilante had no law enforcement background. Rather, in the absence of contradictory information,
    it make more sense to assume that this is just like all the rest. That is, a case where the mass murderer was stopped, not by a private citizen armed with a legally concealed pistol, but by police, ex-police or former police. People who claim that “if only a concealed carry permit holder had been on the scene of that mass murder, many lives would have been saved” are making an assertion that has yet to be born out in the real world.

  116. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I notice a thread here. In a vacuum of any data describing reality — a vacuum engineered by NRA lobbyists, it’s worth noting — you assume that reality must support your position. You also seem to contradict yourself. You say that people who apply for concealed carry permits are primarily interested in protecting themselves by being able to react with deadly force to a threat. Yet on the other hand you say that the reason for applying for a concealed carry permit must be related to some kind of attraction to firearms. If they aren’t hiding loaded pistols in their armpits “because of an articulable fear for their safety,” why are they? Why should we let them?

  117. Dod says:

    Mark, “vigilante”? If he was in the bar as someone was shooting isn’t that a pretty clear cut case of self-defense? Are you implying this person did not have a right to defend himself? Vigilantism and self-defense are not interchangeable.

  118. Sebastian says:

    I’m not contradicting myself. You really just don’t understand this culture, or willfully refuse to understand it. I carry for personal protection, but fear is not my motivation for carrying anymore than it’s my motivation for having a fire extinguisher in my car or for putting on my seatbelt. I am competent with firearms, and I am interested in them as a hobby. Since I spend so much time around them for sport, it’s of little burden for me to carry one. Before I got into shooting, I had little interest in carrying a gun for personal protection, because I didn’t know much about the subject. My calculation is that carrying a gun makes sense for me because I am familiar and skilled with one. Someone else’s mileage may vary, but in my experience, and that’s all I can offer you in this, most people have licenses have similar reasons.

    I don’t have hard numbers, because I haven’t done a survey, but I do have the advantage of being around gun owners and shooters a lot more than you do, both through my activism in the Second Amendment issue and through competition.

  119. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: I imply nothing. I clearly state that no reason exists, based on the limited information about this incident nor on the comprehensive information about every other mass shooting, to assume that this person is anything but a police officer, ex-cop or former cop. He may not be a cop, ex-cop or former cop. If so, he would be the first private citizen without law enforcement background to use a legally concealed pistol to stop a mass shooting involving two or more murders in progress — and that’s if we include his own death, which was a justifiable homicide, as part of the mass murder spree.

  120. Dod says:

    Mark, your logic on the evidence doesn’t work. Articles would be expected to reference the existence of something like an LE background for a defensive shooter. You would not expect to see the reverse noted. Think of it like this, have you ever read a news article about a crime (say a rash of local muggings) where it was specifically mentioned that a victim or witness was not ever a police officer?

  121. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I may understand more about the culture than you suspect. I went to high school with Mark Allen Wilson, and many of my friends have concealed carry permits. One of them left his loaded Glock .40 caliber in my trunk a few months ago.

    I think perhaps you confuse your own experience and personality with that of others. For instance, Michael McClendon had a permit, and clearly had an affection for guns, but I imagine that he was otherwise not a lot like you. What grounds do you have for projecting your own decent, law-abiding, safety-minded attitudes and beliefs on other concealed carry permit holders, especially in a state with zero requirements for concealed carry permit holder training?

  122. Sailorcurt says:

    I only got to comment number 80 so if someone already mentioned this, I apologize.

    Mark asked if we could find any instance where a mass killing was stopped by an armed citizen without training in law enforcement.

    Sebastian cited a couple of possible candidates, but both were dismissed out of hand by Mark, noting:

    McKown was nearly killed and did not kill, wound or apprehend the shooter who was later arrested by police after wounding several bystanders. Neither case can be considered a mass murder, since only two people died.

    So, only SUCCESSFUL mass murders count?

    The whole point of concealed carry is to be able to stop an incident like that before it BECOMES a mass murder. Ideally only one person would be killed: the perpetrator.

    LEOs, as a result of their training, would be much more likely than a non-LEO to go into a situation in which they are not immediately involved to try to intervene.

    Non-LEOs on the other hand, are most likely to be involved in an incident from the outset, as one of the intended victims, and, if their intervention is successful, are most likely to stop the incident before it gets to the point to be considered a “mass killing”.

    By discounting out of hand any killing that didn’t result in the death of multiple people, you automatically dismiss the types of instances where armed, non-LEO citizen intervention was MOST LIKELY to have occurred.

    Instance like This one for example:

    A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they’re thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own. Police said a fellow student shot and killed one of two masked me who burst into an apartment.

    Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.

    “They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.

    Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.

    Is this a case of an averted mass murder? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll never really know because it was AVERTED.

    By an armed civilian with no LEO training.

    There are plenty more examples like that…just few that meet the criteria of Mark because he’d already decided what conclusions he’s going to reach and is only looking for evidence that supports it.

  123. Dod says:

    Mark said: “What grounds do you have for projecting your own decent, law-abiding, safety-minded attitudes and beliefs on other concealed carry permit holders?”.

    How about the FBI background check and the lower than the general population crime rate?

  124. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: If I understand correctly, your stance is that it’s proper to assume that the Winnemmucca vigilante was not a cop, ex-cop or former cop, based on the fact that you’ve never read an article about a crime witness that didn’t say the witness had a law enforcement connection. Correct?

  125. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: Michael McClendon, George Sodini, Nidal Hasan, Frank Garcia and Richard Poplawski all went through similar background checks They are responsible for 45 deaths in mass shootings just in 2009. The crime rate among concealed carry permit holders may or may not be lower than the general population — I have stated above reasons to suspect the Texas DPS stats, which are the ones generally cited to support this claim. But if I said that the background checks may leave something to be desired, given the above instances, would you be able to support that?

  126. Sailorcurt says:

    *I just tried to post this but I think it got eaten by the spam filter. I got rid of the link and I’ll see if It will post now.*

    I only got to comment number 80 so if someone already mentioned this, I apologize.

    Mark asked if we could find any instance where a mass killing was stopped by an armed citizen without training in law enforcement.

    Sebastian cited a couple of possible candidates, but both were dismissed out of hand by Mark, noting:

    McKown was nearly killed and did not kill, wound or apprehend the shooter who was later arrested by police after wounding several bystanders. Neither case can be considered a mass murder, since only two people died.

    So, only SUCCESSFUL mass murders count?

    The whole point of concealed carry is to be able to stop an incident like that before it BECOMES a mass murder. Ideally only one person would be killed: the perpetrator.

    LEOs, as a result of their training, would be much more likely than a non-LEO to go into a situation in which they are not immediately involved to try to intervene.

    Non-LEOs on the other hand, are most likely to be involved in an incident from the outset, as one of the intended victims, and, if their intervention is successful, are most likely to stop the incident before it gets to the point to be considered a “mass killing”.

    By discounting out of hand any killing that didn’t result in the death of multiple people, you automatically dismiss the types of instances where armed, non-LEO citizen intervention was MOST LIKELY to have occurred.

    Instance like This one for example:

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19365762/detail.html

    A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they’re thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own. Police said a fellow student shot and killed one of two masked me who burst into an apartment.

    Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.

    “They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.

    Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.

    Is this a case of an averted mass murder? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll never really know because it was AVERTED.

    By an armed civilian with no LEO training.

    There are plenty more examples like that…just few that meet the criteria of Mark because he’d already decided what conclusions he’s going to reach and is only looking for evidence that supports it.

  127. Dod says:

    Mark, I’m using that as an example. My assertion is that it is not valid for you to state that because you have only seen articles specifically noting that a defensive shooter was an LEO, any articles that are silent on the issue are evidence that the person was an LEO.

    Why would you expect to see it specifically noted that a person was not an LEO? When I read a story about a crime, I assume that people who are not specifically identified as LEOs are, in fact, not LEOs.

  128. Mark Henricks says:

    Sailorcurt: I doubt you have special insight into what I am looking for. More relevantly, I also doubt you can cite a private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed pistol to stop a mass shooting involving more than two murders in progress. That’s a 24-word description, certainly far less detailed, voluminous and nit-picky than the criticisms of the concealed carry permit holder shooting studies contained in this thread. It’s also quite legitimate. The FBI considers a mass murder one involving more than two murders; not very strict, I’d say. And every single one of the successful mass murder interventions has been stopped by a cop, ex-cop or former cop, not a citizen vigilantes armed with a concealed pistol. Until you can turn an example up, the fantasy of a concealed carry permit holder stopping a real mass murder in progress must remain jus that — a fantasy. I’m willing to be proved wrong. I’m not willing to just shut up and go along with whatever you say.

  129. Acksiom says:

    My legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor is secretly carrying a Glock 27 with 13 or so rounds of .40 caliber ammunition available should he feel threatened.

    . . .is. . . ?

    Because “This would be good to know in case I, for instance, want to ask him to turn his music down,” certainly is not one.

    For it to be so, you would need to provide some kind of replicable, objective documentation that CCers are any more or less likely to behave in any particular manner during such a normal social interaction.

  130. Sebastian says:

    What grounds do you have for projecting your own decent, law-abiding, safety-minded attitudes and beliefs on other concealed carry permit holders, especially in a state with zero requirements for concealed carry permit holder training?

    There are 600,000 of us in this state. If even a sizable minority of us were boobs when it came to gun handling, there’d be a lot of accidents and stupidity, but there aren’t.

  131. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: Very well. You assume that the Winnemucca shooter was not a cop, ex-cop or former cop because none of the information we have describes him as having a law enforcement connection. Unless I’m mistaken, what we know about this person, other than his presence during the shooting, is that he is male, lives in Reno and has a concealed carry permit. Is there more? Is there something I’m missing? Meanwhile, would it be okay with you if I assume that every shooter had a concealed carry permit because the news article didn’t state otherwise? I suggest not, becuase in my experience, reporters rarely ask whether a shooter had a concealed carry permit. It’s only in the mass murders involving intense media attention that the existence of permits comes to light for the public. In my own town, I read an article describing an elderly white golfer pulling a pistol because a foursome in front of him was playing too slowly — or perhaps he said something to them and felt threatened; they were large, young people. He was arrested, according to the news report, but it wasn’t until I asked the reporter on the story whether the guy had a concealed carry permit that the information that he did was published, albeit later, after it had moved to the back pages.

  132. Sailorcurt says:

    I also doubt you can cite a private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed pistol to stop a mass shooting involving more than two murders in progress.

    In other words, you’re looking only for information that supports your conclusion…just like I said.

    If it doesn’t fit your narrow criteria…criteria that conveniently for you isn’t likely to occur to begin with, it doesn’t count.

    I don’t need to have any special insight to see something as transparent as what you’re doing here.

    You are trying to control the narrative, and I’m not willing to just shut up and go along with what you say.

    The entire purpose of concealed carry is to stop attacks and prevent injury to those who are being attacked. Successful incidents are EXACTLY THE POINT, not something that can just be dismissed out of hand because a bunch of people WEREN’T killed…and because YOU decided that those incidents don’t count.

    They do. Every one of them.

  133. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: Perhaps you’re right and almost all Pennsylvania concealed carry permit holders are much like you, extremely skilled and very safety-conscious, perfectly law-abiding good citizens, not counting Richard Poplawski and George Sodini. Still, even with a couple of bad apples who killed seven people including three cops and wounded ten or so more, that’s something like 599,998 really good guys against only two bad guys. Is that your view?

  134. Mark Henricks says:

    Sailorcurt: It definitely is difficult to prove that you have done something to prevent the occurrence of something else. However, when not one single example exists of any private citizen without law enforcement background using a legally concealed pistol to stop a mass shooting involving more than two murders in progress, I feel confident saying that concealed carry privileges represent only a theoretical obstacle to mass shootings. As far as the rest, perhaps you have some kind of ability to read my mind and discern what I’m secretly trying to do but, if so, you’d be the first. In any event, I don’t recall you leveling similar concerns at the nine-point criticism of the media survey of concealed carry permit holder murders that prompted this post and subsequent thread. Perhaps your interest in fair discourse will prompt you do go back and do that now.

  135. Acksiom says:

    Again:

    My legitimate interest in knowing whether my neighbor is secretly carrying a Glock 27 with 13 or so rounds of .40 caliber ammunition available should he feel threatened.

    . . .is. . . ?

    Because “This would be good to know in case I, for instance, want to ask him to turn his music down,” certainly is not one.

    For it to be so, you would need to provide some kind of replicable, objective documentation that CCers are any more or less likely to behave in any particular manner during such a normal social interaction.

  136. Sebastian says:

    No. Every couple of months you get a news story about someone with an LTC being a less than mass murdering idiot, or something stupidly criminal. But you’re talking like 7% of thee adult population in this state. In 2006, the last year for which I have statistics, the state revoked less than 1/10th of 1% of LTCs, which amounts to about 721 statewide. 1/3rd of the permits were revoked by the City of Philadelphia, despite the fact that they only issue about 4% of the state’s permits. We’ve long suspected Philadelphia is abusing its discretion in this regard, and plan to, at some point, file FOIA with the state to find out if this is the case. Anecdotally, Philadelphia has revoked several permits we know of because the person had a gun stolen.

    Less than 1/10th of one percent, Mark, and Pennsylvania issuing agencies have much broader powers of revocation than they do in most states.

  137. Dod says:

    Mark, sorry to sound like a broken record but your logic doesn’t work. Citing a few examples of bad apples says nothing of the whole. Do you assume that every physician you meet is bad because there are examples of incompetence? There are approximately 800,000 physicians in the U.S. and between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths from medical errors. But would you doubt the overall quality of American physicians as a result?

  138. Mark Henricks says:

    Acksiom: I am unable to provide detailed information about what concealed carry permit holders are likely to do in any situation, for a couple of reasons. The main one is that nobody with legitimate social science credentials has studied this interesting question. Another is that it’s not possible to study the question, because the gun lobby has convinced legislators in almost all states to either make records of permit holders hard to access, or completely inaccessible. In the absence of reliable information on the topic, perhaps it’s wise to approach someone carrying a Ruger .357 concealed under his shirt in exactly the same manner as you would approach anyone else. However, I doubt it. And when you consider cases of concealed carry permit holders killing people over such trivia as parking spaces, I think anybody who doesn’t doubt it is somewhat confused.

  139. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: Physicians demonstrably save countless lives. Yet based on experience I certainly do doubt the competence of every individual doctor I encounter. That’s why I always check references, read bios and ask questions. Concealed carry permit holders may save lives overall, or they may cost lives overall. I suspect they are net negative lifesavers, based on the 147 justifiable homicides in 2005, versus the estimated annual 170 homicides, suicides (as part of murder-suicides) and accidental deaths that can be attributed to concealed carry permit holders. In any case, comparing physicians to concealed carry permit holders is a classic case of apples and oranges. These so-called logical studies, anecdotes and bald assertions offered by concealed carry advocates become tiresome. What solid evidence can you offer that shows concealed carry privileges save more lives than they cost?

  140. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: 45 dead in mass murders this year by people issued concealed carry permits, in states stricter than Pennsylvania. At least one of them, your fellow Pennsylvanian George Sodini, was legal in all his actions until he pulled the trigger on his first victim. While we’re talking about possibilities and potentialities and maybe-couda-woudas, if a cop had stopped Sodini as he walked into the fitness center, he would have had to let him go by, because Sodini had exactly the same credentials as you and every other concealed carry permit holder in Pennsylvania or any other state. If you’re interested in really finding out whether concealed carry permit holders are more or less likely to commit horrendous gun crimes, I suggest file your FOIA to obtain records of all concealed carry permit holders and cross-index them against records of murderers. Is that part of your long-range plan, or are you only concerned that someone might restrict your ability to carry a loaded, hidden handgun anywhere you wish?

  141. mike w. says:

    This would be good to know in case I, for instance, want to ask him to turn his music down. Does this make sense?

    Yup, you have an irrational fear of gun owners. No wonder you don’t respond to reason & facts. Irrational people tend to be immune to both.

  142. mike w. says:

    At least one of them, your fellow Pennsylvanian George Sodini, was legal in all his actions until he pulled the trigger on his first victim.

    And? How do we address that? We still have due process and presumption of innocence in this country. If someone has not committed a crime and is by all accounts a law-abiding citizen how can we know theyre going to murder someone?

    We don’t restrict rights based on potential, even though anti-gunners would love to throw out the rest of the BOR to get what they want.

  143. Mark Henricks says:

    Mike W.: You know very little about me, so perhaps it’s understandable that you are so far off-base. On the other hand, since you know so little about me, your personal attacks suggest that you have run out of legitimate arguments. The facts are that I own a shotgun for hunting, and have owned other guns. I am not afraid of gun owners. Many if not most of my best friends have guns as well as concealed carry permits. I do recognize that people who insist on secretly carrying loaded pistols while they go about their regular daily activities are a little different from the rest of us. One difference is, clearly, if they feel threatened they have the ability to respond to that perceived threat with vastly more destructive force than the rest of us. Recognizing this has nothing to do with fear or being impervious to reason or facts. Would you engage someone you knew was armed with a pair of Colt Gold Cups in the same way you’d approach anyone else?

  144. Mark Henricks says:

    MIke W: I suggest, as a layperson, that we begin addressing that by tightening restrictions on issuing permits allowing the privilege of secretly carrying concealed weapons to people with a significant reason to need one. For instance, liquor store clerks, people who collect money from retail cash registers, people who live or work in neighborhoods with higher than average violent crime rates. I also suggest we greatly increase the training required before someone is issued a permit to hide pistol under his or her jacket while in public. One day, not to mention no training whatsoever or the only slightly better online-only training, is laughably inadequate. In Texas, it takes 32 classroom hours and 14 behind-the-wheel hours to get a beginner’s permit to drive a car with an over-21 licensed driver in the other front seat. Why is it so much less to carry an instrument that has as its only practical purpose the dispensing of death? Finally, I believe the total, universal lack of supervision of concealed carry permit holders must be remedied. They should have to report regularly on whether they have displayed or fired their guns, and explain why they have done so, just as police officers do. Is there a problem with any of that?

  145. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    I can’t FOIA permit records in PA. They are county records, not state records, and have long been private. What information we know comes from the State Police, who run the background checks and track revocations. The revocation data may be FOIAable, but they may not. This is something we’ve talked about, but just haven’t gotten around to looking into it in a serious way.

    To tell you the truth, Mark, I am not all that interested in doing serious research into concealed carry. The Supreme Court has essentially endorsed some form of carry being constitutionally protected, and Pennsylvania RKBA provision is clear as glass on that topic as well. I will leave the statistical research to others, but note that my constitutional right to “bear arms in defense of themselves and the state.” doesn’t hinge on anyone’s discomfort at the idea.

  146. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: If I have noticed anything in my extensive conversations on this topic, it is that certain people feel extremely strongly that they absolutely must be allowed to hide loaded pistols under their coats anywhere they go and are dismissive of any viewpoint that doesn’t support that ability. Personally, I suspect you guys are a little bit fucked up. I have lived in Manhattan in New York City for several years, ridden the subway at midnight many times, played countless games of inner-city pickup basketball, been jumped by multiple assailants in a parking lot at night (from which I will bear the scars to my grave) and generally had an active life. Yet I feel no need to slip a Kahr P9 into my shorts in order to go out and get the morning paper in my quiet suburban neighborhood. Why do I feel that way and you feel another way? Personally, I suspect you guys suffer from various combinations of unjustified paranoia, freakish gun-love and weirdly outsized fear of being unable to protect yourself and your loved ones in the unlikely event of being attacked by another, more powerful human. However, to my knowledge, no competent study of the underlying motivations for insisting on the privilege of carrying hidden loaded pistols in public has been conducted. So who really knows what’s up with you guys? My opinion is pretty worthless. I do congratulate you on your ability to prosecute special-interest politics. The NRA is the gold standard of single-issue lobbying success. I wish I could harness the same power to push the issues, unrelated to guns, that are most important to me.

  147. Sebastian says:

    I think because you don’t understand it, and wouldn’t choose to do it yourself, it’s a bit bigoted of you to assumed it’s “fucked up.” I mean, you’re entitled to your opinion. But I don’t think it’s any more fucked up to keep a pistol in your glove box than to religiously change the battery in your smoke detector, and the chances of being a victim of fire are roughly similar to the chances of being a victim of violent crime. One doesn’t have to live in fear of fire to recognize the prudence in taking measures to protect yourself from it.

    I kind of wonder if the disconnect is that you view carrying a gun to be a much greater burden than people like me do. I don’t think anything of it. I’m at a match nearly every week, often times more. Lots of times I’m shooting air guns, sometimes 22s, and about once a month I hit a practical shooting match. I am what you would call an avid shooter. I can explain why I enjoy that, as much as someone can explain why they like golf. But it’s not for everyone. Shooting is a big part of my life, so if I’m headed down to the mall to pick something up, I don’t really think anything of dropping a holstered Glock in my waistband and going, any more than I think anything of grabbing my cell phone, keys and wallet.

    You’re certainly entitled to think that’s fucked up. I mean, I don’t really understand what enjoyment people get out of NASCAR, or golf. But everyone has their interest and hobbies. Mine is just incidentally useful for self-protection.

  148. Acksiom says:

    I am unable to provide detailed information about what concealed carry permit holders are likely to do in any situation, for a couple of reasons.

    Then what, exactly, is your “legitimate interest”?

    Also, what exactly are your grounds for characterizing CC as a “privilege”, please?

    I suggest, as a layperson, that we begin addressing that by tightening restrictions on issuing permits allowing the privilege of secretly carrying concealed weapons to people with a significant reason to need one.

    And I countersuggest that since the majority of tragic, senseless firearm deaths are male suicides, we instead direct the same intended resources towards identifying men and boys at increased risk of suicide and outreach towards them.

    This would very likely reduce the numbers of mass murders as well; surely someone as intelligent as you can perceive how and why without further explanation.

    Additionally, gun ownership advocates would not contest doing so as they would your proposals of further violations of the 2nd amendment. In fact, they might even be willing to support and work on such identification and outreach programs themselves. Thus, even more resources which would otherwise have been wasted upon mutual opposition could instead be directed towards preventing suicides, and, consequentially, mass murders and perhaps even impulse killings.

    What do you think of that, Mr. Henricks?

  149. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: You seem perhaps more introspective than the average person and, as a certifiable fuckup myself, I shouldn’t presume to give you advice. However, have you considered that watching NASCAR, as well as the vast majority of other human activities, does not involve stuffing in your pocket an instrument specifically designed to kill other humans before you go to the store to get a gallon of milk? I own a gun. I enjoy shooting a few rounds of skeet before dove season and hitting the field on opening day with my buds to pop, with luck, a case of caps in pursuit of the dangerous (and delicious) mourning dove. But I feel no need to carry a hidden, loaded pistol as I go about my daily activities, which on Tuesdays include driving and knocking on doors while delivering Meals on Wheels in one of my city’s most impoverished, crime-ridden, violent neighborhoods. I don’t think I’m kidding myself about the risks I run. My benchmark, when I lived in the often-confusing and threatening world of NYC, was that if I saw old ladies tottering around, it was probably safe for me as well. What is that you see that compels you to stick a Kel-Tec P-32 in your windbreaker pocket before you go out to rake leaves?

  150. Mark Henricks says:

    Acksiom: Thanks for your thoughtful response. My legitimate interest is that I’dl like to know whether someone I have an issue with is likely to kill me because he feels threatened, or just kick my sorry ass.

    I’m not sure what you mean by questioning whether concealed carry is a privilege. Of course, it’s a privilege. You have to have a license. You have to pass a background check. You have to, in most states, complete cursory training. You have to pay a fee. It’s not available in every state. In what way does that conform to your idea of a privilege?

    No problem with trying to reduce male gun suicides,.lthough you are of course mistaken when you say that the majority of gun deaths are men killing themselves, certainly many of those deaths are male gun suicides. I’m afraid that you might have to provide a little explanation as to how preventing male suicides will reduce mass murder.

    What I think of that, generally, is that I’m pleased you have identified some common ground. This is an excellent beginning toward harnessing otherwise opposing interests toward accomplishing significant change. I congratulate you.

  151. Sebastian says:

    does not involve stuffing in your pocket an instrument specifically designed to kill other humans before you go to the store to get a gallon of milk?

    It’s specifically designed to hurl a projectile at a very high rate of speed. Whether I use that to kill another human being is up to me, and I’m not a murderer so I don’t worry about it. I’m driving to get the milk in a very lethal instrument in irresponsible hands that kills a lot more people than guns do, after all. I don’t worry about the gun in my wasitband’s lethality potential any more than I worry about my car’s, since I don’t typically head out planning to shoot anyone or running anyone over.

    In fact, if you take self-defense training, the primary weapon you’re supposed to use to thwart a carjacking is your car itself. It’s a lot more effective than a gun in most circumstances.

  152. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: Comparing loaded handguns to objects such as automobiles and fire extinguishers may play well at the local gun range. In fact, automobiles do kill somewhat more people than guns, but they also provide immeasurably greater practical and peaceful value than guns, which are primarily — and especially when it comes to the Colt .45/Glock .40 variety — for killing or wounding humans. Likewise, deaths attributable to fire extinguishers are few, while the lives they save are numerous. Perhaps you belong to the local chapter of Smoke Detector Fanciers. Perhaps not. Either way, it’s difficult to categorize handguns along with fire extinguishers, seatbelts, smoke detectors, aubmoblles and similar items.

    • Bitter says:

      Apparently you’ve never seen a naked man running across your lawn with a fire extinguisher trying to attack women & eventually the officers who were chasing him. Don’t tell me they aren’t dangerous…
      /women’s college survivor

  153. Mark Henricks says:

    Bitter:Absolutely accurate in all respects. The scenario you describe exceeds my experience. I stand corrected. Thanks.

  154. Acksiom says:

    My legitimate interest is that I’dl like to know whether someone I have an issue with is likely to kill me because he feels threatened, or just kick my sorry ass.

    And your replicable documentation that this has significantly more to do with such a person’s CC status than their individual personality is. . . ?

    Because, again, unless and until you provide some kind of replicable, objective documentation that CCers are any more or less likely to behave in any particular manner during a normal social interaction, then your interest has not been legitimized, in the sense we are using it here — i.e., the violation by the State of the right to privacy of individual Citizens.

    And since you’ve already admitted that you consider yourself incapable of providing anything of the kind, you’re basically just repeating your earlier statement, and you therefore apparently cannot defend your position.

    In short, you do not have a “legitimate interest” to justify superseding the just and lawful limitations on the actions of the State WRT the privacy of your fellow Citizens.

    Regarding privilege, CC does not conform to my idea of a privilege in that the 2nd and 14th Amendments combined invalidate CC regulation by the State. The 2nd Amendment provides immunity to infringement upon the right to bear arms, and the 14th extends that immunity nationally regardless of locale.

    As to your misapprehension about the majority of firearm deaths not being male suicides, you should consult the WISQARS Fatal Injuries: Leading Causes of Death Reports service at the CDC’s
    National Center for Injury Prevention and Control website, where you will find the statistical proof to the contrary. The majority of firearm deaths in the usa are in fact male suicides.

    In explanation, do you not think that those willing to kill themselves are more likely to be more willing to commit mass murders as well? Who do you believe are less likely to value the lives of others; people who do not value their own lives, or people who do? Who would you consider more likely to try to shoot to death as many colleagues and/or strangers as possible — the people who feel connected to their communities and valued by their members, or the people who feel disconnected from their communities and devalued by their members?

    It seems obvious to me that there is a significant overlap between the suicidal and the homicidal, and that outreach decreasing the rate of the former would very likely decrease the rate of the latter as well. Mass murderers of the kind we are discussing here generally do not attempt escape; they go into their rampages intending to die, and usually succeed.

    Finally, thank you for your congratulations. I think you can imagine how hard it is to get people to even just acknowledge the existence of my suggestion, and therefore how much I appreciate your praise.

  155. Dod says:

    Mark, you’ve successfully outed yourself as irrational gun-hater and bigot before I could post this morning suggesting your concealed carry argument was a red herring. Saying that gun owners are fucked up is naked bigotry, pure and simple. Are there any other large groups of people you’d like to admit to being prejudiced against?

    We live in a world where good people are regularly victims of horrible crimes. That’s not deniable. I fully recognize that the likelihood of such a thing happening to any one person is low. But that’s no comfort if you draw the short straw. If you want to live your life thinking it will never happen to you, that’s your right. But it is not your right to enforce that view on the rest of us. The rest of us have conducted a risk analysis and decided not to live in denial.

    Your argument that guns are bad because they are designed to kill is silly. Design doesn’t matter, use and consequence does. Many medical interventions have been designed to save lives but have instead killed people. We could list many more similar ideas.

    I have to say, Mark, you seem to have a remarkably negative view of your fellow man. Gun owners suck. Physicians suck. I suspect you fancy yourself to be a very sophisticated guy who thinks the average person is incapable of taking care of himself and needs a big, benevolent government to care for him and protect him from himself. If you are as similar as I suspect you are to the people I know who hold those views, you have mistaken sophistication for a deep and corrosive cynicism.

  156. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: I may be a bigot, clothed or otherwise, but the post you responded to didn’t say gun owners are fucked up. It addresses people who insist on secretly carrying loaded pistols in public among their otherwise unarmed fellows. This is a different group of folks from the set of gun owners in general, of which, you may recall, I am a member. Nor did the post say guns are bad. It said guns differ from other objects sometimes associated with death and injury, because dealing out death and injury is the prime purpose of a gun. A car, a fire extinguisher, a kitchen knife, a baseball bat, a ladder, etc. are all devices only peripherally associated with death and injury. Their primary purposes are peaceful and productive. The same cannot be said for, say, a Colt .45. I must add that it’s a bit odd when the person who feels no need to hide an S&W .357 under his shirttail is accused of cynicism and having a negative view of his fellows. You guys are the ones who, apparently, anticipate the possibility of getting into a gunfight driving in to work. As a general rule, however, I avoid defending myself so I won’t say more on that. I hope you’ll feel free to hold whatever views of me you wish.

  157. Mark Henricks says:

    Acksiom: The argument you present demonstrates a striking internal inconsistency by demanding proof of concealed carry permit holder dangers while also demanding secrecy for information that could provide that proof. As a classic Catch-22, it deserves to be ignored.

    On male suicide,the link you provided shows 14,734 male firearm suicides in 2006. I couldn’t easily find a total for firearm deaths on this site, so I added the 2006 figures for both sexes firearm suicides (16,883), homicides (12,791) and accidental deaths (642) to get the total of 30,316. So male suicides do in fact represent almost half of all firearm deaths, which surprised me. Thanks for the contribution.

  158. Dod says:

    Mark, I am aware that you referenced concealed carry holders. However, that argument is a red herring. The case against concealed carry is a case against gun ownership. To argue that someone can be deemed sufficiently trustworthy to own a gun but not sufficiently trustworthy to possess it outside their home is to argue that they are not trustworthy to own a gun at all. You are making a false distinction.

    You again try create another false distinction that items not designed as weapons are somehow on a separate moral plane. This is bogus. It doesn’t matter a whit what an item’s designers intended it for. All that matters is how it is used. Is it less of a tragedy or morally different when someone is killed by an 18 wheeler because the nation’s fleet of trucks provides great economic value?

  159. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: Your post appears to employ the common rhetorical device known as the “straw man” fallacy. That’s when you ignore someone’s actual position or statement in order to substitute a distorted, exaggerated or otherwise misrepresented position that appears easier to undermine. Does that sound familiar?

  160. Turk Turon says:

    I wonder if there would less vehemence among opponents to concealed carry if there were a requirement for a full eight-hour day of range training.

    Or two days – 16 hours of range time.

    Or a week, even – 40 hours.

    I am getting the impression that it wouldn’t matter how much training was required, opponents are so deeply offended that people would want to conceal carry at all that the very act of applying for a license ought to disqualify the applicant!

    “Showing a need” to have a CHP is the very system that failed so badly prior to the widespread acceptance of “shall issue” laws. Some authorities would deny all applications, regardless of demonstrated need, and the chief LEO was right up front about the reason: as long as it was his/her prerogative, the answer wasn’t just “No” it was “Hell, no!”

  161. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk Turon: 40 hours training is more in line with requirements to operate an automobile. However, a better approach is to investigate police training requirements. Here is an excerpt from a description of the New York State Police Firearms Program: “State Police Firearms Training is a continuing process that begins with a 90-hour course in the Basic School and continues throughout one’s career with semi-annual, in-service Field Firearms Training sessions of five hours each.” Here’s the link: http://www.troopers.state.ny.us/academy/Firearms/

    Why shouldn’t concealed carry permit holders be required to undergo a significant fraction, or even equal, training as police?

  162. mike w. says:

    i><Personally, I suspect you guys are a little bit fucked up.

    Mark, My statement that you have an irrational fear of guns wasn’t a personal attack, it was a logical conclusion based on your quoted statement.

    Your statement italicized above is a flat out personal attack. You’re a hypocrite Mark and clearly resorting to calling us “fucked up” because you don’t have the facts to engage in a reasonable discussion here.

  163. mike w. says:

    The problem with having to show need to get a CCW is simple. In many states that are “may issue” the standard of need you must show is nearly impossible to meet.

    Try applying for a permit to carry in NJ or MD and you’ll see that the standard response is to reject everyone.

    Mark – You say you’re not fearful of CCW holders. Why are you so adamantly opposed to people carrying then?

  164. Mark Henricks says:

    mike W: Perhaps I am a hypocrite. If I have an irrational fear of guns and also own a gun, I’m certainly mixed up, no doubt. I’ll look into that.

    I apologize for the insult. It would be better to say I suspect that those who express a powerful need to secretly carry loaded handguns while out in public among their generally unarmed fellows suffer from some sort of disorder, perhaps a variety of paranoia. That would fit with the most commonly cited reason for doing so, namely, a desire to protect oneself and one’s family from attack, even though in the majority of cases concealed carry permit holders are in little danger of attack. It also appears to contain, in varying degrees depending on individuals, elements of emotional attachment to firearms, power seeking and hero fantasy. But I’m no psychologist and, anyway, I imagine a description of concealed carry permit holders as anything less than spotless patriotic heroes will prompt complaints of insult and cries of outrage. So let’s just say you are all undoubtedly very fine fellows who may, like me, be a little mixed up.

  165. Turk Turon says:

    The objection to requiring a civilian to pass a police training regimen in order to receive a CHP is that it involves many facets specific to police work, as the link to the New York course description describes. This includes qualification with shotguns and pepper spray, as well as legal issues that are out of bounds for civilians.

    I wonder, though, if a “pistol-only” course in safety, accuracy and speed, similar to that of police recruits, but tailored specifically to civilians, would satisfy opponents.

    The NRA, for example, does not allow civilians to take its police firearms courses – not for lack of interest, though.

  166. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk Turon: You are probably on the right track.

  167. Sebastian says:

    The other thing, despite the fact that police go through this level of training, their gun handling practices still tend to be less than stellar.

    Repetition is really the only way to adopt good practices. All training really does, whether for the cop or the citizen, is get you on the right path toward being a competent gun handler. 95% of it is up to the individual. It’s kind of like piano lessons. You can spend your time with the instructor every week, but if you don’t practice on your own, you won’t become competent.

  168. Dod says:

    Mark, my argument is not a straw man at all. What I am saying is you don’t understand the nature of your own argument. You think you are making an argument about concealed carry in isolation. However, the distinction between concealed carry and generic gun ownership is an illusion. If concealed carry is bad, it is because the combination of a person and a gun is bad. The location is irrelevant. In the home, down the street, across the city, it doesn’t matter. Your argument applies to gun ownership not just concealed carry.

  169. Newbius says:

    I am still curious about a disconnect that, if addressed previously, I may have missed. Mark is asking about “Attempted Mass Murders” which have been thwarted by concealed carry permit holders. An interesting proposition, to say the least.

    I my memory serves me correctly (an iffy proposition most days), nearly all of the recent mass murders committed recently have been in “Victim Disarmament Zones”, otherwise known as “Gun-free zones”. Given the fact that CHP holders are already more likely to be law-abiding citizens, it stands to reason that they would ALSO be disarmed while in these locations. Unless, you buy the proposition that a law-abiding citizen would only be willing to violate the one type of law most likely to abridge the freedom he is practicing.

    The two most recent mass murders that come to mind are: Ft. Hood (no carry allowed except MPs on duty), and L.A. Fitness (no guns allowed). Add in the other victims of mass shootings like Virginia Tech (No guns allowed), Columbine (ditto), the Stockton school tragedy (Ditto-and leading to an “assault weapons ban in California), and it becomes very clear that the criminals intend to hit soft targets where the likelihood that they will meet up with resistance is nil. These are places where CHP holders are still likely to be disarmed because we are law-abiding.

    In none of these cases did the rules and laws against possessing weapons in those locations actually prevent weapons from being used by the criminals. Shocking, I know! Only the law-abiding were disarmed in these places, so by definition, only a rule breaker or criminal could have prevented or stopped the shooting that was in progress.

    How does this logic strike you?

  170. Mark Henricks says:

    Newbius: Mass murderers often strike where guns are allowed. Michael McClendon killed 11 in Alabama in multiple locations scattered across a guns-allowed swathe of rural countryside and small towns. Frank Garcia’s four murders in New York similarly occurred in guns-allowed zones. Richard Poplawski killed three police officers on the porch and sidewalk in front of his home, again, a place where guns were allowed. Sodini’s attack also, according to most reports, occurred in a guns-allowed zone, although some dispute that.

  171. Mark Henricks says:

    Dod: Maybe I don’t understand my own argument. Can you explain how questioning concealed carry privileges is the same as promoting an outright ban on gun ownership?

  172. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: Too bad we can’t hold a competition between New York cops with 90 hours of firearms training and annual refreshers and randomly selected Pennsylvania concealed carry permit holders who obtained their permits without any requirement for training. Who do you think would win?

  173. Sebastian says:

    I’d put my money on the concealed carry holders.

  174. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: So how is is that concealed carry permit holders who have no requirement for training are better than police officers with 90 hours of firearms training? To a layman, this doesn’t make sense.

  175. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    If concealed carry holders were randomly selected from the general population, that might be the case. But they aren’t. They are self-selected, meaning most of them already have a pre-existing interest in guns and shooting.

    Many police officers, especially from more urban departments, see guns as part of their jobs, rather than part of their lifestyle. They are not frequent at practicing with their side arms. This is obviously not universally true. There are police officers that do take their gun handling seriously, but in my experience most of them don’t hit the range nearly as often as they should.

    I’m serious when I say it’s like piano lessons. You can take all the lessons you want, but if you don’t practice on your own, you’re never going to be competent. Shooting and gun handling are the same. You become competent through repetition and reinforcement.

  176. Turk Turon says:

    Dod makes sense to me. The possession of a CHP was not material in any of theses shootings: none of the murderers had to pass through a checkpoint or metal detector where he had to show his license in order to proceed. All of the killers had had at least one and probably two criminal background checks run on them. All of the shootings could just have easily been done by a person without a CHP. I think that’s what Dod is saying.

    We seem to be, once again, trying to close the barn door after the horse has bolted. Some of the questions on form 4473 were put there in an effort to stop people like Lee Harvey Oswald from buying a gun (renounced US citizenship? dishonorable discharge?) I think of that every time I fill one out. Today is the 46th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. But Oswald’s having been a Marine was more important to what happened that day than his left-wing beliefs or his trip to the USSR, or renouncing his citizenship.

    Remember George Carlin’s routine about bad breath? “Nine dead and they blame Marine training.”

    I mentioned earlier the issue of more comprehensive firearms training as a requirement for CHP applicants, but that too could be turned around and cited as a deficiency rather than a benefit. Imagine a headline like, “Killer Received Marksmanship Training From Police Instructor”.

  177. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: I’m not much for analogies, except as teaching tools. Analogies, of course, prove nothing. But since you brought it up, would a professional pianist with 90 hours of training and annual refreshers courses play better or worse than a randomly selected amateur?

  178. Newbius says:

    Mark,

    Of the four you listed, the only one that I would consider a “Mass Shooting”, instead of a murder spree or serial murder, was the L A Fitness shooting by Sodini. L.A. Fitness’ property policy, and their member agreement, both clearly prohibit guns on-premises. This is easy enough to verify, that I am surprised you keep bringing it up.

    Poplawski is an interesting example to use to bolster your argument. Police responding to “crazed MWAG call” are shot at the house that they were about to enter to subdue the suspect. I am not sure it helps your argument.

    I suppose in the same vein, you could add Ruby Ridge and Waco to support your theory too. Although, from my perspective, Waco and Ruby Ridge were defensive gun uses by citizens against rogue agencies that ultimately failed due to overwhelming force being applied by GOV. I suppose if Koresh or Weaver had held carry permits, they would be used as statistics for your side???

    Just asking…

  179. Mark Henricks says:

    Turk Turon: Are you, by advocating expanded concealed carry privileges, demanding the right to secretly carry a hidden, loaded handgun to a meeting with the President? Or is there a true — as opposed to false — distinction there?

  180. Newbius says:

    Mark @186: It used to be common to carry a firearm as a citizen in the presence of the President. It is only a recent phenomenon that this is no longer so. It is not the tool, but the person wielding it, that the President must fear. Else, why are some allowed to do so while other are not? There are plenty of people carrying concealed weapons in the presence of the President today. They just all work for him now.

    If he had his way, the oly people who could do so in the future would also only work for him. That has a nice, comforting feeling associated with it. Right?

  181. Sebastian says:

    Mark:

    You’re making a number of false assumptions. Police are not professional gun handlers. They are professional police. Gun handling is only one small part of the job. Professional gun handlers would more appropriately be top competitive shooters who are good enough to make a living at it. Those are people who are paid to shoot. Todd Jarrett, who is one such professional shooter, has gone through approximately 4 million rounds of ammunition in his lifetime to perfect his skill, and I’d put him up against a police shooting champion any day of the week.

    To make the analogy work, you should ask whether a random person given 90 hours of piano lessons would fare better than a random person pulled from the street with no experience in piano. The answer is yes, I would bet on the person who had 90 hours of lessons being a bit better, at least for a months or so after the lessons. Give them two years, they will lose most of the skill if they do not routinely practice. Having follow up lessons every year isn’t enough to keep skills up.

    But the problem is that people with concealed carry licenses aren’t random people off the street, they are a self-selected group. Actually playing the piano and shooting are actually pretty similar types of skill in terms of what it takes to learn them. I haven’t played in years, and I have lost quite a bit of the skill it took me to years of practice to build. I could probably, today, get through the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata, maybe plunk through the second, but I would totally fall apart on the third, despite once having been able to play it. I may never fall back to the level of someone who has never played, but it’s not like riding a bicycle.

    In short, the standard police requirements are not nearly enough for remaining proficient with a firearm if the officer isn’t concerned enough to practice with his service weapon, and seek out other, more advanced training on his own. The same is true for the concealed carry requirements in most states. Both are only enough to get someone pointed in the right direction. Whether they become proficient shooters or not is completely up to them.

  182. Mark Henricks says:

    Newbius: You don’t understand your own argument. You create a false distinction. You are making an argument about concealed carry in isolation. However, the distinction between permitting concealed carry and complete and utter lack of any controls on gun ownership is an illusion.

    Any of this sound familiar?

  183. Turk Turon says:

    I was trying to posit enhanced firearms safety training for CHP applicants, and suggesting that that, to a skeptic, might also have a downside. The training could be cited in the negative, rather than the positive.

    To a skeptic, additional training is just a rhetorical device. Even if there was additional training, skeptics will then demand less training. Their agenda is to end the program entirely. Criticizing the training, to them, is just a means to that end.

  184. Dod says:

    Mark, my argument is this. You believe gun ownership is okay but only at home because concealed carry holders represent a serious threat to the safety of others (I hope that’s a fair summary). However, the location where a person has a gun has no influence on whether he is going to commit murder. Neither LA Fitness nor Ft. Hood, for example, played any role in causing mass murders.

    The danger exists because of a person who has a gun. So if concealed carry is forbidden to everyone because a handful of people might slip through the cracks in the screening processes then it must follow that gun ownership should be forbidden because it’s the gun/person combination that presents the risk not the gun/person/outside-the-home combination.

  185. Turk Turon says:

    And I object most strongly to this question:

    “Are you, by advocating expanded concealed carry privileges, demanding the right to secretly carry a hidden, loaded handgun to a meeting with the President?”

    This sort of thing has no place here.

  186. Ian Argent says:

    For grins and giggles, I puched “motorcycle deaths per year” into Google and got http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/bottleneck/2008/08/us-road-deaths.html

    “there were 5,154 motorcycle deaths in 2007 — the highest number since the federal government began tracking deaths in 1975. That was a 6.6% increase from 2007 and represented 13% of all fatalities nationwide.”

    In the meantime, firearms fatalities are trending downward over the same period, and are a fraction of the motorcycle deaths. There’s no constitutional right to ride a motorcycle; there is one to keep and bear a firearm.

    I’m not (decidedly not) advocating the banning of motorcycles – but:

    “Motorcycles are more mainstream than ever. Since 1998, there has been a 34 percent increase in the number of motorcycles – estimated to be about 8.8 million motorcycles – in use in the United States.” (data from http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-news/motorcycle-owner-survey.htm regarding 2004 survey)

    Every one of those deaths was caused by a trained and licesned driver, and every one of them was unnecessary (unlike every one caused by permittees).

  187. Newbius says:

    Mark,

    I am not advocating concealed carry in isolation, or creating a false distinction. I am merely pointing out the fallacy of your position. Perhaps it is you who do not understand my argument, not me.

    Gun control is an entire argument based upon a false distinction. Namely, that the tool causes the behavior and so we must necessarily regulate the tools.

    If I pick up a Stradivarius, do I become a concert violinist? It is the finest of the violins, therefore I should be a fine violin player by playing one, right? How about a Steinway? By playing one, Chopsticks would sound better for having been played by me on one. If I pick up a set of Snap-On tools, will my propensity to commit great mechanical repairs improve? Will carrying a megaphone make me a better orator?

    NO?

    Why not? Obviously, carrying a gun on my person makes me more likely to commit mayhem, doesn’t it?

    If not, leave me the hell alone and keep your laws off of my guns. Because the gun does not make the criminal any more than the fine tools of the trades above made great performers or mechanics or orators.

  188. Link P says:

    Mark,

    At 194 current replies to Sebastian’s original post, you must understand when I preface my comment with [TLDR].

    Your argument and “research” are both pointless. The Second Amendment doesn’t exist for the sole purpose to provide the opportunity for citizens to stop mass murder sprees.

    The Second Amendment exists as a reinforcement of a naturally existing right to self preservation, be it against criminals of a petty or tyrannical nature.

    If you don’t like it, there are numerous countries that would love to have a statist lapdog like you. In our time of crisis, the US has no need for your kind.

  189. Mark Henricks says:

    All: This discussion lacks further appeal. Thanks for your input.

  190. Carl from Chicago says:

    Mark Henricks Said (November 23rd, 2009 at 9:49 am):
    “This discussion lacks further appeal.”

    And how!

  191. Weer'd Beard says:

    Wow we now know how many ass kickings it takes to get to the center of an internet troll!

    I’ll be damned if I wade through them all to count them, but it can now be quantified!

  192. Mike w. says:

    All: This discussion lacks further appeal. Thanks for your input.

    In other words you’ve been thoroughly trounced in this comment thread and have realized it’s best to run away now before you dig a deeper hole for yourself.

  193. Dod says:

    Mark, I enjoyed the vigorous exchange. Maybe again sometime?

  194. Mark Henricks says:

    Fellas: Actually, I realized that I was conversing with a bunch of loons, for the most part. One insisting that untrained concealed carry permit holders would outshoot police with 90 hours of training, another insisting that I was actually saying something completely different from what I was saying, etc. I’m happy to keep conversing as long as there’s something to be learned, but the educational output of a posse of unhinged minds fails to interest. In short, you guys are nuts. You may be right, you may be wrong, but you are nuts.

  195. Sebastian says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion Mark, but fortunately for me the Constitution is on my side, and not on yours.

  196. Carl from Chicago says:

    Mark Henricks Said (November 23rd, 2009 at 9:49 am):
    “All: This discussion lacks further appeal. Thanks for your input.”

    Well Mark, congratulations. Your resolution lasted more than 24 hours! That is pretty good these days. And I agree that it would be a waste of your time to engage in discussion with people of unhinged mind. After all, we’re all nuts. So long. We’ll miss you.

  197. Dod says:

    Mark, that was gratuitous, unnecessary and disappointing.

  198. Mark Henricks says:

    Sorry, Dod.

  199. Carl from Chicago says:

    Mark, you’re not sorry. You come on here, “one last time” and accuse of all of being “nuts” and of “unhinged mind.” I take exception to that, and I suppose others here do as well.

    Look, I am fairly educated, both formally and informally, and have lived all over the nation, in red and blue states, urban and rural. I have been all over the world and have met and interacted with a diverse array of humankind. I am pretty tolerant, too, unless folks do something to warrant intolerance.

    Mark, you’re not sorry. You’re a fucking prick. And as far as I am concerned, you can just go away.

    My apologies to everyone but you.

  200. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: This Constitution stuff is legless. Everybody knows that the Bill of Rights is subject to interpretation. Otherwise, there would be no restriction whatsoever on free speech. And we know there are restrictions. The question is not what does the Constitution literally say. The question is what makes sense. Clearly, for instance, it makes sense (with apologies to the strangely sensitive Turk Turon) to restrict the ability of a private citizen to secretly bring a loaded handgun to an audience with the President. (If the President is too much for some delicate souls, then how about the Pope?) So, even if the slope is frighteningly slippery, we are already on it. And now the question is, how far should we slide? Everybody knows what the Second Amendment says. Quoting it suggests a lack of awareness that it’s already, and necessarily, been compromised. It suggests looniness, and that’s what I find too much of on this blog.

  201. Ian Argent says:

    Mark said: “One insisting that untrained concealed carry permit holders would outshoot police with 90 hours of training…” 90 hours of training isn’t that much. That’s less than 2 hrs a week over a year; and most of the police training time *won’t* be at the firing line; wheras the private citizen is going to spend most of his time at the firing line. And based on various FBI and other studies, the baseline for police accuracy is pretty low; as is the level of accuracy needed to “qualify”.

    Furthermore, it doesn’t *take* a whole lot of training to be an adequate shot. I shot my first handgun a year ago this weekend, and can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have stepped foot into a range. I can group within 2 inch radius reliably at 5 yards, and at 25 yards against a human torso/head target I can put all the rounds I want into the head and/or the heart/lungs. Sure, I’m not training under stress – but neither are the beat cops.

    My wife had never TOUCHED a gun before my first handgun experience, and has a similar level of accuracy. (I had a fair amount of summer camp riflery).

    And while I haven’t trained in a stressful situation with a firearm, I’ve done both high school wrestling and college fencing, as well as paintball – all of which are (imperfect) combat sims. I know my reactions to stress and surprise.

    God forbid I’m ever in a situation where I would need to defend myself or my loved ones with a gun, but I am confident of the necessary skills. I dont’ say this to brag – far from it. Many (most) of the gun owners posting here are far more skilled than I am – a few have even defended themselves with a firearm (all by display as far as I know). The level of training necessary to be safe and effective with a firearm is LOW, the level of effort required to maintain is low. The level of physical fitness required is VERY low.

    If you admit to a right to actual self-defense; then you have to admit to the right of an individual to be armed with a firearm. Nothing else levels the imbalance of physical fitness.

  202. Mark Henricks says:

    Carl from Chicago: I don’t recall referring to you directly. So if you’re not a loon, the comment did not apply. If you are a loon, the comment was accurate and I apologize for it.

    As has been mentioned before, it is a rare talent to look deep within another’s mind and discern what was really meant by a statement. Some even feel it’s impossible. All I ask is that you rein in your exceptional ability in this area, and simply respond to what I say, as opposed to what I might have said, what somebody else once said, what you may wish I’d said, etc.

    Finally, it’s unusual to enclose a phrase in quote marks — as in “one last time” — when the source you appear to quote never used the phrase or anything like it. Where, in your many travels, did you encounter that practice?

  203. Mark Henricks says:

    Ian Argent: Yours represents a perfect example of the kind of wacked-out commentary that makes conversing on this thread more tiring than moving pianos. I mean, do you really mean to suggest even the vague, ephemeral possibility that the average Pennsylvania concealed carry permit holder actually spends two hours a week in a year — any year — at the shooting range practicing his or her marksmanship? I’ve read your post over several times and it appears that is exactly what you propose. If so, I think in addition to whatever tests are required for getting a license to hide a loaded pistol under your coat while you are picnicking at the park, applicants should be required to utter one or two intelligible comments, and perhaps undergo a brain MRI to search for anomalies.

  204. Sebastian says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a record. Previous highest comment number on a threat was 205, where I took Mike Vanderboegh to task for threatening civil war when it was uncalled for, which started the great “pragmatist” v. “threeper” debate.

    But we have topped that. Thank you Mark. You have put this sad chapter behind me. And if you follow that link, you can see, if you think I’m nuts, you should be thankful you’re dealing with people like me, right now, through the political process, rather than that crowd.

  205. Ian Argent says:

    @Mark Henricks: Why not? It’s no more unlikely than a golfer spending 2 hrs a week averaged across the year either on the course or at a driving range, no? Or an amateur bowler doing the same – a couple of games every friday night with the guys would amount to over 90 hrs on the lane.

    As I mentioned above, I can count the times I’ve stepped onto a range with a handgun on one hand, but I spent 2 hrs on the range each time. The limitation on my visits were due to the pressure of my other hobbies combined with a lack of ammo (it’s been a bit short) and no range close to me. I am not any kind of serious gunnie – ask someone who participates in a shooting sport such as cowboy action shooting or practical shooting how much time they spend on the range.

    And that 90 hrs of training the cops do is neither all on the range nor every year.

    But my main point was that 90 hrs of training ISN’T NECESSARY to give someone adequate shooting skills for self-defense purposes. It takes a couple of hours to teach someone how to shoot to the accuracy level necessary for self-defense.

    I happen to be an NJ resident; and could easily lay my hands on the qualification requirements for NJ law enforcement – I doubt the NY quals are substantially more rigorous, the NJ requirements are semi-annual qualification and aren’t terribly difficult – see http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcj/pdfs/dcj-firearms.pdf pp 9-35 – 9-44 inclusive for the 2 handgun qual courses. (I believe the last time I was at the range, one of the guys at the far end was going through his handgun quals). I wouldn’t want to go through that course cold, but I’ve shot most of those courses of fire and done better than the 80% on-target requirement. I doubt I’ve fired much more than a thousand rounds of handgun ammo in my life; and my actual formal instruction consisted of some summer camp riflery (.22 rilfes at 5-10 yds) and an NRA Basic Pistol course.

    My point was not that the average PA LTC holder trains 90 hrs a year (though it wouldn’t surprise me that many do – plenty of people serious about their hobbies spend that much time and more on them); but that 90 hours of training is *unnecessary*. Basic marksmanship to the point of being able to pass the basic police quals can be taught in a handful of hours; even leaving time to teach the basics of firearms and the 4 Rules. Handgun marksmanship adequate for self-defense is EASY. And cops don’t have to pass a very difficult test to qualify – which is good, because they have a LOT more to learn than just the handgun.

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