search
top

Philly Inquirer Latches on to VPC Google Research

The Philadelphia Inquirer also notes that concealed carry is utterly dangerous, because VPC’s highly scientific Google research shows that concealed carry license holders across he whole country over a two years murder at a rate considerably less than your average Philadelphian. Maybe that’s because the city just lets murder suspects walk out of jail. Maybe one day Philadelphia newspapers like the Daily News and Inquirer will actually start holding city leaders responsible for the real causes of the city’s crime problem, which have precisely nothing to do with the state’s gun laws.

30 Responses to “Philly Inquirer Latches on to VPC Google Research”

  1. Carl from Chicago says:

    These people are morally and logically bankrupt. Not that folks don’t still listen to them …

    But we need a strict scrutiny standard, and we need it SOON. Then these trumped up scare tactics will matter far less.

  2. Wyatt Earp says:

    The Daily Snooze and the (st)Inky don’t have that kind of time. They will be bankrupt very soon. That way, their financial status can match their moral status.

  3. Ian Argent says:

    “VPC research shows that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a CCW permitee”.

  4. Mark Henricks says:

    Advocates of expanding the privilege of hiding loaded pistols in their pockets demand records of permits stay secret, then criticize attempts to count permit holders’ crimes as lacking a basis of solid data.

    Perhaps I’m being unfair, but it’s hard to describe this combination of attitudes as anything but self-serving. It seems one should either argue that records should be public, or one should refrain from criticizing studies based on the information that is available.

    Or is there something I’m missing?

  5. Sebastian says:

    Yes, it’s self-serving. What would you go through to save the First Amendment, Mark, if people were constantly attacking it? The truth is, it doesn’t really matter arguing over the fine details. The Supreme Court advocated a right to bear arms in Heller. The state may be able to regulate the manner of carry, such as concealed or unconcealed, require a type of license for one type of carry and not another, but what they may not do is prohibit the practice entirely.

  6. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian:

    I don’t recall advocating complete prohibition of the privilege of hiding loaded handguns under your shirt. Perhaps I did but, if so, I’ve forgotten it. Can you remind me when I made that proposal?

    Otherwise, your argument is of the “end justifies the means” category. That is, it’s okay that it’s self-serving to hide records and then demand proof that can only be confirmed by examining the records, because it’s so vital that you continue to have the privilege of going around in public with a loaded pistol in your pocket and, equally important, that no one know you are armed.

    Or do I misstate your case?

  7. Sebastian says:

    Mark,

    I have no problem with the states producing aggregate statistics on revocation rates, and crimes committed by permit holders. The problem with those stats is they don’t confirm the hypothesis that people who carry guns are generally dangerous.

    What I am against is the data being publicly available for whatever purpose anyone can think of, including publishing names of all concealed carry holders in newspapers.

    So in that sense, it’s self-serving. But there is plenty of evidence out there that laws allowing for license concealed carry are no problem. If you don’t advocate prohibition, what do you then advocate?

  8. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian: In the spirit of the discussion, perhaps you are able to provide some kind of evidence that harm would result from someone else knowing you pack a pistol in your pocket. For instance, in Tennessee this information is public and, in fact, published online by the Memphis Commercial Appeal. I know of no rash of crimes or even inconveniences suffered by Tennessee concealed carry permit holders as a result of this. I doubt you do either, which makes me wonder why it’s so important that this information be kept secret.

    To put it another way, there is no evidence out there that making permit holder information public would create a problem. So why oppose it?

    As far as what I advocate, that is simple: I advocate against listening uncritically to statements that seek to influence policy decisions about expanding the privilege to secretly carry a loaded handguns beneath your clothing. When I listen to someone say, for instance, “If only a concealed carry permit holder had been there, the death toll from that mass shooting would have been much lower,” I wonder whether any such event has ever occurred.

    A recent event of note is the Washington police shootings. Here we have four well-armed well-trained people experienced at dealing with sudden violence who are swiftly and efficiently murdered by a single gunman employing, as always in these instances, the element of surprise. Does that put the “if only a concealed carry permit holder” argument in a somewhat different perspective? Or will you resort to the position that concealed carry permit holders are much better prepared to deal with this sort of thing than the dozing, ill-trained cops?

  9. Sebastian says:

    In the spirit of the discussion, perhaps you are able to provide some kind of evidence that harm would result from someone else knowing you pack a pistol in your pocket.

    Theft of firearms happens all the time. It’s not something that makes headlines. But it would conceivably be convenient for theft rings to know ahead of time whether a house has a gun in it. Personally, this is less of a concern for me.

    What’s more of a concern for me is prospective employers or current employers being able to look up whether I have a license, and start making assumptions.

    Plus, quite frankly, how I choose to protect myself and loved ones is none of anyone else’s god damned business.

  10. Carl from Chicago says:

    Mark:

    It is my hope that you would respect my privacy on this and other matters. There is no compelling reason why such information should be public.

    I respect your privacy, and the privacy of others. If someone wants to wear various matters on their sleeves, that is fine. But forcing private information into the public realm does not comport with the spirit of protecting people’s privacy as a default standard.

    Bearing a defensive firearm is a right, not a priviledge. In practice, the state licensing schemes does make it seem like a “priviledge”, but eventually, we shall endeavor to do away with these licensing schemes.

  11. Sebastian says:

    As far as what I advocate, that is simple: I advocate against listening uncritically to statements that seek to influence policy decisions about expanding the privilege to secretly carry a loaded handguns beneath your clothing.

    That’s fine. But the Supreme Court seems to be prepared to recognize that carrying a firearm is a constitutional right, with the state only able to regulate the manner in which firearms are allowed to be carried. In other words, you’re going to have to deal with it. There’s plenty of evidence out there, if you care to look, that show concealed carry license holders are exceptionally law abiding. Texas is one of the state’s that’s generating pretty good data on the topic. You can see here if you’re interested. I have no problem with states generating this kind of aggregated data.

    A recent event of note is the Washington police shootings. Here we have four well-armed well-trained people experienced at dealing with sudden violence who are swiftly and efficiently murdered by a single gunman employing, as always in these instances, the element of surprise. Does that put the “if only a concealed carry permit holder” argument in a somewhat different perspective?

    A gun is not a magic talisman that wards off evil. No one here has ever suggested such a thing, and it’s possible for the assailant to come out on top, even if he’s up against very well trained opponents. But if you think you don’t have better odds being armed than being unarmed, I think you’re willingly burying your head in the sand.

    Put yourself in the situation. Would you rather have a gun or be unarmed?

  12. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian:

    Concealed carry advocates absolutely do seem to regard guns as magic talismans, or at least akin to it, and often make statements along those lines. For instance, “I guarantee you if a concealed carry permit holder had been there, the death toll would have been lower.” Many others of similar tenor.

    One I particularly recall, which I have heard twice directed to me as someone who suggests going unarmed is perhaps less than bizarrely foolish, is: “What are you going to do when someone has a gun to your head?” In those circumstances, to think that having your own gun is likely to effect a large positive shift in the outcome is pretty close to regarding it as a magic talisman.

    Of course, this also relates to your final question, namely, would I in certain circumstances rather have a gun or not? Certainly, I can envision circumstances in which it would be lifesaving to have a loaded gun handy. I can also envision lots more circumstances when it would cost someone their life were I to have a loaded gun handy. For instance, it falls out of my pocket or someone grabs it and somebody gets killed. It happens. See the case of Douglas Gabriel Cevallos Jr. as reported in The Tampa Tribune, June 18, 2009. Or say I forget and leave it in my trunk and my 9-year-old son or a friend of his finds it and shoots somebody. A friend of mine who has a concealed carry permit forgot his loaded .40 cal Glock in my trunk, in fact, just a couple of months ago.

    As I may have mentioned previously, I have led an active life, including residing for six years in Manhattan back when New York City was setting its annual record of 2,300 homicides. I rode the subway late at night many times, played in countless playground pickup basketball games, sometimes crunching crack vials underfoot when I drove to the hoop, witnessed bloody knife attacks in the street, etc. Here in Texas, I was once jumped by multiple assailants in a nightclub parking lot. And once in Dallas a topless bar bouncer pointed a pistol in my face from point-blank range when I didn’t leave the premises fast enough to suit him.

    The point of this recitation is that I never once wished I had a gun, nor did not having one ever mean the difference between life and death, or even serious injury (not counting a broken arm in the parking lot fracas).

    You are so concerned about being attacked that you feel you simply must be permitted to secretly carry a loaded handgun anywhere you wish to go.

    I, despite clearly knowing the dangers and having long experience with firearms, feel no such need.

    So what is the difference between me and you?

  13. Sebastian says:

    You are so concerned about being attacked that you feel you simply must be permitted to secretly carry a loaded handgun anywhere you wish to go.

    I, despite clearly knowing the dangers and having long experience with firearms, feel no such need.

    So what is the difference between me and you?

    I consider carrying a gun to not be any real burden, and perhaps you do. I don’t worry about what accidents might happen, because I trust myself with dangerous objects. Your friend who left his gun in your trunk needs to be more careful. If you don’t feel a need to carry a gun, that’s your choice, certainly. I don’t think it’s something for everybody.

  14. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian:

    So you carry a gun because because you consider it no real burden. I’m shopping for my son’s first shotgun right now, and also carefully considering how to train him so he’ll be somewhat less likely to get killed by it or by one of his fellow hunters or skeet shooters. And, to tell the truth, “it’s no real burden” is not one of the lessons I plan to convey to him about gun ownership, hunting or shooting, much less secretly carrying a loaded pistol in his pants when he’s hanging out at the mall.

    In fact, although I gather your firearms experience vastly exceeds my own, I will presume to suggest that you expunge that phrase from your gun-related vocabulary. I think that 30,000-plus dead Americans every year might suggest that guns are not just dangerous items — they are the most dangerous items around. Although other items such as vehicles may kill more, they also get used a lot more than, at most, a few hours a week. What do you think we’d find if we compared objects based on deaths-per-hours-of-use? Would cars or ladders beat guns?

    You may trust yourself with dangerous objects, but does that mean everybody else must also trust you to secretly carry dangerous objects in close proximity to them and their loved ones? Apparently, it does, even though it’s entirely Constitutional to strictly limit the privilege of carrying hidden, loaded weapons to people who can demonstrate a particular need to do so.

    I was just reading an excerpt from Hulk Hogan’s autobiography the other day when he talked about his brush with suicide, even placing the pistol’s barrel in his mouth with his finger on the trigger. It makes informative reading. He’d never considered himself even slightly inclined toward suicide until his wife divorced him. He also tried a drug overdose, but survived that as well. You know, divorce — the vast majority of which are initiated by women — nearly triples a man’s risk of suicide, making it one of the leading causes of death for men.

    My overall impression is that no valid self-defense justification exists for all but a very few special-circumstances people (not including the vast majority of concealed carry permit holders under our current permissive system) to expose themselves, as well as (secretly) others around them, more than necessary for purposes such as hunting or target shooting to instruments designed for taking life.

  15. Sebastian says:

    Mark, we can’t read minds. We have no idea what someone will or will not do with a dangerous object. The only thing we go on, as is appropriate for constitutional rights, is adjudication or conviction after due process of law.

    I don’t think a free society should take the default of assuming everyone’s too irresponsible, and taking it from there. We allow people to do a lot of dangerous things in society. A gun is not like a car, I will give you that. A gun is one of those things that, if you’re not a sport shooter, is mostly useless until you need it. But the thing is, if you need it, you really need it. It’s emergency equipment, not an every day use item (outside of its sporting use).

  16. Ian Argent says:

    Hey now – injecting suicide into a discussion of concealed carry is apples and oranges. Nor is there much evidence to suggest that the relative availability of firearms in the US is a contributor to the US suicide rate.Sure, it’s an effective method, but there are plenty of other easily-available ones; most of which can have a much bigger chance of harm to others…

    At any rate, preventing concealed carry disarms only the law-abiding. NJ has one of the most restrictive limitations on OWNERSHIP of firearms in the country; and licenses to carry are available; but there’s no force that prevents me from doing so except that I am law-abiding.

    Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that posessing a functional firearm in the home for self-defense is a constitutionally-guaranteed right; there’s nothing but my desire to obey the law (and the off-hand chance of being caught – a chance that becomes negligible with only a modicum of precaution) that prevents me from “secretly carry[ing] dangerous objects in close proximity to them and their loved ones?”

    As I mentioned earlier, it would take a couple of hours to train someone to the marksmanship standards required by NJ police regs; another couple of hours to teach them the laws related to the use of deadly force to the point of being able to pass an exam on them. Less time than that necessary to be a safe driver – and at 18 in any state in the Union a 15-minute on-the-road test and a half-hour written exam (neither of which come close to proving that the applicant is in fact a safe driver) and you’re allowed to operate a personal motor vehicle anywhere in the US.

  17. Mark Henricks says:

    Ian:

    Motor vehicles provide somewhat more benign utility than firearms. You may possess data indicating that firearms produce fewer deaths per hour of use than other objects. If so, I hope you’ll share it. Otherwise, I’ll assert that, given their essentially death-dealing nature, firearms are in a different class from other, generally benign objects that also produce occasionally fatal results. As such, they deserve and get different treatment.

    I haven’t checked New Jersey, but I know in New York, state police requirements call for a 90-hour basic firearms training course, followed by annual refreshers and requirements for accuracy on the range. Given that, your assertion that New Jersey concealed carry holders are better-trained and more skilled than police seems questionable.

    There’s nothing in the Constitution that specifically entitles untrained, minimally screened, utterly unsupervised private citizens to carry firearms hidden under their coats anywhere they want to go. It’s a matter of interpretation, and right now the Supreme Court entitles states to regulate carrying firearms outside the home. NRA-funded lobbying, public relations and political donations are responsible for relaxing concealed carry laws, not a sudden realizing that the Founding Fathers wished us to be able to carry pistols in church.

    And, for the vast majority of us, who because of our age, race, occupation and place of residence are at little risk of encountering the sort of violence best dealt with by clearing leather, it doesn’t make any pragmatic sense either.

    Advocates of expanding the privilege of hiding loaded pistols in their pockets in public often ask whether, should I find myself or my loved ones threatened with deadly violence, I’d rather have the loaded pistol or be without it.

    Well, if you were suicidally depressed because your wife filed for divorce, would you be better off with the gun in your hand or be without it? If my kid had found the loaded Glock .40 in my trunk in September, would he be better off?

    Consider that for nearly 15,000 men a year, the answer is: They’d be better off without it (assuming you are not a fan of suicide.) Then they could try pills or gas or another, far less certain method.

    Also consider that, in a typical year, between private citizens commit between roughly 175 justifiable homicides. Compare that to nearly 15,000 male suicides and more than 30,000 firearms deaths of all sorts, and I think most reasonable people would conclude that it’s not really so important, or so safe, or such a smart idea to walk your dog in the park while carrying a loaded Ruger .357 in a quick-draw kydex holster.

    In fact, most reasonable people have concluded exactly that. It’s only a tiny minority, roughly 1 percent, who have through skilled media campaigns and even more skillful special-interest politicking, given you this privilege to go secretly armed among your unarmed fellow humans.

  18. Ian Argent says:

    I posted a link to the NJ state qualification course last time – did you read it? NJ requires twice-annual qualification, but the test wasn’t all that difficult a course of fire. The training time is sort of irrelevant at that point; as long as you can pass the test at the end, no?

    You keep harping on the suicide angle; but suicide rate is linked to firearms ownership, as a glance at any other country’s suicide rate will show – it’s almost entirely cultural. Witness Japan’s suicide rate with almost no legal firearms ownership.

    As for less effective means – that actually wigs me the hell out; less effective doesn’t mean no side effects. And a failed suicide attempt with side effects leaves you with 2 problems, the underlying depession and the side effects. Not to mention that a lot of those alternate means will have effects on bystanders (ask any railway motorman what he thinks of someone standing in front of a train; or the relatives of a man who gives himself brain damage via a failed CO poisoning attempt).

    You say less than 1% carry. that may be true across the nation – but in states where concealed carry permits are available, the rates are MUCH higher. When the Northeast and CA have shall-issue, then let’s take a look at the rates.

    Finally, firearms death rates have not changed year-over-year for the past decade, either nationwide or in the statest hat have adopted shall-issue. Contrary to your assertion, the law of the land is that firearms ownership is a right, and the SCOTUS appears ready to assert that “keep and bear” means both own and carry and that this right depends not on the Constitution but on natural rights – that meanst he appropriate word is “right” not “privilege”. That’s where we will not be able to come to a meeting of the minds.

  19. Mark Henricks says:

    Ian Argent:

    I have one guy telling me concealed carry advocates can’t read minds and another telling me what the Supreme Court justices are about to do. I incline toward the first guy on this one. Until the Supreme Court validates your prediction, it remains a privilege and not a Constitutionally protected right to walk around downtown with a loaded .44 Bulldog in your boot. States are free to regulate that privilege and a minority do it effectively, despite the impressively effective efforts of the gun lobby.

    I’ve often been accused, perhaps correctly and perhaps not, of cherry-picking data to support a position. When you cite overall national suicide rates as independent of gun ownership, you neglect the strong correlation repeated studies in many countries have shown indicating significantly higher suicide rates in households with guns present. Why this should be so, considering that overall national suicide rates don’t differ based on rates of gun ownership, is unknown. It’s possible that substituting other means of suicide explains it. It’s possible not, since at least one other study showed much higher statewide rates of firearms suicide in states with higher gun ownership. Social scientists are actively studying it, which isn’t surprising given the high firearms suicide rate in the U.S., and so far at least the studies don’t seem to show any correlation between poor mental health and gun ownership. To sum up, there is not much justification for summarily dismissing the possibility of a tie between killing yourself and owning a gun. I’d like to know whether concealed carry permits are associated with higher rates of suicide, since as others have pointed out here repeatedly, concealed carry permit holders tend to have a higher-than-normal interest in firearms and, it would appear, tend to view them as solutions to some problems more readily than the rest of us.

  20. Sebastian says:

    For the record on the Supreme Court, in Heller it tacitly endorsed carry being protected, in some form. From Heller:

    Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.

    Emphasis mine. In the decision the Court recalled cases that considered that carrying concealed weapons could be prohibited or regulated, but that some form of carrying firearms was constitutionally protected. In other words, the state may regulate the manner in which arms are worn but may not prohibit the carrying of arms altogether. This would be consistent with the interpretation of several state courts under analogue RKBA provisions in state constitutions.

    So you can keep calling it a privilege, but the Supreme Court would seem to disagree, and there’s strong evidence it disagrees, even if carry wasn’t the central issue in Heller.

  21. Carl from Chicago says:

    Pshaaaw … that “possess and carry in case of confrontation” is ONLY dicta. The Brady Campaign, preeminent authority on guns and all things gun-related, has emphatically stated that the Heller ruling ONLY applies to handguns kept inside one’s home. There is CLEARLY no right to “carry hidden, loaded weapons under one’s clothing.” After all, why would anyone feel the need to defend themself OUTSIDE their home!!??

    He he …

  22. Carl from Chicago says:

    Sebastian Said:

    “So you can keep calling it a privilege…”

    Sebastian, you are a kind and polite person. You know that Henricks is just being an snide ass on this issue. He knows that “keeping and bearing” arms is a right of the people, but teases us because most states require licenses to demonstrate we’ve passed the BG checks, etc.

    This too shall pass … maybe not soon. But our right to carry arms is just now starting to be restored and respected.

  23. Mark Henricks says:

    Sebastian:

    I’m no Constitutional authority, but I didn’t read anything in your own analysis that contradicts my statement that states have the right to regulate carrying guns hidden in citizens’ clothing in public places. Does that mean they get to regulate who can carry? I presume you would agree, and that the Supreme Court would agree as well. If so, that would seem to conform to my contention that the best approach is that only people who can demonstrate some legitimate need, such as working at a high-risk job or living in a dangerous neighborhood, should be permitted to secrete loaded handguns in their pockets while they walk around everybody else.

    Why someone should feel compelled to go around secretly armed with a loaded pistol in my suburban neighborhood of several thousand people, where as far as I know we’ve had one murder in the last three years, is something of a puzzle. Unless, perhaps, you’re one of those lefty pinko pussies who suspect that certain folks posses some combination of unreasonable paranoia, unusual sensitivity to the prospect of being unable to defend themselves if attacked, understandable if exaggerated attraction to fantasies of personal heroism and unnatural emotional attachment to inanimate objects of destruction. For almost anybody else, it’s a puzzle.

  24. Mark Henricks says:

    Carl from Chicago:

    You display rare talent. Few people can claim to accurately read the secret thoughts and feelings of another, especially from 1,000 miles away. And when the subject of your clairvoyance denies such thoughts or feelings and you still are able to decipher the emanations or whatever it is that you tap into, and determine that he is merely trying to confuse everyone, the feat becomes doubly impressive.

    Some people would suspect that you are merely seeking to call names and paint a participant in a discussion in such a way as to invalidate his or her views, which you oppose. Not me. I frankly envy your special abilities. It must be nice.

  25. Sebastian says:

    Does that mean they get to regulate who can carry?

    Based on the Heller opinion, there are a regulations on this matter that are presumptively constitutional, like prohibiting felons and the mentally ill from keeping and bearing arms. But to make those two determinations, there are due process rights afforded the defendant, and it’s well accepted that constitutional rights may be denied people convicted of crimes. Presumably the Courts would probably uphold requirements for licensing, or even prohibiting concealed carry, as long as open carry were allowed (there’s a lot of state rulings along those lines already).

    But the language in Heller says there’s a right to carry a gun, pretty unambiguously. So that’s going to apply a higher level of scrutiny to any laws that touch on that, and it’s extremely unlikely the state will be able to arbitrarily deny someone the right to do so.

  26. Carl from Chicago says:

    Mark:

    My calling you that name … whether you are or are not … was uncalled for. Moreover, it’s almost certainly a violation of the rules of posting. I apologize for it, and shall try to refrain from doing that in the future.

    I had to run a bunch of errands this afternoon … Target, Petco, the bank, and a Gander Mountain store. Now that I know some people worry incessantly about their fellow citizens carrying hidden, loaded handguns under their clothing, I chose a jacket that exposed some 2.5″ of the muzzle of my XDm .40. Everyone I interacted with seemed perfectly comfortable. Puzzling.

    Note: I am from Chicago, but don’t live there currently.

  27. Carl from Chicago says:

    Much discussion has centered on those various provisions the Heller court stated were presumptively lawful.

    Among them were included “longstanding prohibitions” on:

    1) possession of firearms by felons,
    2) possession of firearms by the mentally ill,
    3) the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings. Also,
    4) laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    Moreover, they stated:
    5) concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.

    Unambigious among those 5 are 1 and 2 … and indeed, there is longstanding historical precedent for barring arms to criminals and the mentally ill (they were, for example, exempt from being part of the citizen’s militia).

    Regarding the ambiguous points (3-5), what exactly defines a “sensitive place” or “commercial sales” will have to be developed in future cases.

    Regarding the bearing of concealed weapons, however … the court put this in a different light. While points 1-4 followed the statement “The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions” such as [1-4], the carrying of concealed weapons was worded differently. They simply stated that “concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.” They didn’t state such prohibitions were presumptively lawful, nor did they warn that their opinion should not cast doubt on such prohibitions. They simply stated a fact … that various prohibitions have been upheld. Whether they are continued to be upheld or are eventually ruled unconstitutional, etc., is an open question.

    Given that the amendment guarantees a right to keep and a right to bear, some of the more focused discussion has centered on whether such bearing might be done openly or concealed. It seems that historically, prohibitions on open carry have been more difficult to uphold than prohibitions on concealed carry.

    Perhaps the most practical question to ask of those who oppose the bearing of loaded arms in public is this:

    Which do you prefer … that we carry them openly, or concealed. In modern America, I would bet that most would prefer them hidden. Frankly and personally, I prefer defaulting toward individual choice and freedom … meaning that people can carry their arms any damned way they please.

  28. Mark Henricks says:

    Carl from Chicago:

    Thanks for the kind words. I admit that my personal reaction when I see anybody carrying a pistol is to remain very cool, move away from the person and try to at the same time keep one on them to make sure I know where they are and what they are doing until I feel I’m safely away. My feelings about the person is that he is probably a weirdo gun nut, quite possibly insane, that carrying a weapon wherever it takes place is silly and inappropriate and that I hope to he doesn’t let the thing fall out of the holster, or even worse, perceive some kind of threat, clear leather and start popping caps.

    You know, as is now pretty well established, there is no recorded case of any concealed carry permit holder without law enforcement background who has successfully intervened in a mass shooting involving more than two homicides, which is the generally accepted parameter for a mass murder or spree shooting.

    However, many hundreds if not thousands of unarmed people, in total, have survived the vast majority of known cases of a mass shooting. I know of very few where every person who was there was killed. How did the survivors manage? I assume it was by one or more of the following means: running, hiding, locking doors, begging for mercy, tackling the shooter, throwing rocks at the shooter and, certainly, playing dead.

    These scenarios may not be as appealing to you as a Clint Eastwood-style shootout after which you, the victorious (and preferably slightly wounded) hero, stand with barrel smoking over the motionless body of the villain.

    But they would appear to be pretty damn effective, considering that far more people have survived mass shootings than have died in them. (Admittedly, that’s an assertion; I haven’t counted them. But surely there were hundreds of people in very close proximity Nidal Hasan’s murder spree, just to name one, which is more than are killed in a couple of years worth of mass murders.)

    Generally, running, hiding, begging for mercy, etc, appear to be a hell of a lot more effective than pulling a gun. At least there are real cases of those techniques working. Brendan McKown and Mark Wilson, to name two, are real-life cases when trying to play the gun-slinging hero produced a suboptimal result. And the four Washington cops, despite being well-armed, far better-trained with firearms (go ahead and argue with that; I’ll just ignore it if you do because to say otherwise is so clearly wacky) and unquestionably more accustomed to dealing with violence than the average concealed carry permit holder, wound up dead while, apparently, inflicting only relatively minor counter-damage on the man who shot them. I mean, you have to have a pretty refined scenario in mind for you to single-handedly do what four cops couldn’t do.

    And, of course, this doesn’t even account for the fact that the odds are seven to one that, if you get killed, your killer will be someone you know, not some stranger who accosts you on the street. In these cases, having a concealed carry permit is likely to be of little value. They often happen at home, where you don’t need a permit and where, I presume, you don’t pack heat and point it around corners to clear the kitchen of potential assailants before entering to fix dinner. Take the case of Steve McNair, a Tennessee concealed carry permit holder who was killed by his girlfriend while he was asleep. If you’re going to get murdered, that’s how it’s more likely to happen.

  29. Yosemite Sam says:

    Hmmm. No use arguing with Mark since if you disagree with him then you are quite plainly wacky.

    I’ll just cower in the corner in my designated victim disarmament zone and hope I get missed.

  30. Ian Argent says:

    Mark; I’m one of the moderade ones here. I’m willing to entertain a discussion on government licensure of concealed carry permit holders with a requirement to pass a qualification test no harder than that required for the police, and answer a multiple-choice test on the laws relating to the use of deadly force.

    But that’s my ceiling; and clearly the citizens of other states have chosen to set lower bars to carry a firearm in public. With florida’s famous adoption of liberal concealed-carry in 1987 and the rest of the states following – I’ve not seen any actual evidence that concealed carry increases firearms deaths. So concealed carry doesn’t make people less safe; which rather busts up your argument.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I wonder…. « Cemetery's Gun Blob - [...] I wonder…. 2009 November 29 by Cemetery's Gun Blob Via Ian Argent: [...]
top