Clayton Cramer has send me a link to a copy of his latest paper taking on VPC’s concealed carry killers. I was suffering from a bit of insomnia last night, so I grabbed the iPad I keep next to the bed and read the whole thing. I encourage readers to do the same if you’d like to feel a bit of Shadenfreude.
The Violence Policy Center maintains a website titled CONCEALED CARRY KILLERS as part of their effort to show that many Americans who receive licenses under the increasingly popular â€•shall-issueâ€– concealed license laws are not only disreputable figures, but a threat to public safety. This list included, as of May 12, 2012, a total of 374 deathsâ€”and at first glance, it is quite disturbing. (Unaccountably, the primary web page listed these as 12 law enforcement deaths and 228 civilian deaths, although perhaps they simply neglected to recalculate based on the data they had.)2
This paper provides a detailed analysis of the incidents, finding that many are incorrectly described. A few of the criminal cases have been settled in favor of the accused. Some are criminal cases that are still pending. Many of the incidents are single suicides, which while sad, are not criminal matters or public safety concerns, nor relevant to may-issue vs. shall-issue concealed carry licensing. A number involve situations where possession of a concealed weapon license is completely irrelevant to the tragedy that unfolded. In some cases, these incidents involve licenses issued in â€•may-issueâ€– states, and licensees who are retired police officers, who are almost always issued such licenses even in the strictest of â€•may-issueâ€– jurisdictions.
Keep in mind this is an academic paper, with complete citations, intended for audiences that may not be thoroughly indoctrinated into the issue. But there is plenty of worthwhile data in the paper. For instance, the death count drops by 45% of you exclude single suicides.
A surprising number of the incidents listed by VPC involve a concealed handgun licensee who committed suicide, apparently with no one else killed. Some of these suicides VPC derived from annual state concealed handgun licensure reports; it is unclear how many of the other incidents that VPC reports which end in a suicide are included in those aggregates, and are thus double-counted.70 It is not even certain that all of these 129 suicides were committed with firearms. Because we cannot verify these 129 suicides derived from state reports, and determine how many actually duplicate other entries in VPCâ€˜s collection, there seems little point in giving much credence to them as indicative of a problem with shall-issue. Removing these aggregate suicides alone reduces the total death count by 45%â€”a most dramatic change.
The same old tricks. You have go wonder how far the anti-gun movement could have gotten if they had been honest, instead tricking the American people into gun control through deception and subterfuge. What’s even more amazing to me, faced with the utter failure of their movement, like a one-trick pony, they keep doing the same thing.