Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great Example of Concealed Carry Saving Lives

A man with a concealed carry permit stopped a knife wielding man during a stabbing rampage, allowing other store patrons to subdue the suspect and hold him for police. Said Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brian Purvis:
"This was a really volatile situation that could have gotten even worse," Purvis said. "(The bystander) was definitely in the right place at the right time."
It seems that the man in the store ignored common sense and carried his gun that day, much to the relief of other shoppers in the store:
Dozens of other shoppers, who too could have become victims, are also thankful for the gun carrying man. And many, like Danylle Julian, are still in shock from the experience. "Scary actually. Really scary. Five minutes before I walk out to my car. It could have been me."
I have added this incident to my page listing 40 examples of armed citizens defending themselves in public places.  Yet more proof that concealed carry works and makes people safer.

Update: 4/29/2012:

Well it did not take long for my favorite anti-gun fanatic to comment on the incident cited in the original article:
In response to a comment made on my last post, I found myself remembering all of the times I have posted about people shooting themselves with their own guns in and around grocery stores. The comment was in response to a gun permit holder who held someone at bay who had stabbed some folks at a grocery store. I wondered what the point of sending me the article was and one commenter noted that "Because everyone knows you don't need a gun at the grocery store." Sarcasm.
 No, Joan, the point is to show that sometimes guns in public can serve a useful purpose.  But Joan Peterson will never admit that this is true even part of the time because that would blow her entire thesis for supporting her main goal: eliminating public carry of firearms.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Many People Have a License To Carry?

How many licenses to carry (LTC) a concealed weapon exist in the United States? I have often wondered what this number might be because I have believed for a long time that LTC holders have become the largest constituency for change in gun laws across the nation, a constituency that is overlooked by most in the media in favor of the more visible NRA, and a constituency that is studiously ignored by the anti-gun organizations because the number of LTC holders dwarfs the embarrassingly small numbers of members and direct supporters that anti-gun organizations can claim.

Calculating the number of LTC holders is more difficult than it seems. While presumably every issuing authority knows how many LTCs it has issued and how many are active, not all are required by law to report LTC statistics to the public. This is particularly true in those states that issue LTCs through county sheriffs offices, but it is also true in several other states as well. In addition the number of active LTCs is constantly changing as more people apply for LTCs and are approved, as more states become shall-issue, and as LTCs are revoked. Many people hold more than one LTC because the lack of nationwide reciprocity prevents one LTC being used in every states. Arizona, Florida, and Utah non-resident LTCs are very popular for this purpose. No estimate of LTCs will include the number of people legally carrying concealed weapons in those states that do not require a permit to do so, which include Arizona, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming. Any attempt to calculate the number of active LTCs in existence will result only in an estimate.

The best source for an estimate of the number of LTCs that I have seen is the CCW Statistics page of the Legally Armed website. All fifty states are covered, and sources are cited. The authors of this site have gone to great lengths to contact issuing agencies that do not publish statistics publicly to obtain LTC statistics from an official source. When that is not possible, a news media article is cited instead. The site is also updated regularly when new information becomes available. Adding all the numbers for the states listed on this page one arrives at a figure of 7,412,049.

It is the nature of anti-gun rights organizations to dispute all claims about the popularity of firearms and legal carry. Their view is that these activities are engaged in by an increasingly smaller group of citizens and that guns will someday be so rare as to be unusual in society. They certainly do not want to admit or encourage guns to become normalized in modern American society. In order to come up with a number of LTCs that could be defended by citing authoritative sources, I attempted to repeat the exercise of the Legally Armed CCW Statistics page, but to use only publicly available sources from issuing authorities. Naturally this number would be smaller than the Legally Armed figure, but it may be more authoritative because it can be checked by anyone. Using the Legally Armed CCW Statistics page as a starting point, I attempted to find more up to date numbers from issuing authorities and arrived at the number 4,410,564 active LTCs nationwide.

What can we conclude from this? First, the legally armed populace in the United States is a large group. It is at least 7,400,000, and not smaller than 4,400,00 perhaps as high as 8.5 million. This compares to an reported NRA membership of 4.3 million, AARP membership of 40 million, and labor union membership of 14.8 million. While not the largest political demographic, numbers this large can and do have an effect on elections, and it while is may not be publicly acknowledged, I think politicians are paying attention to these numbers. Why is it that President Obama has stayed away from covert anti-gun efforts? These numbers are one good reason, besides the NRA, politicians avoid controversy on this issue.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Diane Feinstein Fears Concealed Carry Reciprocity

This week, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Senate Diane Feinstein (D – CA) described the reasons for her opposition to two concealed carry reciprocity bills currently in the Senate:

"Imagine that a man who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime against a woman he had been dating seeks — and obtains — a permit to carry a concealed firearm from his state of residence," she wrote. "Under the concealed carry reciprocity bills, he could legally travel across state lines and confront his former girlfriend ..."

Comments and articles decrying the apparent cluelessness of this scenario have sprouted up all over the blogosphere, many people incredulous over Feinsteins idiocy. First, Diane Feinstein is not an idiot.  She is actually very smart, and I am sure that she is familiar with the laws the result in one becoming a prohibited person for firearm possession: she wrote or sponsored many of them.

The above  statement is actually a cunning appeal to a certain class of voter, especially women, voters who are ignorant of gun laws and who will accept the scenario without questioning it.  Feinsteins real goal here is to head-off a California problem: the horror of people people from flyover country carrying concealed weapons in California.  What would happen if (or, more likely, when) people started carrying concealed weapons in California and no Wild West Shootouts happened? Would the people of California demand shall-issue or themselves?  What would happen nationally if California went shall-issue?  Is is just possible that entire debate over concealed carry would be over?

Take a look at two maps that illustrate the types of concealed carry permits systems adopted by the various states.  Here is one from 1992, the year Feinstein was elected to the Senate: 

and here is another from 2011, the last year that the status of a state changed. 

Quite a change, almost a complete reversal! Only Illinois among the fifty states still bars public carry of concealed weapons, and only California, New York, and a handful of Eastern states still have may-issue laws, laws that are often interpreted by authorities to result in de-facto no-issue, especially California, which has only  37465 current concealed weapons licenses. 

Diane Feinstein is well aware of these maps, and what they mean politically for gun control, an issue very near her heart, in which a handgun ban was highly desired:

 "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here." -- 60 Minutes, Feb. 5, 1995.

What would happen to gun control as a political issue if California, one of the last great bastions limiting concealed carry (Illinois and New York being the other two) were to change from yellow to blue on the map?  I think Feinstein fears that gun control would be  truly dead.