The Danger Of Concealed Carry

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By Victor Kamber

I think the NRA, gun-industry backed Concealed Carry law is supposed to work like this: John Q. Citizen, concerned about his personal safety, gets a license to carry a concealed gun. One day he’s walking down the street and a bad guy tries to rob him.

John Q. Citizen, under the guise of reaching for his wallet, pulls out his gun and disarms, wounds, or maybe even kills the bad guy.   Thousands cheer. The world becomes a safer place.

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This is the way it actually works:

  • Same scenario, except that when John Q. Citizen reaches for his concealed weapon, the bad guy blows John Q’s brains out.
  • Same scenario, except that when John Q. Citizen reaches for his concealed weapon, he aims wrong and blows his own brains out.
  • Two John Q. Citizens get into an argument about whether their beer tastes better or is less filling. To settle the matter, they pull out their concealed weapons, blow each other’s brains out, and take out a couple of innocent bystanders for good measure.
  • John Q. Criminal, who may not yet have been convicted of a felony, gets a license to carry a concealed weapon which he then carries, concealed, to commit his next violent felony.

The vast majority of states now have some form of concealed carry law. Some are responsible. Some are mind-boggingly irresponsible, and they would become the norm if the gun industry has its way.

There are many things in American politics that are myths, things we think are true but aren’t. The notion that making it easier for people to carry concealed weapons makes us safer is not a myth.  It is a big bad lie.

In 1987 Florida became the first state to pass a concealed carry law; it is now the most violent state in the country. A 1995 University of Maryland study of three concealed carry states, including Florida found that gun homicides increased by an average of 26 percent, while other types of homicide did not increase.

A study by the Violence Policy Center found that in Texas concealed carry license holders were arrested for weapons-related offenses at a 22 percent higher rate than the general population.

The public opposes concealed carry laws by more than two to one. Police strongly oppose concealed carry laws because they know those laws put them at greater risk. An FBI study of 51 incidents where 54 police officers were killed found that 85percent never fired their gun and 20 percent were killed with their own gun. And the police are far better trained than the public. John Q. Citizen would not have even that good a track record.

Concealed carry laws are good for only two groups of people—the gun industry and criminals. They make life more dangerous for everyone else.

For more than a quarter of a century, Victor Kamber has made headlines as a political consultant while writing several books and providing sound bites that resonate for network and cable talk shows. He resides in Washington, DC.  His blog can be read at www.victorkamber.com.


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