Report says 6 million licensed to carry
by Dave Workman
At a time when anti-gun groups appear to be grasping at publicity straws and the homicide rate has declined dramatically, a record number of American citizens are packing guns for personal protection.
According to MSNBC.com, an estimated 6 million citizens are licensed to carry concealed, a figure the news agency said is based on “estimates from gun-rights groups that are supported by MSNBC.com’s research.”
“The decline in gun homicides also comes as US firearm sales are skyrocketing, according to federal background checks that are required for most gun sales,” the MSNBC report acknowledged. “After holding stable at 8.5 to 9 million checks from 1999 to 2005, the FBI reported a surge to 10 million in 2006, 11 million in 2007, nearly 13 million in 2008 and more than 14 million last year, a 55% increase in just four years.”
That revelation comes with the further acknowledgement that gun-restricting Washington, DC, has had the highest homicide rate in the nation, with 20.5 deaths per 100,000 population, while Utah, with its liberal shall-issue concealed carry statute, enjoys a murder rate of 1.12 per 100,000 residents.
This information appears to clearly refute repeated predictions over the years from anti-gun groups that expanded concealed carry rights would result in higher murder statistics.
Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, lauded the MSNBC.com report. He was one of several people interviewed for the story.
“This is further evidence that everything the gun prohibitionists have been claiming and predicting over the past two decades has been fundamentally fraudulent,” he said. “They have repeatedly argued that more guns will equate to more crime and more firearms deaths, and MSNBC.com just let the air out of their sails with this exhaustive and well-balanced report.”
The report did note that the Violence Policy Center keeps track of alleged killings by people who have concealed carry permits. Their web site “Concealed Carry Killers,” claims more than 150 people, including nine police officers, have been killed by permit holders since May 2007. However, the MSNBC.com report quoted Dr. David Hemenway, PhD, of Harvard who contended that neither side can claim one way or the other the effects of concealed carry on crime statistics. Hemenway referred to a 2004 study by the National Research Council that “found no credible evidence that passage of right-to-carry laws increases or decreases violent crime.”
Data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control suggest that people are less likely to die from a gunshot wound now than in years past, when carry permits were less available. However, the story added that research has “not been able to establish a cause-and-effect relationship.”
Still, Gottlieb said reports such as this, appearing in the so-called “mainstream press,” are essentially one of the reasons why the gun control lobby has fallen on hard times in recent years.
“This is why,” he said, “anti-gun groups have lost their momentum and their credibility. They failed to gain traction even with a Democrat-controlled Congress and an anti-gun White House.”
Gottlieb asserted that the anti-gun lobby is “on the verge of irrelevance” and this is why the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has launched a campaign against Starbucks Coffee and other firms to prohibit armed citizens from entering their stores.
“They are so desperate for attention,” he said, “that they have now declared war on private businesses just to generate publicity. Their high-profile campaign of hysteria against Starbucks is based on an issue they fabricated just to grab headlines and television face time, and the public knows it, Gottlieb said.”
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