Archive for the ‘Memberships’ Category

Crime Statistics on Concealed Carry Permit Holders

July 21, 2009

As I’ve researched concealed carry laws in different states, I’ve learned a lot.  Part of the reason for this research is because we’ll likely be taking a trip down to Texas soon, and I wanted to know if my future Kansas concealed carry permit would apply all the way down.  It does, because both Oklahoma and Texas honor a Kansas concealed carry permit.

One of the things I’ve learned is that, since concealed carry provisions are on the rise in states (Nebraska just enacted their concealed carry permits a couple years ago) they’re eager to show that it was a good decision.  Or maybe they’re just eager to make sure that if it isn’t working out, they’ll be the first to know.  But states are publishing interesting statistics on crime, and the demographics of concealed carry permit holders.  Interestingly, the highest demographic for violent crime (men in their early 20’s) are also one of the smallest groups of legal concealed carriers.  Old people are packing, people!

I recently researched getting a 2nd concealed carry permit from Texas, to add 9 states to the list of places I can legally carry a concealed weapon.  I stumbled on some great statistics.  I based all my numbers on data from 2007, because that’s the most recent year for which all data was available.

From Many Eyes I learned that the total population of Texas is about 23.9 million people, of which 16.6 million meet the age requirement for a concealed carry permit.  The rest of my stats were provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Concealed Carry site, which was extremely helpful.

According to this pdf, there were 288,908  concealed carry permit holders in 2007.  This means that 1.75% of age-eligible residents own a concealed carry permit.  And according to this pdf, only 0.26% (about a quarter of a percent) of gun crimes are commited by concealed carry permit holders.  That means that concealed carry permit holders are seven times less likely to commit gun crimes.  Concealed carriers are safer!

This makes a lot of sense.  Concealed carry permit holders are required to pass a course covering the law surrounding firearms use, including when it is acceptable to use deadly force, and how to do so within the bounds of the law.  The course also requires a level of proficiency with handguns that lowers the risk of accidental injury.  Concealed carry permit holders also undergo a federal background check, submit their fingerprints, and photo identification.  In short, it would be much easier to identify and convict them if they were to abuse their privilege.  Concealed carriers have more to lose by commiting a gun crime – they’re held to a higher level of accountability.

This shouldn’t deter you from obtaining a concealed carry permit, and using it responsibly.  Of course, I wish people were allowed to carry firearms freely without a permit, and regulation.  Criminals are bullies, and they thrive on the weak.  It becomes much harder to rob a convenience store, or go on a shooting rampage at a school or mall when the shooter has to think twice about how many people might also be armed.

NRA Membership

July 9, 2009

Yesterday I received my NRA membership card (and a lot of other NRA paper) in the mail.  So I’m officially a card-carrying member!  I joined online back on June 30, and I had a feeling the card was coming because a couple days prior I received this nifty hat:

Need to know if I'm an NRA member?  Just read this nifty hat.

Need to know if I'm an NRA member? Just read this nifty hat.

But joining the NRA isn’t all gift hats and decals for your back window.  It’s about supporting your right to bear arms.  I love how some people just dismiss the 2nd Amendment as a leftover scrap from revolutionary days.  Why?  Because we’re too “modern” and sophisticated to worry about things like invading countries or violent criminals, right?  Wars don’t happen to us, we’re Americans!

Throughout history, civilizations have cycled in and out of prosperity, but everyone always thinks the time they live in is different.  It’s not.  We were attacked on our own soil on 9/11.  Luckily the threat of outside invaders seemed to rally people into working together instead of against each other.  Katrina was another matter, with rampant theft, looting, and violence.  I wonder how many people would have wished for the security of a basic firearm as they played the urban survival game, hiking their families and belongings to shelters?

Things will not get better right away.  The current economic climate is still crashing, and we will see levels of desperation in people that we haven’t had to deal with before.  During depressions, many more people find themselves with a “legitimate” reason to steal.  And the more you’ve prepared yourself and your family, the more someone has to gain by robbing you of your supplies, and possibly your life.

I’m glad I live in a state that allows concealed carry.  I plan to get the permit very soon.  Ideally, I wouldn’t need a permit with my name and fingerprints on file, but I’ll take what I can get.  What if just one in four people carried a weapon?  Criminals would think twice about robbing a business when chances are excellent some of the victims will be armed as well as they are.  And how far would the vigilante shooters at Virginia Tech and the Omaha mall have gotten if just one of the dozens of people they terrorized had the firepower and basic marksmanship to take them down?

I get fired up about this stuff.  I’ll end with one final fact.  Stricter gun laws only restrict law abiding citizens. They don’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  Concealed carry laws are a great example.  Anyone who ever robbed a store at gunpoint didn’t care about breaking the concealed carry law.  But the unarmed victims did.  That doesn’t seem fair.