If lawmakers want to reduce gun crime, why are they restricting the right to carry a concealed weapon?
All over the United States, people are debating the gun control issue. Bills are being drawn up to strengthen background checks, restrict access to weapons and ban so-called “assault rifles” and high-capacity magazines. It’s debatable whether any of these measures will work, as I have discussed here, but most of them seem well-intentioned efforts to reduce gun crime.
But one trend that we know won’t work – and actually seems to fly in the direct face of logic – are the increased calls to create “gun free” zones by banning people with “carry and conceal” permits from bringing their guns to certain locations.
In Colorado, for example, four items of gun-control legislation recently passed a House vote, including a law to ban concealed weapons on college campuses. Sponsor of that bill, Democrat Claire Levy, argued: “There are a lot of students who simply are not ready to be in the presence of firearms. It’s a dangerous mix.”
But is it?
In actual fact, gun-owners with carry and conceal permits are amongst the safest and most law-abiding in America. They’re responsible for a statistically insignificant number of gun offenses, and it’s a proven and inarguable fact that the more permissive a state’s carry and conceal laws are, the lower its crime rate is.
In the American mold – in which there are 9 guns for every 10 people – the presence of citizens with concealed weapons actually makes sense. It’s the “wild west” out there, and one incredibly powerful deterrent against crime is the knowledge that any of your “victims” could be carrying a weapon (the same reason why burglary rates are far lower in America than in countries with strict gun control, like Great Britain.)
As somebody recently pointed out, all but a handful of America’s most horrific mass shootings occurred in so-called “gun free” zones, where the perpetrator knew they would be the only person armed. That’s often why they chose that location.
So while you might not like the idea, it’s a cold, hard, objective fact that concealed weapons in the hands of permit-holders save lives.
Which demands the question: If lawmakers really want to reduce the risk of gun crime, shouldn’t they be encouraging more citizens to “carry and conceal”? And allowing concealed weapons in more locations?
Statistically, yes. Logically, yes. But they’re not.
Which leads to another question: If reducing gun crime is not lawmaker’s primary motivation for tightening gun laws… What is?
Finally: The effectiveness of a conceal weapon in action: