Concealed carry killers are a threat to public safety. The evidence is clear that all too often, private citizens use their concealed handguns to take lives, not to save them. – The Violence Policy Center
It’s a myth that has been propagated for so long that even some conservatives believe it. The more guns you have on the streets, the more crime you get. It’s one of those cause-and-effect statements so obvious that most Americans don’t bother to question it. Even those who support the Second Amendment do so with reservations, believing that it’s more important to uphold personal liberty than to save lives.
But what if it wasn’t a choice? What if there was very little – if any – correlation between legal gun ownership and higher crime rates? Wouldn’t that make strict gun control policies a very silly reaction to violent crime statistics? Wouldn’t that mean that groups like The Violence Policy Center and Moms Demand Action are essentially lying to their followers?
A new study shows that this might be closer to the truth than most Americans realize. Conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the study found that while murder rates have fallen since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, the number of concealed carry permits has actually gone up. This correlation isn’t insignificant, either. Since 2007, the number of concealed carry permits in the United States has risen from 4.6 million to 12.8 million. During the same time frame, the murder rate has fallen from 5.6 murders per 100,000 Americans to 4.2 as of this year. The country is more armed than ever before, yet violent crime continues to fall.
“This paper simply shows that the states with the biggest increases in the percentage of the population with permits have seen the biggest drop in murder rates and crime,” said CPRC President John R. Lott in an interview with RealClearPolitics.
The study also found that concealed carry permits are becoming increasingly popular among women and minorities, breaking through the stereotypes. For years, pro-gun enthusiasts have been seen as largely white, male, rural, and conservative. But according to the study, there has been a 270% increase in the number of American women with concealed carry permits. Furthermore, concealed carry rates are rising among blacks and minorities at roughly twice the rate they are rising among whites.
“Over the last couple of years, there has been a massive sea change among blacks’ views towards guns,” Lott said. “My own belief is that, if you look at the evidence, women and blacks, particularly poor blacks who live in high-crime urban areas, are the people who benefit the most from owning guns.”
Lott is well known in gun rights circles for his book, More Guns = Less Crime, a must-read for anyone who wants to know the truth about the American gun debate. And while it’s tough to prove that the increase in concealed carry permits is directly responsible for the decrease in violent crime, his study does prove that the opposite argument is much less credible.
So why is it, with all of this information available, that liberal Democrats remain so fiercely anti-gun? Easy question. The thousands of handgun murders we have each year in America are not taking place in rural Kentucky. Red state Americans are not killing each other in mass numbers. The country’s most crime-riddled areas are urban communities with Democratic leadership. These politicians know that their awful economic policies are to blame for the dangerous conditions on the street. So they have to look for something else to blame. Racism in the justice system. Biased cops. The 1%. And of course, guns.
Since Democrats are still in power, we can assume that voters have not yet gotten the message. The next major gun study should attempt to prove a correlation between Democratic leadership and violent crime. If that can be proven (and it almost certainly can), maybe the left will be forced to acknowledge that there’s something wrong with their philosophy on politics, society, and the individual. And then maybe we can stop blaming boogeymen for America’s problems.