National Review Writers Shoot Holes in Concealed Carry Claims of Activists, Media

April 30, 2014 - 11:05 AM

Concealed carry holders are killers.  All of them.  Well, at least, that's how the Violence Policy Center labels them.  They recently put out a ludicrous report that claimed 636 people have been killed by "concealed carry killers" between March 2007 and March of 2014.  All fifty states have some form of concealed carry law, 11 million people carry concealed handguns, and it seems that pro-gun control shills still fudge the data.

John Lott wrote for National Review that the Violence Policy Center did just that; they cooked the books.  Additionally, they use irrelevant data in order to push the gun control narrative.  Lott used VPC's analysis on Michigan as an example:

For Michigan, for example, it cites state-police reports on permit holders indicating that 185 died from suicide during the period 2007 through 2012. Surely some alarm bells should have gone off, with Michigan suicides supposedly making up 29 percent of all 636 deaths nationwide the VPC attributed to permitted concealed handguns.

But more importantly, the suicides are not in any meaningful way linked to the issue of carrying a permitted concealed handgun outside of one's home. If you look at page 2 in the latest report from the Michigan State Police, you will see that in the listing of suicides, there is no indication of specific cause of death. The report merely notes that 56 permit holders committed suicide, without saying whether any or all of them used a gun. Interestingly, the suicide rate among permit holders in Michigan in 2010 (13.3 per 100,000 permit holders) is lower than the rate in the general adult population (16.30). But typically suicides - with or without guns - take place at home. So, again, what would these numbers have to do with the concealed-carry debate? ...

Secondly, since it can take years for a murder case to go to trial, some of the homicides may have occurred well before 2007. In addition, the Michigan State Police report doesn't provide information on how the murder was committed, so gun murders make up only a portion of this total.​

Third, and perhaps the worst mistake, the Violence Policy Center actually adds the "pending" and "conviction" numbers together. Convictions are obviously what should be counted. After all, some of the "pending" cases do not result in a conviction, and adding them more than doubles the total number. ...

Yet, put aside all these problems for a moment. Assume, for the sake of argument, that the Violence Policy Center's claim that concealed-handgun permits were responsible for 636 deaths in seven years is correct. One has to note that there are over 11 million concealed-handgun permits in the U.S. right now. With an annual number of deaths of 90, that means 0.00083 percent of concealed-carry permit holders were responsible for a shooting death each year. Removing suicides from the total reduces the rate even more, to 0.00058 percent.

Although, this ignorance on firearms is also on display with the press.  The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, a staunch liberal, wrote a stunning op-ed that gave the grim prognostication that Georgia's new gun law will usher in a new neo-Hobbesian era in America.  Well, that's not true either.   Like the VPC, Dionne is either ignorant of the law or disregards the facts to fit his own narrative as NRO's Charles Cooke exposed in his dissection of the Washington Post columnist.

So, let's get to Dionne's reasons to fear thy Georgian. First, he calls supporters of civil rights "gun supremacists," so you know you're in for a treat:

"You will also be able to tote weapons into bars and their parking facilities if the bar grants you permission. I can't wait to see the next beer ad depicting a gunfight over who pays for the next round."

Cooke retorts:

In every state except Louisiana and Montana, it is already legal for concealed-carry permit holders to take their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol (Montana allows only open carry in restaurants serving alcohol). Only 16 states - Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma (to an extent), Texas, and Wyoming - explicitly prohibit people who are carrying from entering bars (the state of Indiana requires visitors to abide by the rules of their home state). Where are the stories of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp?

But here's the most ludicrous claim Dionne makes:

And law and order goes out the window. As Niraj Chokshi noted in The Post, this statute gets rid of state requirements that firearms dealers maintain records of sales and purchases. Databases on license holders that span multiple jurisdictions are banned. Those who commit gun crimes must be chuckling, "Can you find me now?"

Cooke with the right hook:

Suffice it to say that the idea that "those who commit gun crimes" are filling in sales forms, undergoing federal and state background checks, and applying for concealed-carry licenses is risible. Nevertheless, like almost every other outlet that has addressed this issue, Dionne deliberately failed to inform his audience that the federal government will continue to record all sales and purchases - as it has done since 1968. Here, Georgia is merely removing the second layer of records, thus bringing itself into line with 31 other states.

Furthermore, millions of fugitives can potentially buy firearms without raising any red flags on background checks.  This isn't due to new pro-Second Amendment laws.  It's because law enforcement doesn't bother to file the paperwork. Why? Apparently, they don't want to pursue criminals across state lines.  So, I guess Dionne has a point when he says that law and order goes out the window.  It's the police who are making it so in this case.