-By Warner Todd Huston
The State of Minnesota started handing out concealed carry permits all the way back in 2003 with no statistical rise in crime. Yet still, in 2012, a journalist from the Minnesota Star is still worrying about “gun violence” being perpetrated by the same CC people who have not been responsible for any great rise in crime in almost ten years. This really shows the bias against our Second Amendment rights that so many journalists harbor.
At the top of his piece for the Star Trib, Larry Oakes writes of a Minnesota permit holder that carries his firearm daily. Of this law abiding citizen, Oakes says, “He’s just another average Minnesotan who has acquired the power to kill.”
Sensationalist rhetoric like “acquired the power to kill,” is a bit absurd but typical of the bias journalists reveal when talking about guns. The truth is, this citizen had “the power to kill” without ever having to get a legal carry permit. Everyone has “the power to kill,” for Lord’s sakes, carry permit or no.
Oakes goes on to worry about all the violence that hasn’t happened — but he imagines will happen despite the facts. Not only does he worry about it in Minnesota, but across the United States where at this date every state but one has some sort of shall issue law on the books and the number of gun-carrying Americans has gone up exponentially.
What causes Oakes all this angst? The Trayvon Martin killing in Florida, of course.
We have millions of Americans carrying firearms every day — and that increasing year-by-year — and one incident has this journo throwing up his hands in terror? Isn’t that a bit of an over reaction?
It’s like worrying if the Earth really is flat because a few thousand people say it is.
Even in Minnesota, Oakes notes that in 2002 there were only some 11,381 citizens with a legal carry permit yet by 2007 that number had climbed to 50,777. But, as Duane Lester notes, in 2009 headlines were informing Minnesotans that the state’s crime rate had fallen to the lowest level since the late 1960s when few people were allowed to carry firearms in their daily lives.
Obviously there has been no rise in crime even though hundreds of thousands of citizens in Minnesota have been given carry permits just as no crime wave has hit the country as a result of millions of citizens in all the other states getting theirs. Yet still we get stories like this hand-wringing about the violence just waiting to happen.
In fact, Oakes goes out of his way to seemingly equate some tiny number of crimes to a great crime wave that must be laid at the feet of concealed carry permit laws, statistics he says give “a mixed record” to the efficacy of CC laws.
How are Minnesota’s crime stats a “mixed record”? Because Oakes gives the feelings of anti-gun advocates the same veracity as actual statistics.
Oakes quotes an anti-gun activist who claims that the law “has not been a net benefit to our society in any way.” Why is this true? Because one five-year-old was killed recently in inner city Minneapolis.
How does the activist link that single gang crime to concealed carry permit holders? He doesn’t bother and Oakes doesn’t bother to push him on it. He just lets the illogical, emotion-fraught comment pass as “proof” that concealed carry is a bad idea.
But Oakes has other “proof” of how bad the law might be.
State data shows that since the law took effect, permit holders were convicted of 882 non-traffic crimes, including 66 assaults, two robberies and two killings. Many were committed with guns. Martens said it debunks the notion that all permit holders are law-abiding.
Remember, this tiny number of crimes is compared to over 100,000 permit holders in the state! Less than a thousand out of over 100,000 have committed a crime and it should be noted that not all of those crimes were committed with a firearm. This number is statistically insignificant, yet Oakes and other anti-gun groups act as if we are in the middle of some out of control crime wave.
Facts say otherwise. Yet every few months we get another journalist worrying that more concealed carry permits are sure to be responsible for a great outbreak of crime, an outbreak that hasn’t happened in the 25 years the concealed carry movement has been around and in a time when their success has gotten permits in 49 of the 50 states.
How many decades have to pass where that expected crime wave never materializes before journalists start realizing that CC laws do not cause crime?