Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Understanding how concealed carry laws save lives

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has this story. (H/T John Lott)

Excerpt:

A gunman who had wounded a shopkeeper and opened fire on several customers was stopped yesterday when another man shot him at the store in South Richmond, authorities said.

…The man who shot the robber is a friend of the store owner, and he was wearing a holster with a Western-style revolver, said Managing Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland.

After the suspect shot the store owner and opened fire on patrons, the owner’s friend shot the suspect once in the torso, took his gun and called police, Thorne-Begland said.

How many times are legally-owned firearms used to prevent crimes, as occurred in this story?

Consider this interview with Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck.

Excerpt:

“In 2006, about 11,600 homicides were committed by criminals armed with guns, claiming 68 percent of all homicides,” he says. Based on data from the National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS), as many as 500,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States in 2006 by offenders armed with guns, and around 26 percent of robberies and 7 percent of assaults were committed by gun-armed offenders.

These facts have led many people to conclude that America’s high rate of gun ownership must be at least partially responsible for the nation’s high rates of violence, or at least its high homicide rate, says Kleck, adding that this belief in a causal effect of gun levels on violent crime rates has, in turn, led many to conclude that limiting the availability of guns would substantially reduce violent crime, especially the murder rate.

“What’s not so widely known, though, is that large numbers of crime victims in America also use guns in the course of crimes (but) in self-defense,” says Kleck.

Based on 16 national surveys of samples of the U.S. population, he continues, the evidence indicates that guns are used by victims in self-protection more often than crimes are committed by offenders using guns. Victims used guns defensively two to two-and-a-half million times in 1993, for example, compared to about 850,000 crimes in which offenders possessed guns.

Maybe guns are not as scary as we had been led to believe!

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2 Responses

  1. Curtis says:

    The man in Richmond, VA, in the Richmond Times Dispatch article was OPEN carrying, not carrying concealed.

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