I read tonight, in a Minnesota news paper, that 1 of every 40 adults in Minnesota has a concealed carry permit. That does not seem like a very large number. If you were in a movie theater, that would mean that maybe only 4-5 people were carrying a pistol at a given time. The article framed it as an astronomical number. The very next line said, “and there’s no consensus on whether we’re safer…” What??
Why does a news paper have to skew a discussion regarding guns in that direction? The rest of the article went on to discuss why people own guns, the percentage of men to women, gun businesses that have opened, etc. Considering the beginning statement on safety, the article did not discuss ratios or statistics of crime before the increase in CCW permits and now. Therefore, the reason there is no consensus is because Larry Oakes didn’t do his homework to make such a statement. If there was no data to say what direction crime was headed in compared to conceal carry permits, then this sentence should have been left off.
He did go on to state statistics regarding the number of permit holders that have broken laws and then quoted an anti-gun activist, Heather Martens (Executive Director for Protect Minnesota), who said, “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.” Ms. Martens further stated, “this debunks the notion that all permit holders are law-abiding.”
These statistics were for the period from “when the law took affect” to the present. (As far as I could tell reading the article.) They were talking about the Personal Protection Act of 2003. So, from 2003-2012, out of 100,000 permit holders in the state, less than 1,000 crimes of any type were committed. Only two of those were killings. There was no data to say if any of these crimes were committed by the same people – just that they happened. That is less than 1% of people with a carry permit committing any kind of crime, and all they said were that “many were committed with a gun.”
This article really got me fired up, it could have easily been skewed in a more positive light, or even better, Mr. Oakes could have kept a neutral stance. I think it would have been neutral with out that consensus statement at the beginning and leaving out any comments without data to back it up otherwise. The only purpose to skew it in a negative fashion was to support an anti-gun agenda, even though the statistics in the article did prove that permit holders were likely MORE law abiding, as a group, than adults as a whole in the state.
Imagine if the anti-gun torch bearers got their way, and we work up tomorrow with no legal guns. (Notice I did not say “no guns” I said no “legal guns”.) I would like to see the articles the newspapers would print on that day. Well, if that did happen, it is likely the media would be 100% controlled by the government, so there would be no point in consuming their propaganda.
Hold on to your gun-rights, hold on to them tight. There will not be any discussion of “no consensus” once the legal guns are gone.