Saturday, August 13, 2016

CCW Holders Welcome

I saw a couple of stories this week that make for an interesting pairing.  Jack in the Box Has 5th Armed Robbery Since Asking for Unarmed Customers  I would be interested in seeing the statistics on armed robberies prior to the announcement, but it's intuitively true that criminals in general like opposition-free environments, as do most miscreants.

The other story is more interesting:  These Gun Owners Are Least Likely Criminals, Report Finds  This is a write up of a study (linked in the article) and it's fascinating.  We already knew that CCW holders are very law-abiding:
In 21 years, Florida has had to revoke an average of eight licenses a year for crimes involving a gun--out of more than half a million permit holders at any given time. Says Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, "If the United States had a crime rate like that, we'd think we were in Switzerland."
 We knew there seems to be a correlation between increased numbers of CCW permits and reduced violent crime:
NAPLES, FL - In the so-called Gunshine State, home to the most gun permits in the country, firearm violence has fallen to the lowest point on record.

As state and national legislators consider gun control laws in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting, Florida finds itself in a gun violence depression. The firearm-involved violent crime rate has dropped 33 percent between 2007 and 2011, while the number of issued concealed weapons permits rose nearly 90 percent during that time, state records show.

"We're happy to have facts and statistics put into these debates, because every time they do, we win," said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry Inc., a pro-gun-rights advocacy group.  
This new study is a bit shocking when it comes to how very law-abiding CCW holders are. 
“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers,” the report reads. “For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”

The study refers to Texas and Florida, which it says mirror most other states, to compare permit holders with police and the overall population. It used data from 1987 through 2015.

“We find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers,” the report says. “Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10. That is just one-seventh of the rate for police officers.”
After a moment to think about why this might be, likely reasons come quickly to mind:
Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott, a noted economist, said the finding is not surprising considering the rigorous process it takes to get a concealed-carry permit.

“The type of person that would go through the process, one in which you can often lose the license for fairly trivial offenses,” Lott told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “They are reluctant to use the the guns in a wrong way because they have a lot to lose if they do something wrong.”
So CCW holders know the law and they obey the law.  They're serious enough about their 2nd Amendment rights to be supercitizens, careful to remain lawful and ready to defend themselves and others.

Circling back to Jack in the Box, they should probably rethink their policy.  Many places of business love to have officers visit, even going so far as to give them free food or drink.  The sight of a uniformed officer in one's establishment can absolutely deter crime.  However, this study would suggest that business owners are even smarter and safer to put up "CCW HOLDERS WELCOME!" signs.  This is also common sense.  Criminals are less likely to act when they don't know who might shoot them for putting the lives of others in danger.

Further, CCW holders seem to be a lot more accurate than many of our officers, so you're less likely to get shot as an innocent bystander if a CCW holder opens fire on a violent criminal than if an officer does.

None of this is meant to denigrate our police, of whom the vast majority are upstanding people doing a tough job and keeping us all safer.  Business owners, legislatures and police alike should probably view CCW holders in a different way, though.  CCW holders are a positive force in society and ought to be treated as such.

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