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I  recently stumbled onto an article titled, “Think Conceal and Carry Makes You  Safe? Think again.” The article was written by Martha Rosenberg and appeared in the Huffington Post on June 26, 2013. 

Martha Rosenberg is best known as a health food writer who published a book with the not-so-classy title, A Junk Food  Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health.

 Rosenberg went from articles with titles like, “Will we ever stop craving things that aren’t good for us?” to launching a series of articles that attack the NRA and demonize the gun. One has to wonder what all of the sudden qualified her to transition from food expert to gun expert. Could it be the same lobby that is trying to outlaw super-sized drinks?

She fancies herself an “investigative health reporter”. I hope she investigates the things she tells her readers about health better than she has done her researcher to support the article she wrote demonizing conceal and carry holders. 

Rosenberg wrote, “It is hard to find a more zealous group than conceal carriers. Like George Zimmerman,
who killed Trayvon Martin in Florida last year, they see "bad guys" everywhere, have a high fear level and flatter themselves that they are keeping themselves and others safe.”


These generalizations are not only offensive they are slander. The Zimmerman trial is currently in full swing and he hasn’t been convicted of  anything at this point. I am always suspect of writers who are unable to see that generalizing any group is
just as bigoted as generalizing about people of a specific race, religion, sex, etc. Concealed carry holders come from all walks of life with many different personal views. The one thing they do have in common is that statistics show
that concealed carry holders commit felonies at rates exponentially lower than the general public. John Lotts’ research shows that violent crimes, rapes, and murders decreased in states after they implemented concealed carry laws. 
 
Rosenberg continues in her article, “Two years ago, the TV show 20/20 tested whether carriers could defend themselves
against an armed assailant who they knew would storm the room they were in. Even with advance warning none of the carriers stopped the assailant even though some were well trained in firearms. Some carriers came close to injuring themselves and others had the ammo been live. Oops.”


Here is the link to the video that Rosenberg references Link to video The participants were college students who volunteered, because they were told they would be given free gun training. The self-selection criteria for the test already presupposes the participants were untrained. The video doesn’t indicate how much training they were given before the experiment was carried out, but it does indicated, “These were real people with no crisis training”.

I can find no indication in the video that the students would have hurt themselves or others, if the ammo had been live. Most simply froze, because of the lack of crisis training. In many cases were unable to get the gun out of their holster, which was not a standard concealed carry holster. A CDC report from 2007 (the last date available) revealed that people ages 21-24 (the age group used in this video) accounted for fewer than 70 fatal gun accidents that year. Most of those were hunting accidents and would have no bearing on concealed carry statistics. Additionally the study found that accidental
discharge rarely results in death or serious injury.

In watching the video I noticed that at 21 feet many of the students were still unable to hit the target. So, I would venture to say they were not legitimate conceal and carry holders….and by virtue of the self-selection process had already admitted they needed assistance. The one thing that I will agree on is that everyone needs continuous ongoing training.
Research has proven that ongoing training is required to maintain the proper mindset. Despite Rosenberg’s assertion to the contrary concealed carry holders need ongoing training to feel confident enough to deploy their firearm if the need arises.

The experiment I would like to see carried out is one where no one in the room is armed, then arm everyone in the room. We can compare notes on how many people survive and determine which is the better scenario. In the scenario used by
20/20 not only were the students untrained, but the gunmen already had advance notice of their location in the room and went straight for them as the target. In a room where everyone is armed the gunman doesn’t stand a chance no matter
who he targets. And in a real concealed carry situation the gunman is unaware of who the concealed carry holder in the room is…They make my point for me about only having school resources officers armed in schools. If a gunman knows the
only person in the school with a gun is the school resource officer, then the officer will be the target, just as they singled out the one student with a firearm in the video. 

Rosenberg attempts to throw skewed data at the reader stating, “It is obvious conceal and carry does not protect the carriers or stop bad guys, unless you consider Trayvon Martin a bad guy. But there is a more deadly side to conceal carry. Since 2007, conceal carriers have been responsible for 494 U.S. civilian deaths, 23 mass shootings and the death of 14 law enforcement officers, according to data compiled by the Violence Policy Institute.”

Looking through the VPC report http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm at least 150 were suicides (129 in Michigan alone) several were licensed security guards (Not concealed carry holders) around 5% were accidental. Many took place in residence where having or not having a CCW license didn't make a difference, several involved long guns, which would also
have little bearing on whether the person was or was not licensed (one did involve a licensed full auto AK-47) Most appeared to be accidental and not intentional crimes. Rosenberg intentionally leaves out the actual statistics,
because if you compare the above numbers to the national averages you find that concealed carry holders commit crimes at a rate far lower than the general population. Here is another link to back up my facts: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=9367 

The statistics show that when there is a concealed carry permit holder on the premises 2.2 people die in a mass shooting. When there is no concealed carry holder on the premises 18.2 people die. So, again I fail to see the logic in Rosenberg’s statements. 
 
In fact, “States that keep statistics on crimes committed by concealed handgun license holders invariably find that licensees are significantly less likely than unlicensed residents to commit violent crimes.  In Texas, for example, the rate of
concealed carry is about 1.8% (as of December 31, 2010).  Approximately one Texan out of every 55 is licensed to carry a concealed handgun.  Yet, according to official statistics, Texas concealed handgun license holders are five and a half times less likely than members of Texas’s general population to commit manslaughter and four times less likely to commit murder.  Despite Texas’s high rate of concealed carry, a person in Texas is more than 20 times as likely to be struck
by lightning as to be murdered or negligently killed by a concealed handgun license holder.”  (Texas Department of Public Safety, five-year average of statistics on criminal convictions of CHL holders, 2002-2006; U.S. Census Bureau, yearly estimates of Texas Population, 2002-2006; U.S. National Weather Service, “Medical Aspects of Lightning,” Dr. Marry Ann
Cooper) http://www.campuscarry.com/supporting-facts-arguments/
 
Rosenberg fails at another attempt at statistics stating, “A staggering 1,400 people licensed for conceal carry in Florida have pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies, the Gainsville Sun reported upon reviewing records. Two hundred and sixteen had
  outstanding warrants, 128 had active domestic violence injunctions and six were registered sex offenders. Are these the "good guys"?”


Rosenberg continues, In nearly 80 percent of 300 deadly incidents, "the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (126), committed suicide (167), or was killed in the incident (seven)," says the Violence Policy Institute. "Of the 67 cases still pending, the vast majority (55) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and eight incidents are still under investigation."

The reality of those “statistics” Rosenberg sites are that Florida has issued 1 million licenses 1400 represent .0014%
hardly a staggering number nationwide as of 2012 there were 8 million CCW licenses issued, so "300 deadly incidents", some which the court decision had not been rendered, represents .0000375% of license holders. Additionally, Rosenberg fails to recognize that if you have been convicted of a felony, then you are not a legal gun owner let alone a legal concealed carry license holder.

A US Secret Service study conducted in October 2000 by Bryan Vossekuil, Marissa Reddy PhD, and Robert Fein PhD found that psychiatric professionals agree that previously sane people don’t suddenly “snap”.

In states like Kentucky concealed carry holders have their background checks done every 28 days. If a person commits a
serious crime meriting the loss of their CCDW license the police knock on their door and take their permit and their guns. Once could argue implementing concealed carry legislation, like that used in Kentucky, legalizing concealed carry actually allows law enforcement to keep a closer eye on what is going on thereby keeping citizens safer.

In contrast look at the data on Chicago and DC where gun ownership is not allowed:

In 1976 Washington DC banned handgun ownership. In the years following the ban murder rose by 156% in contrast to the national average that only rose 32%.

In 1982 Chicago, IL banned handgun ownership. In the years following their ban murder rose by 81% versus the
national increase of 18%.

Another interesting tidbit that comes out of these statistics is that violent crimes committed while using a handgun were
on an overall decline and continue to be as handgun sales go up crime goes down.

The Obama administration did their own study following the Sandy Hook Shootings. The study was signed in by executive order trying to prove the dangers of handguns, but it did just the opposite. You can review the whole study at the following link http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=R1

The Obama administrations own research disputes most of what Rosenberg has put out in her article. Here are just some
of the highlights:

- “Between the years 2000-2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

No, I am not endorsing suicide or down playing the seriousness. However, adding those numbers to the homicide statistics is definitely a misuse of the data. People who want to kill themselves are equally as likely to use a rope, but we are not discussing outlawing rope.

- “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Specifically, since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in a day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.”

The US has had  mass shootings since the 1700s. Israel had one school shooting, then armed their  teachers. They have had no school shootings since arming their teachers.

- “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence [...]. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
 
That means 500,000 to 3 million people are saved every year, because they were armed.

-“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns [...] have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
 
The bottom line, no matter how well trained you are, if a criminal has a gun and you don’t then you are dead.

In one final attempt at an emotional spin Rosenberg writes, “It is hard to believe state legislators would allow a policy that kills their finest. Among the 508 citizens killed by conceal carriers since 2007, compiled by the Institute, are Alabama, police
officer Philip Davis, Tampa police veteran Corporal Mike Roberts, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Donald Pettit and Springfield, Mass., police officer Kevin Ambrose. Four of the slain officers were killed by white supremacists, an increasingly vocal component of the armed citizens movement.”


I will be the first to tell you that my heart is broken any time anyone dies. I am the sister of a murder victim. However, many police officers will be the first to tell you that they can’t be everywhere at one time and often arrive after it is too late. Our sheriffs around the country have come out in full force to support the second amendment and help protect peoples’ gun rights, because they know better than any other group what criminals are capable of doing. They witness what happens daily and  see the importance of people being able to protect themselves. The statistics from the CDC tell us somewhere between 500,000 and 3 million lives are saved. It is very sad that these law enforcement officers died. However, 508 over a 6 year period represent less than 1% of homicides. Further researcher into causation doesn’t reveal intent it shows issues of
self-defense and mistaken identities, as well as inclusion of shootings that happened off duty, accidental shootings and
suicides.

Rosenberg continues, “Incredibly, Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Arizona U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and
killed six people in 2011, was a legal conceal carrier because Arizona does not require a permit of any type to carry a concealed handgun outside of the home. Conceal carriers also include the mass shooters Omar Thornton, who killed eight
at a beer distributorship in Connecticut in 2010, and Gerardo Regalado, who  killed four women and wounded three in Florida in 2010. Mass shooter Paul Michael Merhige, who killed his twin sisters, a 76-year-old aunt and a 6-year-old cousin at a Thanksgiving dinner in Florida, was also a legal conceal carrier. Thank you, NRA. Thank you, gun lobby. Let's enforce existing laws!”


If you want to make the argument that he was a legal concealed carry holder, because there was no standing law that argument just doesn’t work. Technically, the 2nd amendment allows everyone to carry concealed. There is not one “gun law” on the table that would have stopped any of these shootings with or without concealed carry permits. Now ask yourself what would  have happened if there had been a law abiding citizen with a gun at any of those locations. In fact, there has been no mass shooting in US history that didn’t occur in a gun free zone. All citizens had been disarmed for the criminal’s convenience. The exception is Giffords’ shooting, but I don’t know many people who go to listen to a representative speak armed. Most people assume guns would not be allowed at such an event. 

The fact that Arizona doesn’t have a concealed carry law and this criminal brought a gun to the event further proves that laws don’t stop criminals. Having or not having the law wouldn’t have stopped this crime. In fact, none of the proposed
“gun control” legislation would have stopped one of these mass shootings. The last time I checked murder is already illegal and that has not stopped any murder yet….mass shooting may make headlines, but actually account for less than
.003% of homicides in a given year. 

Unable to provide any real data Rosenberg once again relies on personal attacks, which may work when you are talking about sugary drinks, but don’t work when you are slandering a group of people, “Commensurate with the bully personality,
conceal carriers have a high fear level and are afraid to go the same places normal, unarmed people go every day. They want to carry in national parks, on trains, near schools and in gun free zones to protect against the omnipresent
"bad guys." Yet, in at least 500 recent shootings, the conceal carriers are the bad guys.”


Guns are neither good or bad. They are a tool, like a hammer, fire extinguisher, knife….or in the case of Timothy McVey
fertilizer. Your personality doesn’t change because you have a concealed carry permit. Concealed carry holders come from all walks of life. Most, as the statistics support, are not “bad guys”.

I find the real bullies to be those who can’t back up their opinions with facts, instead they use name calling and
attempts at shame to try to get others to conform to their ideas. They skew the data to try to manipulate others. 

The real killers in all of this will be the  people who lied and manipulated to disarm Americans. Every time an innocent
person is killed, because they have been stripped of their rights to protect themselves their blood will be on the hands of those whose political agendas were more important than people’s safety.

No “gun free” zone sign has ever stopped a criminal. How many children must die while we debate if some kind of security
should be used in schools? There is a degree of common sense and statistical accuracy that needs to be brought to the table, instead of more drama. The statistics show that gun owners save lives. The statistics show that when guns
are banned crime goes up, because criminals don’t follow laws. In fact, most criminals don't even obtain their firearms through legal means.

The American people's Right To Keep And Bear Arms is a Constitutional Right. It is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment and it is the only one of the Bill of Rights that ends with the words "Shall Not Be Infringed."  


 
 

 


Comments

R Reeser
06/30/2013 8:28pm

I likedf it very good :)

Reply
12/15/2014 3:33am

I like it...

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