Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) signed a bill this afternoon
enacting legislation to legalize conceal and carry. I was enthused when the bill was passed both in the Senate and the Assembly because I knew Walker would have no problem signing it. However, my liberal friends didn’t share my enthusiasm. I heard an earful about how the passing of this legislation was going to regress Wisconsin back “to the days of the Wild West.”This sort of hyperbolic emotionalism is why it’s difficult to have an honest debate with gun control advocates. Is this bill going to plunge Wisconsin into some pre-conceived notion of anarchy that existed in 19th-century America? I honestly don’t think so. This is no mere conjecture. The most exculpatory evidence of that is in the precedence set by the other states in the Union. There are forty-eight other states that permit non-law enforcement citizens to carry concealed weaponry, and in thirty-five of those states, they have passed “shall-issue” laws
. These laws have been in full force for quite a few years now. If concealed carry were so terrible, not only would we have seen a huge rise in crime, but we would have also seen states be so troubled about it that the government would have overturned any concealed carry legislation previously passed. You haven’t seen any of that. As a matter of fact, the trend is that we have seen over the course of the past couple of decades is that of even more
states passing concealed carry legislation. If gun-induced chaos were to ensue, it would have happened by now.The fact that it hasn’t happened still doesn’t silence the “guns kill people” crowd. How many people have been killed by concealed gun carriers? According to the Violence Policy Center
, which is a pro-gun control organization, the total from May 2007 to the present is 319. It should go without saying that any murder is abhorent. However, from a statistical standpoint, is this number high?According to FBI homicide statistics
(most recent compiled being 2009), there was an average of approximately 16,000 homicides per annum
. Multiply that by four years and you have about 64,000 homicides within the timeframe of the Violence Policy Center Statistics. Divide the 319 by 64,000, and the odds that a concealed carrier is a part of the 64,000 murderers is 0.49%.
Even more convincing is the probability that a concealed carrier is to actually commit a murderer. Let’s assume that the 318 murderers were each committed by different carriers. Let’s also use the MSNBC statistic that six million Americans are registered for concealed carry because their bias is going to report the number on the low end. What does “319/6,000,000” equal? 0.0053%! Using numbers that are in the favor of gun control advocates, for every person that commits homicide with a permitted concealed weapon, there are 20,000 law-abiding indiviudals that will not commit homicide!
There is no reason to punish 20,000 individuals for the actions of one schmuck. After all, it is their Second Amendment right. The two recent Supreme Court cases of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago both reaffirm an American’s rights to bear arms.
The reason why so many Americans own guns and feel that this legislation is necessary is for the purpose of self-defense. Guns are a great equalizer. When someone pulls out a concealed gun, the criminial will simply retreat 55% of the time. Concealed carry won’t increase violence. No study has proven that. The best that the naysayers can come up with is that it has no discernable effect.
Even if you’re a peacenik that hate guns, they even experience an unintended positive externality. With concealed carry, criminals don’t know who’s packing. This uncertainty creates a deterrent effect.
In short, this law is a victory for the citizens of Wisconsin. Wait, scratch that! Not quite everybody. It’s not a victory for Wisconsin’s criminals. They’re going to be deterred from committing more crimes. So to rephrase, the bill is a victory for Wisconsin’s law-abiding citizens.