Letter: Concealed carry proven to reduce crime, violence
July 30, 2012
To the editor:
Tears fill her eyes as the woman highlighted in the news on Denver's FOX TV channel says, “It could happen to any one of us, at any time, at any place.”
That's the public delusion fostered by virtually all television stations, including the Denver channels, since reporting began on the July 20 mass shooting in Aurora. Only a few admirable news personalities dared refute this collective fantasy with facts.
Evaluation of data over the course of 20-plus years irrefutably shows odds of a mass shooting rise exponentially in places where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from carrying guns for self defense, namely “no gun” zones. Hundreds of court transcripts confirm the statistical records.
Conclusive evidence has been available in print for more than 10 years. The empirical data has been painstakingly analyzed and compiled in a book by John R. Lott, Jr., “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.”
Lott's research finds the overwhelming majority of mass shootings take place where concealed carry permit holders are barred, such as the Cinemark Century Theater in Aurora. Cinemark has a franchise-wide “no guns” policy. Thus, any Century Theater is never a safe place to go or send your kids, on any day, no matter where the theater is.
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Simple observation of signs displayed at any given location can drastically reduce your chances of becoming involved in a shooting.
The tragedy of the weeping lady on Denver's FOX 31 News is that she truly believes she is a hapless victim-in-waiting, subject to the random cruelties of fate that could end her life in an instant or change it forever.
Legally-armed citizens deter crime before it happens, particularly violent crime. Legal concealed carry saves lives, as in the Colorado Springs church shooting in 2007, where a woman with a handgun quickly stopped the progress of the shooter.
Four percent of adult Coloradans already hold concealed carry permits. The Denver Post reported that immediately after the July 20 shooting, Colorado gun sales jumped 41 percent; applications for concealed carry permits also increased. Apparently, some Coloradans got the message.
The time has come to rethink those laws that create gun-free zones. These zones are magnets for murderous criminals. Even metal scanners cannot solve the problem at events where unarmed citizens must wait in line before entering a secure area.
As Lott states in his book, "the evidence implies that concealed handguns are the most cost-effective method of reducing crime that has been analyzed by economists."
Colorado businesses may legally prohibit firearms. If governments seldom enforce “no gun” laws with adequate security measures, must private businesses do so? Courts will decide.
In any case, you have the ability to exercise sound judgment, avoid private gun-free locations, and spend your time and money elsewhere.
Incidentally, John R. Lott's updated 2010 Third Edition of the above-referenced book is available at the Moffat County Libraries.
The bad news is that you'll have to go into a “gun-free” zone to get it.
What perfect irony.