Christian Science Monitor contemplates America's gun-carry culture


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Fred Fuller
March 12, 2012, 12:30 AM
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/0311/Gun-nation-Inside-America-s-gun-carry-culture
Gun nation: Inside America's gun-carry culture
Why Americans now carry handguns in so many public places, from parks to college campuses. Is it making the country safer or more dangerous?
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / March 11, 2012
==============================

America's Gun Culture 2.0 essentially got started when Florida passed the nation's first "shall issue" concealed carry permit law in 1987. Since then all but ten states have enacted "shall issue" laws of their own, and a total of four states have gone even further, to "Vermont style" no-permit concealed carry for law abiding citizens (Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming). In addition, a number of states have passed "castle doctrine" laws as well.

This is a definite change from an earlier trend of increasingly restrictive gun laws across most of the nation. The usual partisan arguments continue, seemingly unabated in many cases, and with little regard for available data from some quarters. But it is becoming more and more clear to more and more people that more guns do not necessarily equal more crime, as this article seems to grudgingly acknowledge.

I see this article as being interesting for several reasons. First of all, that grudging admission from a not-always-firearms-friendly source that more guns in the right hands might lead to less crime. In addition, the article might provide support from a 'mainstream' media source for anyone trying to decide whether or not to carry, or even to obtain a firearm for defense in the home. It might help convince a spouse or other family member who is objecting to the desire of another family member to provide for their own protection. And it's a good reminder for people new to the concealed carry community just how much has changed in a relatively few years, and how relatively politically fragile these changes might be. Thus it's in all our best interests to get the best training we can in order to make the best decisions possible where CCW is concerned.

So, on a personal note - if your state makes concealed carry permits available, do you have one yet? If not, why not?

Since I asked, I'll answer first. I got my first concealed carry permit in the state of Alabama as soon as I was old enough, which was in the early 1970s. I've had a permit to carry everywhere one was available since then, in NC the concealed carry legislation wasn't passed until several years after I moved here. And my wife (who also has a permit) and I continue to seek the best training we can manage at every opportunity.

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baylorattorney
March 12, 2012, 12:47 AM
Good article. I think the consensus is more guns does not equal more crime or more violence, in other words more guns is a good thing.


Judge a man not by the answers he gives, but by the questions he asks. - Voltaire

Robert
March 12, 2012, 02:24 AM
I have my CCW permit for CO. There was a bill floating around up in Denver to go to a "Vermont" style carry but I am fairly sure it died.

MachIVshooter
March 12, 2012, 03:04 AM
The article sums it up pretty well. The last decade has been truly amazing, and I, for one, am glad to see so many people waking up to the reality that they alone are responsible for protection of themselves and their families.

I generally have faith in LE, but one would have to be truly diluded to think the police can actually protect them. They're not omnipresent superheros. They're just people, and a tiny fraction of the population at that.

Shytheed Dumas
March 12, 2012, 07:36 AM
I've had my CCW for 5 years, and just had to renew it. Two years after getting mine, I bought my wife and daughter their own revolvers for Christmas and sent them to CCW classes just after that.

For me, it is about two things... First, taking responsibility for my personal well being. When things go wrong, it happens fast and I never want to regret not having had the means to protect myself and my family if the situation ever arises. The other is that I firmly believe in keeping RKBA alive through active participation. I think those became two of many common reasons for the incredible growth in CCW once people began to learn the reality of concealed carry and the stigma began to evaporate.

The War Wagon
March 12, 2012, 09:18 AM
I got my first CCW in KY in 1999, even though I'd BEEN CCW'ing for years. Having my first REAL job, it seemed like the prudent thing to DO, being on the RIGHT side of the law and whatnot! http://www.smiley-faces.org/smiley-faces/smiley-face-whistle-2.gif

I've had one in PA since I moved here (in fact, it's up for renewal in August) fo pretty much the same reason. In this overly-litigious society, it's best to elminate EVERY obstacle you can, should you ever be FORCED to defend yourself, and then tried by twelve... :o

bikerdoc
March 12, 2012, 10:00 AM
As the reluctant patriarch of a large clan I have convinced about 15 or so to get CCW and lots of training formal and informal.

GuysModel94
March 12, 2012, 10:13 AM
The article was neutral, there was an anti-gun editorial in the front of the mag..

Fred Fuller
March 12, 2012, 10:14 AM
Moving from ST&T to General, per staff consensus...

Owen
March 12, 2012, 10:52 AM
I think the consensus is more guns does not equal more crime or more violence, in other words more guns is a good thing.

Logical fallacy. If the presence of an item causes no harm, that doesn't make it good, it makes it neutral.

Nobody, as far as I know has been able to show that CCW has a positive affect on crime as far as society is concerned (it certainly makes a difference to individuals). There are a lot of studies out there that imply the easy access to abortion and porn, and the widespread playing of videogames is having an incredible effect on the general violence level of the population.

baylorattorney
March 12, 2012, 11:37 AM
Logical fallacy. If the presence of an item causes no harm, that doesn't make it good, it makes it neutral.

Nobody, as far as I know has been able to show that CCW has a positive affect on crime as far as society is concerned (it certainly makes a difference to individuals). There are a lot of studies out there that imply the easy access to abortion and porn, and the widespread playing of videogames is having an incredible effect on the general violence level of the population.

Are you sure that doesn't make it lawful evil or perhaps chaotic neutral?

bhesler
March 12, 2012, 12:02 PM
...There are a lot of studies out there that imply the easy access to abortion and porn, and the widespread playing of videogames is having an incredible effect on the general violence level of the population.

First, let me start with the standard, "correlation does not equal causation" line. Violent crime per capita peaked in the early nineties and has trended back to levels from the mid 70's. Which one of the three variables cited, or any combination thereof, follows that same trend?

AlexanderA
March 12, 2012, 12:05 PM
Being able to get a permit is good; not having to have a permit is even better. Actually carrying, though, is an independent decision that should be based on all facts and circumstances. Just because something is legal doesn't necessarily mean that it's wise.

Pilot
March 12, 2012, 12:23 PM
There seems to have been a shift in the past ten years. I think the 1994 passage of the AWB was a low point, but may have acted to make people realize our gun rights were not secure, and a backlash may have occured. It was telling when the AWB was allowed to sunset with no more than a wimper as politicians realized advocating more gun control was political suicide.

Today, with more and more women joining our ranks as well as non-gun enthusiasts, it is even more pervasive. The Brady Bunch is squirming and fortunately has become pratically irrelevant.

Nushif
March 12, 2012, 12:43 PM
In addition, the article might provide support from a 'mainstream' media source for anyone trying to decide whether or not to carry, or even to obtain a firearm for defense in the home.

I would hardly call the Christian Science monitor a mainstream media source, to be honest.
Couple that with the notion of videogames, porn and abortions now also supposedly lead to science ... I'd call that pretty much on par in terms of reporting quality for the CSM.

GEM
March 12, 2012, 01:06 PM
Owen, the connection to video games was a popular so-called cause of violence in society in the past.

However, current research in psychology has not supported it as a major cause. Quite a few meta-analytic reviews that show lab studies don't transfer to the real world.

The vast majority of crime seems better tied to economic variation in the lower SES areas of the US.

Murder, etc. in the high SES cohorts has been fairly constant over the years.

As far as guns not preventing crimes, that's an interesting take as we know of many cases of successful SD - I suppose that without firearms, the crimes would be successful. However, the attempt is reported as a crime.

The article itself was a good one. It does point out that in the more intellectual (pardon me) press, such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, it is becoming clear that the CCW/CHL wave hasn't produced blood in the streets and that takes the steam out of Bloomberg and friends for the rest of the country. It also makes serious introduction of antigun legislation unlikely despite the rhetoric of some. Say something for the nuts in the base and doing nothing to make the sane angry at you is common for the both parties.

Glenn

MtnSpur
March 12, 2012, 01:11 PM
The Christian Science Monitor has been the most consistent unbiased source of printed media for years and has the accolades, 7 Pulitzers, Peabody, National Headliner, etc to back it up. That it is tied to a religious entity by name it distances itself from the likes of The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times by not being in a Political or Corporate backed "lobby". All this FWIW now back to your regularly scheduled program. :)

sidheshooter
March 12, 2012, 01:39 PM
Interesting article. I found one small tidbit in the back worthy of thought: the idea of the individudal as DYI, amateur law enforcement. Perhaps this massive CCW trend is part of the bigger trend of DYI in our society, from the decline of traditional news outlets in favor of Internet commentary to independent investing from home without brokers, to whatever else we now look towards ourselves, and away from professional "others", to do.

Who knows. I do know that I got my first CCW when I was 21-a decent time ago. According to the article, at one point I was one of less than 100,000 nationwide-maybe even less considering how long ago I got my first CCW-and now I'm one of 6 million. Not such a rugged individualist now as in my youth, I suppose.

Hypnogator
March 12, 2012, 02:10 PM
The Christian Science Monitor has been the most consistent unbiased source of printed media for years and has the accolades, 7 Pulitzers, Peabody, National Headliner, etc to back it up.:what:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the publication that, a few years ago, printed an article that it was the duty of a Christian woman to submit to rape and even murder rather than commit the unspeakable sin of endangering her attacker's life? :scrutiny:

Loosedhorse
March 12, 2012, 03:54 PM
Logical fallacy. If the presence of an item causes no harm, that doesn't make it good, it makes it neutral.The actual presence may be neutral. However, the absence of a restriction against their presence is a positive, if the society values fewer legal restrictions (and fewer governmental powers needed to enforce them).

To illustrate: let's just say if we add a certain restriction on (legal) CCW, then for every illegal assault that restriction prevents, it ALSO causes one illegal assault (because the now-unarmed victim was unable to defend himself).

Some people would say: that restriction is neutral, because it prevented as many assaults as it caused. I would, however, conclude that the restriction is bad, because the "bad" of the government causing a good citizen to suffer assault (by denying him the means of legal self-defense) is more important than the "good" of the government preventing a criminal act (by hindering the criminal).

I feel that way because I put more value on rights, liberty, and individualism than I do on governmental powers. If we achieve the same "outcome" by restricting liberty as we would by increasing liberty, increasing liberty is the better way.

Isaac-1
March 12, 2012, 04:35 PM
I don't have a CCW although I am strongly considering getting one (mostly due to newer reciprocity laws) , my reason is I don't see it changing the percent of time I am armed by any significant level. My state allows carry in vehicles without a permit, so I have my guns at my house, my gun in my truck, and a gun locked in my desk at work (I often have to carry a substanital bank deposit for work).

The problem with CCW is there are too many places I go on a regular basis where it is not allowed:

No carry at the Post Office (I have a P.O. Box for mail)

No carry in state or locally owned government buildings, my wife works for a local government organization, so no visiting her office when carrying.

No carry in establishments that serve alcohol, this is nearly every non fast food casual dining location around.

No carry without permision in advance into someone elses house, not that big of deal for me, most houses I may go to are close friends and relatives, no need to carry in most because there are guns already there.

The list goes on and on, about the only place I tend to go that is not explicitly off limits by the law are big box stores (and smaller box stores) which often have no guns signs by the entrance, that leaves what the 20 - 30 feet from my door at home or work to my truck.

Owen Sparks
March 12, 2012, 04:52 PM
Why don't police departments sponsor "sell back" programs in order to get more guns on the street? They could sell military surplus and retired police handguns back to the taxpayers for $100 each, no questions asked. This would reduce crime.

hermannr
March 12, 2012, 05:02 PM
I started carrying on July 4th 1970, when I learned froman open carryer at the Sedro Woolley loggerrodeo, OC without a permit was 100% legal in WA.

OC no license requiredContinued to OC without a license until 1994 when a gun-grabber got in as Gov and pushed through a whole bunch of unconstitutional legislation (90% of which is gone now, thanks to the courts) After that, I got my CPL, but contuinue to OC (except in winter)

Flopsweat
March 12, 2012, 05:14 PM
... If we achieve the same "outcome" by restricting liberty as we would by increasing liberty, increasing liberty is the better way.
This is what I've been saying for years, albeit perhaps not as eloquently.

blarby
March 12, 2012, 06:02 PM
@ Baylorattorney : The firearm itself would be true neutral. A good majority of laws surrounding them that are being stricken down lately seem to be lawful evil, and a large amount of the owners seem to float effortlessly between lawful good, and chaotic evil. Thats really the kicker, to me. The user. Thankfully, as is illustrated in the statistics used in the article, the wide majority seem to be lawful-neutral...pushing towards lawful good in a lot of instances.

I read the article twice, its fairly well written and objective.... something i'm seeing more and more out of the CSM lately. We as a whole have frequently gotten far worse media attention, for certain.

hso
March 12, 2012, 06:11 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong,

Not at the CSM. I've been a reader for over 20 years and I've never seen anything like that. It also isn't even consistent with the attitude or editorial approach. If you didn't see it yourself in the publication (and a quick google doesn't turn it up) then your probably thinking of something else.

As to the topic, many of our members aren't of an age to have been of gun owning age during the AWB and don't have a solid grip on what that was like for us that were. Those same members, and others, aren't old enough to remember that not too long ago the only "citizens" in most states permitted to carry were folks who intentionally signed up as "auxiliary" or "reserve" officers and business people who could show cause for a need to carry. CCW wasn't as universally legal as it is now and the change in laws and our culture are not recognized by many as being due to a lot of effort.

marv
March 13, 2012, 12:21 AM
Us Hoosiers live in a Shall Issue any carry State. We have the option of a lifetime LTCH (License to Carry Handgun). I think I'll pass on that.

blarby
March 13, 2012, 07:14 AM
and the change in laws and our culture are not recognized by many as being due to a lot of effort.

Count me as one of the ones that does recognize, and greatly appreciate, all of the work.

Its places like this that foster an intelligent discourse that leads to action.

For that, I am thankful.

Pilot
March 13, 2012, 07:50 AM
I'm old enough to remember the GCA 1968. Albeit I was young, but that was the beginning of a long slide down for 2A gun rights, the pinnacle of which was the AWB, although more shall issue states were also popping up. It has steadily been getting better, and with Heller hopefully continue.

For a time it looked like we were going the way of Europe, Australia, and even Canada, but thank goodness the 2A seems to be the differentiator.

MtnSpur
March 13, 2012, 01:07 PM
:what:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the publication that, a few years ago, printed an article that it was the duty of a Christian woman to submit to rape and even murder rather than commit the unspeakable sin of endangering her attacker's life? :scrutiny:

I can find no reference to that article. I was exposed to that religion at an early age through family members and never could embrace their philosophy but I'd seriously doubt that the CS religion would make such a blanket statement. Mind you they have some valid principles adopted back in the late 1800's through their founder that touted the healing powers of prayer over medical treatment (mind over matter if you will) that many Christian religions accept (ie: we'll pray for you/your recovery, etc). As in all religious dogmas there are valid points and stuff based purely on blind faith. The Monitor, back to my statement, is still considered one of the most unbiased periodicals still in print today. There article as referenced in the original post stands on it's own merit for journalist reporting/opinion.

Ragnar Danneskjold
March 13, 2012, 06:10 PM
FTA

"And when you're going to insist upon this in public spaces or shared spaces like a basketball game or a park, then you're really intruding into where other people get their personal sense of safety."

That's a pretty standard anti view, and it really goes to the heart of gun control. They would rather feel safe than be safe. And they don't mind make things less safe for you to preserve that feeling. I remember talking about gun control in a college class, and someone mentioned that they would feel really uncomfortable knowing if someone had a gun in the room, and that's why they shouldn't be allowed. Nevermind the physical benefit of being able to fend of a rapist or school shooter instead of waiting 7+ minutes for police to come clean up the scene. Her own feelings of being uncomfortable were enough to ban guns.

Concealed carry in school is one of the last big holdouts, and a pretty big deal to a lot of people. There are a lot of gun owner students who are disarmed for large portions of their day while at school, and sometimes even the car ride to and from. On the other hand, colleges are a big source of much left-wing indoctrination, so it doesn't seem likely that professors, and the young people who eat up what they feed them, will change their minds very soon. I think that inside a college, the population is skewed far more towards the anti end than most other areas of life. A handful of professors being given carte blanche authority to spew anti propaganda to young students, combined with the over reliance on "feeling" that many college students have makes schools a big roadblock to CCW.

I think that once concealed carry and even open carry on college campi is accepted and normal, we can finally say that gun culture has a real place in America once again.


Also FTA

"There's a kind of Second Amendment reconstructionism going on which has to do with Western individuality, freedom from coercion ... moving about and not having to explain your business to people,"

To me, that's the core of the United States. The freedom to do what you want, so long as you don't actually harm others, without having to explain yourself or limit yourself because it makes someone else feel bad or scared. Being your own person with your own mind and your own actions. Concealed carry, or even open carry, to me is a lot less about protection and more about my freedom to act how I want with no regard to the feelings of others. That may sound rude or callous, but in return I fully expect others to act how they want without regard to my feelings. I won't harm you, you don't harm me, and we can both just do what we want. Neither of us owes each other anything. Neither of us inherently obligated to the other.

gallo
March 16, 2012, 06:27 PM
Why don't police departments sponsor "sell back" programs in order to get more guns on the street? They could sell military surplus and retired police handguns back to the taxpayers for $100 each, no questions asked. This would reduce crime.

What's your point?

Sauer Grapes
March 16, 2012, 07:10 PM
I do have my "LTCF" in Pa. {license to carry firearm} My wife also has her's, though she does not carry.
I only found out 4 years ago that Pa changed the laws and has been a "shall issue" state for quite some time. I probably would have obtain one long ago.

gallo
March 16, 2012, 07:58 PM
Read the article. Not impressed with their tone.

CHL holder since '09.

230RN
March 16, 2012, 09:35 PM
hso remarked,

As to the topic, many of our members aren't of an age to have been of gun owning age during the AWB and don't have a solid grip on what that was like for us that were. Those same members, and others, aren't old enough to remember that not too long ago the only "citizens" in most states permitted to carry were folks who intentionally signed up as "auxiliary" or "reserve" officers and business people who could show cause for a need to carry. CCW wasn't as universally legal as it is now and the change in laws and our culture are not recognized by many as being due to a lot of effort.

Amen. I am still surprised now and again that so many younger folks think that the GCA 68 and the form 4473 is part of the normal state of affairs and "Everything Is As It Should Be."

I had a hard time breaking away from the notion that the National Firearms Act of the mid-1930s was also the Normal State Of Affairs.

I guess you can get used to anything if it creeps up on you slowly.

The CSM article is an indication that we are creeping toward normalcy.

Terry, 230RN

P.S. Thanks, Pilot! Bought my first handgun by selecting it, paying my money, and walking out with it.

Jaymo
March 16, 2012, 09:43 PM
Had mine since '94.
No, it's not coincidence.

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