Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center is experiencing full panty torqueage again. And he’s lying. Again. He’s jumped on the runaway anti-gun bandwagon with a piece for HuffPo titled Trayvon Martin’s Life One of Hundreds Ended by Concealed Carry Killers hyping the VPC’s Concealed Carry Killers meme.
Now I could go ahead and deconstruct their numbers, pointing out that self-defense shooters like Cleveland Anthony Murdock (who shot a road rager trying to get in his vehicle), or Vincent Williams (who shot a would be carjacker after being shot first) are probably not the kind of people most folks would consider “killers.”
I could look at the VPC’s highly questionable inclusion of the Tucson shooter as a “concealed carry killer” based on AZ’s Constitutional carry law (which, by the way, prohibits concealed carry for criminal purposes).
I could look at the number of suicides that they count as killings, despite the fact that multiple studies have shown that suicide rates are independent of method.
But I’m not going to do any of that. I am going to accept their ludicrously inflated numbers at face value because I can destroy their “argument” without either A) pitching any of their dubious “killers” or B) breaking a sweat. Ready?
According to the VPC there have been 402 people killed by permit holders since May, 2007. According to LegallyArmed.com there are about 6.9 million permit holder in the U.S. Which means that in the last 4.8 years we have averaged 1.2 murders per 100,000 permit holders annually.
Now, according to DisasterCenter.com, between 2007 and 2010 we averaged 15,880 murders annually with an average population of 305,437,022. According to Wikipedia, in 2009 27.3% of the population was under 20 (we don’t count them because permit holders are all 21 or older) so the general population averaged 7.2 murders per 100,000.
So even granting Josh his ludicrously inflated numbers, a permit holder is still one-sixth as likely to be a murderer as the average Joe.
All that said, those numbers are completely irrelevant because the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see what Josh has to say:
The tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has rightly generated tremendous outrage across the nation.
I guess Josh and his pals don’t hold with that whole “innocent until proven guilty” silliness (which anyone who has followed their “terror gap” hysteria could tell you) but I agree it was a tragedy.
What I don’t agree with is that the shooting rightly has generated outrage; I believe there is far too much still not known, and far too much which is known but is being left out of media coverage (like the fact that one of the police reports on the incident states that Mr. Zimmerman had a bloody nose and a cut on the back of his head) to say whether or not the outrage is justified.
Despite the tragic circumstances surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death, the gun lobby is relentlessly pursuing federal legislation that would expand the ability of … all other concealed carry permit holders to carry their loaded handguns nationwide. The NRA-backed S. 2188 would force all states that issue concealed carry permits to recognize all out-of-state permits, even if the person could not qualify for a permit in that state.
Since several states say you can’t qualify for a permit unless you are a resident, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable limit. But Josh seems to find this horrifically sinister; as if mother rapers, father stabbers and child murderers are going to escape the Group W bench and start carrying en masse. Take a deep breath Josh, try to relax and answer me this: if someone is qualified to possess a firearm under federal law, why shouldn’t they be able to get a permit to carry?
We call the bill the George Zimmerman Armed Vigilante Act.
That’s nice Josh, I call your opposition to the law the Let’s Only Lock Up Black Athletes and Not Good White Folks From TN or IN for Carrying In NYC Act.
But even that bill is not extreme enough for Gun Owners of America, who have persuaded John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) to introduce another version (S. 2213) which recognizes the “rights” of gun carriers from states that don’t require permits to carry.
Oh noes! Actually recognizing Constitutional Carry! Oh the humanity! But Josh can’t be too worried about this bill, right? I mean the NRA is pushing the other one so it must have lots of support. Why look, it has exactly one sponsor, Senator Mark Begich (D- AK) and three co-sponsors; Sen. Max Baucus (D- MT), Sen. Joe Manchin (D- WV), Sen. Jon Tester (D- MT). Whereas S. 2213 has two sponsors Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) and twenty-nine co-sponsors (see a list of co-sponsors here).
Damn that representative democracy.
While Florida’s ‘Shoot First’ law is the reason that George Zimmerman has not been arrested, it’s Florida’s concealed carry law that enabled him to confront Trayvon Martin with a loaded handgun in the first place. Without Florida’s lax concealed carry law Trayvon Martin would be alive today. Across America, hundreds of innocent lives and families have been decimated, their communities shaken, by concealed carry killers who acted as judge, jury, and executioner.
But what Josh and so many of his brethren fail to mention is that twice as many lives are saved in DGUs annually as are taken in CGUs. This means that across America, tens of thousands of innocent lives and families have been protected by concealed carry saviors.
Oh well. Those details just aren’t important to Josh. The only thing that’s really important here is making sure he uses a tragic shooting with questionable circumstances to his full advantage.