TTAG reader DH writes:
Depending on my mood in the mornings, I’ll either listen to XM radio for morning show idiot-free music or NPR. Yeah, I know. Anyway, as luck would have it this morning was a NPR day. They have a long-running a series called StoryCorps. It’s a collection of short three- to five-minute personal stories as filler between the local and national news. I was getting ready to hop out of the truck when the story titled “The Day One Man Decided To Give Up His Gun” came on. I was compelled to stop and listen. . .
Click here to listen to the piece. The gist: Mr. Ned lived with his wife and dog in a bad neighborhood in New Orleans. For protection, he had a gun. One day he had an altercation with his neighbor who managed the apartment complex, Mr. Ned was threatened with eviction. And so…
“He walked downstairs, I closed my door and I went to my bedroom and I got my gun,” he said. “What a gun does, it talks to you. Things that you’d normally say I’m not going to do or I’ll just let it pass, gun talks to you and says, ‘You don’t have to take that.'”
Seeing the rage building, his wife locked the door and kept him from leaving the apartment. She talked him down. He contacted the owner of the complex and shortly afterwards, the manager was fired and evicted. And then things took a turn for the worse.
Mr. Ned’s dog was poisoned, and there was little doubt in his mind who did it. Later he sees someone who he thinks is the guy that killed his dog, chases him down with intent to harm, but realizes it is the wrong man, and makes amends. As luck would have it, he was not carrying at the time.
“And I know that if I would’ve had the gun, I’d have shot that man. At that point, I knew that my anger was so bad, if I don’t control this thing, I’m going to hurt somebody or somebody’s going to hurt me,”
“So I said, ‘I’m done. I can’t pack no gun no more.’ And it took that kind of thing to get me right.”
The antis will say this is exactly the reason why guns must be controlled: guns turn an altercation into a gun fight. Blood will flow in the streets. Well, as it turns out, maybe not so much.
I drive on IH35 daily. That alone is cause for daily road rage, or at least a prescription for a low-dosage aspirin regime. Yet not one of my firearms has ever spoken to me in the way Mr. Ned’s did. (I think the only gun that has ever spoken to me was a Beretta M9. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Italian. Maybe if I did I wouldn’t have lost a little moon-shaped piece of skin between my index finger and thumb.) Since getting my CHL, I’ve actually found myself more tolerant of others.
The data on concealed carry permit holders and criminality proves that responsible, law-abiding gun owners show a remarkable degree of restraint. An Analysis of the Arrest Rate of Texas Concealed Carry Handgun License Holders as Compared to the Arrest Rate of the Entire Texas Population (William E. Sturdevant, PE, September 11, 1999) shows that people with concealed carry permits are:
5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public
13.5 times less likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses than the general public
I would even go so far as to say that having the capability to exercise deadly force makes gun owners more likely to avoid confrontation. Thoughts?