Sweet video, riffing on TTAG’s I Am A Gun Owner Facebook gallery. Nice to see some minority faces amongst the proud gun owners flashing their gats in the Old Dominion. But really, no one knows how many Americans actually carry a firearm. Sure, we have hard data on the number of concealed carry permits the states have issued. The figure cited by the Virginia Citizens Defense League in the video above hails from gun researcher John More Guns, Less Crime Lott . . .
The “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States” report from the Crime Prevention Research Center released Wednesday [July 10, 2014] analyzed parallels between a 22 percent drop in the overall violent crime rate in the same time period in which the percentage of the adult population with concealed carry permits soared by 130 percent.
The report finds that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, which are up from 4.5 million in 2007. This 146 percent increase parallels a nearly one-quarter (22 percent) drop in both murder and violent crime rates during the same time period.
Setting aside the question of how many Americans bear arms in states where no carry permit or license is required, again, there’s a gap between Americans who have permits and Americans who carry a gun on a daily basis. I’d be surprised if as much as 20 percent of state carry license holders carry a gun.
There’s a PR campaign waiting to happen here: keep calm and carry a gun. A gun maker who makes concealed carry guns could make hay with that. And the more people who actually carry, the stronger our gun rights. It creates a cultural shift. You carry a gun? Really?
Which is why I continue to believe that open carry is the gun rights movement’s cutting edge. It’s not enough to have a carry license (which shouldn’t exist in the first place). It’s not enough to have a gun. It’s not enough to carry a gun (although it’s more than a little something). You need to be seen carrying a gun. Amirite?