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“But our imaginations (of Dodge City and blood in the streets), it turns out, are not a good guide to reality. None of this happened. Homicides did not rise after we legalized concealed carry, or ended the “assault weapons” ban. To date, holders of concealed carry licenses have not been involved in any more crimes than you’d expect from a group of people law-abiding enough to pass a background check.

“As Mark Kleiman wrote a few years ago, “There’s simply no evidence that keeping guns out of the hands of those currently eligible to own them under Federal law (adults with no felony convictions, no domestic-violence misdemeanors or restraining orders, and no history of involuntary commitment for mental illness) reduces the level of criminal violence.

“Nor is there evidence that allowing anyone who can pass a background check and a gun-safety course to carry a concealed weapon increases the level of criminal violence.”

– Megan McArdle (via

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  1. A clear eyed and thought provoking article. Ms. McArdle has been on a bit of a roll lately addressing self defense and gun rights. It’s heartening to see that kind of calm, well reasoned writing in the popular press.

    • I was just thinking “How did the antis let that article slip through?” It seems like the only press guns get nowadays is of the bad kind. It’s refreshing to see articles like this, and I may be wrong, but anecdotally it seems like there have been more of these types of articles lately.

      • As Bob Dylan has said, “For the times, they are a changin’ “.

        Yes, there have been more articles lately that have been sympathetic to our point of view, sometimes from very unlikely quarters. The ebb and flow of public opinion is coming back our way. The cynics among use write off the great mass of citizens as being merely ignorant rubes, easily manipulated. For a very small subset of the population, that may well hold true. But the vast majority of people are, in fact, quite capable of analyzing data and coming to rational conclusions based on their own self-interest. What we’re seeing today is a sea change in attitude based on irrefutable empirical evidence.

  2. Ms. McArdle has a point about youth and rashness, but there are a few other things her friend John lacked when he grabbed that pipe: training; personal responsibility; and a culture that frowned on using that pipe except in extreme circumstances (what sociologists would call informal social control).

    Ms. McArdle doesn’t sound like a gun person, but had she spent a few minutes on any gun blog or board, she would have seen those three things touted in abundance. Concealed carry creates a polite society because we, the CCW crowd, emphasize to one another the responsibility, training and restraint needed to carry. A gangbanger who stuffs a gun in his pants doesn’t get inculcated with the values of the gun culture.

    So when people predict “blood running in the street,” it’s because they assume liberalized gun ownership carries no check on behavior. They’re wrong. It’s right here on this blog.

    • Good points Rokutota, but the point about “when people predict blood running in the street it’ because they assume liberalized gun ownership carries no check on behavior” is not entirely true; for the true anti- gun person, usually liberal/progressive, the gun has the ability to turn a peaceful loving individual into a homicidal maniac.

      I have debated this point many times with them and after destroying thier so called logic they have ALWAYS ended with the reason they don’t want guns freely available is because they are afraid they would shoot someone in a moment of anger.

      I grew up in a liberai/progressive environment, I had to get over my own conditioning after I started carrying a weapon; for the first year I was looking very carefully if I was becoming more aggressive or homicidal, really, this is what most of these people believe as basically a law of the universe.

      This is why facts don’t matter to the gun ban crowd, thier beliefs aren’t based on logic or facts, it’s only based on delusion, denial and irrational fear.

      • As an addition, this why Bob Costas said what he did, he really believes the gun made the football player kill his girlfriend; when journalists write that the gun went off killing the 7 year old boy, they are writing as they see it, the GUN was the active killer, not the father holding it.

        That woman journalist from Chicago saying how an inanimate object frightens her.

        It’s what I said, the gun ban people are delusional, indenial and somewhat irrational.

      • All good points. As a recovering liberal, I agree the fear of guns is culturally ingrained. The antidote, as I mentioned, is an addition to one’s personal “culture.” Interesting how every reporter who hangs out at the range for a story suddenly gains a new perspective.

        By the way, I suspect “the gun went of” stems partially from fear of libel suits. If the DA doesn’t charge the negligent party, then you can’t report “so-and-so allegedly shot such-and-such while negligently handling his AK-47 revolver.”

  3. I am totally with you on this one. Unless someone can pass a criminal background check, I don’t think they should be allowed to purchase and carry guns.

    • Hey LBD, you forgot to put the (sarcasm), note after your post,; if people didn’t know better, they might think you’re serious.

      But if you are( gasp), refer to Chicagos effectiveness of Chicagos total gun ban.

    • So, you’re in favor of the continual violation of the constitution by illegal laws such as background checks and permit requirements to carry a firearm?

      • jwm, I think you will find (if the issue is ever litigated all the way to SCOTUS) that background checks and permits do not violate the Constitution. No matter what the standard of scrutiny that may be applied, the government has a compelling interest in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and nutjobs. Background checks and permits seem the least intrusive way to go about that business, so they will be upheld. You can argue effectiveness all you want, but the least intrusive means is always going to be the least effective. Saying that background checks are ineffective argues for more regulation, not less.

        The same logic does not apply when it comes to “may issue” states where unfettered discretion lies in the hands of the issuing officer. A system where permits are doled out like political patronage is deeply and irredeemably flawed.

        • As much as I would love constitutional carry, I have to agree with Ralph here. What I don’t like is like what JWM and I face. It costs more than the gun to get a CCW if you can get a CCW. I think total cost in Vegas, is like $120, and Idaho is like $25. It doesn’t make sense…

  4. Megan is NYC Upper West Side bred (not sure about born) and now lives in Washington, DC, so from a cultural/social perspective, she has every reason to be anti-gun. And she certainly does not come off as particularly pro-gun – rather, she tries to follow the evidence, and the evidence is that increasingly widespread CC has not caused an increase in violence, and may have contributed to a decrease. I’m not as absolutist as some on this site – I think that “shall issue” is the right presumption, but there are factors which can rebut it, including mental health and criminal record.

  5. Although the government in general sticks it’s nose in our business way too much on a daily basis I personally don’t have a problem with a legitimate, affordable to everyone permit system for concealed carry.
    A law abiding person should be able to own a handgun and carry it as long as they pass the background checks.
    People who have been to prison, in some states and depending on why they went, can get their firearm rights restored by the Governor of their state.

  6. Ms. Megan McArdle is indeed a rare person. Someone of her young years holding to the old school style of journalism where facts are investigated and checked and then reported truthfully. And rarer still to be so intelligent AND attractive.

  7. My response to any anti-gun person is the same questions over and over:

    1. Have you ever handled/fired a firearm.
    2. if yes then how long has it been (i shot when i was a kid can be telling)
    3. if no would you be willing to try shooting a firearm if I provided the weapon and showed you how to use it safely in controlled environment.
    4. if they refuse I advise them that I can do nothing for/with them as they are not open to new info.

    so far this has cost me 25 boxes of ammo, about 200 in range fee’s, and three friends.

    It has been worth it to change the minds of those I have helped see the light at the end of the gun range.

  8. Then I guess they will just make laws that these gun carriers will just have to break, like unintentional printing.


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