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courtesy .com

“Part of the problem with the ‘more guns’ solution is that very few people carry guns on their person at any given time. While concealed carry permits have soared in the last 30 years as state after state has made them easier to obtain, still only a small fraction of the population has any desire to tote around a heavy piece of dangerous equipment day and night.” – Adam Winkler in Inspection nation at []

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  1. I would carry more if it were not for all the damn “gun free” zones! Also, a gun is only as dangerous as the person carrying it, and a 10 ounce LCP is not heavy.

  2. “….heavy piece of dangerous equipment day and night.”

    Therein lies the beauty of newer alloys. My .357 weighs like 13 ounces. The revolver and its holster can sit comfortably in my elastic underwear waistband. Just for clarification, it isn’t the heaviest thing held securely by my underwear.

  3. True statement. I’ve had my carry permit since 1994, but I rarely carry. Its like my seat belt, I know I should wear it, but it gets uncomfortable after a while. I guess being beat to death might be a tad more uncomfortable, though.

    • I carried in Ohio in the 70s without a permit. I carry now with a Washington CPL. I almost NEVER leave the house without at a minimum my J-frame. The most important comment on this I have ever heard was to the effect, “Won’t do me much good sitting on my nightstand.”

      On the other hand, I have logged 800,000 miles in an 18 wheeler and over 200,000 miles in four wheelers. I have never driven without a seat belt in any vehicle where they were factory installed. I have never understood this “It’s too uncomfortable” meme. And I don’t understand it with concealed carry, either. If your pistol is too uncomfortable to carry you are either doing it wrong or you’re trying to carry the wrong pistol. A .25 Beretta in your pocket is better than a .45 1911 in your safe at home.

    • Do it, man! Get a little .380 and put it in your pocket. They’re inexpensive, light and they take away your last excuse for not carrying. So what they won’t stop a raging bear on PCP behind a car door — they’ll definitely get an attacker off you.

    • Mine doesn’t leave my side. Except to sleep and then it is in a box mounted to my bedroom wall. But then again I wear my seatbelt too.

  4. Winkler is an engaging author, but as a law professor his reasoning is awful. What is the premise here? It seems to be that if our right to self-defense does not “work” to stop crime, according to Progressives, then the validity of the right is in question. It’s bad enough that this view of natural and constitutional rights is so illogical. It’s all the worse because it comes from the same people who have never had any good ideas for stopping crime. On the contrary, their policies have tended to increase crime.

    In sum, they do not know about – and may not care about – stopping crime. And they do not know about – and definitely do not care about – the right of self-defense. But they deeply care about taking away our guns.

    • I believe his argument is if you have a license to drive a car, but always take the subway, we should just get rid of cars because fvck everyone who may actually drive to work.

      • Yes, that’s close, but I think the analogy would be the reverse: Because public transportation does not work well enough at stopping traffic congestion, we should no longer have buses and trains.

        It’s ridiculous no matter how the argument is put – except, apparently, in the eyes of gungrabbers since, after all, Winkler is a law professor (similar to our savior Obama, who was a law lecturer), and therefore must know something. Alas, today it simply does not follow that someone knows how to reason because he is a law professor – as anyone who has been to law school knows.

  5. He’s correct.Unfortunately,Winklers deduction is also irrelevant.

    Most cops you see are poor shots with their duty weapons.That doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry to start a gunfight with a LEO,even if theyre NYPD.In a pro carry district,the bad guys can’t tell which 5% of the population is armed until it’s way too late.Criminals read law books too, and know if a district outlaws carry the only risk they face is running into a lucky cop.

  6. Not exactly: carry has exploded in the rural, midwestern, and southern states, not yet in the liberal bastions like CA, NY, MD, and IL (yet) – where a significant fraction of the population lives like sitting ducks while the gangsters shoot away. So its expanded, just not yet where its needed the most.

  7. “In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences found “no credible evidence” to support the idea that more people with guns on the street reduced crime.”

    They didn’t find the opposite either. Carry a gun… it’s our _right_… use it or lose it.

    • While carrying may not affect overall crime, is the crime rate for people that carry lower? Criminals want easy targets if they just want profit, so as carrying increases, the criminals will either take up something else or start being more careful. By careful I mean more and better ambushes. The true deterrent is that more of them get shot or held at gun point waiting to be arrested.

  8. While CC permits have been adopted, many states have also created more gun free zones. So, short of keeping by your side in the car, depending on where you live, you cannot effectively carry it.

    – Drop kids off at school, nope can’t do it
    – Take dog to the park, nope
    – Go watch kids at their ball game, nope
    – Go to a restaurant that serves booze, nope, yet again
    – Go to a sporting event, nope
    – Go to the Mall, nope
    – Go to work, cannot even leave it in the car in many instances
    – Need to use public transportation or the commuter rail, nope, foiled again

    Reduce the gun free zones and more people will carry. Home invasion of come way down because the most dangerous place for a criminal is to attack someone at home, as seen by many examples on this site because many are ready and armed at home.

    • Here… Let me fix that for ya. But, you’ll have to move to Florida. 🙂

      Drop kids off at school – Yep (stays in the car, gray area that has not been tested)
      – Take dog to the park – Yep!
      – Go watch kids at their ball game – Yep!
      – Go to a restaurant that serves booze – Yep!
      – Go to a sporting event – Yep! Sure can, just not a PROFESSIONAL event.
      – Go to the Mall – Yep!
      – Go to work, cannot even leave it in the car – Yes we can!
      – Need to use public transportation or the commuter rail – Yep!

      Move to Florida! Yep!

      • Same for Washington state, almost exactly. State law lists those places where concealed carry is NOT allowed and those places are minimal and for the most part reasonable. (Allowing for the fact that every restriction is a violation of the 2A.) And as for businesses posted as Gun Free, I keep looking for the signs and so far have not seen any in anyplace I’m planning to go. Regardless, it is not a crime to enter those places, only not to leave if they ask you to.

        Washington is not Utopia, and the libs keep trying every legislative session, but so far the state constitution has pretty much stumped them.

    • The people are changing those laws, too. In the last four years, Virginia’s opened up all those instances to legal concealed carry, with some restrictions. We also now have legally recognized carry in a place of worship.

    • Don’t overlook Ohio either. We can carry in all those instances, have preemption, and posted property doesn’t carry the force of law. I carry all day every day. I look for the signs but only academically, since anywhere it’s not actually illegal to carry (such as a courthouse or police station) I carry anyway. I’ve not really tried to keep up with it but I’m actually having a hard time remembering the last time I had to disarm to go in someplace though I think it was during a trip to the county courthouse a couple of months ago.
      The law is hardly an impediment or even an inconvenience to concealed carry in Ohio.

  9. *sigh* their rationalization truly knows no bounds. OF COURSE only a small fraction of people carry, and OF COURSE it’s a pain in the ass, sometimes quite literally, to carry and conceal a firearm sometimes. SO FUCKING WHAT?

    First they shrill and whine and wail “but you (or the NRA, et al) want EVERYONE to carry a gun!” And now they complain that , well guess what, but not quite enough of you carry now. Make up your damn fool minds!

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We don’t need to require armed teachers. Hell, most of them lack the mental fortitude and commitment to carry, just as mentioned above. But there’s nothing, I repeat NOTHING, wrong with simply repealing so-called ‘gun-free zones’ and allowing a citizen, teacher or otherwise, to carry a concealed sidearm provided he or she has a permit, or otherwise constitutionally allowed without fear of oppression and reprisals. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go bang my head on the concrete outside for a while. *snap end rant*


  10. Well hell, isn’t that just dandy! First you create a toxic carry environment, then you say more guns won’t work because people won’t carry most of the time. Dear Mr. Not-a-rocket-scientist, get a clue.

  11. Professor Winker doesn’t under the concept of deterrence and so answers the wrong question. Why are there 1/4 the number of hot burglaries/home invasions in the United States than in the UK. Over here there is door #1 with a unarmed household and door #2 with an armed household. The probability is about the same in most locations. Criminals have decided that it isn’t worth the risk of encountering door #2. In the UK there is virtually no chance of encountering door #2 and so criminals are much more willing to enter when you are home. In fact it is the preferred method of burglary in the UK. The real question is how low can the percentage of armed citizen go before you lose the deterrent effect. I would argue, and believe the data will support, the percentage can be fairly low especially if there are other locales nearby where a criminal can be certain that his victims will be unarmed. From a criminal perspective it is always preferable to go where there is a lesser chance of encountering resistance.

  12. only a small fraction of the population has any desire to tote around a heavy piece of dangerous equipment day and night.

    And your point is??? Heavy? Hardly. Dangerous? No more so than any other tool or inanimate object.

    Desire? Yeah… I’ve got that.


    Crime plummets when states loosen restrictions on carrying.


    • You won’t have to worry about a felony ruining your life if a criminal kills you first.

      While the tiniest handguns are not ideal defensive firearms, they are far superior to staplers and coffee mugs and, more importantly, no one will ever know if you have one in a pocket holster in your pocket.

  14. I got my first permit to carry in 1957, while I was a MA resident. I did carry, although not consistently, until 1992. At that time, a good friend of mine was shot dead in his own kitchen by a deranged trespasser. My friend was proficient with a lot of guns, but was 6 ft. away from the nearest one, which was in a kitchen drawer, when he was shot. After that object lesson, I’ve carried at all times, gun-free zone or not.

    • Sorry for the loss of your friend. And yes, that is one of several reasons I home-carry; safest place for the gun and for family (we have young ones visiting often) is on my person. As for outside the home, I choose my battles…but would prefer that I not need to have to so choose.

    • Peter,

      This is off topic: are you the gun writer? If so, I used to see your stuff in The Blue Press, etc. but I haven’t seen anything for a while. If not, sorry to bother you.


  15. I’d really be interested to know what percentage of people who have carry permits actually carry every day, or even “the majority of the time.” I’ve never seen a reliable number for this. Some people won’t answer at all, and some will answer in the affirmative because they’d be embarrassed to admit they’re not making use of the permit they got.

    Florida is famous for having “over one million active carry permits” which means one in every 16 people in the state has a permit. Do I think that one in every 16 people I see every day is actually carrying? No way. I’d be surprised if it was half that, 1 in 32.

    • I touch on the same question in my post below. And my intuitive guess is about the same as yours — maybe half of concealed carriers carry on any given day, maybe even slightly less. I would further venture to guess that at least one fourth (25%) of all concealed carriers carry on any given day.

      I suggest no lower than 25% because it takes quite a bit of time and money for most people to acquire a handgun and license — I cannot see a lot of people going through that and not wanting to carry often.

      • I have to laugh that you said 25% and in the same sentence said the part about “can’t see a lot of people … not carry often.” If 50-75% of permit holders don’t carry daily, that’s pretty much by definition “a lot of people who (can but don’t) carry often.”

        I personally know three people who have concealed permits and don’t carry regularly or at all. Add them together with me, and there’s your 75/25 split. It’s a shame, really.

    • To them, yes. If you aren’t using it why do we have it?

      Which is funny because if you ask them about something they care about in the same manner they flip out and say ‘how dare you even consider taking that away!’

  16. “CMR”
    “Conscience. Morality. Rights.

    The word ‘Conscience’ is definable in part as,‘ a quality present within most every individual with the potential to serve in some circumstances as a restraint upon certain actions, and in other circumstances as a calling to act’.
    The word ‘Morality’ is definable in part as, ‘a simple code of individual thought and conduct’.
    The word ‘Rights’ is definable in part as, ‘the natural status of each person’.”

    “The Moral code simply requires that each person conduct oneself in a manner as to not intentionally violate the ‘Rights’ of another person or persons.”

    “Do No Harm / Successfully Defend”

  17. This just in: Of all CCW holders, the only ones who generally carry in public are those who:

    1) Are the most comfortable and skilled with their weapons and with carry techniques;
    2) Those who apprehend an elevated level of immediate danger; or
    3) Both.

    Shock! Alarm!

  18. The Deterrence effect only happens when there is knowledge of the consequences.
    We should challenge the huffington post to do a side by side of their victim list with a DGU list and have CNN do a crawl of DGU’s. This would bring the American public up to speed and let’ it seep into the consciousness that DGU’s are all around us and that home and public carry are effective in the individual circumstance. They would then be contributing to the safety of America by bringing to the fore that if you are a criminal, watch out, it is dangerous out there. So it would make sense for this professor to contact the MSM and inform them of a potential crime prevention strategy. Get the word out that we need a critical mass of CCWers.
    “yeah, that’s the ticket, get the HP and CNN to show the benefits of armed civilians.”

  19. Regrettably I believe there is a lot of truth to Mr. Adam Winkler’s statement.

    As it stands, roughly 1 in 15 adults in my state have concealed handgun carry licenses. But I can only imagine that half of them carry almost everywhere all the time. That means that only about 1 in 30 adults are armed at any given location at any given time. That really isn’t much of a deterrent to criminals. Nor does it represent all that much ability to stop a spree killer — especially when you consider that many people carry sub-compact pistols and snubnose revolvers.

    In my mind there will be a significant drop in crime and body counts (when spree killers attack) when something like 1 out of every 7 adults is armed. Think about that. When the Navy Yard killer stormed into the lobby, there was a good chance that 7 people were milling around in addition to the armed guard. That means the killer would have immediately faced two armed citizens. And if the killer waited until he was in a hallway, there were probably 20+ people within 30 feet (assuming cubicles) and that means that at least 2 to 3 armed citizens could have immediately engaged the killer. And when the killer moves 50 feet down an aisle or hallway, there were probably another 2 to 3 armed citizens that could have immediately engaged the killer. I cannot see how a spree killer would fair well or achieve a very high body count in that scenario.

    But don’t take my word for it. Watch the video of the man who jumped over the counter of a Detroit police station with a pump action shotgun on January 28, 2011. He faced about four armed citizens (police officers) who had nothing more than handguns. Seems like the guy with the shotgun — who had the advantages of surprise, speed of action and violence, and superior firepower — should have slaughtered dozens. Nope. He managed to wound four officers and the officers shot and killed him. There is no reason to expect different results in the next Navy Yard type of event if lots of citizens are armed even with nothing more than handguns. For the doubting Thomases amongst us, here is a link to the surveillance video:

  20. “But trading privacy and money for safety is a deal we have proven willing to make again and again.”

    The above quote is the biggest problem with our society today, especially when coupled with the outsized fear of violence that most people have today. We live in a society that is as safe as it has been in almost half a century, and too many among us act like the sky is falling.

  21. People get their carry permits for different reasons. Some want to carry as much as possible. Some just want to be able to carry to the range without hassle. Some just want to more easily add to their gun collection. In the end, the Bill of Rights should be the only permit we need to carry. Wait, scratch that. We shouldn’t even need that. This is a basic human right that requires no permit.

  22. I once looked over the numbers of concealed carry permits in a few “shall issue” States, and my impression was that generally only between one and five percent of the population choose to get a carry permit. How many of them then actually carry is hard to know, but with all the gun free zones, the number may be quite limited. On the other hand, it may still be higher than the number of police officers in those States.

    If open carry was widespread, it would probably serve as more of a deterrent.

  23. Winkler raises a valid issue although he himself doesn’t see it. A person who isn’t thoroughly invested in the right to carry won’t fight very hard to keep it. It’s a lot more difficult for the government to take away a piece that’s carried all the time than it would be to take away the right to own a safe queen.

    • That’s one of the reasons I pack Glocks. They are thoroughly reliable, take a beating, and wouldn’t be difficult to replace if it has to spend time in an evidence locker. And I’m carry virtually non-stop when I’m outside the house, home carry, and “nightstand carry.”

  24. Oh yay another study by a rocket surgeon of course not a whole lot of people carry guns are expensive and then there’s ammo then you pay for the class that’s the point of making us get permits to keep people from just strappin on a gun and going the class makes sure we know how to use the weapon and that we are semi accurate

  25. Conscience. Morality. Rights.
    “As simplistic as the aforestated identifiers provided will undoubtedly seem to many, what they represent is no less than the most critically-essential elements specific to each and every person; every family and societal structure; and
    irrefutably the very foundation for the ideas, ideals, principles, standards and values embodied within the most evolved and sophisticated form of government ever fashioned and implemented as the American Constitutional Republic.”

    If we could agree that the majority of American Citizens generally evidence behavior consistent with elements of Conscience; adhere to simple codes of Moral conduct and respect for the ‘Rights’ of other persons; and
    also agree that murdering of another person or persons is evidence of an absence of the normal restraints of Conscience and abandonment of any semblance of simple, ‘normal’ Moral codes of conduct / behavior — the most obvious question available is in regard to the causal factors of this obvious absence.
    For those who may not yet be aware…

  26. “Rights and Arms? An unArmed man has no ‘Rights’. Even if he did, as such, he’s obviously no viable means to defend them.”

    “Always fascinating to consider adult-age males who are obviously well aware of the many conscienceless acts perpetrated by persons with actual criminal intent using a variety of tools including firearms; many among the former obviously placing considerable value on their opinions as predictable advocates of the necessity to enact more ‘gun control laws’;
    but in volitionally refusing to provide themselves with so much as a lowly handgun as a means for their own defense;
    have in essence, effectively rendered the actual value of their own Life to no more than the cost of a single bullet.”

  27. If it wasn’t for all these ridiculous conflicting laws restricting places and whether or not its visible I’d carry around a .44 lever action mare’s leg at all times. The important thing to note is that in spite of all the laws and gotchas progressives have in place people still think its worth it to exercise their right to carry .

  28. Occasionally I start to feel stupid for always taking the time to carry. My wife used to roll her eyes every time I took a few extra minutes to affix my holster. But she’s the first one to ask “are you carrying?” when we go out at night and have to park far away from the restaurant.

    Then I read statistics like this and feel a duty to carry. I might be the only armed person present somewhere who can intervene in an assault. I know that makes me sound like I’m looking to be a hero, but why should it? If someone is the only one in a crowded room who knows CPR and saves a heart attack victim, is that any different?

    Incidentally, the wife is getting ready to take her concealed carry class and get her permit. Two is better than one.

    • I used to get the same thing from my GF and still sometimes do but mostly my tooling up is so much a part of the routine that it’s completely overlooked.

      My family is likely a bit of a poor choice when it comes to seeking norms about guns but most approve highly of my carry and express that it’s comforting to know someone you trust is armed and thus able to come to your aid should the need arise.

      I’d actually thought my mother would be the toughest sell. She’s not anti gun in anyway, and has a permit of her own though she’s far less inclined to actually carry than my religious, daily, wallet car keys and gun sort of carry. It wasn’t the thought of carry that I thought she’d object to, rather I thought she might think me over the top to ALWAYS have a gun, a spare mag, a flashlight ect. Instead she barely seems to note the fact that I’m carrying when I’ve removed my cover up and exposed what must certainly look more like a police officers duty belt than the casual or fashionable kind.

      I think that for most people who are pathologically hoplophobic the understanding of why we carry is self-evident and instantaneous. One has only had to feel real fear and powerlessness once in their life to understand why one would carry a gun.

      • Yes. My kids know most people don’t carry guns, but now the sight of me holstering up is everyday to them. Future CCWs I hope.

  29. Being missed here is the entire point IMO: the deterrent effect of CC isn’t the gun per se, it’s the expectation on the part of the malefactor that he or she can get away with sociopathic choices and zero risk of being Darwinized by Newton.

    I always carry for the same reason I took CPR training: I’ve never had to restart somebody’s heart, or keep them alive till the EMTs arrived…but I’d hate to live with myself if the need arose and I wasn’t ready.

    Since when is a pound or two “heavy”? Most people I know carry way more than that on their persons in the form of smartphones, music players, makeup, wallets/credit cards, keys, baby/kid/pet stuff, sports stuff….

    Oh yeah, and body fat.

    • It’s too heavy because they’re carrying it wrong. For guys, it’s really simple. Get a real belt. I was a non-believer, too. I didn’t think $50 or more for a belt was worth it. It makes all the difference. I can generally keep my kydex reinforced belt a full notch looser than my plain leather belt, while retaining the same feeling, if not more, of security and “non-movingness.”

  30. S&W airweight j frame solves the heavy issue. Unfortunately, i live in Alameda County, California. So unless there’s a zombie uprising I won’t be carrying any time soon.

  31. From the article “Besides, it’s hard to see how you limit the damage from guns by having more people shooting them. In the acute, highly unusual stress of a life-threatening event, we quickly lose control over our fine motor skills. Firing a gun accurately in a crowded, confused situation is extremely difficult.

    Even well-trained police officers often end up shooting the wrong people. In 2012, when NYPD officers engaged in a shootout with the Empire State Building killer on the streets of Manhattan, nine innocent bystanders were shot — all of them by cops.”

    Isn’t he making a good case for total disarmament then, since cops, Murica’s finest can’t even hit what they were planning on. Proggies always fail to make a convincing argument.

  32. I habitually carry a pistol, spare mag, cell phone and folding knife in addition to all the more ‘usual’ stuff, such as keys wallet and money. Hot or cold, formal wear or casual wear, sick or well, just running out to the store for milk, I carry. Dress and activity permitting I often add a can of OC and a small flashlight to the mix, and in any event add the light if I’ll be out after dark.

    Now, I’m probably a bit of a fanatic, but I’m also a small man with a bad back and yet I don’t feel bothered by a full size 1911 and certainly not by an XDS or Shield pistol. Yes, the big gun is heavy but it’s not that heavy. It does require a cover garment, but any open long tailed shirt will do.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that all the excuses for not carrying are just that, excuses, and they will always abound when you’re looking for one. I don’t see the situation as being I ‘have’ to lug around a heavy weapon all day, might have to secure it in my vehicle once in a while or otherwise be mildly inconvenienced. I see it as I ‘get’ to carry the weapon, almost anywhere I go, almost all the time and thus I’m almost never powerless to those who would do me harm. It is my right, but the exercise of it always feels like a great privilege.

  33. Hmmm… My TT-33 weighs just over 30 ounces and holds a whopping 8 rounds — never keep one in the pipe with a Tok.

    Know what? I’d not change a thing.

  34. I’ve taught over 3000 permit holders in Texas. #1 reason they don’t carry more often isn’t comfort — It’s employer policies that prohibit carrying at work. Of those that have admitted to me that they carry at work anyway, I’m unaware of any that have been caught and/or fired for it. Those that choose that path typically do not carry in a hip holster w/ concealment garment. They are doing pocket carry or some form of off-body carry in a laptop bag, backpack, briefcase or other non-gun looking package.

    • There’s the rub. Most places won’t even let you have one in the car, forcing you to leave it at home. Not only does that prevent you from carrying outside of work, if you are shooting after work you have to run home before you can. Too many gun free zones make it very hard to carry legally at times. I have to go to a Post Office that is in a plaza and park in front of the next store. I can’t carry and leave my gun in the car when I go the PO that is only 1.5 miles away. Given how large (1000 ft) some politicians (DiFi) want gun free zones around schools, you know they do it to inconvenience us. Weren’t they suggesting after Gabby got shot that you couldn’t have a gun within 500′ of any congress-critter, even though you probably wouldn’t be aware where it was?


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