Tag Archives: VPC

NYT hyperventilates about concealed carry, skews statistics

I know you will be shocked, just SHOCKED, to find out that the New York Times editorial board is soiling itself over what it calls “Concealed Carry’s Body Count.” Apparently the editors at the Times decided to take on people who are legally permitted to carry firearms concealed.

In other words, they are quaking in their collective panties at the thought, and have decided to paint concealed carry permit holders as a group of murderous villains, using data from the Violence Policy Center, which they describe as a “gun safety group,” making me want to choke on my coffee.

There is no central tally of the effects, with states often barring release of concealed-carry data and Congress hewing to the gun lobby’s opposition to research on guns’ effects on public health. But a methodical gleaning of eight years of news accounts by the Violence Policy Center, a gun safety group, found that in research involving 722 deaths in 544 concealed-carry shootings in 36 states and the District of Columbia, only 16 cases were eventually ruled lawful self-defense — even though this has been a major gun rights selling point for the new laws.

In my old life, when I worked as a reporter, inflammatory words such as “horrifying,” “slain,” and “alarming” were discouraged. I was taught we were there to report the news, not tell people what to think. I realize the above-linked is an editorial, and therefore does not have to conform to those standards (I would submit that given the Grey Hag’s tendency to skew its reporting, it doesn’t abide by those standards anyway), but the outright absurdity of painting concealed carriers with the broad brush of violence and murder prompts me to take a look at the larger picture.

Enter the Crime Prevention Research Center’s study on concealed carry in America. It seems there are a few facts the NYT editorial staff either did not know, or did not bother to research.

They did not mention until the very bottom of the article (more as an afterthought), for example, that there are at least 11.1 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States. I say “at least,” because according to the CPRC, that number is likely much higher, given the fact that several states, such as New York, don’t report the number of their concealed carry permit holders. And several states have no permit requirements for concealed carry at all.

But let’s go with that 11.1 million people, which represents roughly 4.8 percent of the population.

According to the VPC, there were *GASP* 544 shootings involving concealed carry permit holders, 16 of which were ruled lawful self defense. That would leave 528 shootings between 2007 and 2014 (I’m assuming they are including 2014, as the editorial merely states there were that many shootings since 2007) or 75.4 per year.

In comparison, between 2007 and 2012 (the latest year for which the CDC has data),  average of 548 people were stabbed to death per year, 425.6 were beaten to death, and 138.5 per year were strangled or suffocated.

Now let’s look at those 528 shootings. Let’s assume that these involve 528 separate concealed carry permit holders. Given that there are at the very least 11.1 million concealed carry holders currently residing in the United States, those 528 represent .048 percent of people with valid concealed carry permits. Not even a half a percent.

And this is what the NYT editorial staff chooses to hyperventilate about? These are the statistics they choose to report as some kind of horror involving those evil concealed carry holders?

Really?

So not only does the editorial staff cite a VPC report that apparently not only contains inaccuracies, such as double or triple counting cases that shouldn’t even be counted as crimes or problems with guns to begin with, but the numbers they use are so minuscule in comparison to the concealed carry population at large, that it hardly qualifies as “a problem.”

Additionally, if you look at the data, concealed carry permit holders, are a fairly law-abiding bunch.

Consider the two large states at the front of the current debate, Florida and Texas: Both states provide easy web access to detailed records of permit holders. During over two decades, from October 1, 1987 to May 31, 2014, Florida has issued permits to more than 2.64 million people, with the average person holding a permit for more than a decade. Few — 168 (about 0.006%) — have had their permits revoked for any type of firearms related violation, the most common being accidentally carrying a concealed handgun into a gun-free zone such as a school or an airport, not threats or acts of violence. It is an annual rate of 0.0002 percent.

The already low revocation rate has been declining over time. Over the last 77 months from January 2008 through May 2014, just 4 permits have been revoked for firearms-related violations. With an average of about 875,000 active permit holders per year during those years, the annual revocation rate for firearms related violations is 0.00007 percent – 7 one hundred thousandths of one percentage point.

For all revocations, the annual rate in Florida is 0.012 percent.

And the numbers are similarly low in Texas, according to the same report.

So what is it that the Grey Hag’s editorial staff is hyperventilating about?

Well… their attempts to foist the gun grabbers’ agenda onto us for the most part has been a miserable failure, even with them screeching hysterically and dancing in the blood of innocent children after the Newtown massacre.

Americans overwhelmingly kicked gun grabbers in the giblets during the last election. And while we have experienced a few notable losses, overall, the tide is turning.

Major polling data confirms the same thing: Americans oppose new gun control legislation. They treasure their right to keep and bear arms.  Less than half of Americans support additional infringements on our Second Amendment rights, according to Gallup. Rasmussen points to similar results. And Pew agrees, leaving the New York Times editorial staff mourning its cause.

So what do they have left? Their limited options are to drop this ridiculous crusade against our freedoms (good luck getting them to do that!) or find faulty reporting with a bunch of skewed statistics, and use it to attack a rather large group of law-abiding Americans.

Want to take a guess which they chose?

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