I mentioned that gun owners are now considered mainstream in most of America. Yes, gun owners have finally achieved.. ordinary. Yawn. Measured across the nation, about one in eight adults have a concealed carry permit. More than a third of American families admit they have guns at home. This is significant because criminals act differently when citizens are armed. My neighbor who carries is obviously able to protect herself, but she makes the rest of us safer as well. This is how the theory works. Fewer criminals will be on the street once criminals encounter someone who shoots back. Thugs don’t like guns.. once their victims have guns too. This is more than theory. We have experience to prove it.
A waiting taxi driver grabbed his gun and stopped a massacre on a public street. No, this wasn’t in Bagdad or Kabul. This was in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago and it happened just last week.
A cab driver dropped off his passenger and was waiting for a group of people to walk across the street before he drove away. That is when Everardo Custodio began firing into the crowd. The cab driver pulled out a handgun and fired six shots at the attacker. Custodio stopped his attack after being hit several times. No other injuries were reported. The driver remained at the scene and was released by police without being charged. The driver had an Illinois concealed carry license. That scene is repeated over and over across the United States every day. You can see examples near your home by looking here.
Concealed carry is new to Chicago. A few years ago, Chicago Police Chief Gary McCarthy said concealed carry holders were a danger to the public. McCarthy said “You put more guns on the street (then) expect more shootings. I don’t care if they’re licensed legal firearms, people who are not highly trained… putting guns in their hands is a recipe for disaster.”
Chief McCarthy was wrong. This cab driver was a better shot than the average police officer. The Chief owes an apology to every Illinois concealed carry holders. It may be a long wait.
Other law enforcement officers get it. The Nashville police were edgy at the NRA convention.. because they wanted to walk the 9 acres of exhibits and see the sights. In contrast, the police officers who had to guard the convention center kept dozing off because there was nothing for them to do. 80 thousand gun owners had their back. Crime drops when the NRA convention comes to town.. and the police know it.
Now you know too.
I supported Billy Johnson’s Kickstarter project. Watch his trailer video. ==> Protecting Liberty on Kickstarter – YouTube.
I had to laugh. A new Pew Research poll surveyed our attitude towards guns. I laughed, not because the poll was so bad, but because the poll was so true! There are two reasons I liked this poll. First, the biased and self-serving news media accelerated a social trend that the media doesn’t like. Second, the end effect was surely something the media didn’t intend. They never saw it coming. Guns have gone mainstream, and the news media helped!
We know the news media distorts reports of violence. Since Cain killed Abel.. if it bleeds it leads. This overemphasis on violence in the media had a cumulative effect, particularly on today’s hipsters who are plugged into their smart phones. These media junkies are flooded with headlines of eye-catching violence.
Most of the media is biased against the right of self-defense. They wanted to show us how bad guns were. Ironically, the result of their biased reporting was that more people saw a dangerous world and wanted firearms for self-defense. The media sensationalized ordinary crime stories to keep us from changing the channel. “Entertainment” feeds us shoot-’em-up cop shows. The media never thought we’d take them seriously and change how we viewed the world.
According to the Pew poll, our opinion of firearms has changed. Today we think guns are good. 63 percent of us say a gun in the home makes us safer. Ten years ago, our opinions were tied half-and-half. Why did we change?
Here is part of the answer. 63 percent of us think crime is on the rise even though crime rates have fallen dramatically. The media distorted our perception of crime. We continue to watch 15 minutes of victimization on the evening news even though the crime rate fell by 75 percent in the last 25 years. The rate of crime with a firearm has decreased despite a record high rate of gun ownership. You won’t read that in the news.
Today, and for the first time, more Americans support the right of self defense rather than support gun control. 52 percent say that protecting gun rights is important while only 42 percent say the government should do more to control gun ownership. That is our opinion despite the tragic murders at Newtown Connecticut only two years ago.
Gun ownership is now main stream. Here are a few more cultural indicators that extend beyond the thousand phone calls used for an opinion poll.
- There are 11 million concealed carry holders in the United States. That is about one out of eight adults.
- Everyone is a gun owner, not just ugly old men. A third of the attendees at the NRA annual meeting were women, and women make up the fastest growing segment of firearms owners.
- Gun ownership is so mainstream that we can talk about moms carrying a child..and a gun at the same time.
- 8 states already allow concealed carry on campus. Colorado had campus carry for 12 years.
- The student government at Catholic University voted for concealed carry on campus.. even though the University is located in anti-gun Washington DC.
- A pacifist Catholic priest now advocates armed self-defense for his congregation.
- We’ve changed from a media who thought you and I shouldn’t be allowed to have guns.. to front page journalists who support gun ownership. (Miller, Beck, Cupp, Pavlich, Loesch)
There has been a cultural shift in our attitude towards firearms in the United States. We recognize the right of self-defense.. again. That is a good thing for all of us. It has not come a moment too soon for poor minorities living in our inner cities. Too many of our urban poor are disarmed by local “regulation”.
Let’s you and I keep this a secret. The news media and big-government politicians will be the last to know.
My latest at Ammoland-
Padres fans who are licensed concealed carry holders are not welcome at Petco Park. Nor are off duty police officers who regularly carry concealed.
This new gun ban is a case of doing what is best for the team’s owners and government officials, and ignoring what is best for the fans. Look at who was in on the decision to ban licensed concealed carriers from the ballpark.
“Before making the change, the Padres met with local law enforcement leaders – including San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Sheriff Bill Gore, Escondido police Chief Craig Carter and representatives from two law enforcement unions – who accepted the ban.”
At best, a sea of disarmed and vulnerable citizens makes it easier for law enforcement. At worse, the decision simply moves violence outside the stadium. This decision makes it harder for fans to protect themselves as they walk to and from the game, where they have been attacked here in Los Angeles and here in San Francisco. This decision also ignores the increased risk as concealed carriers store their firearms in their car in unguarded parking lots. This decision ignores the increased risk as fans drive to and from the game unarmed. Some concealed carriers will simply boycott the games.
Off duty police were never a problem. They don’t get drunk and start fights. Licensed concealed carriers were never a security problem either. Concealed carriers are even more law abiding than the police.
No, this decision was political.
This decision gives team management and local government officials plausible deniability when there is an attack at the ball park. This decision gives owners and officials a better case in court when the next of kin sues the city. The decision might have come down from the gun-ban advocates in Sacramento or from the politicians at the league.
I understand the decision. It is the same decision that Sheriff Bill Gore and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman have forced on San Diego citizens already. These government officials currently deny citizens the right of armed self-defense in public. Now they deny that right to concealed carriers and off duty law enforcement as well. For these law enforcement officials, guns are for on duty cops. After an attack, they can let the next of kin sue in court where the taxpayers pay the legal bills. Their decisions confess so much.
How short sighted of these government officials to disarm honest men and women. How short sighted of San Diego voters to put them in office.. or go to their games.
I’ll leave the issue of forcibly disarming citizens in a government funded park for another post.
If I stopped paying my taxes.. could I get a job at MSNBC? Just asking.
Winner of the Irony of the Day award- 1,700 Private Jets Will Fly to Davos to Discuss Global Warming.