NY Times Laments: ‘Woeful Phenomenon of More Citizens Packing More Guns’

In a recent article, the New York Times editorial board lamented the fact that more law-abiding citizens in this country are opting to carry firearms for self-defense outside the home.

While exact numbers are not known, estimates suggest that upwards of 11 million citizens have valid concealed carry permits. For the NY Times this is a troubling development because it appears it believes licensed permit holders are a threat to public safety.

Where did it come up with this ass-backwards position? Where else but the Violence Policy Center, the rabidly anti-gun think tank that continually spews forth propaganda and manipulated crime data to justify its mission of disarming America.

Citing information the VPC has gathered since 2007, the editorial board writes:

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.

More gravely, the study found that the fatalities included 17 law enforcement officers shot by people with legal permits along with 705 slain civilians. There were 28 mass shootings (involving three or more victims) in which 136 people were killed — even though concealed carry has also been sold as a defense against massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn.

In studying the 544 shootings, the center found 177 cases where people with gun licenses were ultimately convicted of crimes, including homicides, and 218 cases where the permit holder used the gun to commit suicide. There were 44 total lives taken by licensed individuals who first murdered others, then committed suicide.

A graph published by the Violence Policy Center.

Concealed Carry Killers (Photo: Violence Policy Center)

We know that the VPC, and by extension the NY Times, is bullshitting us because, well, that’s just what they do. But truth be told we have more than just our suspicion to refute their lies, we have have the work of economist John R. Lott Jr., the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) and the author of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

I reached out to Lott about this NY Times editorial. He told me in an email that his organization, the CPRC, is currently drafting a rebuttal (I’ll post a link to it once it’s up on the site). In the meantime, however, he directed me to several articles he wrote that addressed this very issue. One was published by Fox News, the other by the National Review.

In the National Review article, which was published in April of 2014, he was responding to a VPC report called “Concealed Carry Killers,” which no doubt contains much of the same information the NY Times used in its piece. At the end of the article, Lott writes:

All in all, the VPC has managed to triple-count claimed cases of permit holders killing people, and the vast majority of cases it includes in its list — such as legitimate self-defense shootings or suicides not related to permitted concealed handguns — shouldn’t be counted to begin with.

Yet, put aside all these problems for a moment. Assume, for the sake of argument, that the Violence Policy Center’s claim that concealed-handgun permits were responsible for 636 deaths in seven years is correct. One has to note that there are over 11 million concealed-handgun permits in the U.S. right now. With an annual number of deaths of 90, that means 0.00083 percent of concealed-carry permit holders were responsible for a shooting death each year. Removing suicides from the total reduces the rate even more, to 0.00058 percent.

In other words, statistically speaking concealed carry permit holders are not a scourge on society.

What should also be mentioned is that we shouldn’t only emphasize the net negative effect of concealed carry no matter how small that figure is relative to other populations.  We need to also emphasize the positive aspects of gun ownership, specifically instances of defensive gun use, in which a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun (Lott does this in his book, “More Guns, Less Crime”).  DGUs are common.  More common than one might imagine.  While we don’t have a specific tally as it relates to the number of DGUs that CCW permit holders are responsible for in a given year, we do have a general idea of how frequently guns are used by the aggregate gun community to protect lives, property and liberty.

As a CDC Study pointed out in a recent study, “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

The Times, however, does not wish to dig into the actual numbers. It does not look at the positive effects concealed carry permit holders have on society. It does not but its biases aside and examine the issue with an open mind. Instead it resolutely chooses to disseminate the disinformation of the VPC.

The editorial board concludes:

Whatever the full toll, the policy center’s gathering of just some of the hard facts of gun deaths at the hands of licensed shooters is more than valuable. It should be received as an alarming check on all the swagger about the woeful phenomenon of more citizens packing more guns.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Redfour5 March 29, 2015, 11:02 am

    “So why don’t try to get back to being just plain old Americans again”

    What he said…

  • First Sergeant March 1, 2015, 5:19 pm

    i don’t know why i read such biased articles or the equally biased comments. There are far to many “News” sources and we the American people are being radicalized by their blatant fear-mongering tactics to get our attention. Thats why “moderate” is now a dirty word, an epithet slung by both right and left extremists. an our politicians are no better, demonizing their opponents with as much fervor and falsehood as any media outlet. Anyway, the article is wildly exaggerated. The statement “I don’t know anyone that wants to “shoot anyone who disagrees with them.” is also false, you all have forgotten ISIS? they definitely want to shoot you for disagreeing with them. So why don’t try to get back to being just plain old Americans again

  • Philip Van Cleave February 21, 2015, 11:39 am

    And let’s keep things in perspective. Even if VPC wasn’t lying and distorting the numbers, there are over 12 MILLION concealed handgun permit holders in the US! 400,000 here in Virginia alone.

  • Redfour5 February 20, 2015, 8:56 am

    Hmmm, I’m a leftwing nutjob now. That’s news to me. I thought I was square in the middle agreeing with the second amendment, thinking nancy pelosi and the far left is looney toons and quite scary and thus I prepare for a worst case scenario. Responding to my comment sincerely, Wolfpack-bravo says quoting me “I don’t know anyone that wants to “shoot anyone who disagrees with them.”” And then, Mr. Bartos says, “They force citizens to become wolves to protect our human rights. Soon the wolves might actually band together and take out the shepherd.”

    That’s what makes me nervous about the far right and sort of illustrates my point. So, I’m prepared to shoot either left or right in my little world and have six months ready while the dust settles and we see who’s left. Once a Marine, always… Vote moderate I say and then we don’t have to become Syria in America, a relatively and seemingly sane country run by a rule of law instead of anarchy and hatred and constant death. And thus I will continue to walk in the middle to work to prevent it. But, if necessary, I personally am quite ready to take a stroll through hell… There is room in the middle for all of us, Where do you stand? Fight for America and not some far left OR far right vision of it.

    • Brian Lee August 23, 2015, 2:53 pm

      Wait. There’s another 2A Democrat, who thinks the same way as I!

  • DaveGinOly February 17, 2015, 3:37 am

    0.00058%
    That’s what statisticians call “statistically insignificant.” Reporting on this matter, a statistician would say that concealed carriers pose zero threat to their communities.

  • JT February 16, 2015, 10:20 pm

    Damon, you’ve got it, all this noise is just that, noise. Made to confuse the real subject. Let’s not ever forget what we’re talking about here. The protection of your home, the protection of your families lives, are you really going to wait around for someone tell you or give you permission as to how you are allowed to do this? Not on my watch! I’ve already got my plan and my permission from the only one that matters when it counts, me.
    Don’t leave yourself empty handed when it counts!

  • Michael D. Geiger February 16, 2015, 7:54 pm

    NOTICE: There are 225,000 deaths annually for various medical reasons.
    All of these deaths were caused by negligence of some type of medical
    professional or medical institution. Deaths from fire arms (the best number
    I could find) runs at 32,000 annually. The numbers from the New York Times
    is totally made up.

  • Damon February 16, 2015, 2:44 pm

    I read a lot of this “news” with a fair degree of disinterest. Why? Because much of it is irrelevant. Here’s why.

    No matter what laws or legislation pass, I will always arm myself in defense of my own continued existence and that of my family. This is the right and responsibility of every sentient being. This predates civilization, the written word, and the concept of “nation”, much less “law”.

    Given the alternatives (death/maiming/rape/kidnapping of my family or myself), I am unconcerned with “legal consequences” resulting from my violation of any legislation infringing on this basic universal human imperative.

    The current discussion re: guns in this country is only relevant to those who have not yet chosen a stance, pro- or anti-gun. I was born and raised an American, in a gun culture that taught my rights are directly balanced by my responsibilities, and no decision anyone else makes on this subject will affect the very personal decisions I’ve already made for myself. I suspect I’m not alone.

    • Irondoor July 27, 2015, 8:48 am

      Thank you for stating what should be obvious to all of us who love family, friends, the innocent and country. No matter the stupidity and craven disregard for common sense and decency that exists in the current political class, nothing abrogates our responsibility to stand ready in defense of life and liberty.

      But, some people can’t be helped or bothered to use their God-given intelligence, such as the two separate young couples who were out on fhe streets of Detroit late at night recently. They were robbed and the women were gang-raped by six street wolves while their male companions were forced to watch. Setting aside Detroit’s firearms laws, it would appear that these folks set themselves up. Who in his right mind trolls the Detroit streets at 2 AM?

  • vonrock February 16, 2015, 1:17 pm

    I thank barack, since he slithered in, America’s purchase of automatic weapons and ammo has Skyrocketed.
    when Americans lose their guns it will be too muslims.

  • Ron Matthews February 16, 2015, 12:17 pm

    At the same time over 12000 killed by drunk drivers. GO figure.

    • Michael Crain February 16, 2015, 10:51 pm

      ………and don’t forget the (hundreds?) of thousands killed by Dr. and hospital mistakes they won’t correct!!

  • Les Williamson February 16, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Ok lets look at this….. they studied 544 shooting cases of persons with concealed weapons permits. 177 of those were ultimately convicted of a criminal act. They estimate 11 million people with permits. Thet 177 number is .00017 percent of 11 million. This appears to be a case of letting a few bad apples spoil the entire harvest. Yes there are going to be cases were citizens who legally own firearms are going to do bad things with them. We don’t ban cars because some folks get behind the wheel and ultimately kill people. Where is the outcry to ban automobiles and insist on public transportation only. There are cases where people have gotten into a vehicles and use to intentionally do harm. I imagine the statistics on that might also indicate a minute’ percentage compared to the overall number of cars. Come on folks there are far more important things to be concerned about than these issues. Like the collapse of this nations economy..

  • Brian Bartos February 16, 2015, 11:26 am

    The nation is being split into two groups, Sheep and wolves. The government wants the public to be sheep so they can play Shepard but they so suck at it that its ridiculous. They force citizens to become wolves to protect our human rights. Soon the wolves might actually band together and take out the shepherd.

    Waving hi to the CIA!!!

    • Constitutional citizen February 16, 2015, 1:52 pm

      Love it!

      • Larry February 16, 2015, 3:00 pm

        Ditto! Especially the “waving hi” comment.

    • Russ February 16, 2015, 2:41 pm

      A good Shepard would have loyal Sheepdogs to keep the wolves at bay.
      What you think is a “Shepard” is really a wolf in shepherds clothing.

      You do have the two groups;
      1. Kool-Aid drinking appeasers——non-thinking factless followers.
      2. Constitution protecting conservatives—- Planing for the future.

      Don’t forget to wave hi to the NSA, and all the liberal plants that are here as well.

  • Paul07 February 16, 2015, 10:48 am

    What is so sick is that these people can ‘alter’ and misrepresent the actual studies, manipulating them
    to say what they want it to say and not the facts and conclusions that were originally presented…Much
    like the present administration does in governing the country, and making descisions on their version of
    the facts.

  • redfour5 February 16, 2015, 10:19 am

    Ah the far left paving the road to hell with good intentions so the far right can drive down it and shoot anyone who disagrees. 2nd amendment democrat.

    • wolfpack-bravo February 16, 2015, 10:45 am

      I don’t know anyone that wants to “shoot anyone who disagrees with them.”
      When people make statements like that all we do is build upon the rhetoric that comes from Washington. Divide the nation into groups, whether it be ethnic, economic, left, right etc. it seems like the politicians are trying to start another civil war by dividing this nation. We are losing the idea of the United States being just that, united.
      I personally won’t stand by and just video an attack going on or lay there and beg for my life while a terrorist shoots me in the head. I will fight to the death to defend my family, myself and my community from evil. Whatever form it takes.

    • ANTI - GUNNER ALERT! February 16, 2015, 2:24 pm

      If your a Democrat, your on the wrong side of America (learn history)
      And only a Democrat would think like you when you say “shoot anyone who disagrees”
      Pull your head out, your liberal opinions don’t work here. Why even chime in?

      • Larry February 16, 2015, 2:58 pm

        I agree. Just another nutjob leftist at work.

  • Lt. Donn February 16, 2015, 10:06 am

    To Mach37:…held accountable by whom??…the kool-aid drinkers of the N.E.?…the “pundits” with their private security guards in D/C?…just exactly whom do you think is ever going to hold the “Grey Lady” responsible??

    Exactly no one!….all [we] can hope for is that internet forum such as the Firearm Blog and other sources continue to make the real stats available to counter what the NY Times and the Wash Post ( and others) are spewing…and that lawful CHL such as you and me, continue to defend our families whenever necessary.

  • Chris Baker February 16, 2015, 8:54 am

    I am of the opinion that “news” reporting businesses such as “The NY Times” have the mistaken idea that if news isn’t tragic, then it isn’t news and they stand to lose business because of it. They think it’s in their best interest to foment conditions that enhance the chances of “bad” news being generated and they are so deeply into that mode that they don’t realize or care that they are hurting innocent people by their false reporting. Just like people in Charles Schumer’s position who seems to think his personal power is enhanced by people being defenseless. Just like the “news” people, way to many politicians have reached the point that they care far more about their personal power, regardless of which label they use to group themselves, than they do people they are sworn to work for and on behalf of. We are already 85 to 90 percent of the way down the slippery slope to being no more a democratic republic than Cuba is.

  • mark February 16, 2015, 8:48 am

    In another section of this weeks’s GunsAmerica News and Reviews, it is noted that Brian Williams is being suspended for having told a lie. Why isn’t the New York Times suspending the guy who wrote the article discussed herein? Fact checking used to be the foundation of news reporting. Apparently that’s something that fell by wayside some time ago.

  • Concerned February 16, 2015, 8:46 am

    “Opting to carry”… NO, we have been FORCED into carrying by the out-of-control criminal element. I don’t WANT to carry, but I realize that I -MUST, under the current circumstances. As society continues to degenerate with the help of the CORRUPT government it is the CITIZENS who must take proactive steps to insure their OWN safety. I – wish I could feel safe, again, I sincerely miss those days. But the fact is that being armed these days just makes good sense.

  • drdos1943 February 16, 2015, 5:34 am

    Do you believe anything the New York Times publishes any more? They have become nothing more than an arm of Obama’s agendas.

  • troop emonds February 16, 2015, 4:58 am

    With the terrorists actually saying they plan on coming over here to pull off Mumbai Hotel type attacks, French Newspaper and grocery store attacks, Dutch killings of unarmed movie makers, Kenyan Mall Attacks and the like……..would it not seem common sense like to encourage good citizens to have Universal Concealed Carry permits to have citizens able to kill bad guys rather than just take cell phone videos?

    Second Amendment would seem like a far more important public safety provision that the founders provided us with. Really a minuteman sort of practical plan, that can be encouraged through executive rather than going the other way with communist non freedom and ready type handicaps that most other nations have

    • Chris Baker February 16, 2015, 8:57 am

      We HAVE a universal concealed carry permit. It’s called the second amendment. If you have to ask permission to carry, concealed or otherwise, your right to carry has been infringed. We need to get politicians who will follow the exact meaning of the words written in the constitution. If we, or someone, don’t like the words, we or they should work to change them, not subvert them.

      • Mark Bertolet February 16, 2015, 2:42 pm

        Well said Chris Baker. I advocate that the Bill of Rights gives us this RIGHT and all subsequent laws requiring permits, and limitations on what types of weapons may be carried, are INFRINGEMENTS and therefore UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The supreme court has stated that if any part of a law is unconstitutional, then the whole of that law is unconstitutional. There is no room for ANY interpretation in my opinion. Particularly ludicrous to me is my resident state of Oklahoma’s laws saying that I may carry a firearm with a permit, but that carrying a sword, or machete, or Bowie knife is illegal. How any politician/legislator can believe that carrying a 357 magnum is less dangerous than carrying a boot knife is beyond me. In my personal opinion GOD gives me this right and only GOD will take it away.

        • Larry February 16, 2015, 2:54 pm

          Right you are, Mark, on all counts. I am waiting for someone to purposely go without a state permit to carry, get arrested & fight the arrest with the argument that the Second Amendment outlines his God given right to self protection without needing some state permit. I think the Supreme Court would agree & I think this would definitely be a case that the NRA would want to support financially.

      • Brian Lee August 23, 2015, 2:46 pm

        I don’t find that CCL’s necessarily infringe on anyone’s Flying Spaghetti Monster-given rights, but actually makes them more responsible. Would you rather have someone who went through a legit class, involving proper firearm care/safety/function, to back you up, when the shit hits the fan, or some regular dude, who picked his handgun at the local pawn shop, three years ago, and has never had any formal training in its use?

        While it’s a privilege, and not a right, we don’t allow 16 year olds to just drive off in their folks’ car without getting a license (read: training). Why should we allow someone to carry a handgun without the same?

        I understand you’ll say that the 2A guarantees this. Do you honestly also believe that someone who has been convicted of murder, rape, armed robbery, etc should be allowed to own and carry a handgun? I don’t believe they should. Period. They lose that right (among others), when they commit their crimes. In order to safeguard the public, we can and DO infringe on the individual’s right to bear arms. If I feel safer because Joey the ex con can’t own and carry, then I’m perfectly okay with that. Does this mean he WON’T? Obviously ,not always.

        Also, to a certain extent, we restrict the FSM-given right to free speech. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. You can’t publish lies and falsehoods about someone, without being sued for libel.

        And for the record, I’m a registered Democrat. However, contrary to popular belief, nobody wants to “take your guns away”, on a federal level. I cannot speak for the legislatures of those areas where any firearm ownership is illegal or restricted. However, do you want to own guns? I believe that’s perfectly fine! If you want to pay the fees and retail prices for a pre-GCA m1919, I think that would be awesome. However, some common sense should be used. If you own and carry, you should have the proper education and training, and therefore, license, to do so.

  • mach37 February 16, 2015, 4:12 am

    How can the NYT editors get away with lamenting something that has proven not to be detrimental to public safety, in fact most likely reduces crime? The Times must be more forcefully held accountable for their senseless wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    • Larry February 16, 2015, 2:48 pm

      The NY Times is and always has been an enemy of the freedom that is the Second Amendment. It seems that they are too thick to realize that, without the Second Amendment, the First Amendment & their existence would soon be trampled. They are our enemy!

      • ExNuke February 18, 2015, 3:25 pm

        They have no reason to worry about their 1st Amendment Rights. As the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party they will be kept in operation if it takes a special appropriation to keep the doors open. Their editorial board is only against YOUR right to own or carry a gun, as privileged elites they “qualify” automatically if they want a permit or 24/7 police protection and would probably be “no billed” if for no reason they shot you in the face on television.

    • TTB February 16, 2015, 6:22 pm

      Hi mach37: “How can the NYT editors get away with…”

      Easy: It’s their newspaper. Not that their newspaper is much of a money maker anymore, of course.

      Bluntly, though: Anyone who wants to use government to terrorize women into defenselessness is for practical purposes pro-rapist. What they think they are doing does not matter to either the rapist or the victim: banning concealed carry makes forcible rape a safe avocation. So much for a woman’s right to choose.

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