What does it mean to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina? It means that you are about 20x more likely to obey the law: via Coyote Blog
A front-page story in today’s New York Times tries to stir up alarm about liberalized carry permit laws, which let people carry concealed handguns if they meet a short list of objective criteria. To illustrate the hazards of that policy, the Times cites crimes committed by permit holders in North Carolina. How many crimes? Excluding traffic offenses, the Times counts 2,400 over five years, of which 200 were felonies. More relevant (since critics of nondiscretionary permit laws worry that they contribute to gun violence), “More than 200 permit holders were also convicted of gun- or weapon-related felonies or misdemeanors, including roughly 60 who committed weapon-related assaults.” That’s a dozen gun assaults a year. How many permit holders are there in North Carolina? According to the story, “more than 240,000.” So 0.2 percent of them are convicted of a non-traffic-related offense each year, about 0.017 percent are convicted of a felony, and only 0.005 percent are convicted of a gun assault. The Times concedes that the number of permit holders convicted of crimes “represents a small percentage of those with permits.” More like “tiny.” By comparison, about 0.35 percent of all Americans are convicted of a felony each year–more than 20 times the rate among North Carolina permit holders.
I didn’t know this. However, it kinda makes sense. See, in order to get a conceal carry permit, you have to have a clean record. Considering that most criminals begin young, this would seem to only include law abiding people. Do folks suddenly have occasion to make a poor decision? Certainly. But not typically.
I don’t like guns. I think they’re dangerous. But they’re less dangerous than swimming pools and I have no problem with people having them. I even let my kids play with swimming pools.
I also think that it’s okay to regulate guns. No one needs a fully automatic assault rifle. And you’d be hard pressed to convince me that we need armor piercing ammunition to take down Bambi. We already agree that criminals shouldn’t have guns. So it isn’t a case of “should we regulate” it’s more of a case on “where do we draw the line.”
The more I see that gun owners are safer and law abiding, the more I’m willing to push that line out a little further.