Friday, March 6, 2009

Concealed Carry Permits

On The Brady Blog last week there was an exhaustive post about the question of whether concealed carry permits make the world a safer place. It took me about six months of badgering to get a reluctant agreement that gun owners were just like any other group of people. Previously, I'd been told they are more responsible and more prudent for the simple reason that they know the power of guns. Here's what Helmke says.
The fact is that too many gun owners with concealed carry permits are not law-abiding citizens, while some permit-holders are so incompetent they shouldn't be allowed near a firearm in the first place, whether they've committed a crime or not.

The Brady folks have compiled an incredible list of cases to back up this claim. Unlike my own blog where I normally eschew all research and usually just talk about my feelings, these guys back up their ideas. Here are a few examples, complete with links.
A permit-holder in New York is now the suspect in a quadruple murder.

In Idaho, a permit-holder shot and killed himself in an apparent gun-cleaning accident.

In Colorado, a man who apparently held permits in both Colorado and Utah was arrested while being armed and intoxicated on the grounds of a high school.

An Arizona permit-holder was charged with 14 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and four counts of endangerment after a shootout with police.

There are about a hundred others, but you get the idea. Is this what gun enthusiasts have so often called "lying?" Or is this an example of "distortion?"

What's your opinion? Is it any wonder that President Obama and Governor Sebelius are opposed to concealed carry permits?

Please feel free to comment.


  1. Gee Mike,

    I'm so frakkin impressed, out of all the millions of concealed carry permit holdings, the Brady blog found 76 instances of them being less then perfect.

    In Texas alone there are over 314,574 (as of 12/31/08 - father law teaches CHL classes as a side business and is averaging 15 people a week for NEW licenses).

    By the way, here is the link to the Texas statistics....some people produce evidence to support their debating points.

    Even if all 76 people were from Texas, that would give us a failure rate of 0.02415%.

    Considering how many Mayors Against Illegal Guns have been arrested for crimes, I think I would rather have Concealed carry holders as friends then Mayors. Wouldn't you?

    On that same page, you'll find information about the 548 licenses suspended in a year and the 348 licenses revoked in a year.

    Now how many people have their driver's licenses revoked each year for driving drunk?

    I've posted before about the Texas rates of CHL holders being convicted, it is a very minute portion of the total convictions in the state, less then 0.5% of all convictions if I remember right.

    Isn't that proof that the anti-civil rights folks like you and the Brady Campaign are distorting the issue?

    while some BLOGGERS are so incompetent they shouldn't be allowed near a computer in the first place, whether they've committed a crime or not.

    If you are going to take away people's rights Mike, let's start with yours. Show that you are competent to publish under the 1st amendment, show that you don't need a license to speak freely!1

    We can prove statistically that those that hold concealed carry licenses are less likely to commit crimes. Can you prove otherwise?

  2. And if you follow the thread, an equal number of law enforcement were shown to have committed various crimes from murder to rape to embezzlement.

    Anecdotes /= data.

  3. Great Point Thirdpower,

    Given the prevalence of Chicago Aldermen being arrested for crime, one could make the argument to do away with the city government as it encourages crime.

    Hmm, not a bad idea after all :)

  4. Just to have a little fun with people's perceptions.

    From Fox News

    LOS ANGELES — Former NFL player-turned-actor Brian Bosworth has been arrested in Hollywood on suspicion of driving under the influence.

    Los Angeles police Sgt. Alex Ortiz says Bosworth was arrested early Friday near the corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards. Ortiz had no other details about the 43-year-old former athlete's arrest.

    He is being held on $5,000 bail.

    Bosworth garnered fame as a University of Oklahoma linebacker before retiring three years into a 10-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks due to a shoulder injury.

    Now based on this anecdote, should be ban college football, professional football? I'm sure there is some flow of law abiding players into drunk driving law breakers.

    Should we ban alcohol? Wont just changing the laws stop people from drinking, right?

    Or should we ban cars...think about how the easy availability of cars is causing the problem of drunk driving. If no cars were available, people couldn't drive drunk.

  5. Mike,

    Let's play the anecdote game:

    Here is an example of how folks like you are denying people the right to protect themselves....and how futile it is to depend on the police

    Homeless man attacks ex-girl friend on Staten Island street, cops say
    by Staten Island Advance
    Thursday May 15, 2008, 6:01 PM

    A homeless man followed up a torrent of threats against his ex-girl friend by punching her in the face and taking her phone so she wouldn't call for help, cops allege.

    Tyrell Combs, 23, faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for a month's worth of alleged bad behavior, starting with a series of nasty phone calls to his 37-year-old ex in March, police said.

    That enraged Combs, police allege. He approached the woman on April 10 on Hill Street, near the Stapleton Houses, and told her, "I heard you called the police on me. You are going to pay for that," according to court papers.

    He then punched her in the face, splitting her lip, started to choke her, and stole her phone, cops allege.

    When a detective spoke to Combs that day, he allegedly said, "I'm not turning myself in. I don't do cops and court. I took her phone because I didn't want her to call the police. She's gonna get hers. I don't care if you are recording this. I'm going to make her pay for getting me into this."

    Here is a story where a lethal weapon was used....should we have background checks on these weapons also?

    Homeless Man Attacks Shelter Residents With Chainsaw

    Brett Blume Reporting
    New Bloomfield MO (KMOX News) -- A man runs amok at an out-state homeless shelter run by the St. Louis-based New Life Evangelistic Center, attacking people with a chain-saw. Brett Blume has the story...

    Here is another story of a lethal weapon being used, another case of the easy availability

    Homeless man armed with steak knife attacks teenage hotel clerk
    The Kansas City Star

    A man armed with a steak knife and believed to be homeless attacked an 18-year-old hotel clerk early this morning after she would not give him money.

    The clerk was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released.

    The attack occurred about 3 a.m. at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 20570 W. 151st St., in Olathe. The attack initially was an armed robbery, but police now are investigating it as an attempted murder.

    One could almost see a pattern emerging in all these anecdotes:

    Homeless man charged in rape - latest attack in east Orange

    Willoughby Mariano and Walter Pacheco | Sentinel Staff Writers
    February 4, 2009

    A homeless man armed with a knife and screwdriver was arrested in the rape of a woman in a wooded area in east Orange County, deputies said Tuesday.

    Authorities said Donald Ray Firth, 42, was in the woods in the 1500 block of North Goldenrod Road on Sunday when he approached a woman and demanded she get on the ground and take off her clothes.

    The witness said Firth raped the victim, then left the scene on a bicycle. Sex-crimes detectives later located Firth and arrested him. He faces one count of sexual battery with a deadly weapon, jail records show. He was held without bail.

    Several rapes and sexual assaults have taken place in east Orange County, including a 16-year-old girl who was attacked Saturday while walking her dog at Windmill Point Apartments on Alafaya Trail. The victim said a man tried to get her attention. When she continued walking, he pushed her to the ground and fondled her.

    But, but, but This happened in New York City. Famous for it's strict gun control...I thought gun control was supposed to reduce violence

    Homeless Man Charged In Attack on Publisher

    Published: Tuesday, November 27, 1990

    A 35-year-old homeless man was charged yesterday in the stabbing of the publisher of the Zagat New York City Restaurant Review in a Manhattan movie theater earlier this month.

    The man, Edwin Acevedo, who lives beneath the West Side Highway among a group who call themselves the Mole People, is accused of stabbing the publisher, Eugene H. Zagat Jr., on Nov. 13 in the Loew's Paramount Theater at 61st Street and Broadway, a police spokesman, Scott Bloch, said.

    Witnesses saiid the suspect had been bothering people before the movie but then fell asleep for about an hour. For no apparent reason, Officer Bloch said, the suspect stabbed Mr. Zagat in the arm, chest and shoulder, and fled. Mr. Zagat was treated at Roosevelt Hospital for superficial wounds.

    Mr. Acevedo was charged with second-degree assault and criminal possession of a deadly weapon.

    No link for this one from the's short. Of course, the gun buy back programs you cheer Mike usually gets firearms from the people like the victim in this story...luckily the weapons wasn't any more deadly then it was.

    Associated Press
    Homeless man allegedly attacks man with Moon Pies

    Tuesday, May 27, 2008
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    (05-27) 15:23 PDT Galesburg, Ill. (AP) --

    Police in Galesburg said a homeless man was arrested for allegedly attacking an 84-year-old man with a box of Moon Pies.
    More News

    The elderly man told police he was on his way out of a dollar store on Friday when he felt something striking him repeatedly in the back. He said he turned around and saw that 53-year-old Michael Farquer was hitting him with something inside a yellow plastic bag.

    The victim went back inside the store, and Farquer followed him, whereupon the staff called police. Officers determined that the weapon was a one-dollar box of Moon Pies, which they confiscated as evidence before taking Farquer to the Knox County Jail on a battery charge.

    Now based on that anecdote, do we ban Moon Pies? If we do, prepare for Civil War II, folks down in the South take their Moon Pies serious.

    Of course, these few anecdotes show that some people can't handle the responsibility of being good citizens and commit crimes.

    So should we prevent the homeless from possessing firearms?

    If we do, what will happen to the homeless people...will more of them be attacked?

    Homeless Man Dies After Attack

    Ross Stiles, 43, Hit with 40-Oz. Bottle and Later Dies; Police on Lookout for Suspects

    Friday, February 6, 2009
    By Isabelle T. Walker

    A homeless man named Ross Stiles died of a massive head injury Wednesday night and Santa Barbara police say the case could be a homicide. Stiles’ friends on the street have little doubt on that point, however, since two of them witnessed him being hit over the head with a 40-ounce bottle of beer on Sunday night and then heard him complain of a headache the next day. On Tuesday morning, when his symptoms progressed even further, one of them called an ambulance

    This story again comes from New York City where firearms for self-protection are difficult to obtain.

    Heartless Homeless Attack: Man Set On Fire
    NYPD Hunting For 3 Suspects
    NEW YORK (CBS) ―

    A brutal attack in front of an East Harlem church left a homeless man in critical condition. Police are searching for three attackers they say set the man on fire as he slept.

    East Harlem residents are stunned by what's happened. Many of them have come to know the homeless people who sleep outside the Army Recruiting Center and the church along 103rd St. What happened Thursday night has them wanting to know who would have done this.

    Gary Williams can't believe what's happened in his own neighborhood. A homeless man who was sleeping out in front of a church was set on fire. Williams used to see the victim every morning on his way to work.

    Do you want me to keep going Mike?
    I can easily do it...the point is that the actions of a few can not take away the rights of the many.

    When you are advocating decreasing the number of firearms available, when you are talking about making it tougher for people to carry firearms, when you are talking about disarming the many because of the actions of the have blood on your hands.

    From both the people the homeless in these stories attacked and the homeless people attacked in these stories. Blood on your hands and those of Helmke.

    Why should we need a permit to exercise the basic human right of self defense?

  6. Oh wow, anecdotal evidence of a handful of permit holders committing crimes, despite the MILLIONS who don't.

    And Mike, we don't have to prove that CCW makes society safer, rather the onus is on YOU and your ilk to prove that carrying of arms results in increased violence and "blood in the streets."

    25+ years of CCW in this country has proven without a doubt that you were WRONG. Armed citizens have proven themselves not to be a danger to the general public.

    from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety link posted earlier we find,

    Total Convictions in Texas - 61,539
    Convictions of CHL Holders - 140
    CHL Holder Percentage of Total Convictions - 0.2275%

    (note that those are convictions for any crime, not crimes with a firearm)

    Florida, nearly 1.5 million CCW licenses from 1987 - 2009. Number of licenses revoked for a crime involving a firearm?


    Facts Mike. We have them. You don't.

  7. "What's your opinion? Is it any wonder that President Obama and Governor Sebelius are opposed to concealed carry permits?"

    By the way Mike, here in Delaware, and in most of the U.S. I can still exercize my Constitutional right to bear arms in a truly free manner. Open Carry. No asking permission to be "permitted" to carry concealed. I can just strap my gun on my hip and go about my business as a free man.

    Guess what? When I OC I have no license, no required training etc. etc. Just a free man exercizing my rights. Even more shocking is that despite the total lack of regulation of Open Carry I cannot find even ONE instance of someone committing a violent crime while OC'ing in this state.

    Hell, I can open carry an "assault weapon" in this state. There's no law preventing it, yet we don't seem to have a problem with people slinging rifles over their shoulders and then going out and committing violent crimes.

    Want to ban concealed carry? (as both you and Obama want to do) millions of us will simply carry our guns out in the open, just like your average cop does.

  8. Just noticed that you linked to the actual 'brady blog' instead of the cross posting at Huffington Post.

    The reason there's no comments there is because the Brady Campaign shut them off about a year and a half ago because, as one poster put it, it turned into one of the best sites for firearm advocacy on the net. They later deleted all the comments from previous entries.

  9. The estimate of the number of license holders I've seen is about 4.5 million--With the rapid expansion of carry licenses, this is more likely low than high.

    What is the per-capita rate of criminal problems among license holders?

    What is the per-capita rate of these same problems among the general population?

    Which rate is higher?

    The exact numbers would depend on definitions, but the proportions are likely to remain constant, with license holders almost an order of magnitude lower.

    Another exercise--I bet you won't be able to find a US city of 3 million or more with a better record over a similar time period.

    Zero Tolerance for error isn't realistic, whether we are talking about carry licenses, policemen or medical treatment. Instead, we must balance freedom and benefit with harm. From a pragmatic standpoint we need to keep the ratio of armed criminals to armed defenders as low as possible.

    The New York permit holder isn't likely a concealed carry permit holder--In NY, a permit is required to even handle a pistol. Some of his priors include weapons charges, so it is pretty likely he'd have had a gun even without the license.

    The Idaho man didn't harm anyone else--He's a call for caution, not for more laws. Lots of odd things about this--Most "gun cleaning accidents" turn out to be something else. Cleaning a gun at your place of business shortly before meeting a client seems strange. Shot in the leg while cleaning I could see being a result of stupidity, but shot in the chest seems pretty unlikely, even with abysmal gun handling. The story linked from the Brady page won't open for me, and a Google News search of his name turns up nothing relevant.

    The Arizona story does appear to be a screwup by a license holder.

  10. Thirdpower, A number of times I've heard that the Brady Blog does not allow comments, as a sort-of criticism. But, the cross posting at HuffPo covers that doesn't it?

    Sevesteen, Thanks for your calm respectful comments. You are a credit to your kind, as well as an exception.

  11. No comment on the fact that anecdotes /= data Mike?

  12. Mike,

    I noticed that you avoid answering me, why is that?

    76 instances, anecdotes on the Brady Campaign, that you are willing to cite, but you don't cite defensive gun uses. Isn't that a little unfair, maybe even biased?

    Perhaps you are trying to present as prejudiced of a picture as the Brady Campaign?

    How come you don't address my points in the homeless comment?

    There are people, like the homeless that shouldn't carry but as you can see a blanket prohibition would render many of the people who still could and should carry defenseless....aren't the attacks on those defenseless people partly the responsibility of those who want to limit firearms, like you and the Brady Campaign?

    As far as the comments on the Brady Campaign, why run a site advocating something if you aren't willing to defend your position. I've repeatedly told you that you are rare, others on Kurt's site have told you that. Your openness is extremely rare. Your willingness, however limited, to debate the issue is rare.

  13. Yes Third, I'll comment on that. "No comment on the fact that anecdotes /= data Mike?"

    I agree with that, of course. But, why is it all right when Bob frequently does just that to illustrate his points? I'd say the fairly exhaustive list of violence, abuse and stupidity which the Bradys compiled goes a long way towards painting a more accurate picture of what we're talking about. From you guys all we were getting was how much safer we all are. I disagree with that and these are examples why.

  14. Bob, Whatever your point about the homeless people was, I give it to you. The length of your comment alone was enough to deserve that.

    I agree we should ban homelessness.

  15. Nobody claims that license holders are perfect. When the nation's biggest gun control group can only find this tiny fraction who have abused their licenses, and especially when 2 of the first 3 accounts have significant credibility issues, it proves our point rather than theirs.

    Do you insist that anything less than utter perfection means concealed carry is a net liability to society? If perfection isn't the standard, what is?

  16. No response to either of my comments huh Mike?

  17. Idaho. Small town.. Council Man... Local Police investigation.... I am not a paranoid person, but many gun cleaning accidents are really suicides, or suicide attempts. What type of gun was it that he shot himself to death with? Was it a revolver, pistol, shotgun, or rifle?
    Anyway, I am not buying it. Sorry to say, it is possible, but seriously, what type of idiot points a gun, loaded or otherwise at themselves? God that is the first thing in every hunting, CCW permit class, or self defense class I have ever been in. Never point a gun at yourself or something that you are not willing or able to destroy. I wonder Mikeb, have you ever taken the opportunity to go to a gun safety class? If you have not, I would suggest investing the money to do so. You might be surprised at what is involved to get a CCW permit.


  18. Abaddon, I agree completely. Gun cleaning accidents are probably often disguised suicides. So, is that an argument for more and more guns? I don't think so. Just like the killer who uses a gun could use another tool is need be, so could the depressed suicidal person. But nothing does the job like a gun. I say less guns, less gun violence.

    Mike W., said, "No response to either of my comments huh Mike?"

    Your comment about anecdotal evidence not meaning much, I have no problem with. It always gets down to stats, but that's where it gets sticky. I often don't trust the ones you guys come up with.

    Your other comment about doing open carry instead of concealed, I didn't really have anything to say about that. What was your point?

  19. Mike,

    I have no problem with. It always gets down to stats, but that's where it gets sticky. I often don't trust the ones you guys come up with.

    Then find your own stats, present them as we have, repeatedly done.

    Investigate our stats, disprove them. I welcome that, show us where we've been duped. Where our stats are distorted.

    Which statistic that I presented in this argument do you doubt?

    That the are 314,574 concealed carry license holders in Texas as of 12/31/08?

    Call the Texas Department of Public Safety, tell them you are researching an article and want to confirm that number.

    As for my point on the homeless, I was showing several points.

    1. It is easy to find anecdotal evidence of something.
    2. It is easy to distort anecdotes to make it seem reasonable to support a position.
    3. There are people in any group that will commit violence.
    4. If you take away the right of self defense, if you make it harder for people to defend themselves because of that anecdotal evidence, you often deny people who really need it to defend themselves.

    Homeless people are often mentally ill, so let's make sure no homeless person can carry a firearm, SOUNDS REASONABLE RIGHT?
    Then you get into all the stories of attacks ON homeless people and realize you've just disarmed them and made them easy victims.

    That is what you are doing Mike, calling for more and more people to be disarmed.

    Proud of your words and actions?

  20. Most of our stats come from government sources that are publicly available. Sometimes we use stats from the Bradys--When you break down what they actually claim, it is often useful as an argument for our side.

    I've asked anti-gun people over and over to refute our statistics, or to point out where we are even close to the level of deception used by anti-gun groups. So far, no takers.

  21. "Your comment about anecdotal evidence not meaning much, I have no problem with. It always gets down to stats, but that's where it gets sticky. I often don't trust the ones you guys come up with."

    So Mike, I post data on crime by CCW holders straight from the state agencies of FL and TX and the best you can say is "I don't trust the ones you guys come up with?"

    That's pretty weak Mike. Are you saying FL and TX law enforcment agencies are LYING about criminal activity (rather lack thereof) by CCW holders?

    You're right mike, anecdotal data doesn't mean much, which is why the data I posted wasn't anecdotal. The "facts" from the Brady's you cite in your post? Anecdotal. If CCW holders are so dangerous then surely you have mountains of statistical proof backing up that claim right?

    C'mon Mike, prove to me that CCW holders are a threat, and that TX and FL law enforcement are wrong.

    Also, my point about open carry was that you and your ilk can push for CCW restrictions all you want and we'll simply strap our guns on our hips. I'm sure that you'll have no problem with that right?

  22. Mike W. said, "So Mike, I post data on crime by CCW holders straight from the state agencies of FL and TX and the best you can say is "I don't trust the ones you guys come up with?""

    That's really funny. When it's convenient, you trust the government. When it's not, you don't.

    I say it's bogus data going into the survey, it's biased people doing the counting and analyzing, and it's good ole boys with guns on their hips writing the reports. No, I don't have a lot of faith in the "FL and TX law enforcment agencies."

  23. MIKE,

    Then if you don't trust the data going into the survey show us.

    Right now you seem like a little baby screaming that you don't like what you are being told.




    See Mike, you are calling us liars again....but don't you get upset when we call you a liar?

    You cited the Brady Campaign's site that showed 76 (I counted, did you?) instances NATION WIDE of problems with people with CHLs. And you use that to claim that the statistics can't be trusted.

    But the way, it is not just the State of Texas, and Florida; most states keep very detailed information the conviction rates of those with CHLs.

    Prove the data is wrong instead of acting like a child...I have this strong mental image of you sticking your fingers in your ears screaming "LALALALALA, I can't hear you demolishing my argument".

  24. You trust the government that little, so you want the government to have a monopoly on legal deadly force.

    I don't understand that logic at all.

  25. Here's a little something I've been meaning to throw into the mix. I didn't see anywhere that this was supposed to represent all the problems that occurred during that time period. I understood these to by typical examples but not intended to be a full chronicle. So, although I realize how much you guys like to get into stats and do the percentages, and I know how you love those less-than-1% numbers, I'm afraid they wouldn't be valid unless these incidents represented ALL the problems.

  26. Mike,

    The reason we point out that it is anecdotal evidence is simple: that is all the pro-ignorance anti-freedom groups can find.

    Do you really think that if the Brady Campaign could throw out support statistics that they wouldn't?

    Don't you think if there was thousands and thousands of these types of "concealed carry holder" breaking the law, we wouldn't read about them, wouldn't see the statistics daily?

    Want to convince we are wrong, it is simple! PRESENT THE EVIDENCE!

    How about addressing my point regarding the homeless.

    You advocate disarming many of the homeless because of mental illness, addiction, etc; so how do you disarm those afflicted folks but leave the rest with the ability to defend themselves?

    You've been "discussing" this issue and others for many months. Hate to be a little crude, but you would have to be abysmally slow not to have been able to formulate a plan by now...or at least a vague concept.

    Crap or get of the pot Mike... show us the evidence that we gun owners are such a problem, especially us concealed carry holders.

    Show us that there is a plan to reduce the violence in society.

  27. Is there any evidence that would shake your faith in your position?

  28. Sevesteen asked, "Is there any evidence that would shake your faith in your position?"

    At the risk of sounding close-minded, I don't think there is. I'm enjoying the discussion, but it's been going on for quite a while and although I've looked and listened and read a good bit of what you guys have to offer, far from being shaken in my position, I feel it's been strengthened.

  29. Mike,

    How about putting your position into a single post?

    The argument has been all over the board and you say that it is strengthened your view.

    Could you sum up your views in 3-5 points, show what evidence has (if any) shored up your position?

    Because honestly, I can't see how a person can realistically examine the legal, moral, ethical issues and find evidence to support a position that takes away people's rights.

    I would like to see how open you are to the debate. Settle on 3-5 main points, pick a pro-rights person and both of you write up your positions.

    I would enjoy doing it, I'm sure Sevensteen, Nomen, Thirdpower or any of the others would participate.

    What say Champ? Willing to host a Point Counter Point Debate here?

  30. Do you mean you don't think the facts exist? That isn't what I meant to ask. What I meant was--Are there facts that if from a sufficiently unbiased source would change your mind? For instance, If Mr. Helmke would confirm our "5 times less likely" statistic, would that be good enough, or do we have to be better than that?

    I don't have a gotcha waiting, just want to know if your belief is similar to religious faith, or if is just that we haven't presented the right facts from the right sources.