The number of gun permits issued in Massachusetts surged by more than 15 percent over the past two years, reversing nearly a decade of steady declines and marking a pronounced departure for a state known for its antigun sentiment.
The magnitude of the rise, evident in nearly every corner of the state, surprised law enforcement officials, and gun advocates and opponents alike.
Some saw it as an echo of similar spikes across the country after President Obama’s election, when heavy gun sales were attributed to fears that he would impose strict new gun laws. But with more women and elderly residents signing up for gun classes in Massachusetts, many said the increase here has also been driven by worries about crime and a growing sense of vulnerability in the wake of the financial collapse and lingering fallout of the damaged economy.
More guns, less crime. That's what some people say. What I say is time will tell. If the trends continue, the increase in gun violence should become clear and obvious. And how could it not? Some folks say 80% of the guns in criminal hands are stolen from lawful gun owners. No one can dispute that some lawful gun owners turn bad, the percentage is debatable, but the incidents are documented. There have also been reports of gun licenses issued mistakenly to folks who should not qualify.
All this would have to show eventually, depending on all the other factors, in an increase in gun violence. What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.