Monday, December 21, 2009

Gun Permits Surge in Massachusetts reports on the latest statistics on gun permits.

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.


  1. MikeB,

    You left out some of the important parts of the story.

    Law enforcement officials said that, while the sharp increase in permits is unexpected, it does not portend any increase in gun violence.

    See, even law enforcement from one of the most notoriously anti-gun states knows that the increase in guns do not increase gun violence.

    “We’re concerned about criminals with guns, not law-abiding citizens,’’ said John A. Grossman, undersecretary of forensic science and technology for the state Office of Public Safety and Security. “It’s the illegal gun trafficking we’re really focused on.’’

    Police chiefs and district attorneys echoed that, saying they see few crimes committed with legally licensed firearms.

    Are these the same police chiefs and prosecuting attorneys that Laci said only lobby to protect us all from gun violence? Guess they know the truth as well.

  2. I have to agree with what FWM says, they may not be used in crime if these guns are licenced...

    And properly stored.

    Unfortunately, there are no accurate statistics for how many truly stolen guns are out there. While the common belief is that a gun provides protection, they also make desired commodities for criminals. SO, a gun in the house could be stolen and used in crime.

  3. Funny, because VT, a state right next door with NO permitting system at all (If you own it you can carry it as you wish) has a fraction of the violent crime that we see in MA.

    Obviously we need more gun control in VT to bring the violent crime rate up to MA's level.

  4. The problem FWM, is that many of these guns tend to wind up in the hands of criminals.



    Mikeb: "The pro-gun assertion that there are more and more guns and fewer crimes is beginning to be refuted by reports like this one. I think that'll be the trend and as you guys continue to make major strides in the courts, public opinion will swing once the dust settles and the ever-increasing gun violence becomes undeniable."

    Gun sales soared in the last year, even in MA! More "assault weapons" since the ban expired! Oh, the humanity!


    Murders Fell 10 Percent in First Half of 2009, FBI Says

    Monday , December 21, 2009
    Associated Press

    Unemployment is high, the economy is down. Yet for all the signs of recession, something is missing: More crime.

    Experts are scratching their heads over why crime has ebbed during this recession, making it different from other economic downturns of the past half-century. Early guesses include jobless folks at home keeping closer watch for thieves, or extra benefits keeping people from resorting to crime.

    Preliminary figures gathered by the FBI for the first six months of 2009 show crime falling across the country — at a time when many experts and police officials had expected crime to rise under the pressure of high unemployment, foreclosures and layoffs.

    Murder and manslaughter dropped a surprising 10 percent for the first half of the year, according to the FBI's data.

  6. Mike W. incorrect, Vermont allows local jurisdictions to control firearms

    Please be aware that Vermont does not at this time require or issue gun permits. Some Vermont towns and cities do have local ordinances, so if you are planning on visiting, it would be wise to contact the local police chief to find information pertaining to local information.

    Also, comparing Vermont to Massachusetts is downright silly given population and so on.

    Oh yeah, and Vermont has a Socialist Senator, Bernie Sanders. Sanders was mayor of Burlington.

  7. I wonder why Mike W. brings up VT--not NV or LA?

    That's right. Because why not use one of the least populated states in the nation for your cheerry-picking?


  8. JadeGold, Thanks for the comments and let me say I'm honored that you've visited my blog. You are nothing less than a legend in my eyes, I kid you not. The way some of these pro-gun overly-enthusiastic characters have vilified you has elevated you to the heights. Interestingly, I don't think I've ever read anything you'd written yourself, just the vicious talk of your antagonists, I think on Kevin's blog and Weer'd's and Joe Huffman's. I figured when reading those over-the-top remarks about you that you were probably just a reasonable guy making reasonable arguments. Carry on, my friend.

  9. Thank you, Mike.

    The gunloons love me.


  10. "That's right. Because why not use one of the least populated states in the nation for your cheerry-picking?"

    Crime rates don't depend on population.

    Hence the word RATE.

    Hey MikeB, why don't you ask your new hero why he calls the police and accuses others of doing something they never did?

    I'm still waiting for the "post office police" to kick in my door Jade, when are they coming?

    It's been almost 2 years now. How much longer do I have to wait?

    MikeB, you do realize that Jade is an NRA member, right? Or at least he used to be.


    I'm using your ilks website here.

    Scroll down and you'll see that VT DOES HAVE STATEWIDE PREEMPTION.

    VT State law on the carrying of firearms is uniform statewide.

    Sorry to prove you wrong yet again Laci. Is it getting old yet?

    And if you don't believe Paul Helmke here's the VT statutes.

    Section 2295 of VT code

    prohibits the direct regulation of "the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing or registration of . . . firearms, ammunition" or their components.

    Here we are clear as day. VT statue Section 2295.

    2295. Authority of municipal and county governments to regulate firearms, ammunition, hunting, fishing and trapping

    Except as otherwise provided by law, no town, city or incorporated village, by ordinance, resolution or other enactment, shall directly regulate hunting, fishing and trapping or the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing or registration of traps, firearms, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition. This section shall not limit the powers conferred upon a town, city or incorporated village under section 2291(8) of this title.

    See also Section 2291


    For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare and convenience, a town, city or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

    (8) To regulate or prohibit the use or discharge, but not possession of, firearms within the municipality or specified portions thereof, provided that an ordinance adopted under this subdivision shall be consistent with section 2295 of this title.

    Sick of being wrong yet Laci and MikeB?

  12. as for comparing states.

    That's why you compare crime RATES not totals, to account for differences in population.

    You anti's would know that if you bothered with facts in your arguments.

  13. I don't think it's a simple question of comparing rates. If a lightly populated state which has no large urban centers is compared to a highly populated one that does, you can do all the proportions you like and it's not a fair comparison. There are many factors. Sometimes I think you pro-gun guys are too focused on the gun.

  14. "Sometimes I think you pro-gun guys are too focused on the gun."

    That's comedy gold coming from someone like yourself who twists every story into anti-gun rhetoric.

  15. "Crime rates don't depend on population."

    This is why I'm here; to help folks like Kavey navigate the mysteries of basic math and statistics.

    Does population matter? Of course it does--any stats professor will swear this is true. Here's an example: let's say you're shopping for the lowest price on a camera. You research and come up with two prices. Now, let's say I research and come up with ten prices. I think most everyone would agree I have the greater liklihood of identifying the lowest price.

    Further complicating Kavey's erroneous statement is the fact that all states are not the same, so to compare them as such is extremely foolish.

    Here's a fairly recent Harvard study:

    Key quote: "In these analyses, states within the highest quartile of firearm prevalence had firearm homicide rates 114% higher than states within the lowest quartile of firearm prevalence. Overall homicide rates were 60% higher. The association between firearm prevalence and homicide was driven by gun-related homicide rates; non-gun-related homicide rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership."


  16. Mikeb: "If a lightly populated state which has no large urban centers is compared to a highly populated one that does, you can do all the proportions you like and it's not a fair comparison. There are many factors."

    The nice thing about discussing places like Vermont is that it gets gun control advocates saying "There are many factors."

    Whereas at other times, they say things like Japan has less crime and more gun restrictions, so ipso facto.

  17. Sometimes I think you pro-gun guys are too focused on the gun.

    Yeah, which is why you only talk about "gun crime" while I cite overall violent crime rates.

    You focus only on crimes with firearms while ignoring violent crime as a whole.

    Sorry MikeB, but we're not the ones focusing on the gun and ignoring everything else. You're squarely in that camp.

  18. JadeGold said, "The problem FWM, is that many of these guns tend to wind up in the hands of criminals."

    What could be simpler than that, I ask you?

  19. FishyJay, I always say there are many factors. That's why our debate is never-ending. I predict though, over the next few years it'll become clearer.

  20. Lots of things end up in criminal hands. Criminals steal shit, its just what they do. Why don't you just outlaw thievery? That'll stop them from stealing guns as well as any registration gimmick imposed on the law abiding.

  21. Lock up violent criminals and leave me the fuck alone.

    What could be simpler than that, I ask you.

    I notice Laci disappeared from our little discussion on VT law. I guess that'll happen when you've been thoroughly trounced and shown to be a liar.

  22. Mikeb: "I always say there are many factors."


    However, I shall pounce if you ever say "This place has more gun laws but less gun crime, so ipso facto."

    After all, there are many factors.

  23. FishyJay said, "However, I shall pounce if you ever say "This place has more gun laws but less gun crime, so ipso facto.""

    Fair enough, but I thought you guys told me no such place exists. I'm still looking for it so I can answer Joe Huffman's "one question."

  24. There are places with more gun laws but less gun crime, just as Vermont has less gun laws and less gun crime. There is no problem making either of those statements.

    But since "there are many factors," one should not say "this place has more gun laws but less gun crime AS A RESULT" without further proof.

    To deal with Joe Huffman, I think that you probably should find places that had gun crime, passed more gun laws in response, and then subsequently saw significantly less gun crime as a result of those gun laws.