Op Ed: Time to Consider Concealed Carry

Recently, there was a push on social media to raise awareness for the 149% increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020. This surge in crime is due to the COVID-19 pandemic where people have wrongfully accused Asian Americans of spreading the virus. In response to this, more Asian Americans have reportedly become gun owners in the past several months for self-defense purposes. Are Asian Americans justified? According to a study, of the 1,029,615 defensive gun uses, there were 162,000 cases where someone would have been killed if there was no gun used for protection. I believe that people should take note of this and become gun-owners for self-defense in the home. Additionally, every state should be moving towards a system of concealed carry for those who qualify. 

Concealed carry is an effective way to prevent mass shootings and lower the homicide rate. Americans used their concealed weapons to defend themselves and others between 500,000 to 3 million times every year. That’s as many as 500,000 to 3 million lives saved, possibly more if you consider the fact that, in a given shooting, there could be multiple homicides. There are many scenarios in which people carrying concealed weapons have prevented mass shootings, such as February 13th, 2019, when a concealed carry permit holder in Tennessee stopped a potential shooting at a dentist’s office

On a larger scale, states that have implemented concealed carry experienced lower homicide rates in the following years. Florida implemented concealed carry when they suffered from 12 homicides and international manslaughters per 100,000 people. About 10 years later, it halved to about 6 homicides per 100,000 people. In Texas, the homicide rate dropped from 8 to 6 per 100,000 people when concealed carry was introduced. The data undermines many claims that more progressive politicians argue: when you allow law-abiding and sane people to carry weapons, homicide rates drop, and crime reduces. I concede that there could be falsity in assuming causality since the national homicide rate reduced during this time, but Texas and Florida are some of the largest states; drops in their rate caused by this new policy would significantly affect the national rate.

 One counterargument to Concealed Carry is that it’s dangerous and generally results in more violence in crimes. If the statistics previously discussed don’t disarm that argument, these next few will. Over 15 years, 18 million concealed carry permit holders in America represented 801 firearm-related homicides, resulting in about 0.7% of all homicides. I contend that 801 homicides are still far too many; however, the statistic may be lower since some of these homicides are still under trial to determine if they were lawful instances of self-defense. Regardless, it’s still less than 1% of all homicides; that is an extremely small figure that shows people who carry concealed weapons are not out to spread mayhem. 

If states go ahead with concealed carry, the question then becomes: how do we control who has access to guns? As much as the cliche “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” may get annoying, it offers a perspective that gun control should focus more on who has access to them, rather than what guns are available. Many progressives advocate for a ban on all assault rifles, but why would that stop a mentally troubled individual from committing a mass shooting with some other type of firearm? David French of National Review proposes a system of “Gun Violence Restraining Orders,” where Americans can report dangerous individuals to the authorities and restrict them from being able to buy guns. There are some restrictions as to who can report, such as it must be family members with evidence, but this allows the American public to work in unison with federal and local authorities to stop shootings before they happen. 

The statistic from the CDC that nearly 1 in 5 women experience complete or attempted rape made me consider another benefactor of concealed carry: if women were able to carry concealed weapons, they would have an extremely effective equalizer that would reduce sexual assaults. It would succeed in further empowering the woman trying to walk home at night. You can argue that women shouldn’t have to be armed, and I agree; it’s an unfortunate fact that women may have to carry a firearm to feel safe. However, if more women begin to carry, more potential assaulters will be deterred because they don’t know who is armed, hence the reason why concealed carry can be very effective. Also, many men carry to feel safe as well. 

As of August 2020, the NYPD response time was 8 minutes and 5 seconds. If you depend on someone to intervene and call the police for you, only God knows how long that could take, if they come at all. Drawing your concealed firearm to defend yourself? That only takes a couple of seconds.

Thanks for reading,
Brian Inguanti