NYT Flunks Arithmatic.
The New York Times published “Guns in Public, and Out of Sight” on December 26 demonstrating the national menace posed by concealed carry permits and identifying the evil forces at work: “. Prodded by the gun lobby, most states, including North Carolina, now require only a basic background check, and perhaps a safety class, to obtain a permit.”
“In state after state, guns are being allowed in places once off-limits, like bars, college campuses and houses of worship. And gun rights advocates are seeking to expand the map still further, pushing federal legislation that would require states to honor other states’ concealed weapons permits. The House approved the bill last month; the Senate is expected to take it up next year.”
It tells us that “The bedrock argument for this movement is that permit holders are law-abiding citizens who should be able to carry guns in public to protect themselves.” I thought the bedrock argument is that law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms if they chose to, but let that go.
The article examined the permit program in No. Carolina, one of the states that publically identifies permit holders. It tells us that more than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, excluding traffic-related crimes, over a five-year period, More than 200 were convicted of felonies, including at least 10 who committed murder or manslaughter. All but two of the killers used a gun. More than 200 permit holders were also convicted of gun- or weapon-related felonies or misdemeanors, including roughly 60 who committed weapon-related assaults. In addition, nearly 900 permit holders were convicted of drunken driving, “a potentially volatile circumstance.”
Researchers acknowledge that those who fit the demographic profile of a typical permit holder — middle-age white men — are not usually major drivers of violent crime. At the same time, several states have produced statistical reports showing, as in North Carolina, that a small segment does end up on the wrong side of the law. As a result, the question becomes whether allowing more people to carry guns actually deters crime, as gun rights advocates contend, and whether that outweighs the risks posed by the minority who commit crimes.
Gun rights advocates invariably point to the work of John R. Lott, an economist who concluded in the late 1990s that the laws had substantially reduced violent crime. Subsequent studies, however, have found serious flaws in his data and methodology.
A few independent researchers using different data have come to similar conclusions, but many other studies have found no net effect of concealed carry laws or have come to the opposite conclusion. Most notably, Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue, economists and law professors, concluded that the best available data and modeling showed that permissive right-to-carry laws, at a minimum, increased aggravated assaults. Their data also showed that robberies and homicides went up, but the findings were not statistically significant.
The article is garnished with frightening anecdotes about Charles Diez, Bobby Ray Bordeaux, Ricky Wills, John K. Gallaher III, Mark Stephen Thomas, Jamez Mellion, William Littleton, Scotty L. Durham, Antoine Cornelius Whitted, Jerry Maurice Thomas, and Charles Dowdle. Some of these miscreants committed bloody crimes. Others had permits which should have been denied to them under state law. The article acknowledges that gun advocates have their own anecdotes about permit holders who stopped crimes but cites none, because “... it is virtually impossible...to track these episodes in a systematic way.”
PowerlineBlog.com has collected a number of blog addresses which make sport of the NYT’s clumsy propaganda.
One points out that if 200 permit holders were convicted of felonies out of 240,000 permit holders, than only 0.0833333334-percent of NC concealed carry permit population can be considered problems. He wonders if 30 of the NYPD;s 36,000 officers or 13 of Chicago’s 15,250 or 11 out of LA’s 13,250 or 2 out of New Orleans’ 1,401 officers
Along the same lines another calculates that Florida’s failiure rate has been 0.246% between 1986 and 2010.
He calculates, in addition, that Mayors Against Illegal Guns has had 2.2% of its members arrested, charged, and convicted of criminal activities (assuming 500 mayors). They are almost eight times more likely to be convicted of crimes than Florida concealed firearm license holders. That is over a four-year period. If you projected those figures over 23 years you might arrive at a figure of anti-gun mayors being 45 times more likely to be convicted of crimes. He thinks that’s kind of funny, and so do I.
So the evidence—forever invisible to New York Times journalists—is that permit holders are more law-abiding than the general population.