In the news this morning in Saskatoon: a women was confronted in broad daylight by four men wielding pipes who promptly beat and mugged her. The brief report on the radio included a sound clip of someone complaining about how no one went to the aid of this poor women.
But what could be done? A quick call to the cops and nothing more. I’m a hefty fellow, but armed with only a wallet, my house keys, and if I'm lucky a leather jacket, I can’t imagine myself stepping into a fray with 4 other fellows, well armed no less, on the opposite side. It just wouldn’t do any good.
On hearing this report, my mind immediately jumped to the state of firearms restrictions in Canada, and what one well armed and well meaning denizen could have done to ensure the vicious beating by these dastardly cowards would never have happened.
I know the idea of “concealed carry” may seem outrageous to many Canadians who reside in a nation that doesn’t even allow firearms for home defense, but the facts seem to suggest that arms in the hands of law abiding citizens do much to reduce crime rates. And there is no denying that a pistol in the hands of any person, no matter what their sex or size or age, is “a great equalizer”.
“Gun Facts” has a thorough, well referenced, and well written breakdown of numerous gun myths. While the data pertains to the USA, there are no doubt many lessons that we can learn as Canadians.
Here are few nifty tidbits of information regarding concealed carry.
Crime rates(in Florida) involving gun owners with carry permits have consistently been about 0.02% of carry permit holders since Florida’s right-to-carry law started in 1989.(Read CC permit holders don’t commit crimes.)
After passing their concealed carry law, Florida's homicide rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below the national average and remains below the national average to this day.
The serious crime rate in Texas fell 50% faster than the national average after a concealed carry law was passed in 1995.
"Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or
prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense".
The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per
100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).
The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).
The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).
The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per
100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000).
As I mentioned before, I’m a big, youthful guy, 6’1” and 190 pounds. Generally speaking, this makes me an unlikely target for a random crime. But what of those less capable of defending themselves or presenting a deterring image such as mine? Women, the elderly, or physically disabled in one way or another. With a firearm in hand, and the training that lets them use it effectively, anyone so armed is more than a match for some low life street thug. Furthermore, the thought of a hangun in every purse will may make even the dumbest crook think twice.
Concealed Carry isn’t something to be taken lightly of course, and it certainly isn’t in the USA. Its hardly a case of anyone can carry a pistol. Careful background checks are always made, and in many cases special courses are required.
Such, surprisingly enough, is the case in Canada, where pistols are carried, in abundance. Police officers, Department of Natural Resources Officers, armored car drivers, and security guards can all be licensed to carry firearms in public. Indeed, I see armored car drivers hanging so called “restricted” weapons on their hips very often. So how is it, I ask, that the money in those armed cars warrants the protection of a firearm, while the very livelihood of the average Canadian citizen does not? I don’t believe a good answer to this question exists.
In the real world, when your situation goes to hell, there won’t be police there to help you; they respond to crimes, and rarely prevent them. I for one would like every advantage in my(or another’s) time of dire need, but the state, and I think many Canadians as well, believe I haven’t that right.