Case for Concealed Carry
From the mouths of babes...
By Alex Lutzow,
a High School Freshman
Downtown Chicago; A random 5' 3" 115 pound women is walking
to her apartment. She is carrying her paycheck she just cashed
at the bank. Behind her, a man 6' 3" 250 pounds follows.
He jumps her. She struggles to get away, hits him in the face
and sprints. However, he is too fast. This time he catches
her, slits her throat, and takes her money.
woman, same man - downtown Houston. Once again he jumps her,
she hits him and scrambles away. This time she turns around
and brandishes a pistol from her purse. The man, undeterred,
comes forward and she shoots him in the leg, runs home, and
calls the police. A life has been saved.
carry is a necessity for keeping the public safe. To improve
safety within our union, one of two things must happen: Congress
must pass a bill making concealed carry legal in all states,
or all state legislatures (that haven't already) must pass
similar bills into law.
is necessary to remember that criminals are not fools and
"when criminals suspect that the costs of committing
a crime are too high they are less likely to commit it,"
author Sterling Burnett says. Concealed carrying of weapons
must be approved in order to keep the public safe and to stop
the rising rates of violent crime.
only are people who carry guns protected by concealed carry
laws, there are certain passive bonuses to those who don't
carry guns because criminals suspect they might. Even if one
doesn’t carry a gun but his or her neighbor does, they are
still more protected than if guns were banned altogether.
bonuses are especially evident in women who, for every one
woman who carries a gun, murder rates among women falls three
to four times according to author John Lott. These rates are
not surprising. Women generally benefit more from having concealed
weapons because they are more often the targets of crimes,
and their ability to carry a gun has a large impact on how
well she can defend herself against an attack. Blacks also
had large benefits from gun carrying laws because in their
higher population areas this prevents criminals from being
the only ones who possessed guns.
concealed weapons to be held by law-abiding citizens will
not increase a criminal's ability to posses an illegal firearm.
All legal carriers must have a clean criminal record in order
to receive a concealed carry permit.
fact, author Sterling Burnett says "Licensees are found
to be more law-abiding than the average person." This
is important because those who are licensed to carry a concealed
weapon do not intend to use it to commit a crime.
do not bother to get licenses, they merely buy a stolen gun
off the black market. Without concealed carry laws they are
armed, and the public is not. In a 1998 Times-Canada article,
Romesth Ratnesar cited studies confirming that in states that
approved concealed carry from 1977 to 1992, murders fell 8%,
rapes 5% and aggravated assaults 7%, while at the same time
in the rest of the country murders rose 24%, rapes 71 % and
aggravated assaults more than 100% increase.
shows that while the United States was having trouble with
crime, some states that passed concealed carry laws actually
had lowered rates in crime.
everyone should carry a gun, however. Some people may not
be psychologically prepared for gun use. A gun carrier must
be prepared to use the gun with lethal force, if necessary.
If it is drawn without intent to use it, a gun can become
dangerous to its user.
the United States, Ratnesar says, guns "were used defensively
about 2.5 million time a year . . . only 5% of cases were
defenders harmed after they had brandished their gun."
This 5% of people were usually unwilling to use their gun
and were subsequently hurt because the criminal used force
police also believe in the concealed carry concept. In November
2001 out of 23,113 chief and sheriffs surveyed nationally,
62 percent said that they agreed that a national concealed
handgun permit would reduce rates of violent crime. Also,
the same study indicated that ". . . 93 % of the commanding
officers believe law-abiding citizens should be able to purchaser
a firearm for sport or self-defense."
police are the people we trust to keep security within our
communities and what they are saying is that Americans who
obey laws should be able to posses firearms. One thing that
must not be taken for granted is our government's respectable
intelligence so far in the gun control situation. Many other
countries have foolishly passed laws making guns illegal or
nearly illegal. In fact, Lott writes, "The three worst
public shootings in the western world during the past year
 all occurred in Europe… all three occurred in gun-free
are gun control activists thinking? They propose that we make
laws like those in Europe that have done nothing to decrease
the prevalence of violence.
1996, Great Britain banned handguns which caused a tremor
of thought throughout the United States that we should do
the same. However, this caused great problems within the country.
Lott writes that this was a ludicrous ban that forced "shooters
training for the Olympics to travel to other countries to
practice. In the six years since the ban, gun crimes have
risen an astounding 40%."
could an increase in gun crimes be beneficial to the public?
Australia passed similar laws in 1996 making it illegal to
use a gun defensively. Four years later, armed robberies had
risen 37%, assaults 24%, kidnappings 43%, and manslaughter
16%. Once again the pattern continues guns are taken away
and crimes increase. These two countries were once thought
to be good places for gun bans because they are surrounded
by water making smuggling difficult.
former Soviet Union now is releasing some of the most fascinating
evidence for pro-concealed carry advocates. The police state
in Russia had a ban on guns that started after the communist
revolution, but from 1976-1985 the Soviet Union's homicide
rate was somewhere between 21%-41% higher than the United
State's during those years.
of concealed carry such as the VPC (Violence Policy Center)
who believe in a total ban on handgun ownership, have tried
to used police reports on those who carry concealed weapons
in Texas such as that they had committed two crimes a day
and one+ arrest a month for violent offenses.
statistics are however, misconstrued. Burnett writes, "First
they do not separate crime that involve concealed weapons
from those that don't. In addition.… more than 55% of licensees
arrested for violent crime are cleared of the crime for which
they are arrested."
VPC is tragically trying to use manipulated numbers to accomplish
their goals, because they are a desperate organization working
for a cause without any real proof. Moreover public safety
cannot be confused with gun control because " The U.S.
has shown that making guns more available is actually a better
formula for law and order" (Lott).
U.S. Constitution says, ". . . [T]he right of the people
to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
over 200 years this has been a critical part of our laws of
the land. Why now in the 21st century do people want to change
what has worked for so long? If it's not broken don’t fix
it, and firearms are definitely not a broken cause. Americans
need weapons as much now as they ever have, maybe even more.
With crime rates rising throughout the country, and public
safety ever deteriorating, aren't Americans entitled to possess
firearms wherever they go?
are 33 states within the union that allow concealed carry
for citizens. This is important for safety because, 96% of
sheriffs and police chiefs surveyed believe that criminals
can still obtain any type of firearm illegally.
responsible Americans to own and carry concealed weapons is
essential to the future of the United States. The public itself
is the public's 1st defense. Aware Americans are this country's
most valuable asset in the war against crime.
police are only so powerful, and they cannot be in every place
at every time. Americans need to be responsible and be allowed
to carry guns. This is not only for the gun owner's safety,
but for the safety of everyone around him or her.
will continue to commit crimes, because they know the consequences
of their actions will not equal the atrocities of their acts.
If citizens cannot carry weapons, they will continue to commit
violent acts. But if they know that every American is a potential
carrier, will they feel the same security when committing
only answer to this rash of violence that America is fighting
is to arm the public, so they have a fighting chance.
Lutzow freshman at Crystal Lake (IL) Central High School