No surprise

January 6, 2008

Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold.

But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics.

The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.

More than 155,000 Michiganders — about one in every 65 — are now authorized to carry loaded guns as they go about their everyday affairs, according to Michigan State Police records.

This has been the experience of 40 other states, so no one should be surprised – except, perhaps, those who predicted we’d have blood running in the streets.

The intransigence of those who would prefer repeal of the Second Amendment earns them the title “unreality based.” Here is how they reacted to the fact that they were wrong, emphasis mine.

…”I think the general consensus out there from law enforcement is that
things were not as bad as we expected,” said Woodhaven Police Chief
Michael Martin, cochair of the legislative committee for the Michigan
Association of Chiefs of Police. “There are problems with gun violence.
But … I think we can breathe a sigh of relief that what we anticipated
didn’t happen

…Kenneth Levin, a West Bloomfield physician, was one of those critics [of the shall issue law]. In a letter to the Free Press in July 2001, he referred to the “inevitable first victim of road or workplace rage as a result of this law.”

Last month, Levin said he suspected “it probably hasn’t turned out as
bad as I thought. I don’t think I was wrong, but my worst fears weren’t

…Shikha Hamilton of Grosse Pointe, president of the Michigan chapter of
the anti-gun group Million Moms March, said she believes overall gun violence (including suicide and accidental shootings) is up in Michigan since 2001. Many incidents involving CCW permit holders have not been widely reported, she said. [The story notes that “The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.”]

…Hamilton said that even if gun violence has ebbed, it remains pervasive, tragic and unnecessary. At the least, a more liberal concealed weapons law means there are more guns in homes and cars and on the street, she said, and more potential for disaster.

So the evidence is crystal clear that all these people were, and are, wrong about violence associated with concealed carry. They are able to say it wasn’t as bad as they thought, but they weren’t wrong.

They believe overall gun violence is up, despite the facts. They do not need any evidence, they have faith in their cause.

Martin, Levin and Hamilton were hysterically mistaken. Without question, beyond doubt, they were W. R. O. N. G. But, since evidence is irrelevant in the face of their liturgy, perhaps they’d be wise to practice a Concealed Opinion Regimen.

They should not be allowed within 300 feet of public policy. It is people like this who raise the question of whether we also need licenses in order to be allowed to exercise the First Amendment. After appropriate training, I can imagine a shall issue “Right to Express,” revokable for offenses of logic such as committed above.