Editor, Guns & Gear
10:59 PM 04/17/2015
A survey conducted by John Lott's Crime Prevention Research Center shows a profoundly favorable view of concealed carry as a tool for a safer society.
When asked, "In the United States, are guns used in self-defense more often than they are used in the commission of a crime?" North American respondents agreed answering 88% yes, to 12% no.
Respondents, at a rate of 91%, felt that gun-free zones were more likely to attract criminals than they are to deter them. Gun-free zone was defined as an area where "civilians are banned from having guns."
Suicide, especially among males, in the United States is usually committed with a firearm. However only 28% the survey respondents answered "yes" when asked, "Would you say that, in the United States, having a gun in the home causes an increase in the risk of suicide?"
Firearm murders have been steadily declining in the United States and concealed carry has been making rapid gains. The National Rifle Association estimates that each year up to 2.5 million crimes are prevented or deterred by an armed citizen.
Survey respondents overwhelmingly felt, 91% to 9%, that "concealed handgun permit holders are much more law-abiding that the typical American."
Additionally, 81% of respondents felt that "allowing people to carry a permitted concealed handgun" would decrease the murder rate.
A Gallup survey conducted in 2014 indicates that Americans are increasingly recognizing that a gun in the home makes the home safer.
That survey also asks, "Do guns make homes safer?" In 2000, only 35% of people felt that a gun in the home made that home safer and 51% felt that a gun contributed to a more dangerous environment. In 2005 the survey indicates a split decision with 45% answering "safer" and 45% answering "more dangerous." In October 2014, the consensus was overwhelmingly pro-gun with 63% of respondents indicating a gun in the home made that home safer and only 30% felt a gun present made the home more dangerous.
Critics of the Second Amendment often argue that the "right to keep and bear arms" is only reserved for a "well regulated militia," trying to tie the language of the amendment to the concept that a militia is a government entity or something outdated and made obsolete due to police force protection.
Courts have decided that the police are under no obligation to protect an individual or even respond to an incident. In the recent Ferguson riots, police stood by while businesses were looted and destroyed.
The courts have also decided that the Second Amendment extends to the individual's right to possess a firearm for self-defense in the case of District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008.
Public perception of owning firearms is increasingly positive through the empirical results of gun ownership increasing and crime decreasing. Lott's book "More Guns, Less Crime" is proving to be true, if not prophetic.