When shots rang out in the New Hope City Council (Minnesota), Council Member John Elder, a former police officer, drew his permitted concealed handgun to protect those who were at the meeting. An armed attacker shot at a group of uniformed police officers, wounding two of them (they are OK). Other officers returned fire, killing the man. But Council Member Elder provided a valuable backup.
Portland’s GoLocalPDX has a lead news story on the growth of concealed carry permits in the Portland area. Not enough information is presented in the article to determine the permit growth rate for all three counties, but Multnomah and Washington counties had a 41 percent growth in permits between 2011 and 2014 (42840/30429). It appears as if the growth in Clackamas county was even much larger.
In Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties, there are a combined 64,308 active Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHL), according to the most recent available data.
In Multnomah County alone, the number of active permits grew from 16,090 in 2011 to 22,875 in 2014. The number of permits grew more slowly in Washington County, from 14,339 in 2011 to 19,965 in 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, 23,347 CHL’s were issued in Clackamas County. . . .
The article also contained a discussion about the CPRC:
According to a 2014 report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, a gun law and public safety think tank, 194,162 people in Oregon carried concealed weapons as of July 2013. Roughly 6.3 percent of adults in Oregon have concealed carry permits compared to 4.8 percent of the population nationwide.
John Lott, the Center’s president and author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, argued that concealed carry permits lower murder and crime rates, particularly crimes against women and the elderly.
“Police are the single-most important factor for reducing crime,” Lott noted. “But they virtually always arrive on the crime scene after the crime.” He said allowing people – particularly women and the elderly — to carry weapons allows them to defend themselves against violent crimes. Lott added that more people with permits to carry weapons do not pose a threat to public safety. “What you find is people with concealed handgun licenses tend to be extremely law abiding.” . . .
UPDATE: Guns.com also has a discussion of this same CPRC report this week.
With some 570,712 permits issued, Indiana has one of the highest rates of lawful concealed carry in the nation. According to a 2014 report from the Crime Prevention Research Center, only South Dakota has a higher percent of the eligible population that has a permit. A large part of this is due to the state’s historically low cost for permits, ranging from $10-$50 that include an option for lifetime carry. . . . .
From CBS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth about a case in Southlake, Texas:
A North Texas man is being heralded a hero after police said he held a man at gunpoint who was assaulting a woman.
The tense standoff broke out on Friday near the intersection of Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard.
Witnesses reported seeing a man standing in the middle of the street pointing a gun straight at the passenger of a red vehicle with the door open.
“We expected crowds and long return lines, but we never expected to see that,” said Lindsey Bryant, who witnessed scene.
Bryant was traveling as a passenger in the car with her mother and daughter. Her sister Mistina Doland was next to her behind the wheel.
“It was intense not knowing whether bullets were going to start flying from either side of the street,” said Doland.
Seconds after the sisters dialed 911, police rolled up on the scene.
Investigators sorted out the situation and determined the man with the gun was actually trying to help.
Chief Steve Mylett with the Southlake Police Department said the man had just witnessed the driver of the red vehicle hitting his female passenger. Police arrested MacMichael Nwaiwu, 28, who is now in jail.
“It’s amazing that in this day in age that people are willing to reach out and help,” said Doland. . . . .
UPDATE: here is another case from January 13th where a robber made the mistake of trying to rob a concealed carry permit holder in a restaurant parking lot.
Holton, wearing a ski mask and sunglasses, told Farmer to pull down his pants during the attempted robbery.
Detectives said Farmer was able to reach for his own gun and shoot Holton. Holton was rushed to the hospital where he died. . . .
The horrible tragic death of Veronica J. Rutledge in Idaho obtained massive national news coverage. The 29-year-old mother was accidentally shot to death when her two-year-old reached into her handbag and fired her handgun.
The news coverage generally provided little context for the story. The main context was provided by data that had been put together by the Crime Prevention Research Center. In the Associated Press article that was carried in news outlets throughout the country it was noted (in the US including the Washington Post, ABC News, Newsday, Yahoo News, US News & World Report and in publications around the world such as Australia and Japan) :
About 7 percent of adults in Idaho had concealed weapons permits at the end of 2012, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. That ranked Idaho among the top third of states. . . .
About 7% of adults in Idaho — more than 85,500 people — had concealed-weapons permits at the end of 2012, according to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center, a Swarthmore, Pa.-based gun-advocacy group. That ranks Idaho in the top third among states. . . .
But you get an idea of how rare these incidents are by looking at the number of permit holders nationwide, not just those in Idaho. There are now about 12 million concealed handgun permit holders and if these stories of children shooting adults happened at more than a virtually non-existent rate, we would surely be hearing about children killing their parents regularly.
To put it differently, the day before there were at least a couple of news reports around the country about permit holders using concealed handguns to protect people, but neither of those stories got national news coverage.
1) In Fargo, North Dakota, four people were robbing and assaulting a 36-year-old man. They knocked the man unconscious, but fortunately a permit holder was there to stop the attack. Police reported: “passer-by, who has a license to carry a concealed weapon, brandished his gun to end the robbery.”
2) In Kissimmee, Florida, a pastor with a concealed handgun permit protected himself from an employee who he had just had to fire.
. . . . The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that Living Water Fellowship Church Pastor Terry Howell had been meeting with maintenance worker Benjamin Parangan Tuesday to terminate Parangan’s employment with the Kissimmee church.
Witnesses say Parangan pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Howell. He wasn’t hurt but returned fire with his own weapon and hit Parangan. . . .
CPRC’s Lott was also interviewed by The Independent in the UK, though the numbers that were provided on how rare these types of events are was not included in the story. It would also have been useful to have noted that the
. . . Yet John Lott, a gun rights campaigner who heads the Crime Prevention Research Centre and who is a contributor to Fox News, said public support for gun rights, including the right to carry a concealed weapon, was growing.
He pointed to the results of a survey released in December 2014 by the Pew Research Centre which showed for the first time in at least two decades, there was “more support for gun rights than gun control”. The research suggested 52 per cent of people said it was more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46 per cent said it was more important to control gun ownership.
He claimed public support for guns was growing because of several factors, including the publication of a number of studies he said showed gun ownership prevented crimes.
Mr Lott, who said his organisation received no support from gun manufacturers, said the media was also slowly reporting instances where someone carrying a licensed concealed weapon had been able to prevent a crime. As a result, people were becoming more aware of the benefit of being armed.
“There was an incident in Fargo, North Dakota, when someone was being attacked by four people, and someone with a concealed weapon was able to step in and stop it,” he said, referring to an incident on Monday afternoon in Fargo’s NP Avenue. A report by the WDAZ television station said four men had tried to lure a 36-year-old man behind a building. . . .
UPDATE: A newspaper in Louisiana has also cited the CPRC for data on the number of concealed carry permits in Louisiana.
One customer was killed here, but without the permit holder in this case, multiple customers might have been killed. St. Louis (occurred on Tuesday night, December 2, 2014):
. . . Police said three gunmen entered the bar about 10:55 p.m. Tuesday — one of them shooting into the ceiling as they came in — and ordered everyone to the floor. Wade ran toward the former police officer and shot him in the thigh.
The ex-officer, who worked for the department for several years in the 1970s and has a concealed-carry permit, fired back, shooting Wade in the eye and Davis in the shoulder, police said.
Another male customer, 73, was shot in the ankle and was in critical condition; a fourth male victim, 66, was released from the hospital after receiving treatment for two shots to his buttocks.
Davis and a third gunman, whose identity was unknown, fled in a stolen Mazda, investigators said. Police found the wounded Davis at a hospital; he claimed he had been shot at a different place. A manhunt continued for the third man. . . . .
Las Vegas (occurred on Thursday, December 4, 2014):
A call was made to police around 9:45 p.m., reporting a man had entered the Red Lobster . . . near U.S. 95, with a handgun.
The man, who has now been identified as 28-year-old Dillon Webb, allegedly threatened customers and employees and took the drawer from a cash register.
Witnesses said the man ran out the back. A customer from the restaurant, attempting to flee the area, was confronted by the suspect in the parking lot. The customer, who was armed with a handgun fired one round. Webb reportedly dropped the drawer and ran. . . .
The CPRC has a letter to the editor today at the Washington Post that discusses a recent working paper that was discussed in the Post on November 14th.
Dear Letters Editor:
Christopher Ingraham’s “More Guns, More Crime” ignored research critical of a slightly updated, error-ridden paper by law professor John Donohue and two graduate students co-authors. Mr. Ingraham is simply wrong to claim they “now . . . added another full decade to the analysis.” Other already-published studies have considered the same recent data.
Their revised paper’s “preferred” results supposedly show violent crime rates increase after states pass right-to-carry laws. Among the problems:
— They rely, without explanation, on estimates Mr. Donohue has previously claimed were unreliable and misleading. Measuring simply the average crime rates before and after the law can miss an upward trend in crime before the law and drops afterwards.
— They focus on the period from 1999 to 2010. But later-adopting states were often reluctantly dragged into passing these laws. Their laws were more restrictive — higher fees, longer training requirements and more gun-free zones. The authors compare the drop in violent crime for these late adopters with other states — primarily earlier adopters who issued many more permits — who experienced larger drops in crime. But smaller drops for more restrictive states is exactly what the “More Guns, Less Crime” hypothesis predicts.
— Even relying on these flawed estimates, Mr. Ingraham ignored that most of the authors’ results still provide no evidence that violent crime increases.
Two-thirds of peer-reviewed research by economists and criminologists finds that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime.
Lloyd Cohen, Arlington
The writer is a professor in the School of Law at George Mason University.
John R. Lott Jr., Burke
The writer is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Carl Moody, Williamsburg, Va.
The writer is a professor in the Department of Economics College of William and Mary.
From the International Business Times:
Previously, Russians were only allowed to own firearms for hunting or target practice, but under the new laws they will be allowed to carry them for self-defence as well.
Though Russia’s murder rate has fallen since the 1990s, when organised crime flourished, figures show the country still has a high murder rate.
In the most recent year for which statistics are available, 2009, there were 21,603 murders in Russia.
This gives it one of the world’s highest murder rates, according to a 2011 UN report.
In the same year the US, which has a population almost twice as large, had 13,636 homicides.
More than 80% of the killings in the US were gun related.
Pro-gun ownership campaigners however point to US statistics as proof that ownership of firearms could keep them safer.
Some Russians blame corrupt police for the high crime rates.
Opposition politician Alexander Navalny, who supports gun ownership, quipped to the New Republic magazine in 2012 that firearms could help keep Russians safer from the law enforcement officers charged with protecting them. . . .
As Russia Today provides more detail:
In spite of its restrictive gun laws, Russia has seen its share gun violence. In 2012, a 30 year old lawyer opened fire on his colleagues at a pharmaceutical company, killing six. Just last year, 15-year-old straight A student, Sergey Gordeyev, killed a teacher and a police officer after taking 29 students hostage.
The government’s press service underscored that carrying a weapon will remain prohibited at educational institutions, establishments which operate at night and serve alcohol, and mass public gatherings such as street demonstrations or protests. The legislation also forbids carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
The law broadly defines self-defense weapons, including smoothbore long barrelled guns, pistols, revolvers, and other firearms, as well as Tasers, and devices equipped with teargas. Long barrelled fire arms and edged weapons are, however, forbidden by the law. . . .
Saying that these attacks are “in spite” of the restrictive laws is incorrect. The research done by the CPRC and those who work with it indicate that the gun prohibitions actually encourage these attacks.
John Lott’s newest piece at Investor’s Business Daily discusses what Americans can learn from Israel about stopping terrorism. The piece starts this way:
Terrorism is forcing Israel to let civilians carry guns in even the most sensitive religious areas in the wake of Palestinian attacks in places from a sidewalk to the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue. Weapons have ranged from knives and guns to a car.
These attacks mirror the recent spate of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks around the world, including a hatchet attack in New York City, a beheading in Oklahoma and a shooting in Ottawa, Ontario. Yet Israel’s response couldn’t be more different.
Such attacks are likely to continue. Just this past Sunday, in the video of Peter Kassig’s beheading, IS called for more attacks by its followers. Simply by using the Internet, IS has encouraged attacks that have involved no apparent planning or coordination with others, without leaving much of an advance warning about their intentions.
President Obama has responded by beefing up security at federal buildings. But if announcing such increased security has any effect, it simply makes it more likely that other targets will be hit, as there are so many possible targets.
Canada rushed to give security agencies more detention and surveillance power. It can’t hurt, but lone attackers are unlikely to send incriminating emails that law enforcement can intercept.
Using screening also has its limits. The killers in the attack on the Canadian Parliament and the Israeli synagogue found ways around background checks and still illegally obtained guns.
But what is the backup plan if security measures fail? An armed citizenry is one answer.
Last year, Interpol’s secretary general, Ron Noble, noted that there are two ways to protect people from such mass shootings:
“One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves (should be) so secure that in order to get into the soft target, you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
“You can’t have armed police forces everywhere,” he warned.
The risk of these secure areas is that terrorists will be the only ones with weapons there.
We can benefit from looking at what some countries have learned about terrorism. One is that terrorists enjoy huge strategic advantages as they pick the time and place of attacks.
For decades, Israel responded to terrorist attacks by putting more armed police and military on the streets. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
The horrible death today at Har Nof Shul left five people dead and others wounded. Israel’s Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who has been pushing for ever tighter gun control laws, has announced some easing of controls, letting some people carry with them all the time, even in sensitive places (see also here and here). Meanwhile, many Israelis are speaking out for a return to previous policies.
Former Jerusalem Police Chief Aryeh Amit
Every citizen who has a gun should carry it. The way the government has been handling the escalation in attacks is not satisfactory and one cannot be surprised that attacks continue for the matter is not being handled as it should be.
The policy making it close to impossible to get a legal handgun today is nothing more than hysteria and it does nothing to better the situation.
There is an enormous amount of illegal handguns in the Arab and criminal sectors but my son who is a paratrooper cannot get a gun permit. We live in the Mideast here, not Hawaii and citizens should be able to get a weapon. Those who have one must carry it everywhere.
From ABC News:
“Every one, everywhere is in danger,” said Yitzhak Heshing, who was injured in Tuesday’s attack. “Not just in Jerusalem but everywhere. I think that what is happening is a very crazy situation.” . . .
Heshing, who was being treated for his wounds Tuesday in the same Jerusalem hospital where he works as a doctor, said that his sense of security was in tatters following the attack.
“Everyone needs to carry a gun,” he said. “I don’t know. Personally I think I’ll need to carry a weapon.” . . .
Israel’s regulations were described last year in the Forward, a Jewish daily.
The list of requirements is long. Israelis seeking to own a gun need to be a citizen or permanent resident over the age of 27 (or 21 for those who have completed military service). They must have a basic knowledge of Hebrew. Applicants for a gun permit also need to show a clean criminal record and to have the Ministry of Health certify that they are physically and mentally capable of using a gun. . . .
UPDATE: Jerusalem Post has this on the new regulations
. . . Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch approved the guidelines during a meeting he held on Wednesday night with officials from the Israel Police and his ministry’s branch that approves firearm permits. . . .
The guidelines will add Jerusalem and 41 other cities, towns and local councils, to the list of areas considered “high-risk” or “high-priority,” such as including West Bank settlements, where residency can make it easier to receive a permit if one meets other criteria.
In addition, security firms can now let guards take their firearms home at the end of their shifts.
Soldiers who served in certain elite combat units; any reserve officer of any rank; and firearms shooting instructors will be able to get permits.
People with older state-issued firearms can swap them for newer guns, and the police security branch commander can authorize on a case by case basis the carrying of military grade firearms.
Aharonovitch said, “The decision to ease the restriction stems from recent events and the need to strengthen the sense of security among the general population and due to the recent terrorist attacks that have struck us.
Issuing permits will be done responsibly and with scrutiny and discretion, and in keeping with the approved criteria.” . . .