On October 26 Washington Post columnist Christopher Ingraham took on the contention that more concealed carry permit holders equals less crime by pointing out that 29 concealed permit holders have allegedly carried out “29 mass shootings since 2007.”
Since there are currently 12.8 million concealed carry permit holders in America, Ingraham’s argument rests on the claim that .0002266 percent of permit holders were tied to mass shootings.
That’s right, .0002266 percent, but you would never know that from reading Ingraham’s column.
Every time somebody goes and shoots up a college or a school or a theater or a church, gun rights proponents take to the airwaves to argue that if only more people had guns and brought them into more places, some of these tragedies could be prevented. Polling shows that these arguments may be working, despite plenty of evidence that “more guns, less crime” does not hold up to close analysis.
…The Violence Policy Center has documented 29 mass shootings of three or more people since 2007 where the perpetrator was himself a concealed carry permit holder. Remember Craig Hicks, the man who allegedly killed three of his neighbors earlier this year in a possible hate crime? Concealed-carry permit holder. The man who shot up DC’s Navy Yard two years ago? Concealed-carry permit holder. The man who went on a rampage at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y., in 2009? Concealed-carry permit holder.
Ingraham goes on to admit that “having a concealed carry permit doesn’t make it any easier to bring, say, a shotgun into a government facility, like…Navy Yard shooter [Aaron Alexis] did.” But he claims the 29 permit holders who reportedly carried out mass shootings “add helpful context to the idea that arming more citizens will decrease crime.”
Someone may argue that there weren’t as many concealed carry permit holders in 2007 as there are now, thus the percentage of concealed carry holders represented by the number “29” may actually be higher. In light of that possible argument, we looked at Crime Prevention Research Center numbers, which show that the number of concealed carry permit holders in 2007 was 4.6 million. So if someone would rather work off the figure of 4.6 million instead of 12.8 million, it means that the percentage of concealed permit holders who allegedly carried out mass shootings is .0006304 percent.
Does a percentage of .0006304Conceal really demonstrate that concealed carry permit holders fail to reduce crime?
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.