quidni pro quo

Random musings at random intervals. Erudition not guaranteed.

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Location: El Paso area, Texas, United States

I'm a 40-something Christian, conservative, pro-life, Constitutionalist, motorcycle-riding, pick-up truck driving, wife, mother, state employee, ham radio operator and part-time college student, enlisted in the Texas State Guard. Everything else is subject to revision without notice.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One Brief Observation

Yesterday, millions of law-abiding citizens did not commit a crime with a handgun. It’s not quite like reporting “no cats are stranded in trees tonight” but you get the picture. Once again, millions of law-abiding gun owners (legal ones) did nothing to warrant their being turned into criminals because some politician thinks passing firearms bans stops criminals.

Without turning this into a history lesson, Ronald Reagan addressed the idea of gun control as a method of controlling crime. In 1983 he said: “It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun control laws. I happen to know this from personal experience.”

He also had straightforward ideas about how to make dents in crime: “…we've heard the charges that supporting gun owners' rights encourages a violent, shoot-em-up society. Don't they understand that most violent crimes are not committed by decent, law abiding citizens, they're committed by career criminals? Hard-core criminals use guns, and locking them up and throwing away the key is the best gun control law we could ever have."

Six years after Michigan’s enhanced concealed carry regulations went into effect, the statistics seem to prove Reagan’s observation. In fact, the Detroit Free Press has reported that “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.”

That’s a far cry from anti-gun groups’ predictions of shootouts at traffic stops, rampant violent crime and a total collapse of the general public welfare. Instead, we have a chief with the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police admitting, candidly, that police fears about passage of the enhanced conceal carry were misplaced.

Today, Michigan joins Texas, Ohio, Florida and other states where concealed carry hasn’t led to a “wild west mentality” or shootouts, or even increased instances of handguns being used in crimes.

But reporting a downturn in crime is viewed as reporting cats that aren’t stuck in trees – not exactly front-page news. Years ago, sensationalized reporting was summed up in five words: “if it bleeds, it leads”. That comment wasn’t intended as a compliment and was supposed to serve as a reminder to reporters, editors and TV producers that sometimes the important stories weren’t the most exciting, visual or riveting.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get it then, and we apparently aren’t getting it now.
--Jim Shepherd
The Shooting Wire
January 09, 2008

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