"Shall Issue" gun carry has not led to a gun holocaust. What does this teach us?

To reiterate, Shall Issue is the principle that anyone applying for a gun carry permit must be granted one if they meet objective requirements- they cannot be denied a permit at the local authorities’ discretion. Opponents of these laws claimed that it would open a floodgate of armed citizens leading to skyrocketing firearms deaths.

Enough states have had Shall Issue permit laws for long enough now that it appears that the “Dodge City” scenerios are not going to come to pass. My question: What lessons are to be learned from this? The pro-firearms crowd would of course say that it proves that the advocates of gun control were and are flatly wrong. What say you who are pro-gun control?

The Internet has been permanently ruined by gun nuts prattling on about zombie apocalypses, shtf scenarios, which home defense weapon/ammo has the most stopping power, etc, etc. Not to mention the endless righteous outrage.

I’d rather live in Dodge City.

I’d say that “mass murder was kept to a minimum” is a poor standard to use when deciding whether a law is effective or not.

First: has the rates of applications increased significantly? Because if not, all this tells me is that violence has not increased because applications are not up, and the real test is whether no-application carry, in the style of VT, AK, and at least one other state works. If applications have not increased, then this tells me that most people are too lazy to fill out the paperwork, even if they somewhat want to carry.

I suppose one could argue that the lack of a spike means that we’ve reached the saturation level for gun violence in our current society, and that’s its so easy to get guns already in this country, this minor loosening of gun laws had no effect, as the previous law was already ineffective in keeping guns off the streets, and it needed to be tightened, no loosened.

The counter argument to that, of course, is that it simply demonstrates that gun control laws only serve to keep guns out of the hands of good citizens - criminals can get all the guns they need from non-legitimate sources.

Regardless of which argument you find more compelling, it seems hard to argue that we’re not already effectively in the middle of a gun holocaust, as least as compared to other industrialized, first world nations.

Of course, the “non-legitimate sources” are… citizens who legally own guns. Criminals aren’t making them themselves. America is the criminal armory of the western hemisphere.

Florida has about 836,000 people with concealed weapons permits.


Texas has about 460,000.


At least one state had a flood of applicants after loosening it’s permit laws: Conceal carry permit applications swamp state agency

56,000 applications in 6 weeks.

A gun “holocaust?” Really? Really? Are you sure you intended to use that word? And this after murder rates have been falling for some time, in opposition to increased numbers of concealed carry permit holders?

Yeah, I’m comfortable with that terminology.

Yes, the rates have gone up dramatically, especially when a state passes a law permitting concealed carry, to wit: “In less than six weeks, 56,000 people applied for a permit under Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law and thousands more bought handguns, swamping the state agency handling the required background checks.”

I see I was beaten to that link. I’ll leave it there anyway. There is no lack of business for permit officials in “shall issue” states.

No, certain corners of the Internet have been ruined that way. You don’t have to look hard, but outside of the occasional non-sequitor type reference you do have to look.

That’s irrelevant. The argument is about how increased permission for concealed carry has not resulted in anything resembling the claims of the Violence Policy Center or the Brady Campaign. Given the crime is dropping in the face of the massive increase in CCW permits issued I would say that “shall issue” legislation has been, at worst, neutral. It certainly hasn’t been detrimental. However, given that correlation does not equal causation, you cannot say that increased CCW issuance has reduced crime. One is demonstrable, the other is not.

Now, if you’d like to compare our gun violence to other countries, that’s a topic for a different place. Here it’s nothing but a sidetrack.

Well, if there’s class WARFARE and a WAR on Christmas going on, what do you call a situation where tens of thousands of people every year are actually dying.

Any honest look at the evidence shows that America’s gun ownership laws have somewhere between absolutely no effect on crime and a rather small deterrent effect on it. It’s pretty clear that people who are afraid of inanimate objects don’t really care about the figures, though, and in a sense engaging them on their terms (where there would somehow be a magic murder rate number that justifies gun control) rather than from a rights perspective is to give the game away.

People who think widespread gun ownership has a huge disincentive effect on crime are also not looking at what’s really there in the stats, but they aren’t as bothersome in their goals, so whatever.

I’m not sure exactly how you prove that with stats, but I’ve never seen anything to suggest that. If I recall the homicide rate is very high in the US compared to all other similarly-developed countries. If it’s not due to the high incidence of guns, my other theories are that either the whole American system is faulty and somehow leads to a lot of killing, or perhaps Americans are just particularly murderous. I hope it’s the guns, personally.

Nukes are inanimate objects. I suppose you have no problem with handing them out? Nukes don’t kill people, people do!

Still hunting for cites which I’ll followup with, but apparently Americans knife, bludgeon, beat and choke each other to death at multiples of the European rates. Guns are just a convenience. And there’s currently a thread about the difference between American and European incarceration and rehabilitation practices http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=14724243 where another point is brought up:

What a perfect combination of post and username.

It doesn’t make sense to refer to a “saturation level” for gun violence as if you couldn’t cross some threshold. If you by saturation level you mean “anyone who’s inclined to commit gun crime is already committing gun crime, and adding law abiding citizens to the pool of gun-carrying people does not increase that number” then you’d be arguing a pro-ccw case.

Oh please. Gun violence has been on the decline for quite a while, and most of the gun homicides are gang related. Which doesn’t make it irrelevant, but certainly gang members being shot in turf wars is less damaging to society than people at random being murdered. As a random law-abiding citizen in the US, the odds of you dying to gun violence are miniscule. I would have to say for something to qualify as a holocaust, it would have to be a significant risk for people in their everyday lives, and it certainly isn’t.

Well, you better start considering your other theories. The thing that the people who think the comparative murder rate proves something don’t get is the whole concept of a “control group.” Saying that America’s higher murder rate compared to the UK (or wherever) proves guns are the cause is like saying that the higher rate of snowfall in Vermont compared to Alabama proves that electing a socialist Senator makes it snow. It’s picking one factor and refusing to look at all the obvious counterexamples because you want that factor to be causal when it just isn’t.

Luckily, we have several ways to account for the million other factors that might affect murder rates. One is to look at whether other countries that once had USA-like gun laws experienced a change in murder rate when their laws changed. As it happens, there is not any significant change. The UK, currently, with very restrictive gun laws, has fewer murders than the USA. But before the UK passed those laws in the early 1990s, it had equally fewer murders. Same with Australia, same with every other place. So, obviously, the gun laws are not the controlling factor.

While the murder rate is higher here, the overall rate of crime and violent crime in the US is lower than in those other places. Does gun ownership cause that? No, it does not, for the same reasons–the relative rates were the same before the gun laws changed.

Murder is caused by individual psychology (violent upbringing, etc) and by cultural factors (the presence of various “honor cultures” in the U.S., for example). A huge chunk of murders in the U.S. involve either drug dealers killing other drug dealers, or abusive men killing their wives/girlfriends. Personally, I think we could deal with these by ending drug prohibition and dealing with the root causes of domestic violence through both harsher penalties and earlier intervention in violent families which raise people to become abusers. I think both that gun ownership is a human right, and that any money or effort spent on targeting gun ownership in an attempt to reduce crime wildly misses the point and does nothing to accomplish the end when we could be addressing the actual reasons that people get murdered in the United States.

I read a peer reviewed paper (someone cited it here on the dope) that showed that the overwhelming majority (>90%) of gun violence was committed with illegal guns. Thus, concealed carry laws and legally owned guns have little to do with the problem.

FTR, not a gun owner, moderately liberal, and really don’t have a dog in this fight.

Wouldn’t it be great if that phrase was actually used in real life.

Journalist: Mr. Governor, the shall issue law has be on for a year. What are the results of the new policy regarding gun ownership.
Governor: Well, I can proudly say that mass murder has been kept to a minimum.