[Note: Original post greatly expanded.]
In 1993, about three-fourths of Americans lived in states where it was impossible or nearly impossible to get a concealed carry permit. As of 2016, most states had adopted ‘Shall Issue’ concealed carry laws, meaning the state could only deny you a permit to carry a concealed weapon if it could demonstrate a legal reason. Only California, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and New Jersey still limited concealed carry to a state-selected individuals. Ten states had done away with state regulation of concealed carry altogether. And in that period, the private ownership of firearms has soared to nearly 300 million nationwide.
Whenever the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves comes up for an expansion, the left shrieks that the result will be violent anarchy. Gunfights will break out in university lecture halls if, for example, students disagree on the proper interpretation of Proust. Democrats politicians histrionically claim that expanded ownership of firearms will lead to shootouts over parking spaces and incorrect coffee orders.
As with everything on the left, these are appeals to emotion and hysteria in order to expand state power and diminish individual liberty. In fact, violence has diminished considerably as Americans’ right of self-defense has been shown more legislative respect and firearm ownership has soared.
The figures are indisputable .
In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.
The places were violent homicide rates remain stubbornly high are deep blue, Democrat-run large cities like Baltimore, Oakland, Philadelphia, and especially Chicago. Chicago has the worst violence and the most restrictive gun laws in the country. However, even as left wing politicians in Chicago and other areas demand more restrictions on lawful gun owners, they refuse to enforce laws against criminals that are already on the books.