Do people with concealed weapons foil crimes?
March 28, 2006 6:27 PM   Subscribe

Are there any reports of citizens with concealed weapons in the USA foiling bank robberies or other violent crimes?

Some people say that if everyone had concealed weapons, violent crime would disappear. I hear that certain states (in the USA) are much easier to get a concealed weapons permit in.

Links to news stories or studies are great. Anecdotes are ok, but they better be good.

This question was inspired by this post.
posted by redteam to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
While from American Rifleman, an NRA publication and thus clearly pro-self defence, these articles (searchable archives here) are gleaned monthly from newspapers around the country.

Dunno about banks, but there's plenty of instances where access to firearms was decisive. Many are home/business incidents (and therefore concealed carry might not apply), but there are certainly cases where ne'er-do-wells are foiled by citizens with concealed weapons.
posted by Pressed Rat at 6:42 PM on March 28, 2006


Some people say that if everyone had concealed weapons, violent crime would disappear.

Some people have never visited South Africa.

On the other hand, our Canadian neighbors have far more guns (per capita) in the hands of the populace, and far less gun violence. It almost makes one think that the national debate about gun control is a giant red herring so we as a people don't have to face up to the fact that American culture is broken.
posted by tkolar at 7:01 PM on March 28, 2006


Check out keepandbeararms.com, they grab almost any gun-related story and post it on their page. They have a good number of stories of people defending their homes or their property on a daily basis.

Obviously a pro-gun site (as is the prior link), but GunCite discusses various surveys that find guns are used defensively probably 1 to 2 million times per year. This counts incidents where the gun was not fired, but its presence was sufficient deterrant to protect the individual(s) in question.
posted by knave at 7:09 PM on March 28, 2006


I hear that certain states (in the USA) are much easier to get a concealed weapons permit in.

Just FYI, the laws do vary greatly from state to state. Alaska and Vermont have no conceal carry permits required, anyone can carry openly or concealed. A good number of states (maybe 1/3 of them) allow open carrying to anyone, without a permit. The rest of them violate the 2nd amendment. :P
posted by knave at 7:14 PM on March 28, 2006


As it now stands, there are only three states which don't have any kind of "concealed carry" law at all. I was surprised to learn that they are Nebraska, Illinois, and Wisconsin. (I would have bet big money on Massachusetts being one, but apparently they have a limited form of concealed carry.)

I've seen a lot of stories of women who have saved themselves from rapists using guns they were carrying (e.g. in their purses). Do you consider rape to be a "violent crime"?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:24 PM on March 28, 2006


Shit, who doesn't?
posted by redteam at 7:48 PM on March 28, 2006


Here's one recent example crime-stopping in the news. However, I think the fairest studies are pretty clear on the fact that easy access to guns actually leads to more violent, impulsive crime.
posted by glibhamdreck at 8:01 PM on March 28, 2006


I have always been very curious if anyone ever compared the number of people accidentally shot each year and the amount of times guns have effectively deterred crime. Seems to me that I hear much more about some kid accidentally shooting a friend when they come upon daddy's unsecured gun in the house.
posted by any major dude at 8:06 PM on March 28, 2006


Yep. I think it was New Mexico.. some guy in his 70s has a CCW, and he's in a grocery store shopping. The ex-husband of the deli clerk attacks her violently in the store and starts to stab her. Old man draws down on the stabber and tells him to drop the knife. Stabber refuses and goes to stab the girl in the throat. Old guy fires at the stabber, solving the problem.

Girl is now alive & well. Stabber (on drugs) was apparently hell bent on killing his wife.
link here
---
Friend of my dads was in a mini-mart in WA and some kid comes in to rob the place. Friend takes aim at the kid, who promptly drops his piece and puts his hands in the air. He had several priors for armed robbery.
---
And there's a story locally.. several years ago, at an indoor firing range. Some wannabe gang banger rented a gun and then took several hostages. He took them out back and said he was going to kill them all and then go to some club that didn't hire him and kill as many people as he could there. One of the employees was carrying a Glock concealed. He took care of the problem, and saved the lives of many people.

The thing is that the media very often overlooks such stories. It's sad, but they really do.

But the answer to your question is undeniably YES!
Take a look at the FBI numbers. California is one of the most difficult states to get a CCW in (because of the 'county by county' crap - some places it's easy, others it's nearly impossible) and we have by far the highest number of murders. But, more people are killed each year by "hands & fists" and "other items" than rifles & shotguns combined.
I know that the anti-gun folks wish that all of the guns would just disappear and flowers would bloom, but they need to get a serious grip on reality, and stop voting for morons that want to take away *MY* right to defend myself.

Another link - University of Chicago study. What the far-left leaning peacenick liberals *want* you to think is that someone with a CCW is just a crazed gun nut that wants to carry guns around. That couldn't be farther from the truth. In many places, to get a CCW you have to:
* Pay fees
* Undergo background checks
* Take written tests
* Submit registration for your firearms
* Go to the police/sheriff department firing range and range qualify with your firearm
* Pay some more fees
* Renew the license & tests ever few years.

The police & sheriff departments want you to actually come down with them and demonstrate safe handling. They want to make sure that you know how to shoot.

I mean.. what's the problem with that? Would you rather have a crazed criminal with a firearm or someone that has met with law enforcement and received their nod of approval?

So, there's some anecdotes for you. Hopefully it helps.

Sadly, I live in the stupid SF Bay Area (for now) and am unable to get my own CCW. And then the morons in San Francisco have voted to strip law abiding citizens of their personal property (that they bought, registered, and paid for.) Ridiculous.
posted by drstein at 8:07 PM on March 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Seems to me that I hear much more about some kid accidentally shooting a friend when they come upon daddy's unsecured gun in the house."

Remember, CCW permit holders are very often held to a much higher standard. I cannot find one single instance of a CCW holder having their firearm used against them in a crime, or any instances of their firearm being used by a child accidentally.

Sometimes firearms aren't even the top 10 list of things that kill children. Many more children die each year from falls, drowning, bicycles, and by automobile accidents.
posted by drstein at 8:10 PM on March 28, 2006


Oh yes.. keepandbeararms.com - the links at the bottom are links to the actual news stories.
posted by drstein at 8:16 PM on March 28, 2006


Economist John R. Lott has written a book about this: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. I think you can guess the thesis from the title. Here is an interview with him about the book. The book was very controversial a few years ago, I am sure you can google up some pro and con pieces about his argument.
posted by LarryC at 9:17 PM on March 28, 2006


Sheesh, I know John Lott / Mary Rosh still has any credibility.
posted by glibhamdreck at 11:04 PM on March 28, 2006


tkolar said On the other hand, our Canadian neighbors have far more guns (per capita) in the hands of the populace, and far less gun violence. It almost makes one think that the national debate about gun control is a giant red herring so we as a people don't have to face up to the fact that American culture is broken.

THIS IS NOT TRUE. This is usually based on 'Bowling for Columbine' and while the movie was overall decent the bit about Canadians owning more guns per capita was a big fat typo/lie/mistake (read what you want into it, but the numbers are wrong).

1997/8 STATS
Candada 30m ppl 7m firearms (1.2m pistols) .25 per capita
USA 270m ppl 222m firearms (76m pistols) .82 per capita

From: http://www.guncontrol.ca/Content/TheCaseForGunControl.html

I was too lazy to dig into the StatsCanada website and get more 'offical' numbers, but these are close enough to go by.

Canadians have fewer guns, and WAY fewer pistols, and most of us like it that way.
posted by tiamat at 5:29 AM on March 29, 2006


I believe that Switzerland has the most guns per capita, since every citizen that does time in the army (required) is issued a rifle to take home.
posted by exhilaration at 10:22 AM on March 29, 2006


tiamat wrote...

1997/8 STATS
Candada 30m ppl 7m firearms (1.2m pistols) .25 per capita
USA 270m ppl 222m firearms (76m pistols) .82 per capita

From: http://www.guncontrol.ca/Content/TheCaseForGunControl.html


From http://www.faqs.org/faqs/talk-politics-guns/canadian-faq/

"This confirms most government estimates of 15 to 20 million firearms in Canada, while in the US, there are about 200 million (giving both countries similar per capita rates of firearm ownership)."

Frankly, I'm not sure we should be taking stats from either a gun-control or pro-gun site. I'm certain that we shouldn't be taking them from Michael Moore :-)

I looked around the StatsCanada site but I couldn't come up with any numbers on this topic, which is a shame. I'd love to get my hands on the original surveys quoted in either of the sources above.

Anyways, this has gone way OT. The answer to the question at hand is "Yes, people with concealed weapons do foil violent crimes in the U.S. on a reasonably regular basis."
posted by tkolar at 10:42 AM on March 29, 2006


Another recent event, a man legally carrying in a grocery store shoots a robber.
posted by knave at 6:15 PM on March 31, 2006


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