I never travel without a loaded gun. I usually carry a Smith and Wesson Model 640 in a bucket in the trunk of my car. Sometimes I carry a Glock Model 23 instead. I was really happy I was carrying the former when I arrived at my hotel room in Amarillo last week shortly after midnight. As I was unpacking my trunk, a man came walking across the parking lot from an adjacent hotel. His largely incoherent introduction began something like this:
“Hey, I’m a big scary black man and I need some help. Won’t nobody help me ‘cause I’m a big scary black man. I ain’t gonna hurt ya (pulls out wallet). See? Here’s my ID. I’m a preacher and I got kicked outa my room. I ain’t no beggar. I just need $12 or I’m gonna have to sleep in the parking lot. I’m stayin’ right over there (points to adjacent hotel). Theys a woman and a child that’s gonna have to sleep in a car if don’t get $12.”
I detected a slight stumble as the man was walking toward me talking. It took very little insight to detect that he was no preacher and that the money was not needed to pay off a $12 balance in order to get re-admitted to his hotel room. So I turned back toward my trunk and continued unpacking.
The final part of my unpacking ritual involves securing my firearm, which I always take with me into the hotel room. I always reach into the bucket, take the gun out of the holster, and slip it in my pocket on my left hand side (I ‘m a southpaw). It just so happened that the stumbling “preacher” was approaching from my left hand side and could see my hands clearly as I was unpacking.
Shortly after I secured all of the items from my trunk, the stumbling “preacher” shouted, “Oh, mercy! Can’t a black man get a break?” He threw his hands in the air and then turned around and walked hurriedly towards the adjacent parking lot. I had substantially more than $12 worth of cash on me that evening (actually it was early morning). I made it to the hotel room before I had to pull either the wallet or the gun out of my pocket.
The man who approached me in the parking lot that evening did three things that I consider to be morally reprehensible. Although he did not split a single infinitive, his actions are worthy of condemnation for the following reasons:
1. He invoked race where it was irrelevant.
2. He falsely claimed to be a member of a noble profession.
3. He pretended to be acting on others’ behalf while he was acting in his own selfish interests.
Fortunately, I have been a handgun owner since 1993. I also obtained my concealed weapon permit in 1997. At no time since then have I been robbed or assaulted. Nor have I even had to fire a shot, point a gun, or verbally threaten a person to secure my safety.
My experiences as a handgun owner have been no aberration. States passing concealed carry laws have seen significant decreases in predatory crime. Academic studies have also demonstrated that these decreases are statistically significant even after controlling for variables that might otherwise explain the reductions in crime.
To date, there have been 16 refereed studies that have concluded that violent crime goes down as a result of concealed carry laws. About 10 refereed studies have shown the results of concealed carry laws to be inconclusive with regard to violent crime. No refereed studies – I repeat, zero refereed studies – have shown that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons increases the rate of violent crime.
Sadly, most of these refereed studies have been conducted by economists interested in cost/benefit analysis on matters of public policy. I used the word “sadly” because the question of the effects of gun laws on crime is a matter that falls squarely within the discipline of criminology, which is a branch of the larger discipline of sociology. Yet criminologists and sociologists generally shy away from the issue. Their inactions are worthy of condemnation for the following reasons:
1. They invoke race where it is irrelevant. Too many “social scientists” ignore citizens’ legitimate concerns over their safety and well-being. Those who would like to carry a gun lawfully are often dismissed as having an irrational fear of people or color.
2. They falsely claim to be members of a noble profession. In addition to avoiding doing research on gun ownership, most “social scientists” are not familiar with the results of studies on the topic. To ignore science and hold oneself out as a scientist is simply wrong.
3. They pretend to be acting on others’ behalf while acting in their own selfish interests. Sociologists are opposed to rape. But they are overwhelmingly opposed to concealed carry laws that reduce rape. Clearly, they have decided that they are more interested in preventing an assault on their worldview than in preventing assaults on innocent women.
Put simply, the time has come for these “social scientists” to stop acting like bums and become productive members of society. It may be true that they have families to feed and nowhere else to go. But we can’t keep giving them handouts forever.