From Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE January feature, "Up in Arms":
Darniece McCray, 42, exited her Detroit, Mich., house, locked the door and drove to another part of the city to visit her mother. Upon arriving at her mother’s house, McCray knocked on the front
door with her right hand. While waiting for an answer, she clasped her left hand around her handgun, hidden from view.
“Mom lives in a really bad neighborhood,” McCray says, “and I don’t feel safe there.”
McCray holds a concealed pistol license—one of 290,731 that Michigan has issued as of November 2011—which
she obtained for her protection about five years ago, she says. At the time, she was working the midnight shift and
continually feared for her safety in crime-ridden Detroit—the most violent U.S. city, according to FBI data.
“After all,” she says, “You never know if someone is out there who is going to rob or attack you.”
McCray says she is a Democrat, but her desire to protect herself transcends the political realm.
“I’ve worked in Detroit and in the more Republican suburbs,” she says. “There’s crime there, too. It doesn’t matter what
political party you are, and criminals certainly don’t care. People should be able to protect themselves.”
Rick Ector, firearms trainer at Rick’s Firearms Academy of Detroit, says he has seen an uptick in business over the last part of 2011 and agrees with McCray’s assessment.
“The biggest surprise about my customers, usually black males age 35 to 50, is the disconnect between firearms ownership and political affiliation,” Ector tells Townhall. “They are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats who are unaware of the fact that, in general, liberals are anti-gun. With respect to politics, the ‘gun question’ is not relevant or not discussed. Detroit is a town where five out of nine City Council members have concealed pistol licenses but still advocate that citizens sell their guns back to the police department for as little as $25.” Wayne County, where Detroit is located, granted the most concealed pistol licenses of any Michigan county: 56,325 as of November 2011.
Ector’s customers and McCray represent a unique trend: A recent Gallup poll indicates that while gun ownership is higher among Republicans than Democrats, the level of ownership among Democrats (40 percent) has never been higher. Moreover, personal gun ownership among adult females is at 23 percent.
Beyond mere ownership of guns, however, the carrying of concealed weapons, or at least the licensing that allows it, is on the rise as well. ...
Read more of Mark Kakkuri's analysis in the January issue of Townhall Magazine, including:
--a look at concealed carry numbers in several states
-- why the concealed carry industry is growing so rapidly
--insight from concealed carry permit holders, a self-defense training expert and holster manufacturers