There’s not much happening on Second Amendment issues – that the mainstream media wants to report on, anyway; I never expected they’d cover the local Real American Second Amendment Human Rights movement going on the offensive, especially.
But there were a few half-hearted attempts to roil the pot this past week.
Channel 9 noted last week that carry permit issuances are off by 1/3 in the past year – while leaving it to the reader to figure out for themselves that they’re still running 2.5 times ahead of 2010, before the Obama Panic started.
Regional lefties tried to make a little hay over these numbers:
Individuals with permits to carry committed 1,320 crimes in 2014, according to reports from law enforcement. Only 20 of those crimes involved the use of a pistol to commit the crime, while more than half of these crimes were DWIs or other traffic offenses that had nothing to do with firearms.
In other words, a group making up 3% of the population commits a tiny fraction of 3% of the state’s “gun crimes” (and let’s ignore for a moment that “gun crimes” means everything from murder – there were none – to inadvertently carrying a gun in a post-office).
Simple fact; law-abiding gun owners are better citizens, on the average, than the typical Minnesotan.
More context? There are now about 180,000 Minnesotans with carry permits. Ten years ago, the House Research office figured that a maximum of 90,000 would get their cards; I figured it’d peak around 55-60,000, since most “shall-issue” states tended to level off around 1% of the population. We’re around triple that now. And while the numbers will likely drop (and could drop to zero, if we pass “Constitutional Carry“, which won’t happen until 2017 at best), they have completely blown away even supporters’ most optimistic predictions…
…in every way but literally, as MPR’s Bob Collins noted in a story earlier this week that pointed out that…:
“They thought the streets were going to be running with blood, but statistically, it hasn’t shown itself as a problem in terms of an increase in the amount of gun crimes,” Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office told the Star Tribune.
He’s right. More than 10 years after the pitched battle over the law, it’s clear the hyperbole from both sides was overwrought. We’re not ducking road-rage shootouts, but we’re not fending off criminals, either, the Pioneer Press said.
Well, Collins is half right. The opponents’ hyperbole – as was predicted in this space – turned out to be the same onanistic fantasy that it’s been in every other state that’s adopted “shall-issue” permitting.
But what was the “hyperbole” among the supporters?
There was none. No credible supporter predicted that we’d see groups of law-abiding citizens with carry permits holding off crooks like a beleaguered Vietnam-era firebase, up to their knees in enemy bodies and spent cartridges. We predicted at the time, in fact, nothing spectacular; just a slow, quiet diminution in crime.
Although I’d love to ask Bob Collins “why so bloodthirsty?” There haven’t been many self-defense shootings by permittees – we’ve reported on several in this space over the years – although each of them involves an innocent person who is alive that likely would not have been without a gun. And the stats don’t reliably count the number of deterrences that don’t involve anyone getting killed (like this one) much less without shots being fired.
It’s not much ado about nothing.