Those in favor of ever more expansive and restrictive gun control measures have emotion on their side. But with each tragic incident that takes place in yet another "gun-free zone," it becomes more apparent that gun restrictions aren’t working as proponents would like.
The majority of the national media are all in on the bans and limitations already in place or being proposed, and that overwhelming narrative tends to crush anybody who points out the benefits of gun rights policies such as concealed carry. The mainstream media almost never report on research that challenges the approved narrative, which explains why a comprehensive study by Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius has hardly seen the light of day since being released Nov. 26. As reported by Reason.com on Dec. 23, Mr. Gius’ study — titled "An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates" — covered a period of 29 years and compiled data from all 50 states. It was published in the journal Applied Economics Letters.
"The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states."
And what about so-called assault weapons?
"It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level," Mr. Gius noted.
Nobody is advocating to let just anybody carry a concealed weapon. Those who obtain concealed-carry permits — those who undergo extensive training and background checks — tend to be responsible, law-abiding people. Criminals don’t have those traits, and no amount of lawmaking will instill those traits in them. As Mr. Gius summarized, "These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level."
The study results also highlight the advantages of concealed carry. Knowing that any person at any time could be carrying, to defend themselves or others, can act as a deterrent to those with bad intentions. Rolling back overly restrictive gun laws or, better yet, introducing legislation that supports concealed-carry rights, would do far more to protect citizens than creating more gun-free zones or expanding restrictions on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
This editorial appeared Jan. 4 in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.