January 7, 2008, - 10:21 am
By Debbie Schlussel
For those of us who fought for and supported conceal and carry legislation in Michigan, this development is not news. But for the opponents of the Second Amendment, it’s a resounding defeat to their shrill cries and those of gun control advocates all over America.
Over the weekend, Dawson Bell–one of only two reporters worth reading at the Detroit Free Press–wrote this front-page story that says it all. Six years after Michigan’s conceal and carry permit law went into effect, there are FEWER gun deaths in the state. Gee, I wonder why. Yet gun-grabbers won’t face the facts . . . or the statistics:
Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold.
But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics.
The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.
More than 155,000 Michiganders — about one in every 65 — are now authorized to carry loaded guns as they go about their everyday affairs, according to Michigan State Police records.
About 25,000 people had CCW permits in Michigan before the law changed in 2001.
“I think the general consensus out there from law enforcement is that things were not as bad as we expected,” said Woodhaven Police Chief Michael Martin, cochair of the legislative committee for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. “There are problems with gun violence. But … I think we can breathe a sigh of relief that what we anticipated didn’t happen.” . . . .
Opponents remain convinced that it has contributed to an ongoing epidemic of firearms-related death and destruction.
Shikha Hamilton of Grosse Pointe, president of the Michigan chapter of the anti-gun group Million Moms March, said she believes overall gun violence (including suicide and accidental shootings) is up in Michigan since 2001. Many incidents involving CCW permit holders have not been widely reported, she said. . . .
Hamilton said that even if gun violence has ebbed, it remains pervasive, tragic and unnecessary. At the least, a more liberal concealed weapons law means there are more guns in homes and cars and on the street, she said, and more potential for disaster.
Advocates for the law argue that there is nothing equivocal about the experience of the CCW permit holders who have warded off threats and, in a few instances, saved themselves from harm.
In September, a 36-year-old Troy man killed an armed 18-year-old assailant who, with three other suspects, attempted to steal his car outside Detroit Police headquarters. . . .
Mark Cortis of Royal Oak, who conducts concealed weapons license training and sits on the Oakland County gun board, said he believes the benefits of an armed citizenry are evident in small ways almost every day, as permit holders deter trouble and live more confidently.
“The police just can’t protect you,” Cortis said. “If you have to call 911, it’s probably already too late.”
Exactly. Yet, to the gun control crowd–the ones who argue a woman has a right to decide what she wants to do with her own body, when it comes to abortion, but not if she wants to own a gun–facts are stubborn things.
Tags: 911, America, anti-gun group, carry permit law, chief, Dawson Bell, Detroit Free Press, Detroit police, Detroit Police headquarters, Grosse Pointe, law enforcement, liberal concealed weapons law, Mark Cortis, Michael Martin, Michigan, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan State Police, Million Moms March, Oakland County, Oakland County gun board, President, president of the Michigan, Royal Oak, the Detroit Free Press, Woodhaven Police