Constitutional Carry and Letting Our Neighbors Go Armed

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U.S.A. –-( It is more dangerous when honest men and women face criminals barehanded, and safer when the good guys are armed. That isn’t hard to understand. It is easy to calculate the additional lives we’d save each year if a state allows honest people to carry guns in public. I can explain it in a minute. I will, but the real mystery is why we’re still talking about fantasy problems while violent criminals are killing our neighbors. We’re acting as if our bad dreams were more real than the bodies with chalk marks around them. Part of that problem is political. Politicians appeal to our fantasies and we’re suckers for that. Politicians also suck up to anti-gun billionaires to get campaign contributions. Ultimately, voters like us are the problem when we hide behind sound-bite solutions.

Back in the real world, disarming our neighbors costs lives.

When you take even the shallowest look at violence then you notice that an armed attacker usually overpowers an unarmed victim. Criminals may break the laws but they are not stupid. They choose the tools that work. To quote one thug, ‘Guns and knives make people so generous.’

Robbers sometimes threaten to shoot us even when they don’t have a gun. Criminals only use guns in one-seventh of violent crimes. Unfortunately, violent criminals wait until they have an advantage in strength, in number, or in surprise. Rather than struggle with the insoluble problem of knowing if the robber’s threat is real, the real solution is for good men and women to go armed.

We don’t need clever calculations to know how many lives are saved when the victims are armed. We know that about 1.7 million legal gun owners use a firearm in self-defense each year. We know how many people live in each state and already have their carry permits. We know the rate of violent crime in each state, and we learned that about 30 percent of adults will carry concealed if the carry permit is optional. We even know how often people with their carry permits actually go armed in public. We know what happens because we asked and because 21 states already have a form of permit-optional concealed carry.

In most states, we’re talking about saving thousands of lives a year. We can argue about the clearest way to explain the answer, but the calculations only take junior-high-school math.

In contrast, our fantasies about guns are complicated. We imagine that all kinds of things might happen if we let our neighbors go armed without first getting a permission slip from the state.

  • We imagine that the police will keep us safe. We ignore that the police ask their own families to go armed because the world is dangerous.
  • We imagine that the police won’t be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys unless we have a state permit in our pocket. We ignore that the police seldom know the history of the people they stop on the street or the identity of the passengers in the cars they stop.
  • We imagine that our neighbors will act crazy with a gun. We ignore that civilians who legally carry a firearm in public are even more law-abiding and non-violent than the police.
  • We imagine that we only need more laws to keep us safe. We ignore that we have over 23 thousand firearms regulations today and criminals ignore our laws.
  • We imagine there are no guns in the world except for the police and criminals. We ignore that concealed is concealed, and one-in-a-dozen adults in public are legally carrying today.
  • We imagine that our laws disarm the bad guys but leave the good guys free to protect themselves. We ignore that making it harder for the good guys to get a gun means more innocent victims are disarmed when they are attacked by criminals.

We cling to our fantasies even though they cost lives. We feel virtuous as we imagine an ideal world without evil or violence. We want safety without effort. We want our safety to be someone else’s responsibility. Clinging to those fantasies leaves us vulnerable in more ways than one.

Politicians are eager to sell us something for nothing. All the politician has to do is put more ink on paper and send out a press release about more gun control.

It is the politicians who have their own security details. Most politicians are exempt from their own gun laws. It is the politicians who get large campaign contributions from anti-gun billionaires.

I have a problem with that because we are the ones who pay the price. Demanding that our neighbors live according to a gun-free fantasy puts our neighbors at risk. Sometimes it gets our neighbors injured or killed.

I believe we should live and let live. Think what you will, but please don’t use the law to chain your neighbors to your gun-free fantasy. Leave your neighbors free to take care of themselves. That is exactly what permit-optional carry laws do.

Contact your legislators and set your neighbors free.

About Rob Morse

The original article, with sources, is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse



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In 2010, Arizona adopted constitutional carry. Comparing the weighted average violent crime rates, murder rates, and aggravated assault rates of the ten years prior to and including 2010 (2001-2010) to the ten years after (2011-2020) we find that the violent crime rate was 8.2% lower after the change; the murder rate dropped 22.5% and the aggravated assault rate dropped 4.1%. In 2013, Colorado enacted a universal background check law and imposed restrictions on magazine capacities. Comparing the weighted average of the rates of violent crime, murder, and aggravated assault in the seven years prior to and including 2013 (2007-2013) to… Read more »


Hmmm.. nd the ever intelligent and caring politicians set forth a solution to the rising crime rates in Colordo, don’t they? Their “medicine” to “cure” the disease is MORE gun control, MORE Mother May I Cards, MORE restrictions, MORE ways to disarm the citizens of COlorado.. but somehow magically failing to do the same for those of criminal intent.
Yeah, and I gots me a pet chikkin can fly to the moon and back in a week, all by herself. Honest………


Thing is, I know it will improve the Crime Stats because criminals will be less inclined to attack random people or homes knowing a significant portion of citizens in their towns will be carrying. Criminals prey on civil populations precisely because they feel stronger and more motivated to take from less prepared citizens. It’s time to teach them a little fear. Law enforcement will typically opt for regulation out of fear of domestic situations where the law abiding are emotionally out of control. Most cops see themselves more likely to be hurt in these situations than common law enforcement tasks.… Read more »

Sam in New Hampshire

Some years ago, the California Rifle and Pistol Association — CRPA — mounted a PR campaign with the slogan, “Society is safer when criminals don’t know who’s armed.” I still have some of their postage-stamp sized stickers, with the slogan superimposed on an overhead photo of a crowd of people — young/old, black/white, suit-and-tie/polo shirt, etc.


I used to worry more about asking for permission. Now I worry more about functionality of my weapons systems.



you trying to convenience the leos? good luck they are mostly too conceded to admit a 87 pound girl with a gun can do as much as they can possibly better


A focus of the article was the politicians that institute (or abolish) policy or law….not the law enforcement officers that are bound to enforce them.
That you gleaned any inference of such is evidence of your apparent constant fear of the police. As with TDS, help is available should you seek it.

Last edited 11 months ago by 3manfan

Democrats Crime is good armed law abiding citizens are bad !!! Funny how democrats always make bad choices then blame others when it all goes wrong which is 100% of the time. If you live in a state where red flag laws are present sorry your neighbors voted for them. If your neighbor does not like guns in the hands of law abiding citizens they should never know you own firearms even when they are getting robbed beaten then killed. They voted for defunding the police their first line of defence and most likely the police won’t get their in… Read more »


“…allows honest people to carry guns in public.”

How does a state measure or gauge honesty?


I do not fear MY neighbours and what they might do with their guns. I had a few housebreaing incidents some years back, petty stuff I was planning to sell. Next door neighbour Howard came out late one night and noticed his garage light on. He KNEW he had turned it off before he went into the house for the night. He went back into the house, grabbed his cheap .38 special six gun, went back out. As he entered through the side door a guy bolted to the overhead door lifted it a bit, and dove under. That had… Read more »