It used to be that in order to get a concealed weapons permit, you needed a compelling reason for why you needed it. Approval was a complicated process that required a judge and also mandated that the carrier undergo arduous training and psychological testing. After all, society didn’t want just anyone walking around with a gun in their pocket for no apparent reason – that would be insane.
Fast forward to today. The gun lobby has been busy passing legislation to create “gun carry” laws that have made it easy for any legal gun owner to obtain a concealed carry permit, no questions asked. Gone are the requirements that you needed a good reason to tote a gun around, or the psychological assessments to ensure you’re not a total trigger-happy whack job. The arduous training has also gone out the window, replaced by cursory classes or no training at all.
Now, any idiot can get a concealed weapons permit. Just how easy is it? Jennifer Marcia, a gun violence advocate working as a writer for The Trace, decided to see for herself. She applied for a concealed weapons permit in her home state of Utah. She sat for a 4-hour lecture on gun laws, had her photo and fingerprints taken, and submitted to a background check. Two months later her concealed weapons permit arrived in the mail without her ever having even touched a firearm. (Marcia, 2015) And this was one of the more extensive processes – some states have gotten rid of the permit requirement altogether, allowing anyone who legally bought a gun to tote it around wherever and however they please.
More concealed weapons = more violent crime
As previously discussed, a significant proportion of gun crime involves otherwise “law-abiding gun owners” using their weapon in a moment of anger. Therefore the more concealed weapon carriers there are out there, the higher the rate of violent crime. A June 2017 study by Stanford University economist John Donohue found that when states ease their permit requirements, violent crime rates increase and continue to get worse. A decade after the laws are loosened, violent crime rates had jumped by 13 to 15 percent. (Wenner-Moyer, 2017)
How Concealed Carry Claws Advance the Gun Lobby’s Agenda
What the gun lobby is trying to accomplish is essentially a regression back to the Wild West, in which everybody carried a gun on their belt and arguments were settled with shootings in the street. In fact, if you look at their two main areas of focus when it comes to legislation – gun carry laws and Stand Your Ground laws (which allow one to respond with lethal force to the slightest provocation), this is precisely the picture you get. Why do they want us to fall back into such a deadly dystopia? Just follow the money.
Imagine all the profits to be made if every man, woman and child felt a need to carry a gun around to defend themselves. It’s a gun seller’s wet dream. Not only have gun carry laws opened up a brand new market (read more about this in our e-book), but they’ve created a self-perpetuating cycle – the civilian version of an arms race. The more people you have toting guns around, the more other people feel like they need one too so that they’re not at a disadvantage. Pretty soon people who may not even like guns may feel a need to have one. It’s the same powerful, self-destructive psychological spiral that prompted the U.S. and Russia to arm themselves with enough nuclear weapons to blow up the entire Earth dozens of times over. It’s a brilliantly sinister move on the part of the gun lobby, but it’s endangering us all.