Mary Shepard, of rural Cobden, Ill., poses in April in her kitchen with her 9mm Kel-Tec PF-9 handgun. She is noted for being the plaintiff in a winning lawsuit that compelled Illinois to pass a concealed carry law. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)
Mary Shepard, of rural Cobden, Ill., poses in April in her kitchen with her 9mm Kel-Tec PF-9 handgun. She is noted for being the plaintiff in a winning lawsuit that compelled Illinois to pass a concealed carry law. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)

Concealed carry has steadily been spreading across the United States over the past 30 years. It is now accepted to one degree or another in all 50 states. The next major series of battles will be forcing “may issue” jurisdictions who have denied a citizen’s right to carry for arbitrary and capricious reasons to convert to “shall issue” jurisdictions, where the state must provide a reason why citizen’s may not carry.

The District of Columbia was/is the last large “gun free zone” in the United States, and a federal judge’s recent decision affirming the right to carry a handgun even there comes as a huge blow to those who favor gun control. Palmer vs. DC will of course be appealed, but recent judicial history suggests that the District will inevitably have to pass a concealed carry law.

Lawful concealed carriers aren’t the problem, and have never been the problem… something that we’ve known for years within the carry community that even a newspaper in one of the most anti-gun cities in the nation is now beginning to admit.

Concealed carry is the overwhelming norm already; these rulings have added it in just a few places. Even if the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment doesn’t mandate the policy, it would persist almost everywhere.

In any case, it’s not something to worry much about. One thing we have learned from the spread of concealed carry is that few people take advantage of it…

[snip]

And most of them don’t pack most of the time….

[snip]

Those who do carry rarely misuse them…

[snip]

In practice, licenses to carry guns in public have allowed law-abiding citizens to take steps they see as essential for their safety, without putting their fellow citizens in danger. It’s people who lack licenses you have to fear.

While I’d argue with some of the details in Steve Chapman’s op-ed in the Chicago Tribune—I recall reading somewhere recently that the number of concealed carriers is closer to 11 million that eight million—his overall conclusions are indeed sound, and born out by decades of evidence.

Everywhere that lawful concealed carry has spread, the forces of gun control have promised that the “wild west” would emerge. They claimed that there would be continual shootouts over slights both minor and imagined. They claimed that there would be “blood in the streets,” many heat-of-the-moment shootings, rashes of accidental discharges, innocent bystanders shot, and the rampant brandishing of firearms for the least little bit of provocation.

They promised all of this… and they were wrong, each and every time, in each and every state.

Why have gun control supporters been so wildly off the mark, so consistently? Why are they seemingly always—almost without exception—wrong?
[continues on next page]

Tags: Kel-Tec