It’s a valid question, “Are Gun-Related Murders Out of Control in the State With the Most Guns per Capita?”
The answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT.
CBS Sunday Morning aired a sweeping vision of firearms in Wyoming called “Guns: A Family Affair”.
Starting with a visit to the Mooncrest Ranch just outside Cody, Wyoming, Ted Koppel took a stab at life in the impressive fly-over state.
“It’s still the Storybook West to so many people,” said Bob Model, the ranch’s owner. The ranch, already an impressive 5,000 acres, backs up to another 195,000 acres of public land which Model takes full advantage of.
“So, you’re sitting on roughly 200,000 acres of my land?” said Koppel. “You’re welcome.”
“And I appreciate that,” Model laughed. “But I would say to you, I’m a good steward. I use it for grazing my livestock. And I am also a licensed big game outfitter. And you’re lucky to have me, you know, watching out for your land.”
But the topic quickly turns to guns, with Koppel focusing in on how guns are very much a family affair.
Little Ella Allen told the veteran journalist she was about five when she first shot a gun. “So you’re an old hand at this?” Koppel asked her. “You like coming out here and shooting with your daddy?”
“Yes,” she responded.
He also caught Haley O’Neil’s dad Justin as he showed her how to cock the hammer on her pistol.
“She is as sweet as can be, and she’s clearly having a good time,” said Koppel. “But there’s some people might watch this and say, ‘Boy, five is awful young, awful young.'”
“Not at all, actually,” her father replied matter of factly. When Koppel pressed him to explain why that is, O’Neil went on to say, “Respect starts now. Respect of life, respect of country, respect of game. Everything starts now. That all starts when they’re impressionable.”
When Koppel revealed that many parents and gun control advocates in major U.S. cities would be shaking their heads and clicking their tongues in disagreement, one father unloaded, saying “They don’t give a **** what people think about them back there while they’re killing each other every day — more than they are out here. Why do we have to listen to that?”
And he’s right.
Much to Koppel’s dismay, guns are more popular than ever in Wyoming, with the Cowboy State boasting more guns per capita than any state in the country. Park County Sheriff Scott Steward says people who don’t own firearms are the exception, not the rule.
“If they have guns in the home, the low end’s going to be probably four to five,” Steward said. “High end’s going to be anywhere from 100 to more.”
But it’s no surprise to us, that when it comes to gun-related murders, Wyoming is well below the national average. Sheriff Steward says with the handful of law enforcement tasked with covering the vast territory, he’s just fine with residents owning their personal safety.
“We might have three on duty in the county to cover 6,000 square miles,” he said. “Sometimes you can have a deputy on one side of the county and get a call 40 miles away; chances are he’s not gonna get there to intervene in any kind of conflict that may be going on.”
“So what you’re telling me is, people need to be able to take care of themselves?” asked Koppel.
AWR Hawkins at Breitbart writes:
According to the Congressional Research Service, the 192 million guns in private hands in 1994 swelled to 310 million firearms in 2009. At the same time, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000. It fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.
So kudos to CBS News for highlighting what we in the gun rights advocacy world have been saying for years; more guns equals less crime, and maybe how the fly-over states handles their gun safety should be incorporated in major cities if they really want to end gun violence.
Education is key. Respect starts now.