Shannon Watts Misrepresents Data On Constitutional Carry

We shouldn’t need a law that allows people to carry without a permit, but unfortunately, we do. The Second Amendment is pretty clear about how the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and all that, but lawmakers always figure they can do whatever they want on that front. Now, we need laws to reinstitute rights that have long been ignored.


As a result, there’s been a movement toward constitutional carry–being able to carry a firearm without a permit–for years. Now, it seems to be growing in a number of states.

Republican lawmakers in several more states want to loosen gun restrictions by allowing people to carry concealed firearms without having to get a permit, continuing a trend that gun control advocates call dangerous.

Fifteen states already allow concealed carry without a permit, and lawmakers in nine others have proposed allowing or expanding the practice. GOP governors are backing the changes in Utah and Tennessee. Another bill expanding permitless carry in Montana has passed the state House.

Most states require people to do things like get weapons training and undergo a background check to get a permit to carry a gun hidden by a jacket or inside a purse. Groups like the National Rifle Association and state lawmakers who support gun rights argue those requirements are ineffective and undermine Second Amendment protections.

The proposed changes come after gun sales hit historic levels last summer — reflected in FBI background checks — amid uncertainty and safety concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the struggling economy and protests over racial injustice. Since then, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.


And hey, that is what it is.

However, the media tends to look to a handful of people on subjects like gun control. One of their favorites is Shannon Watts, who they think knows what she’s talking about.

Hey, maybe she does. If so, it means she’s not just wrong, she’s blatantly misrepresenting actual data in an attempt to scare people into compliance with her gun control agenda.

Against that backdrop, the efforts to loosen concealed carry requirements are a frightening trend for Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“It is dangerous to allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns possibly without a background check or any training,” she said, adding that the annual rate of aggravated assaults with a firearm has increased 71% in Alaska since the state became the first to allow concealed carry without a permit in 2003.

Nice cherry-picking of the data there by Shannon. See, she throws out “increased by 71 percent” and leave it there, without providing any context. It’s not like the reporter would dig any deeper.

Do you want to know how many crimes there were in Alaska in 2019 in total? A grand total of 27,811, of which 21,469 were property crimes. Of those, 4,344 were aggravated assaults. That’s for an entire state.


I’m sorry, but Alaska isn’t exactly eaten up with crime, and when you’re dealing with relatively small numbers, even fairly small jumps look massively significant. Take Alaska’s murder rate. It jumped up more than 50 percent in 2019. That’s horrible, right? Well, in 2018 they had 47 murders and in 2019 they had 70.

See what I mean?

It should also be noted that only a small portion of Alaska’s aggravated assault are attributed to guns. Of all those aggravated assaults in 2019, just 836 were with a firearm. 803 were with a knife and 1,218 were with hands, feet, and fists. The rest were “other weapons” which includes things like busted beer bottles, chairs, and so on.

In other words, not even a quarter of all aggravated assaults were with a firearm. Notice how she leaves that little tidbit out?

Further, if you took every single aggravated assault with a gun out of the equation–something that won’t happen since at least some of those were carried out by people who couldn’t legally have a firearm–you’d still be just a smidge under 2015’s total number of aggravated assaults. In other words, there would have still been an increase over 2003 when constitutional carry first passed in the state.


Meanwhile, Watts focused on one state when constitutional carry is the law in a number of other states as well as Alaska. She offers no commentary on them, most likely because there really isn’t any to offer. If there was, she could be expected to blatantly misrepresent that as well.

None of this even touches on the fact that criminals are walking around with firearms without a permit, putting them at a distinct advantage over their law-abiding victims.

Watts doesn’t care about that, though. She’s never cared about your safety, only her ability to pat herself on the back and pretend she’s making a difference.

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