The state of Minnesota isn’t exactly one you think of as a gun mecca. Sure, there’s a lot of outdoor recreation up that way, but we all know that hunting and the Second Amendment aren’t mutually exclusive activities.
Yet as in any state, it’s not particularly monolithic. There are pro-gun people in California and anti-gun people in Texas, after all.
And in Minnesota, there are a lot more people carrying guns these days.
A record number of permits to carry handguns were issued in 2020, a surge attributed to a rise in violent crime in the Twin Cities and the civil unrest that followed the death of George Floyd.
A report from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shows that more than 96,000 permits were issued last year, the most since permits became legal in 2003 and nearly twice as many as were issued in 2019.
Nearly 400,000 permits have been issued in total in a state of just over 5.6 million people.
I will give the news site credit, though. I think they fairly accurately assessed why people got permits. Things got dicey in Minnesota last year, with riots aplenty and violent crime surging even before the riots. I’d rather they call them riots instead of “civil unrest,” of course, but what can you do?
Over the last year, things have gotten bad pretty much everywhere. We went from almost no crime during the lockdown to the bad guys making up for lost time by shooting up pretty much anything or anyone they want to in pretty much every corner of this country. It’s been pretty ugly out there.
And, as people do, a huge number are recognizing that the police can’t protect you.
Couple that with calls to defund the police, particularly in Minneapolis, and people are bound to look in askance at the idea of counting on the police to be precisely where they’re needed at all times. Is it any wonder that they’re getting permits?
What we’re likely to see with the surge in firearm permit applications all over the nation is a coming decline in violent crime. It won’t be because of any new gun control laws or anything of the sort. It’ll simply be because bad guys have an aversion to getting shot for some silly reason.
More armed citizens, the more the chance for a criminal to cross the wrong person and end up with acute lead poisoning.
That is a win for everyone, of course, a kind of herd immunity against violence. That’s really the best way to deal with violent crime as things currently stand. While there are programs that have been shown to work to prevent crime, we also need to create a profound disincentive to victimizing law-abiding citizens.
A few rounds of jacketed hollow-point when they try their mess is a pretty good disincentive if you ask me.
Now, the ideal is for them to never take up a life of crime. No one really wants to take a human life. But if it’s got to be someone, dead bad guys upset me far, far less than dead good guys.