Monday, February 20, 2006

The Sky Didn't Fall And Crime Didn't Vanish

Two years after the Missouri Legislature ignored the will of its constituents and imposed a concealed carry law on the state, it looks like the law has had neither the positive effects promised nor the negative effects feared.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

No surprise. As the story notes, legal concealed carry holders are not threats to anyone except the bad guys. The horrors predicted by the anti-gun crowd didn't happen? Shocking. I'd be willing to bet, however, that though overall crime didn't change much, the types of crime, at least in some places, did (or will, given time). No way to know that from the story, of course.

However, I'm intrigued by the concealed firearm in the car provision. Why pass that? That one is trouble waiting to happen. If one is going to carry, basic gun safety says that you should have control of that gun at all times; it should not be left in a vehicle (of course, I'd eliminate the so-called "gun-free zones too). In a similar vein, women who carry should not carry in their purse unless the purse is ALWAYS in their hands; you can't set the purse down and do other things with a gun in it.

Kansas has a CCW proposal now before the legislature (without a similar vehicle provision). It's common-sense and reasonable, and will put Kansas with the now 46 states that permit some type of concealed carry. Hopefully it will pass with a veto-proof majority; since the governor's knee-jerk reaction is to veto it.

2/21/2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Anonymous, regardless of the outcomes, the General Assembly still committed a serious violation of government when they passed this law. The voters of Missouri had already defeated three consecutive state-wide referenda on concealed carry. The legislators had no business going against the clearly expressed wishes of the voters.

2/21/2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous Me - it's cute how your mind can't quite accept that the law has not reduced crime, so you just make up that it has, or will.

Why do you believe that Governor Sebelius' opposition to concealed carry is "knee jerk"?

2/21/2006 9:36 PM  
Anonymous anonymous Me said...

Eric -

While state-wide referenda are advisory, they are not binding on legislators. Legislators should do what they believe to be the right thing, not simply what is popular. A legislator is responsible to no one but himself for his vote. If the voters of Missouri do not like the actions of those legislators, they have a remedy: vote them out. That is what elections are for.

Dan - cute has nothing to do with it. The article regarding Missouri's experience only two years into concealed carry cites nothing more than anecdotal evidence and thus says little. The experience of the majority (46) of states who have passed similar legislation over the last 10-15 years speaks volumes.

And knee-jerk? Because the governor's opposition is based on reaction - "guns=BAD" - rather than supportable facts. Facts which indicate that there will be horrible outcomes should this pass simply do not exist - even the article you cite concedes as much. If experience tells us that there is no public safety downside as a result of licensed concealed carry, why should citizens be deprived of the ability to defend themselves?

2/22/2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

AM

Again, you just want the truth to be that it has had an impact on crime, and so you believe it without evidence. Cute was about the nicest word I could come up with to describe your child-like intellectual dishonesty.

As for your criticism of Governor Sebelius, are you unable to concede that there are valid policy reasons to oppose concealed guns?

2/22/2006 10:27 PM  
Anonymous anonymous me said...

Dan -

(Heavy sigh). You apparantly don't read well. The story is not a statistical study, just anecdotal comments. Read the story again, then read the post again. There may be valid policy reasons to oppose concealed carry - but I've heard none expressed by the governor; nor, frankly, few coherently expressed by any opponents of concealed carry. What I hear instead, over and over, is just the myth that the article you cite explodes, again. In fact, after CCW comes, shootings do not go up, blood does not run in the streets, the sky does not fall.

Given that, can you provide a coherent reason why citizens should not be permitted to defend themselves?

2/23/2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Defend yourself all you like - just don't go having a bunch of ill-trained people running around with concealed guns.

My coherently stated argument against CCW is that it increases the risk of deadly force being employed mistakenly or inappropriately.

2/23/2006 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous me said...

Dan -

Point taken. However, I would point out, as the article does, that we are not debating what "might" or "could" happen if CCW passes - we have years of experience in most states to tell us. And what that experience tell us is that the fear you express is unfounded. It simply does not happen. Unless we believe that Kansans are inherently more blood-thirsty than residents of other states(and I do not), that concern is simly not born out by experience.

2/23/2006 12:34 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

More bloodthirsty, probably not. Dumber, I think so. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty certain of that . . .

More seriously, we wind up where we began. The good is overstated, and the bad is overstated, by partisans on both sides.

There is probably some good, there is probably some bad. Reasonable minds can differ on whether CCW is a good thing or not. I continue to believe it is a bad thing.

My point in making the post was to draw attention to the fact that both sides were wrong in their predictions.

2/23/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Anonymous Me -

You said "Legislators should do what they believe to be the right thing, not simply what is popular. A legislator is responsible to no one but himself for his vote"

Actually, a legislators job is NOT to do what "they" believe is right. A legislators job is to represent and fulfill the will of their constituents. They are there to act on behalf of their district or their state. They are honor bound to vote the way the people that elected them want them to vote. Not to be a "loose cannon" and do whatever they want in defiance of their electorate.

Give you a hypothetical example. Let's say that a representative who is PERSONALLY pro-life, was elected to office by a constituency that was majority pro-choice. Maybe they liked his policy on taxes. Whatever. Doesn't matter.

If a bill came up for a vote that involved the abortion issue, it is his or her DUTY to put their personal convictions aside and vote in a manner that REPRESENTS the will of the people who elected him/her.

That's why we call them R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S. They represent US. Not themselves.

2/24/2006 7:09 PM  
Anonymous anonymous me said...

XO:

I understand your position, but with due respect, I disagree. An elected official is responsible for his/her vote; no one else is. It is absolutely NOT his/her duty to vote as the constituency might want. What a republic (this is not a democracy, remember) calls for are representatives with convictions, not spineless wimps with their fingers in the wind, mindlessly bending to the varied whims of public opinion (Read: Bill Clinton).

Voters, as you note, vote for a particular candidate for all kinds of reasons not related to any one issue. Issues that are important at election time may well be overshadowed by events that put other issues to the fore, issues the voters may not have even considered. Are the wishes of the voters part of a representatives' calculus on a vote? Of course. Are their wishes binding? No, nor should they be.

That representative is responsible for that vote; explaining it, defending it, ultimately living with it. It is his/her name on the roll call record, not a faceless constituency.

A representative is responsible to the voters, of course. If the voters do not like the votes case by their elected representative, they certainly can, and should, vote him/her out of office. But it is the representative's vote; he is not a rubber stamp.

2/27/2006 12:21 PM  

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