Legal gun owners are among the most law-abiding demographic in the world. We follow the law because we know the responsibility we have as gun owners, and know what will happen to our gun rights if we decide to break the law.
We know that we are the most law-abiding people in the United States, and now even The Washington Post has come to agree with us on this fact.
Lawful gun owners commit less than a fifth of all gun crimes, according to a novel analysis released this week by the University of Pittsburgh.
In the study, led by epidemiologist Anthony Fabio of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, researchers partnered with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police to trace the origins of all 893 firearms that police recovered from crime scenes in the year 2008.
They found that in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator was not a lawful gun owner but rather in illegal possession of a weapon that belonged to someone else. The researchers were primarily interested in how these guns made their way from a legal purchase — at a firearm dealer or via a private sale — to the scene of the crime.
Granted, this study is in the area of Pittsburgh only, and is not a national study. However, the Post’s article still goes to show that legal gun owners are not the problem; the thugs and criminals are, the ones who are already not following the law in the first place.
More than 30 percent of the guns that ended up at crime scenes had been stolen, according to Fabio’s research. But more than 40 percent of those stolen guns weren’t reported by the owners as stolen until after police contacted them when the gun was used in a crime
One of the more concerning findings in the study was that for the majority of guns recovered (62 percent), “the place where the owner lost possession of the firearm was unknown.”
On that last note, this is something that gun owners really need to address. If you own multiple guns, you always need to be sure that they are where you believe they are. Check them on a regular basis. If someone has somehow gotten to your guns, and stolen one or even more of them, you don’t want to find out two years later when it’s been used in a crime and the police suspect you.
The number of these sorts of instances is still very low, but we can and must do better. We know how gun grabbers will use this to further erode our right to bear arms, and how more lives will be lost due to ignorance on our part. We cannot afford to have that in our community.
On a more positive note, the study shared by the Washington Post is another confirmation that we the gun owners are the good guys. Although I would counter that gun owners, and concealed carry permit holders specifically, are even more law-abiding that this study demonstrates.
The Crime Prevention Research Center dedicates its work to showing how legal gun ownership helps to reduce crime. The Center releases reports periodically that document the data about gun owners and concealed carry. The data has been compiled from across the United States, and thus gives a more accurate picture of how law-abiding gun owners statistically are.
In their 2014 report, the Center had the following to say about carry permit holders:
One extremely easy fact to get information on is how law-abiding permit holders are. Much of the existing public discussion on crimes committed by permit holders in the media involves a report by the Violence Policy Center. Unfortunately, that report contains many inaccuracies as it often double or triple counts cases that shouldn’t even be counted as crimes or problems with guns to begin with.
Consider the two large states at the front of the current debate, Florida and Texas: Both states provide easy web access to detailed records of permit holders. During over two decades, from October 1, 1987 to May 31, 2014, Florida has issued permits to more than 2.64 million people, with the average person holding a permit for more than a decade.3 Few — 168 (about 0.006%) — have had their permits revoked for any type of firearms related violation, the most common being accidentally carrying a concealed handgun into a gun-free zone such as a school or an airport, not threats or acts of violence. It is an annual rate of 0.0002 percent.
The already low revocation rate has been declining over time. Over the last 77 months from January 2008 through May 2014, just 4 permits have been revoked for firearms-related violations. With an average of about 875,000 active permit holders per year during those years, the annual revocation rate for firearms related violations is 0.00007 percent – 7 one hundred thousandths of one percentage point.
Talk about a law-abiding demographic. Rest assured, if you know someone who is a gun owner, and/or has a concealed carry permit, you can be pretty darn sure that said person is one of the safest people around.
Facts are stubborn things, aren’t they?