The so-called “mainstream” media holds a distinctly anti-gun bias when it comes to reporting about violent crime and defensive uses of guns. It’s been that way for decades, and only seems to be getting worse.
Phrases like “gun crime” have edged out the more-accurate “violent crime” while “mass shootings” have replaced “mass murders.” Both semantic changes are intended to place more blame on guns and less on criminals—a popular anti-gun ruse to change the minds of those who aren’t familiar with the issue.
One of the favorite punching bags of the mainstream media’s so-called “reporters” is concealed carry. From the time right-to-carry laws first began to be debated, those opposing such laws and their media partners have warned of “blood running in the streets” and a return to the “Wild West.” They do the same thing every time a state debates enacting a constitutional-carry law, but these same “journalists” stop reporting after these laws pass, as no such mayhem ensues.
The way they treat this issue has become so predictable that what these media members don’t tell their readers and viewers about concealed carry has become more important than what they do tell them. Their lies of omission concerning concealed carry and defensive gun use hide the truth about a topic that is important to millions upon millions of lawful Americans.
So here are some of the under-reported facts about concealed carry. Some might surprise even the most in-the-know Second Amendment supporters!
1. Prohibitions on Lawful Carry are Unconstitutional
Last June’s important U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (2022) was a landmark decision that affirmed the right of Americans to keep and bear arms outside the home for self-defense. In that decision, the justices set a new standard of review for Second Amendment cases that has already made waves in courts throughout the country.
Yet reading much of the media’s reports on the ruling would give you a completely different impression of the decision. Upon the court’s announcement, one news organization after another ran headline after headline about how the U.S. Supreme Court had “expanded” gun rights, with some even insinuating this expansion of gun rights goes far beyond what the Founders would have ever considered.
In truth, the court “expanded” nothing; rather, by striking down New York’s restrictive carry law, they simply restored an essential right that had been greatly infringed upon by gun-ban advocates. Justice Clarence Thomas put it best when writing for the majority: “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.’ We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
2. Gun Control and Gun Safety Are Two Very Different Things
A decade or so back, the mainstream media, prompted by their friendly partners within various anti-gun groups, did a complete change of face. Both the gun-ban groups and the media stopped talking about “gun-control laws” and began referring to laws that further infringe upon the rights of lawful citizens as “gun-safety policies.” They knew that the term “gun safety” had a much better connotation than “gun control,” so they began selling the same snake oil under a different name.
Now you can’t go a week without hearing about an anti-gun politician somewhere in the nation introducing a new “gun-safety” measure that is going to “save millions of lives.” And nearly every time it is just another old, well-worn gun-control scheme that infringes upon the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners and has been proven ineffective, at best, at stopping criminals.
If gun-ban proponents really want to talk about “gun safety,” they need to be talking to the organization that knows more about gun safety than any other in the nation—the National Rifle Association. The NRA’s network of more than 125,000 instructors has taught millions upon millions of Americans how to safely use firearms over the past several decades and these instructors proudly continue to do so.
3. Concealed Carriers Frequently Stop Mass Murderers
This is one you’re never going to hear in the so-called “mainstream” media; in fact, those in the media will actively pick and choose “statistics” to make you think that no armed citizen has ever stopped an “active shooter.” But, according to Dr. John Lott, head of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), such instances are very common.
In 2021, an incredible “49% of active shooting attacks were stopped by citizens with permits to carry,” Lott reports. “If you don’t count gun-free zones, the number is closer to 60%. Imagine how much higher those percentages would be if every state had constitutional carry and banned gun-free zones.”
Incidentally, an FBI research project conducted by Texas State University and looking at eight years of active-murderer data reported far fewer instances of armed individuals stopping murderers than what Lott’s group found looking at the same available data for the same time period. Lott’s data showed about 11-times more assailants stopped by armed citizens than the FBI reported.
When Lott confronted some mainstream-media outlets with the correct data, they claimed they had done their jobs by reporting what the FBI said. Their anti-gun bias was more important to them than correcting their published falsehoods!
4. Concealed-Carry Permittees are Among the Most-Law-Abiding Americans
To make you believe that concealed carry is dangerous, many in the media hardly ever mention the fact that concealed-carry permit holders are among the most-law-abiding Americans.
According to 2018 CPRC research studying Illinois: “From 2014 to 2018, Illinois had an average of over 189,000 active permits. Over that same period, no one has been convicted of committing a crime with his permitted concealed handgun. Five individuals face charges, and four of them may have used their guns in self-defense. It is quite common for arrests to be made in cases of legitimate self-defense, and charges usually end in a ‘not guilty’ verdict when they are even brought. Two of the permit holders listed by the [Chicago] Tribune face firearms charges, but not for anything pertaining to concealed carry.”
Not only are concealed-carry permit holders far more law-abiding than average citizens, but also, they run afoul of the law much less often than another group that might surprise you—law-enforcement officers. Studies in 2018 and 2019 in both Florida and Texas revealed that concealed-carry permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than one-sixth the rate that police officers are!
5. Concealed-Carry Laws Do Not Make it Easier for Criminals to Carry Firearms
Some in the media will gleefully report propaganda from gun-ban groups that concealed-carry laws make it easier for criminals to carry firearms. On the contrary, states with restrictive carry laws don’t stop criminals from having a handgun on them, but do deter law-abiding citizens who can’t or won’t jump through the required hoops or can’t pay an exorbitant fee in order to acquire a permit.
The key word in this discussion is “criminals.” Those who commit aggravated assault, armed robbery or murder have already decided that breaking serious laws with harsh penalties isn’t a problem for them. It’s asinine to think that just because a state limits concealed carry, those criminals would choose to leave their guns at home the next time they ply their wicked trade.
The bottom line is this: Criminals have guns, they carry them regardless of firearms laws and they use them to injure, maim and kill. Limiting the rights of lawful citizens to carry a firearm only puts good people at a disadvantage.
6. Blood Has Never “Run in the Streets” After Carry Laws Were Improved
Over the last several decades, shall-issue laws and now constitutional carry laws have been passed in state after state. And, in nearly every case, those opposing the measure spoke in a wild-eyed manner of turning big cities back into the “Wild West.”
Of course, in the years after such measures were passed, the streets did not, in fact, “run with blood.” Some opponents have actually been able to see they were wrong. One such was Tom Skoch, editor of the The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.
“I have to admit I was wrong,” Skoch wrote in an editorial seven years after passage of the law. “Back in 2004, when Ohio’s law allowing licensed concealed carry of handguns was adopted, I was among the opponents who thought it would make public shoot-outs common and fill the streets with blood.
“The facts showed that concealed carry did not bring Ohio more crime, more bloodshed or a Wild West atmosphere. In fact, none of that has happened anywhere in the United States as legal concealed carry has become the rule rather than the exception in the state laws across the land.”
7. The Police Don’t Have a Duty to Protect You
Gun-banners and their media partners often point to the presence of police officers as a reason citizens don’t need to carry a firearm. Nationwide, however, the average 911 response time is more than six minutes—far more time than it takes to commit murder. In some areas, response times are far worse.
Rather than being around to stop crimes, police are more likely to investigate crimes after they have been committed and the victims have already been injured or killed.
Interestingly, the fact that courts have ruled multiple times that the police don’t have any duty to protect individual citizens makes the media’s argument that citizens don’t need their rights nonsensical. The 1981 case Warren v. District of Columbia set a precedent that has been upheld a number of times. In that case, two attackers repeatedly raped and brutalized three women in a Washington, D.C., rooming house. The police were called by two women on the third floor who had heard the third woman being attacked downstairs, and officers responded but didn’t enter the building. The two women called police a second time, but no officers were dispatched. Thinking they heard police downstairs, however, the two women called down and thus were discovered by the attackers, who then assaulted all three women for about 14 hours.
When the women sued over the failure to provide police services, the court ruled against the plaintiffs based on “the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.”
8. Passage of Constitutional Carry Doesn’t “Weaken Gun Laws”
Twenty-five states—yes, fully half of those in the United States—now have constitutional (or “permitless”) carry laws on the books, and that number is likely to increase in 2023 (as this was going to print, several states had measures under consideration). As Constitution-respecting lawmakers in state after state choose to pass such reforms, many in the media consistently report the same thing—that such legislators are trying to “weaken gun laws” and make the state more dangerous.
What they should be telling their readers and listeners, but won’t, is that those freedom-loving lawmakers are actually deregulating the right to bear arms; a practice specifically enumerated under the U.S. Bill of Rights. Constitutional carry laws simply recognize that a law-abiding adult who is not statutorily prohibited from possessing a firearm can also carry one without obtaining government permission. This ensures that citizens have the right to self-defense without government fees, red tape or delays.
Media members often won’t tell people this part, either: Most states that pass constitutional carry maintain their existing concealed-carry permitting system so citizens who wish to have a permit may do so. Interestingly, even with half the states having a constitutional carry law on the books, the number of Americans with concealed-carry permits still went up in 2022.
9. Constitutional Carry has not Made States Less Safe
The mainstream media is happy to repeat the propaganda from gun-ban groups and anti-gun politicians that constitutional carry makes living in states that pass such laws more dangerous. That’s simply not the truth.
Alexander Adams and Colorado State University Professor Youngsung Kim recently studied crime in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., from 1980 to 2018 using 30 control variables. The data clearly show there is no statistically significant relationship between constitutional-carry laws and homicide. There was likewise no association with firearm homicide rates. The predictions of doom and gloom—and the continuing propaganda from gun-banners and their media allies—have not been statistically validated, at least as far as this analysis goes.
In fact, the relationship between constitutional-carry laws and homicide was negative, which is the opposite of what gun-control activists have predicted. Constitutional carry makes it possible for all lawful citizens—rich or poor, regardless of race or any other demographic—to protect themselves without undue burden. The only people in more danger in constitutional- carry states are criminals.
10. National Reciprocity is Safe and Much-Needed
National concealed-carry reciprocity has long been a goal of many pro-Second Amendment Americans; however, opponents of national-reciprocity legislation, including most in the mainstream media, are quick to claim this is a dangerous idea.
In truth, what is dangerous is the current confusing patchwork of state carry laws that restrict law-abiding individuals. The variation in laws from state to state, and even city to city, can cause gun owners to unknowingly run afoul of the law.
Lawful citizens who are forced to leave their firearms at home when traveling to a more-restrictive state put their lives at risk by doing so. The Second Amendment-protected right to “bear” arms, which has always meant to “carry” them, wasn’t written with state lines in mind, and that inalienable right should not be suspended simply because a lawful citizen from a free state crosses a border.
Incidentally, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2023—H.R. 38—has been introduced in Congress this session and stipulates that people with state-issued concealed-carry licenses can conceal a handgun in any other state, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state. The measure was introduced by North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson (R) and had over 200 co-sponsors.