By Dave Workman
A recent Gallup survey recently revealed some rather interesting things about crime victims, and left some questions remaining unanswered.
According to Gallup, which did an analysis of surveys done in 2000, 2005, 2007-2011, and 2013-2016 — involving more than 11,160 interviews — an average of 17 percent of Americans said they had been a victim of some sort of crime over the previous 12 months, and that 29 percent of them “personally owned a gun.”
This is where it gets a bit complicated. Gallup throws in what might be best described as a caveat: “Although it is not possible to know from the survey questions whether the crime prompted the individual to buy a gun or if the person owned a gun before the crime occurred, the modest yet significant relationship between recent crime victimization and gun ownership is clear. Also, because the survey asks only about crime victimization in the last 12 months, it is possible many people victimized by crimes in the more distant past bought a gun in reaction to those crimes. Thus, the analysis may understate the relationship between crime victimization and gun ownership.”
When the Washington Examiner reported on this survey, it noted that, “Gallup said that gun owners feel safer.” Three years ago, when Gallup asked people why they own a gun, 60 percent replied that it was for personal protection, the newspaper added.
This could help explain, at least in part, a steady rise in the number of concealed pistol licenses in a place where people might believe that defensive hardware is strictly taboo: King County, Washington, which encompasses Seattle. The bluest skies you ever see may not be in the Jet City, but the bluest voting patterns in the Pacific Northwest sure are.
Insider Online checked with the state Department of Licensing for this report to find that in King County, there were, as of Dec. 14, more than 100,550 active CPLs. Even in a county where anti-gunners seem to be lurking behind every tree, an army of armed citizens shares the landscape. There are more licensed citizens in King County than in some states.
Yet with all of that hardware apparently on the streets, Seattle is a remarkably safe place to live, if one compares it to a city with a similar-sized population: Baltimore, Maryland. While the latter municipality was racking up its 300th homicide victim for 2016 in mid-December, a source at the Seattle Police Department was telling the Insider that “about 18” people had so far been murdered this year.
Now, in Baltimore it’s next to impossible for an average private citizen to obtain a carry permit. In Seattle, any law-abiding citizen who passes a background check can apply for and receive, either from SPD or the King County Sheriff’s Office, a CPL.
This leaves the gun prohibition lobby with a bit of explaining to do. How is it that Seattle’s streets are not flowing red, while Baltimore’s streets are soaked in it? Restrictive gun laws are supposed to prevent bloodshed, not be part of the fabric that intensifies it.
Florida Lawmakers Get Open Carry Bill
Florida is one of only five states where the law presently bans open carry, but a Republican state senator from Sarasota wants to change that.
State Sen. Greg Steube filed Senate Bill 140 on Dec. 9, and odds are it will get a hearing. The senator chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and according to the First Coast News, this legislation might move thanks to the November elections that saw more Republicans elected to the State Senate.
Open carry advocates are busy across many states. They even have a very active forum at OpenCarry.org. In Florida, however, there has been resistance to legalizing the practice from anti-gunners and the Fraternal Order of Police. This time around, however, FOP reportedly will not announce a position until February.
CCW Advocate Says Hold Anti-Gunners ‘Accountable’
Tim Schmidt, president of the United States Concealed Carry Association, recently did a piece in the Daily Caller, an on-line publication, in which he offered his vision of the “path forward to protect the Second Amendment.”
One of his recommendations jumps out at the reader. “Hold Anti-Gun Advocates Accountable.” Schmidt says these people “would have Americans believe that only if there were universal background checks, ‘gun-free zones,’ and gun show ‘loopholes’ closed then we would see an end to gun violence.” However, he observed, background checks haven’t prevented violent crimes, and gun-free zones “are essentially advertisements to evil-doers that citizens there will not have the ability to fight back.” They are known as “risk-free working environments for terrorists and crazy people.”
Way back in February, Patrick Tyrrell, a research coordinator with the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis wrote a piece for The Daily Signal that detailed why mass shooters evidently prefer “gun-free zones.”
“When anti-gun politicians spread misinformation,” Schmidt wrote, “let’s all work to get the facts out there as quickly and publicly as possible.”
Where To Begin: Stolen Car, Stolen Gun Or Murder?
Two Florida teens may have set some kind of record for serious criminal charges when they were arrested in connection with the Dec. 7 murder of 27-year-old Kendra Lewis at a gas station.
According to WFLA News, the pair was sacked after leading Polk County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase in what turned out to be a stolen car. It went downhill from there.
Inside the car, arresting lawmen found a gun that was one of more than 40 firearms stolen in November from Tampa Arms in Hillsborough County. The teens are 16 and 17 years old and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the news agency that they both have criminal records.
One of them has priors for domestic violence, battery, burglary, grand theft, auto theft, obstructing justice, armed robbery, disorderly conduct, trespass and probation violation. The sheriff is hoping they are prosecuted as adults.
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