By Dave Workman
Say what you want about Minnesota, it evidently is a pretty safe place to live, provided you don’t worry too much about legally armed citizens because this state apparently has a lot of them.
According to WCCO News and Valley News Live, Minnesotans appear to be a well-armed bunch. The state reportedly logged 683,544 checks with the National Instant Check System last year. Minnesota also issued 57,651 conceal and carry permits last year, bringing the number to 283,188 active permits, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Still, in 2016, crime rates hit a 50-year low, WCCO reported. That was the year the state issued a whopping 71,156 carry permits. Contrary to what the gun prohibition lobby might want anyone to believe, all those guns did not result in bloodbaths in the streets.
In making his report, WCCO’s Pat Kessler said something that caught Insider Online’s attention.
“There is still an awful lot we don’t know about guns in Minnesota,” he acknowledged. “For example, we don’t know exactly how many gun owners there are, we don’t know the number of total guns in Minnesota and frankly, also don’t know how much ammunition is bought every year and how much is kept by gun owners.”
Well, Pat, there’s a reason for that. You’re not supposed to know. It’s none of your business, none of our business and certainly none of the government’s business. So long as those North Star State gun owners mind their manners and don’t bother anybody, they should be able to have all the guns and ammunition they want. If that somehow discourages criminals from committing crimes, well, too bad.
Just for the sake of comparison, we recently checked with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to learn that the Grand Canyon State had 327,853 active concealed carry permits in circulation. That was back on Feb. 18, so the number might have changed a bit.
And for further comparison, in 2016, the FBI Uniform Crime Report said 374 of the 11,004 murder victims killed with firearms that year were murdered with rifles. That same year, twice as many people were gunned down in the City of Chicago, so for those who think semi-auto rifles should be banned, you need to invest in a pocket calculator and do some math.
Baltimore, Not So Much…
Now, here’s the bad news, at least for the City of Baltimore.
According to WBAL News, Baltimore has been identified as the most dangerous city in America. It’s not exactly the kind of award one strives for, but when you can pile up corpses at a higher rate than Chicago, that is worth noting.
Last year, Baltimore unhappily recorded 343 murder victims. That’s 25 more slayings than the city logged in 2016. It translates to a murder rate of 55.8 victims for every 100,000 residents, and that was coupled by the revelation that the city lost population in 2017, approaching a 100-year-low.
We mentioned Chicago earlier. Last year, the Windy City actually lowered the body count from more than 750 in 2016 to 650 in 2017. The number of murders also went down in Houston and New York City, WBAL noted.
Reach For The Sky
Over the past 18 months or so, Insider has had the opportunity to sample a few handguns built by Charter Arms, and one that seems to get everybody’s attention is a five-shot wheelgun called the Santa Fe.
It’s a two-tone entry with an exposed hammer, textured rubber grip with finger grooves, stainless barrel, cylinder, rigger and hammer, and a turquoise finish on the 7075 aluminum frame that has earned this snubby the title of Santa Fe Sky.
Tough enough to handle .38 Special +P ammunition, it’s got a 2-inch barrel with a full shroud below to protect the cylinder pin. It’s a lightweight, hitting the scale at 12 ounces empty, so it will carry in a pocket, purse, hideout holster, ankle rig or belt holster.
The fixed sights are quickly acquired with a blade up front and a traditional square notch at the rear.
Charter Arms revolvers definitely fulfill the first requirement of a gunfight: Have a gun! Speedloaders are available, but honestly, with five rounds ready to rock, that’s typically enough to discourage two- or four-legged varmints. Depending upon the ammunition, the muzzle flash out of such a gun is enough to light up a dark room.
These are tough little revolvers, and we have yet to find one that doesn’t go “BANG!” when the hammer drops. Guns like this should be in the hands of law-abiding citizens in Baltimore.
New ‘Nemesis’ Pistol From Atlas Gunworks
There are lots of reasons to own a good, accurate handgun, and self-defense is just one of them.
Competition is another good reason, and to that end, Atlas Gunworks up in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont recently announced a brand new double-stack semi-auto chambered for the potent .40 S&W cartridge. (Right, the people who have been blowing “Taps” over the .40-caliber cartridge may be over-stating their obituary.)
According to a release from Atlas, the Nemesis has a fixed front sight block, which doesn’t move when the slide recoils. The front sight is of the fiber optic variety and the rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. The thumb safety is ambidextrous and the trigger guard is squared around the X-Line Vario trigger. It’s got a textured wraparound PT EVO grip surface.
The 5-inch KKM bull barrel gives this pistol weight for a steady hold and the ejection port is flared for positive ejection. It’s also got a skeleton hammer and beavertail for a good hold.
Atlas finishes the Nemesis with a hard DLC coating.
Maybe Getting Shot Is A Habit-Breaker
To paraphrase the late Rod Serling’s intro to each episode of “The Twilight Zone,” picture in your mind a recidivist burglar whose repeated trips to the slammer didn’t convince him to find a different line of work, so one night he ran into a bullet.
The Tacoma, Washington News Tribune recently reported the sorry saga of a 24-year-old suspect who had been arrested and jailed for prowling cars on New Year’s Eve, and when he got out, he didn’t stay out.
This time around, the hapless fellow set off a motion detector that turned on a light, so the homeowner inside grabbed a handgun and went downstairs to check on his sleeping children, according to the newspaper account. This happened in Spanaway, a Tacoma suburb.
When the homeowner peeked through a curtain, he spotted the would-be burglar crouched outside a window. The armed homeowner yelled at the suspect to stop, and then fired four rounds. Two of them connected.
The newspaper noted that surveillance video from another location indicated that the same guy had tried to break into a different home about an hour before his fateful encounter. At that location, the suspect was trying to start a riding lawn mower — this was in mid-February in the middle of the night so the lawn didn’t need attention — and also tried to break into that homeowner’s car and a shed.
His apparent second stop was one too many. Wounded, the unidentified suspect was hauled away to the hospital.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement that said, “The suspect is well known to deputies in the area and to property crime investigators, due to his extensive history of burglary, theft, and vehicle prowls.” It didn’t say whether the guy had developed a taste for jail food.
Meanwhile, it will be up to the county prosecutor to decide whether to file charges against the homeowner. There was speculation this might be considered self-defense, since the homeowner’s kids were snoozing just inside.
Check Back Each Week For More Insider Online Articles