People who oppose gun control often argue that the nation would be safer if more people had permits to carry concealed weapons. Fact, however, doesn’t support opinion. In a 2015 study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of 544 concealed carry shooting incidents since 2007, only 16 were ruled self defense in court. The result: 722 homicides, including 17 law enforcement officers by people with legal carry permits. There were 28 mass shootings (involving three or more victims) in which 136 people were killed — even though concealed carry is almost always offered as a solution against mass murderers. In 177 instances, those with permits to “pack heat” were convicted of felony crimes. There were 218 suicides, but another 44 people were murdered before the licensed-carry shooters took their own lives. There are likely many more deaths as the study only looked at 36 states and the District of Columbia. Why? Some 14 states bow to the gun lobby and prohibit release of concealed-carry data. Nationally there is no oversight either, with the U.S. Congress following the special interests of the gun lobby rather than Americans at large. The National Rifle Association (NRA) successfully lobbied Congress in 1996 and elected officials eliminated research funding at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how guns affect public health.
(The Violence Policy Center (VPC) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, working to decrease the annual death toll and injury from guns through research, advocacy, education, and collaboration.)
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