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CCW creates an empirical problem for those that made dire predictions: over the past 30 years, it swept the nation. The dire predictions didn’t come true. 2 things did:

- Millions able to carry safely
- No more police pretext (under may-issue) to frisk poor people

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This is a map of state carry laws from 1986 to the present.

1986: 1 state unrestricted, 8 shall-issue, 25 may-issue, 16 no-issue

2019: 16 states unrestricted, 26 shall-issue, 8 may-issue, 0 no-issue
In other words, concealed carry went from being very unusual to achieving almost completely unmitigated ubiquity. Functionally the only places you can’t get a permit are Hawaii, Maryland, and New Jersey, and a small handful of counties in California, New York, and Massachusetts.
(And the holdouts seem more numerous than they are b/c they're high-visibility: it’s basically just the counties encompassing and surrounding San Francisco, LA, San Diego, NYC, Buffalo and a handful of upstate towns, and Boston. Seriously, that’s it. Everywhere else, carry on.)
~17MM ppl have carry permits. 7% of all adults. And that undercounts the # who can carry, b/c 40MM live in states with permitless carry. CA and NY alone make up 70% of the US pop still under may-issue. For ppl in the other 48, 91% *already* have shall-issue or permitless carry.
And the result, by and large, has been “Meh, oh, cool.” Millions of people able to access tools of self-defense, widespread cultural acceptance (enthusiastic or not) of the fact that this is a permanent thing now, and no apparent ill effects on net.
One paper came out in 2017 comparing violent crime rates in states against what the paper’s model predicted violent crime rates would have been without right-to-carry laws, and found RTC associated with 13-15% higher-than-expected violent crime.…

The paper found that effect for violent crime, but the effect varied widely based on the model used, and the paper fishes around a bit for the model that happens to find the biggest effect. It also doesn’t find a reliable effect on murder or property crime, which is strange.
More fundamentally, and somewhat troublingly, the paper doesn’t account for any of the benefits of concealed carry. The Violence Policy Center — an openly anti-gun group — estimates *59,000* defensive gun uses per year.…
Gun rights groups estimate much higher numbers (like 500k+), but we prefer to cite the VPC’s number because it’s already much, much higher than people think and comes from an anti-gun source. The paper doesn’t account for the value of those 59,000 DGUs.
Also, instead of celebrating the decriminalization of defensive gun carriers, the paper says that one of CCW’s harms is “impairing police effectiveness” — citing Philando Castile’s killing as an argument *against* carry laws.
Many of the stats in the paper are interesting, and the researchers are smart people. But this is not a worldview that treats people’s rights as (a) carrying actual weight that’s deserving of real consideration, or (b) constraining the laws you can subject people to.
Anyway, circling back to the beginning, the nearly unmitigated cultural sweep of concealed carry is, alongside the AR platform and the creation of social media, the biggest advance for gun rights of the past couple decades.
So game theoretically it’s a rational move for gun control groups to obfuscate around it. Let’s always be ready to have those discussions openly, honestly, in good faith, and *effectively*. Carry on.
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