Concealed carry permits in Buncombe jump 400 percent

ARMS PROLIFERATION: Residents of Buncombe County are applying for concealed carry permits in dramatically increasing numbers. Photo by Joe Pellegrino

Business is booming — often literally — for Fletcher businessman Dan Meadows.

In response to increased demand for instruction on carrying concealed handguns, Meadows’ TAP3X Group of Companies bumped up the number of concealed carry classes it offers as well as individual firearms instruction. “About three years ago I was teaching only one class a month,” Meadows stated in an email to Xpress. “Two years ago, I doubled my classes to twice a month. Now I not only teach classes almost every weekend but offer several classes on weekdays and weeknights.”

And if anything, the trend seems to be accelerating. Between 2006 and 2016, Buncombe County saw a more than 400 percent jump in the number of concealed handgun permits issued annually, from 495 to 2,543. As of November, the county had already issued 3,509 permits in 2017.

Not everyone is thrilled about the prospect of more concealed handguns in our midst. “The uptick in concealed carry permits should worry everyone,” says former Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell. “When more people are toting weapons, concealed or not, all of us are less safe.”

Wild West(ern North Carolina)

Meadows is TAP3X’s primary instructor, but he’s had to hire more teachers to keep up with demand. “The number of students has continued to rise for the past 12 years,” he reports.

IN THE CROSSHAIRS: Attendees of a concealed carry class in Fletcher show off their targets following their concealed carry qualifications. Photo courtesy of Dan Meadows
ON TARGET: Attendees of a concealed carry class in Fletcher show off their targets following their concealed carry qualifications. Photo by Dan Meadows

Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan believes the media have helped fuel the increase in concealed carry permits. “Even though violent crime rates have not risen dramatically, people are so inundated with news about violent crime they feel the need to be proactive about their own safety,” he says.

Concealed carry permits are issued by counties, so the rise has put pressure on the county staffers who process permit applications and conduct background checks. “Handling the sheer volume and numbers has been a challenge,” notes Duncan.

To accommodate the increase, the county bought another fingerprinting machine and hired additional staff at the Bureau of Identification. Permits must be renewed every five years, and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office must confirm or deny applications within 45 days of receiving them. To help keep up, the county recently implemented an online process to initiate applications for concealed handguns.

Those applying for a concealed carry permit in Buncombe County must have a state-recognized firearm safety training certificate and a valid driver’s license or ID card. Naturalized citizens must also bring a naturalization certificate or a valid U.S. passport, and individuals discharged from the military must bring a form DD214. All applicants must have lived in Buncombe County for at least 30 days before applying. They must be at least 21 years old and not have any physical or mental disability that would prevent them from handling a gun safely. Permit fees are $90 for new applications and $75 for renewals.

Once a concealed carry permit is issued, it rarely gets revoked. Between 2006 and 2017, revocations in Buncombe County ranged from a low of two (in 2007) to a high of 33 (in 2010). Under state law, permits can be revoked for a number of reasons, including misrepresenting oneself during the application process, lending the permit to another person, altering the permit or using it with intent to unlawfully harm another person.

In addition, a tiny percentage of applications are rejected every year. In 2007, nine out of 564 applications in Buncombe County failed to gain approval. And as of November 2017, 54 out of 3,563 had been turned down for the year, the largest number for any year between 2006 and 2017.

The state provides a long list of places where concealed weapons are not allowed even with a permit, such as public education facilities, state and federal courthouses, state-occupied property and assemblies or demonstrations. In Asheville, a city ordinance prohibits concealed handguns in specified parks and other recreational facilities, but individuals with concealed carry permits are exempt from the ban.

According to the Asheville Police Department, there were 21 concealed handgun permit violations within city limits between 2008 and 2017: 12 felonies and nine misdemeanors. In the same time period, 306 people were charged with carrying a concealed weapon (including knives as well as firearms) without a permit. Because it was a first offense, these were misdemeanors; an additional five people received felony charges for subsequent offenses.

Duncan says the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office has had very few issues with permit holders violating the law. “I think they value their ability to do that, so most of them know the law as well as I do, as far as what they can do and what they should do.”

Armed but not dangerous?

“Why are you taking a concealed carry course?” Meadows asks his students at the beginning of every class. One common answer, he says, is personal protection against incidents like hate crimes, robberies, carjackings and mass shootings.

Proponents of gun control often argue that more guns on the streets, even legally, can lead to more gun violence. However, Christina Hallingse, the Asheville Police Department’s public information officer, says the department has “not established a correlation between the increase in CCW permits issued and gun-related crime.”

At the national level, a new report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research cites research showing that, “Since May 2007, more than 1,000 people have died at the hands of persons who held concealed carry permits. These incidents include 31 mass shootings and the killings of 19 police officers.”

LADIES ON THE LINE: Dan Meadows, chief Instructor of TAP3X in Fletcher, teaches a women’s concealed carry and defensive handgun course. Photo courtesy of Meadows
LADIES ON THE LINE: Dan Meadows, chief Instructor of TAP3X in Fletcher, teaches a women’s concealed carry and defensive handgun course. Photo by Jeff Brodsky

Meadows, however, maintains that “it is not the trained, armed, prepared citizens and lawfully possessing gun owners and permit holders that our society should be worried about. It is the thuglians, criminals, societal haters and mentally challenged individuals who have guns, lawfully or otherwise, that should concern us most.” A former police officer and detective, Meadows believes that having more people trained to carry a concealed firearm will make everyone safer.

“Our police cannot be everywhere at every given moment,” Meadows points out. “And when seconds count and our law enforcement officers are minutes away, a trained, armed and prepared citizen might just make the difference between stopping the threat or allowing the threat to continue their carnage of death and destruction of innocent lives.”

Bothwell disagrees; he’d like to see stricter controls on guns as well as an improved system of background checks. “I really think we’d be better off following Australia’s lead in suppressing gun ownership,” he explains. In the wake of a 1996 mass shooting in which 35 people were killed, Australia banned the sale of automatic and semiautomatic weapons.

The Johns Hopkins report  also disputes the idea that an armed citizenry enhances public safety. “In zero of the 111 mass shooting incidents analyzed by researcher Louis Klarevas in his book Rampage Nation: Securing America From Mass Shootings did an armed civilian effectively intervene and terminate a mass shooting in progress,” the report notes. “An FBI analysis of active shooter situations further revealed that unarmed civilians are more than 20 times as likely to successfully end an active shooting than are armed civilians (excluding armed security guards).”

Training to use deadly force

The state of North Carolina itself doesn’t offer concealed carry classes, though it does set standards for them. Concealed carry instructors must be legally able to possess a firearm and be certified by one of three organizations: the state’s Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, the N.C. Private Protective Services Board or the National Rifle Association.

Instructors must also complete a five-hour course given by the N.C. Justice Academy called,Laws Governing Concealed Handguns and the Use of Deadly Force.” Meadows gives the program high marks. “It’s a one-day training, but it’s very detailed, very regimented,” he says.

GUNS BLAZING: Firearms instructor Dan Meadows takes aim. Meadows has had to bump up the number of concealed carry classes he offers due to demand. Photo courtesy of Meadows
GUNS BLAZING: Firearms instructor Dan Meadows takes aim. Meadows has had to bump up the number of concealed carry classes he offers due to demand. Photo by Lynda Meadows

Once people have been certified, however, the quality of instruction they provide varies widely, Meadows says. “Some are more detailed and methodical and matter-of-fact, and some could honestly care less,” he says. “Some want to do the minimum standards as required by the state of North Carolina and give out nothing further.”

Duncan, meanwhile, says the overall quality of instruction on offer is “adequate as far as going over and covering the law; I wouldn’t say it’s rigorous. It’s like a lot of different training courses: It gives you the basics, but for folks that really carry, most of those folks continue to be self-educated and stay up with the laws, which are ever-changing.”

Meadows says when he moved back to North Carolina in 2005, there were only about four or five concealed carry trainers in the western part of the state; now the area is “thick with them,” he says.

Numbers from the last two years suggest that the growth in instructors may be slowing. In 2016, the Justice Academy course was offered 12 times and attended by 508 people. Last year, the course was offered 11 times, and was taken by 221 people.

Meadows says his company’s instructors go above and beyond what the state requires. “The laws are the most important, with a minimum of two hours devoted to nothing but the laws,” he says. “I do, however, balance this with safe gun-handling practices, marksmanship skills and on to what gun holster and ammo is right for the student.”

Changing landscape of gun ownership

Buncombe County’s increase in concealed carry permits is twice as high as the rate at which concealed carry permits are increasing nationally, says John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center. The nonprofit’s website says its goal is “to provide an objective and accurate scientific evaluation of both the costs and benefits of gun ownership as well as policing activities.”

In 2016, a record 1.83 million permits were issued nationwide. According to a study by Lott titled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2017,” there are about 16 million permit holders in the United States.

Lott, an influential and prolific but controversial advocate against gun control, has written numerous books and studies on gun-related issues. A Fox News columnist with a Ph.D. in economics, he’s held research positions at several prestigious universities and is regularly cited by the National Rifle Association.

“In recent years, much of the increase has occurred because of the changing demographics of permit holders,” Lott wrote in an email to Xpress. “Permits for women have grown much faster than for men, and for blacks and other minority groups much faster than for whites. You also see increases in people getting permits after most mass public shootings or other terror attacks.” Increased gun ownership and concealed carry permits, he maintains, actually make everyone safer.

The Johns Hopkins report, however, says, “Lott’s research to support these claims … has been found to be flawed in many important ways. When those errors are corrected, no crime-reducing effects of [right-to-carry] laws are evident.” The report goes on to cite studies by economists from Stanford University, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley linking right-to-carry laws with significant increases in violent crime rates, murder rates and homicides committed with handguns.

Additional reporting by Dan Hesse

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About David Floyd
David Floyd is the Buncombe County reporter for the Mountain Xpress. He previously worked as a general-assignment reporter for the Johnson City Press. Email him at dfloyd@mountainx.com.

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34 thoughts on “Concealed carry permits in Buncombe jump 400 percent

  1. Big Al

    “The report goes on to cite studies…linking right-to-carry laws with significant increases in violent crime rates, murder rates and homicides committed with handguns.”

    But does this indicate that more people carrying guns leads to more crime, or that more crime leads to more people wanting to protect themselves? Correlation does not equal causation.

    Obviously the Left wants to believe and promote the former, which is part of a grander tactic of marginalizing law-abiding citizens who hold politically incorrect opinions as criminals.

  2. luther blissett

    John Lott is so proud of his research that he invented “Mary Rosh” to defend him online.

    The main justifications for personal concealed carry in public places have no factual grounding. You’re definitely not going to be the “trained, armed and prepared ” civilian hero who stops a mass shooting, regardless of how “rigorous” your one-day training is, and you’re probably not going to protect yourself by packing heat. You are, however, going to raise the chance of an accident or suicide in your own home.

    The Las Vegas shooter was a law-abiding citizen right until he pointed his rifle at that crowd. Weird how everybody has moved on from that, like it was an unpreventable weather event.

    • Lulz

      A lot of these mass shooters display irrational behaviors that their close friends and family refuse to act on. Tell tale signs are always there. When a parent buys their son an AR-15 that’s used to kill children, then that parent has not only failed but is also stupid.

      • bsummers

        Maybe, but they’re just taking the NRA (gun manufacturer lobbyists) pitch to the logical end. All good Americans have not only the right but the responsibility to go around armed with deadly weapons at all times. Why should kids be any different? And what do you have against AR-15s?

        The gun lobby and Republican politicians are profiting from that “stupidity”, sir. That makes it good. As Bill O’Reilly said after the Las Vegas massacre, Americans slaughtering each other with guns is The Price of Freedom™

        • Lulz

          LOL uh no. The culture is rotted. Government is not a stand in for anything. A nation of single moms is a failure. When women breed with thugs, you end up with thugs. Hollywood is corrupt. Manhood is not defined by being a breadwinner. It’s defined by how violent one can presumably be.

          It’s odd how many of these mass shooters are male rejects. They are lonely and don’t date, And yet when they become infamous and end up in prison, have female fans. And tons of mail from them.

          NRA is an organization of members. It’s not like Planned Parenthood that is government subsidized and also responsible for the death of millions. Hollywood profits from violence as do game manufacturers. Planned Parenthood stays relevant because it requires a rotted culture of women to keep the machine going.

    • Dan Meadows

      Civilian Hero’s protect and stop far more mass shootings than the fake news media agencies cares to report upon. Yet shooting 300-400 yards to stop the Las Vegas shooter would be stretching it even for most shooters, including many in our law enforcement communities. I am former law enforcement officer and a SWAT/ERT member from years ago… I would trust my shooters, my students from a one-day handgun / cch training course to be far better trained, armed and prepared to protect themselves and others in situations like that than all of the naysayers and anti-gunners gathered together, hiding under a table or running away from harm’s way!

      • Phillip Williams

        Dan Meadows – I agree. It is true that many crimes are stopped often by the mere presence of a firearm – these incidents seldom make the news or even get reported because in most cases, the crime never got carried out – no shots were fired and nobody was hurt or killed. Out of curiosity, I wonder how many crimes have actually been committed by NRA members or by folks with a concealed carry license? I ask because I truly don’t know and cannot find any data….every site I checked says such a figure cannot be found “because there are no government records of NRA membership.” One site regarding crimes committed by CCP holders in Texas turned up a figure of .70/100,000 for the years 1996-2011 (and yes, the decimal point is in the right place – although the publication is admittedly a shooting sports newsletter).

        • Dan Meadows

          Hello Mr. Williams… I hope that you and your family are doing well this evening… And of course, staying warm!

          Thank you for your reply and your valued input sir…

          Like most, I do not have such figures, and yet if there were such reporting’s available, one never hears of such!

          As found in other entries into this thread, I find that most statistics, numbers, trends, figures, etc. are more subjective than objective in data reporting. Most are based upon inaccurate statistics, created by feel good people, putting together their own demographics that are biased in nature (in many cases).

          About the only facts that I even remotely believe, and sometimes they too are in found to be in question, as many of their stats are taken from cities who outright lie about their numbers, are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Yet you are right to ask, how many crimes are committed by….. Members of the NRA, Concealed Carry Holders, or Legal Gun Owners, et.al… ??? How about instead, how many crimes are committed by lets say a particular race of people, or a gender (Which they are already in the BoJ Statistics). Why not instead of the NRA or CCH Holders as you have respectfully addressed, how about Gang-bangers, Illegal Aliens, or even by a certain political party card carrying member? Probably no stats for them either, huh???

          Why is there always an attack on a certain organization like the NRA or on a certain gun carrying (Concealed Carry) group when it comes to crime? Why not address the criminal, their intent, their mental health, their modus operandi, their state of being or mind at the time of the crime, or their connection to some gang or drug related habits instead? (I’ve investigated many of them over the years as a detective).

          How about the stats, facts or figures on the non-biased stats of mentally ill people who use guns, knives, hammers, vehicles or their hands to kill others. You’d be amazed!~!~! What about the nearly 3K people killed on 9/11 by radical terrorists… Do we not keep stats and figures on that too?

          How about instead stats and figures on repeat (career) criminals, who should never be back on the streets, killing or severely injuring people with guns…

          All of these stats and figures reported by organizations whose pocketbooks are filled by those who would contract those who create these reports, aren’t worth the paper or websites they are written or reported upon…

          I mean I guess we should all just sit back like sheeples and believe everything that is put in front of us, like, let’s say ELECTION POLLS & NUMBERS…

          That worked so well on the last election, now didn’t it?

          As mentioned, some states are on top of their game with stats, crime trends, demographics, etc. and yet they spend so a little time actually combating those societal crime ridden problems!

          Even some Shooting Sports Newsletters should be looked at in question…

          Again, thank you for your thought provoking input sir… Have a great evening Mr. Williams!

          Dan Meadows

          • Phillip Williams

            Thank you for the kind wishes! My home is in Arden, but I am staying in sunny El Paso, TX (was 70F today!) until November – took leave earlier this month – came home and froze for 2 weeks!

            Yes – I read so many comments about crimes committed with and accidental deaths caused by items other than firearms – and the anti-gun factions predictably holler “False Equivalency” – as if the men, women and children who are murdered or accidentally killed by automobiles, hammers, screwdrivers, ropes, gasoline, household chemicals, prescription and OTC medication, livestock, broken bottles, rocks, crowbars, bare hands…(you get the drift) are somehow maybe not as dead or maimed as those who died or were injured in firearm-related incidents.

            Automobiles must be registered, taxed, inspected, insured – and drivers must be trained and licensed – yet roughly as many people – including children – die from automobile-related accidents and crimes as do from firearm-related accidents and crimes. The antis never seem to remember that automobile ownership and the ability to drive are not Constitutionally guaranteed rights – those are privileges that are granted thru demonstrated ability, merit and the paying out of money.

            The anti-gun folks scream about the NRA being “political” – my thought is that they had to become political because gun control has become a hot political issue since the 1960’s – they have managed to thwart some unreasonable gun control measures – and the NRA has done a mighty lot to promote gun safety and training over the past 100-odd years.

            I saw someone on Facebook ranting the other day about several fully automatic weapons being stolen from an Iowa gun store – this person said that the store owner should be prosecuted – never mind that his store was broken into and the guns were broken out of a secured locker. The store alarm system did go off – and still the thieves had time to steal the guns before the police arrived. I don’t understand a logic that seeks to punish someone whose property was trespassed upon by forced entry – and other property stolen! And it is that kind of warped logic that the NRA and the evil gun lobby seeks to keep from becoming law. So I will keep my NRA membership active despite Ms. Nancy Sinatra’s recent suggestion that NRA members should be shot.

            Perhaps some folks ought to try living in Mexico for a spell and see how those ultra-strict gun laws are working out for them.

  3. Curiouser and Curiouser

    While I appreciate the work of David Floyd here, why was Cecil Bothwell his go-to source for the anti-gun perspective? Bothwell isn’t a current member of the Asheville administration and does not plan to run for any other office. Were no current council people willing to go on record for or against guns?

    • Big Al

      Also, more people are killed in automobile accidents annually , many involving DWI, than by firearms. That makes Mr. Bothwell, with his recent arrest for DWI, more dangerous to the public than any citizen exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

      • luther blissett

        That’s an interesting analogy, though it doesn’t stand up to a lot of scrutiny. APD and the Buncombe Sheriff’s dept. have a dedicated joint DWI task force. There isn’t a joint task force to breathalyze concealed handgun carriers even though having any alcohol in your system while carrying concealed is against state law:

        https://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_14/GS_14-415.11.html

        (It’s legal to drink alcohol in public while carrying a weapon openly as long as the open container law doesn’t get you. Who knew?)

        You shouldn’t drink and drive. If you get caught, you have nobody to blame but yourself. But people still drive under the influence and most don’t get caught and (somehow) avoid causing accidents. If there were an equivalent enforcement regime for gun laws, whether it’s carrying concealed under the influence or shootin’ guns for fun on the back porch after a case of beers, we might be having a different conversation about “dangers to the public.”

    • David Floyd

      Hey Curiouser and Curiouser, that’s a good question. I reached out to several county commissioners by email for this story, but none of them responded. I included comments from Mr. Bothwell because he has demonstrated a passionate opinion about firearms in the past (see https://mountainx.com/news/community-news/bothwell_demands_enforcement_of_city_gun_ordinance/). I also reached out to Keith Young about a gun buyback program he had been working on a little while ago, and while he provided me with a lot of good information, the subject ultimately didn’t fit very well into the overarching topic of the story. For the sake of future reporting, I would be interested in learning more about local organizations that advocate gun control.

      • Curioser and Curioser

        Thanks so much for the clarification, David. Good to hear that you reached out to the commissioners; I would argue that deserves a “did not comment” mention, given the passions this topic tends to evoke. But I understand word counts can be a bear.

  4. bsummers

    It’s very much like how we all got brainwashed 20 years ago into thinking that driving an SUV made people safer. After studying it for 10 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delivered the verdict:

    “People driving or riding in a sport utility vehicle in 2003 were nearly 11 percent more likely to die in an accident than people in cars”

    Meanwhile, people in cars suffered higher fatalities in collisions with SUVs than with other vehicles in their own class, because the SUVs are taller and heavier. So the result was that the illusion of safety (which netted the SUV makers huge profits), actually made Americans less safe across the board. I see the same thing with guns.

    • Lulz

      LOL, I betcha those little rascals that go around and play the knockout game might think twice if a few of them end up deaded on the news lulz. Sorta like when the government wasn’t full of morons and parents could spank the ever living $#%@ out of the kids for acting up. Same thing for teachers. I remember the sound of the pop of the paddle in 5th grade at Ira B Jones. Even felt it once or twice. And lemme tell ya the sound it made as it echoed through the hallway was incentive enough to not want to experience it.

  5. luther blissett

    The “concealed carry lifestyle” is a deliberate marketing choice by the gun manufacturers (and the NRA) to change the facts on the ground and most of all make more money. Put your money on the table, strap on a pistol and live your life in “Condition Yellow”, expecting Bad Stuff to come round the next corner. This long, even-handed piece from 2010 talks about how that felt:

    https://harpers.org/archive/2010/08/happiness-is-a-worn-gun/?single=1

  6. Enlightened Enigma

    CCW is smart for many people, but please if you’re gonna pack heat usually in your vehicle, do NOT leave it ‘locked up’ inside the vehicle.

    Recently in West Asheville, a 2016 Toyota Tacoma locked WITH alarm, parked within 15 feet of the owners home front door, was somehow silenced and opened ! Owner’s 9mm GLOCK stolen from under the seat. There were also 3 big dogs sleeping just inside the house …no body heard a peep. Toyota being questioned about the alarm system.

    • luther blissett

      Sounds like “owner” is irresponsible and contributing to the gun crime problem, wouldn’t you agree?

      (And “under the seat” arguably counts as “concealed” in NC law, which requires a CHP.)

  7. Bright

    Cute little pistol Xpress has in the picture! I conceal and I carry, but I don’t see the reason to “prettify” a weapon and have a cutie with the painted nails aiming it. It smacks of moms geeking their daughters up to look like crack whores. …and yes, I’m a woman.

  8. S Marshall

    The councilman should check the Australian results. There are just as many murders, now with blunt objects and knives; and there continues to be gun deaths. At best the murder rate is the same and at worst it has increased. Giving an opinion doesn’t make it correct and erroneous information shouldn’t be used when considering a policy change.

    • luther blissett

      “At best the murder rate is the same and at worst it has increased. ”

      Not so:

      http://crimestats.aic.gov.au/NHMP/1_trends/#incidentsJurisdiction

      You also left out the actual rates. The homicide rate in Australia is 1.1 per 100,000. The homicide rate in the US is 4.9.

      When you have a low homicide rate — the Port Arthur shooting, with 35 dead, represented over a tenth of the year’s total — any raw rise has more impact on the year’s figures. Meanwhile, in the US, everybody’s moved on from the Las Vegas massacre, and the 11th school shooting of the year took place yesterday, on January 23.

      Feel free to assert that all of the consequences of an over-armed society are a price worth paying for that right. Just don’t pretend that those consequences don’t exist.

      • S Marshall

        Australia: Australia enacted its gun ban in 1996. Murders have basically run flat, seeing only a small spike after the ban and then returning almost immediately to preban numbers. It is currently trending down, but is within the fluctuations exhibited in other nations. https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-facts-that-neither-side-wants-to-admit-about-gun-control/207152/

        In the US 80% of the murders are gang related notwithstanding the recent mass shootings. You won’t impact the murder rate here until you get control of the gang bangers. I haven’t heard a plan as to how you’ll take their guns away and keep them from acquiring them on the black market. There is no plan……………………………..

        • Huhsure

          ” Murders have basically run flat.”

          This is flat-out untrue. And you know how I know that? I followed your link! That link has, in itself, a link, on the words “basically runs flat”, which leads to a page that says the following:

          “The figure shows that although there have been fluctuations from year to year, the number of homicide incidents has shown a steady decline since the inception of the NHMP in 1989. 2006-07 saw the second-lowest number of homicide incidents in the collection period. ”

          Jeez, it should really be harder than this.

        • luther blissett

          I linked to the actual government homicide statistics, not an opinion piece that made misleading claims about them.

          1995-6: 1.6 per 100,000 pop, 302 total.
          2013-14: 1.0 per 100,000 pop, 238 total.

          If you want to change the subject, go ahead and change the subject, but let’s not pretend that you were making an accurate factual statement.

    • bsummers

      Giving an opinion doesn’t make it correct and erroneous information shouldn’t be used when considering a policy change.

      Like claiming that the murder rate in a country has not gone down after gun restrictions when it clearly has?

      And don’t miss this gem:

      “While 13 gun massacres (the killing of 4 or more people at one time) occurred in Australia in the 18 years before the NFA, resulting in more than one hundred deaths, in the 14 following years (and up to the present), there were no gun massacres.”
      https://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/gun-control-australia-updated/

      How great would it be to wake up one day and realize there hadn’t been a mass shooting in America in over a decade?

      • S Marshall

        Yes, gun deaths have gone down but overall murder rates are unchanged when you look at other weapons being used. You can feel better about the absence of mass shootings in Australia, but in the USA 80% of the murders are gang related notwithstanding the recent mass shootings.

        • luther blissett

          “overall murder rates are unchanged when you look at other weapons being used.”

          Again, this isn’t true, and I linked to the graph showing that it isn’t true. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

  9. bernard b carman

    It’s great to hear of such an increase of people locally taking their Natural Right of Self-Defense more seriously — this will certainly lead to a reduction of crime!

    Sadly, it’s apparent from the comments of some in this article and online posts that there are still those who remain deceived into believing the insanity that the STATE’s continued violations of our Natural Right to Self-Defense can in any way prevent — or even minimize — violent crime in America.

    In fact, the opposite has been proven to be the case with the STATE’s creation of so called “Gun Free Zones” in the 90’s. Since then nearly every mass shooting has taken place in such dangerous zones created by the STATE.

    An astute conspiracy theorist would have to wonder if the entire purpose of creating such dangerous anti-liberty zones was to actually increase the potential of violent crimes in order for the STATE to increase support for tyrannical gun regulations, like the mandatory “buyback” plan that Hillary Clinton and other tyrants in power desire. After all, there is no “theory” to the conspiracy of these Collectivists who desire to unarm common law abiding Americans, as they’ve routinely stated.

    And of course we have more than our own share of Collectivists locally who exemplify themselves as being entirely out of touch with reality. Consider the insanity exhibited here from Cecil Bothwell:

    “The uptick in concealed carry permits should worry everyone. When more people are toting weapons, concealed or not, all of us are less safe.”

    The absurdity of such a statement is beyond ignorant, for it is not based in reality but rather a fantasy within one’s own mind. For starters and as already mentioned, anyone can witness the facts regarding the result of STATE mandated “Gun Free Zones”. Further, the paramount fact of the matter ignored (intentionally?) by such Collectivists is that no legislation can ever prevent a criminal from acquiring a weapon via the black market and then acting violently — PERIOD.

    Even Dianne Feinstein (finally) publicly admits what most everyone already knew as a matter of simple reasoning, that no gun regulations could prevent such tragedies as the Vegas shooting. So then, when are the rest of the anti-gun Collectivists going to admit this truth?

    Do they not recognize the parallel with the “War on Drugs”? After all, a plethora of drugs have been deemed “illegal” — illegally — by the tyrannical STATE, yet this has never prevented anyone (including politicians) from being able to acquire them. So why do people embrace the insane idea that this would work any differently… for ANYTHING??? One would think that the evil fruit of alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s would have taught this lesson to anyone with a functioning intellect.

    The overwhelming fact of the matter is that when more law abiding citizens are armed and trained, we are all more safe!

    The reason for this is plain for most everyone to understand, but we can certainly spell it out for those having difficulty: criminals are most prone to commit crimes in which they believe they have the greatest chance of success. This is a simple concept that one would imagine to be common knowledge.

    Even mentally unstable violent criminals who have no goal other than to murder as many people as possible seek success, therefore, they most often select locations deemed by the STATE as “Gun Free Zones”, knowing that most people obey such laws (even though such bad laws should NOT be obeyed).

    Speaking of mentally unsound, another common attribute of gun grabbing Collectivists is that they perpetually refuse to hold accountable those individuals committing violent crimes. Rather, they place blame upon inanimate objects such as the weapons themselves and then seek to punish ALL innocent Americans by infringing upon their Natural Right to Self-Defense.

    One local Collectivist commenting online in response to this article even blames a victim with “contributing to gun violence” for his firearm being stolen from inside his locked vehicle, rather than blaming the thief! It’s sad to witness such delusion among those indoctrinated into anti-liberty collectivist philosophy.

    Another fact is that there are often cases — scarcely properly covered by the fake MSM news — where lives are saved merely by one armed individual thwarting the actions of violent criminals.

    For example, the recent horrific church shooting in Texas was ended by one neighbor with an AR-15, saving the lives of several innocent church goers that day. The fake MSM news widely reported the fact that the mass shooter used an AR-15, and especially highlighted such rifles are easily accessible for purchase. Yet among most all of the online articles I just searched through, absent from these reports is the parallel fact that the “good guy with a gun” who put an end to the murder was also using an AR-15. Also unstated by MSM was any mention of the fact that had more individuals in that church been armed, chances are more lives could have been saved.

    But how quickly and effortlessly the gun grabbers “forget” such facts! Thankfully, we who honor the Natural Right of Self-Defense don’t forget!

    Perhaps no one puts it to the Collectivist legislators better than Suzanna Gratia Hupp, who lost her parents due to being in a “Gun Free Zone” at the very wrong time… and obeying the bad law:

    Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1u0Byq5Qis

    I look forward to AVL & WNC continuing to be a safer place to live as more individuals recognize TRUTH vs FICTION and take their Natural Right to Self-Defense responsibility more seriously!

    8-)

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