Secretary of State Shantel Krebs says applications for concealed weapons permits have declined from their 2016 peak. According to the Secretary’s bang-up website, after last year’s record-setting pace of 2,500 applications per month, this year she’s received 1,630 per month. The total number of active concealed pistol permits as of September 30 remains at a record 97,529. That means one angry shooter drawing a weapon in a room of 100 randomly selected South Dakotans could expect to face eleven carriers of concealed pistols.
We should watch Secretary Krebs’s numbers closely to see if the Las Vegas and Texas shootings in the past several weeks prompt a resurgence in concealed pistol permits as we lose our national nerve and decide it’s every shooter for himself. But remember: unarmed citizens stopping shooters outnumber non-cop good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns, and more guns correlate overall with more violence:
…the net effect of allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns was an increase in violent crime, which essentially rose to about a 15 percent increase after 10 years of existence of the right-to-carry law.
…the single biggest effect seemed to be an increase in aggravated assaults. Now, that can be either altercations caused by the permit holder or because their guns are stolen and therefore made available to criminals. And also because increased right to carry does complicate the task for police and therefore sort of serves as a impediment to good policing. And the one thing we know is good policing is probably the single most important thing in curtailing crime.
…the FBI did a very intensive study of 160 mass shootings over the period from 2000 to 2013. And what they found was that over that period, in the 160 cases, there was only one incidence of a private citizen who was not security personnel or a police officer who effectively intervened in the mass shooting, and that individual was an active duty Marine. On the other hand, 22 unarmed citizens intervened to stop those mass shootings, typically when the individual was reloading. And so it gives you a sense of the relative effectiveness of relying on someone with a gun to intervene in an active shooting scenario [Stanford University law professor John Donohue, interviewed by Robert Siegel, “Does Increased Gun Ownership Help Decrease Crime?” NPR: All Things Considered, 2017.11.07].
All those extra concealed pistols sure aren’t helping South Dakota reduce meth arrests, which are up 32% this year.
Keep South Dakota safe: save your guns for the pheasants.