The Following Letter was sent by Dr. Michael Gordinier, Professor, Washington University, to his former MBA students.
Concealed Carry Legislation: A Matter Of Life & Death Importance
Dear EMBA Alumnus:
On April 6, Missouri citizens will decide the fate of Proposition B, one of the most important anti-crime, pro-civil rights measures ever put before the voters of Missouri.
Id like you to consider voting "YES" in support of Proposition B, a measure that would give law abiding citizens the option to carry a concealed firearm.
I know what you are thinking. "Has Mike gone crazy? This idea sounds dangerous". Believe me, I thought so too before I found out the facts and the facts overwhelmingly support the concept of concealed carry.
As a statistics professor at Washington Universitys Olin School of Business, my blood boils when I see facts misrepresented and data distorted. I believe that sensible public policy demands that hysteria and demagoguery not bury empirical facts and the truth.
But "bury the facts" is exactly what the extremist opposition is doing when they claim that
"blood will run in the streets" if Proposition B passes.
I care so deeply about this anti-crime, pro-civil rights issue that I am compelled to share with you, at my own expense, the results of my research, results that have convinced me that concealed carry is right for Missouri.
Heres why I support Proposition B
Did you know:
So what does the empirical data say about the impact of concealed carry laws on crime? I was surprised to learn that:
Whats the estimated net impact to Society when concealed carry laws are put into place?
To answer this question, legal scholar Professor John Lott, University of Chicago School of Law, recently performed the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever done on crime in America (More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, The University of Chicago Press, 1998). Lott's sources are broad and inclusive, and his evidence the most extensive yet assembled, taking full account of the FBI's massive yearly crime figures for all 3,054 U.S. counties over eighteen years, the largest national surveys on gun ownership, as well as state police documents on illegal gun use.
In summary, heres what he found:
Concealed carry works and its net benefit to Society is extremely positive.
Now heres some shocking news about Missouri.
Did you know that outside of the home, nobody has a legal option to use a firearm to himself or a family member against a life threatening attack? In fact, if you do defend yourself or your child with a firearm, you become the criminal.
Its ironic, but under current law, the State of Missouri makes the following unbelievable promise to all its violent criminals:
"The State Of Missouri hereby guarantees you, the violent criminals
and predators of Missouri, that all of your law abiding victims will be unarmed
and unable to defend themselves or hurt you"
This is morally bankrupt!
Who are some of the people currently "at risk" from violent criminal attack?
Dont we owe it to these people to give them the option of defending themselves and to revoke Missouris morally repugnant promise it makes to its violent criminals? They answer is a clear and forceful YES.
The concept of "deterrence" is why concealed carry works in the 43 states that have these sensible laws. What is deterrence and why does it work?
Concealed carry keeps the predatory criminal guessing as to which victim might be armed and therefore able to hurt him. This uncertainty "raises the cost" of doing business for the criminal. And this cost increase reduces the incidence of violent face-to-face encounters where criminals stand a chance of having the tables turned on them.
Dr. Lotts study validates this common sense. It shows that while criminals in concealed carry states dont give up crime altogether, they simply give up violent crime! They do exactly what we all do when the price of something increases to an unacceptably high amount they switch to other criminal acts, like car robbery and burglary, where the chance of confronting an armed victim is acceptably small.
Therefore, legal concealed carry provides three important benefits, two of which are obvious:
But theres a more powerful and subtle benefit to be derived from concealed carry. Its something economists like to call a "free ride".
In the 43 states that have concealed carry laws in place, we know that only about 3% of the qualifying population actually takes the steps necessary to apply for a legal carry permit.
This means that even if you would never consider going about armed, 97% of the unarmed population will benefit from the "free ride" that deterrence provides. The criminal simply doesnt know who is armed and so treats all of his potential victims as if they were armed.
The Bottom Line:
We all know that it takes a "big person" to admit that they were wrong.
The following quotes demonstrate that the early critics of concealed were proven dead wrong about their predictions. They have all been big enough to admit, on the record, that their initial predictions of doom and gloom were wide of the mark.
If only Missouris anti-Proposition B extremists were such slaves to the Truth!
Senior Cpl. Glen White, President - Dallas Police Association
Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glantz
Virginia Public Safety Secretary Jerry Kilgore
Sandra Mortham, Florida Secretary of State
Scientists know that before an experiment is performed, all opinions are equally credible. But after the experiment is performed and the data is in, those "opinions" that contradict observed data are called false.
Weve sailed ships around the Earth --- so to continue to believe that its flat would be wrong. Weve traveled to the moon so to continue to believe that its made of green cheese would be wrong.
Yet thats precisely what the extremist opposition is doing when they continue to claim that
"blood will run in the streets" in a desperate attempt to scare you into voting against Proposition B. What they "think" is irrelevant the facts are in and concealed carry works.
What about the Police? Do they support Proposition B?
One of the best kept secrets in Missouri is that street cops support Proposition B. Over 2,600 officers in the St. Louis Police Officers Association and the Missouri Deputy Sheriffs Association are actively campaigning for Proposition B. They and their family members are routinely threatened by criminals theyve put in jail and even they are denied by the State of Missouri the ability to defend themselves off duty. They know that they have nothing to fear from honest, law abiding armed citizens. Its the bad guys that bother them!
As Sgt. John Johnson, President of the St. Louis Police Officers Association wrote in a January 1999 press release in support of Proposition B:
However, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and some mayors are opposed to
Proposition B. Why?
Either they are ignorant of how successful concealed carry has been in the 43 states that have it (which is unlikely), or they are responding to political pressure imposed on them by the sources of their funding the Governor of Missouri and the Washington, DC bureaucracy (more probable).
Upon reflection, this should come as no real surprise, as politicians are used to groveling at the feet of their funding sources, doing and saying whatever their masters tell them to say, facts and public safety be damned.
How does Missouris Proposition B compare with the laws in other states? Contrary to the opposition, Missouris law will be tough!
Heres what a law abiding citizen must go through to get a concealed carry permit. You be the judge as to its "toughness". An applicant MUST:
AND the applicant MUST:
I ask that you remember this list of extensive requirements the next time the opposition tells you that Proposition B " is full of loopholes" and that drug dealers and gang members will get permits.
Think about it. By definition, a criminal lives his life outside of the law. So why would a criminal go to the sheriff and give him his fingerprints, undergo multiple federal and state background checks, pay a registration fee, pay for expensive mandatory training all to legally carry a gun that he is illegally carrying now?
Given these facts, Im appalled that Mayor Harmon of the City of St. Louis said in a press conference that Prop. B is so full of loopholes that " my dog could get one of these permits". Isnt it sad that when the facts arent on the side of the extremists, they resort to illogical antics like this? You, the law abiding citizens of Missouri, deserve better "debate" that this.
In summary, Ive decided to support Proposition B because:
Im asking you to vote "YES" on Proposition B on April 6
Remember, even if you would never carry yourself, everyone benefits via the deterrence effect. A "yes" vote serves as a potentially life saving gift to those law abiding citizens that want and need the option to legally defend their lives and the lives of their children.
Please dont deny them this fundamental right!
You have it within your power on April 6 to make right a tremendous historical wrong . and in the process give hope to Missouris most vulnerable citizens.
Concealed carry saves lives and if it saves just one life, your vote will have been worth it.
Dr. Michael Gordinier
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