Violent felons with weapons. Scary, right? Upstanding citizens with weapons? Not so much!
Just last week Chicago law enforcement authorities announced that a robbery was thwarted when a patron with a concealed carry license shot and killed gun wielding 55 year old Reginald Gildersleeve. Out on bond, Gildersleeve had a long criminal history, and according to police allegedly entered a convenience store, announcing his intent to rob the establishment. When he pointed his weapon at an employee and directed her to the currency exchange at the rear of the store, a customer pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing him, police said.
This frightening situation demonstrates what common sense tell us and what statistics confirm – it is a rare situation where CCW holders misuse their guns, and in fact, are some of the most law abiding and trustworthy individuals in the country. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, states that have “shall issue” laws allowing private citizens to carry concealed weapons have, on average, a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, a 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. Remarkably, guns are used for self-defense more than 2 million times a year, three to five times the estimated number of violent crimes committed with guns. This is just one of the reasons GOC’s Executive Director Sam Paredes testified in opposition to Senator Lois Wolk’s SB 707, which now makes it illegal for a CCW holder to carry on any school campus in California.
The Chicago incident has the anti-gunners wringing their hands in misplaced angst about a “vigilante-style” attitude of those who legally carry a firearm. Are they are not afraid of the Reginald Gildersleeves of the world? Whether the gun he used to scare the employees of that convenience store was a fake or not makes no difference….a masked man who sticks a gun in someone’s face demanding money is not a nice, gentle fellow. He’s not looking for a Facebook friend, no matter how many smiling pictures he has posted. His intent is to terrify so he can get what he wants. Nothing more – and certainly nothing less.
Let’s be afraid of the bad guys. Not the good ones.