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Thread: Gun Felons' Views on "Shall-Issue" Laws

  1. #1
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    Gun Felons' Views on "Shall-Issue" Laws

    I posted this "elsewhere", but it's something I find really interesting and I think it might be of interest to some of you folks. It is a basically qualitative study with the participants being felons who used a gun in the comission of a crime. They are now being interviewed in prison, and the researchers are analyzing their views on how the (then new) shall-issue law might (have) affect(ed) their decisions on the streets.

    It's academic and dry, but very interesting. After all, these people are the reason we carry guns, and here, they're telling us what they think about that.

    The PDF file is attached. It's long enough that you might want to print it and enjoy your Saturday in a more comfortable location than in front of your computer screen.

    Obviously, I'd be interested to hear what you all have to say about the study.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Kind of Blued; November 8th, 2008 at 11:22 AM.

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    I was trying to figure out where they were going with this--I mean, felons as "experts" in gun-control policy? I would think that these are not the brainiest members of society, and I would treat their opinion of gun policy with the same skepticism I would have for their opinions on the geo-political importance of nuclear arms, on global warming, and on metaphysics.

    But when I got to
    After all, objectively and as predicted by deterrence theory, the shall-issue law makes the job of robbing or murdering someone more of a risk to these very same offenders when there is a greater probability that victims possess the ultimate, lethal means of defending themselves.
    then I figured at least the authors "get it."

    But then again, why are we looking to academics (criminal justice or otherwise) to tell us what rights we should have?

  3. #3
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    But then again, why are we looking to academics (criminal justice or otherwise) to tell us what rights we should have?
    Because we should welcome any help we can get convincing others of the reason we have our rights in the first place.

    Are academics now on the list of bad persons with whom we don't wish to be associated? Why? Because RKBA is an emotional issue, not something that can be studied scientifically?
    Liberty will not descend to a people. The people must raise themselves to Liberty.
    -Emma Goldman

    That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State - and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
    -Article 16th, The Vermont Constitution

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    Because we should welcome any help we can get convincing others of the reason we have our rights in the first place.

    Are academics now on the list of bad persons with whom we don't wish to be associated? Why? Because RKBA is an emotional issue, not something that can be studied scientifically?
    Well, yes, and well, no.

    I'm always extremely cautious about arguing rights from pragmatic perspectives.

    My tendency the past few years, (I'm getting on, which is to say: more conscious of the fact there's no way to recover wasted time,) is to ascertain whether the person I'm conversing with understands the fundamental concept of intrinsic, (or God-given, for those who'd prefer,) rights.

    If the person "gets" the idea of rights, I proceed; if the person doesn't comprehend or deliberately misunderstands rights as privileges granted by government, I turn around and walk away.

    We have rights because we're born with them. They are, indeed, very useful; whether they're useful, useless, perceived as anti-social, or written in crayon on newsprint is immaterial: they're still rights, and we still have them. People who assert rights need to be justified in practical terms a.) don't understand rights, and b.) surely won't have them much longer, because it never takes any time to find someone to assert they stand in the way of "public safety" or "the environment" or "social rights" or some other such socialist filth.

    Do you think that's nit-picking? Hah! Aim your browser here:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/..._republic.html
    No tyrant should ever be allowed to die a natural death.

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    It stands to reason that if a felon is tempted to do someone harm in any way and they fear you may posses a weapon capable of ending their life they would probably think twice before acting. When you're certain a victim can't defend themselves the possibility of a felon carrying out mayhem is greatly increased. The right to carry isn't the end all to crime, but it is a definite deterrent.

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    I think its wishful thinking on our part to believe that concealed carry is going to impact a criminals decision to be a criminal.

    Lets examine the authors statement
    After all, objectively and as predicted by deterrence theory, the shall-issue law makes the job of robbing or murdering someone more of a risk to these very same offenders when there is a greater probability that victims possess the ultimate, lethal means of defending themselves.
    Last time I saw numbers on the concealed carry permits issued, the highest percent of citizens with permits like 1% maybe less (if anyone has more current stats I'd like to see them). Out of that number you have to figure that the vast majority don't carry. Its probably very generous to say that 1/4 of those with permits carry on a given day. Statistically the people that you pick as likely weak victims are going to be less likely to have the permit to begin with. I would guess the average crook is far more likely to be looking down his buddies gun than any legally carried permit holders. I don't think the criminal has anything to worry about.

    Fun read perhaps but I don't think criminals really have anything to worry about with ccw on the whole. Maybe in the future if we can get more people carrying but we're a long way from that.
    Every social movement (*snip*) that tries to break the bonds of mindless convention and tradition and that defies established privilege gets accused of being rude and worse, much worse, and there are always weak apologists for the status quo who use that pathetic etiquette excuse to try and silence the revolutionaries. Successful revolutionaries ignore the admonitions about which fork to use for their salad because they care only to grab the steak knife as they launch themselves over the table. -- Richard Dawkins

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    I think its wishful thinking on our part to believe that concealed carry is going to impact a criminals decision to be a criminal.
    I don't. I have training videos talking to BGs in jail about firearms in citizens homes. The majority of them state they greatly fear coming up against an armed homeowner during a burglary. They tend to shoot first and ask questions later. Think that NRA sticker on your car isn't noticed by BGs? It isn't hard to believe that they extend to civilians in public. Just as cops learn to detect (some) people carrying guns, so do the bad guys. They will go for what they perceive to be easy targets. Your stats don't seem to include the estimated 600,000 times per year that a firearm is used to twart a crime without the gun being fired. Don't forget that many states, like Florida, allow guns to be kept in vehicles without a CCW. There are LOTS of armed citizens out there.

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    Having hard data like this from academic researchers that has been analyzed with valid statistics and has gone through the scrutiny of review by an editor is very valuable. Policy decisions at various levels of government can be influenced more by data like this than by anecdotal information or by opinions unsupported by data.

    It seems to me that the uncertainty of whether or not your potential victim is armed is going to influence somewhat the bad guys process of doing business. Whether 1% or 2% or 10% of the population has a concealed carry license and fewer are carrying at any given time still introduces that uncertainty for the criminal.

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    I don't. I have training videos talking to BGs in jail about firearms in citizens homes. The majority of them state they greatly fear coming up against an armed homeowner during a burglary. They tend to shoot first and ask questions later. Think that NRA sticker on your car isn't noticed by BGs? It isn't hard to believe that they extend to civilians in public. Just as cops learn to detect (some) people carrying guns, so do the bad guys. They will go for what they perceive to be easy targets. Your stats don't seem to include the estimated 600,000 times per year that a firearm is used to twart a crime without the gun being fired. Don't forget that many states, like Florida, allow guns to be kept in vehicles without a CCW. There are LOTS of armed citizens out there.
    Please note that I said concealed carry, not in the home. There are tons of homes with guns, there are few people that carry concealed. A quick search shows 35% of american homes have guns. If 35% of people were carrying on the streets I think you could expect to see a similar effect. With .25% (remember this is our extremely generous wild guesstimate) of people actually carrying I think its unrealistic to expect such a correlation.

    Lets illustrate this with a quote from the article
    It will keep crime down, because I wouldn’t have gone into that A&W store if I had
    known there was a good chance that one in five people in that store would have been
    carrying a handgun. They probably would have shot me.
    I believe that. You'll get a gun pulled on very early in your days of crime, your buddies will too. Stories go around, people might actually think twice. Now if the real odds make it so that never really happens to you or your friends your worries over your criminal behavior will be fleeting. Would criminals worry about guns in the home if only .25% of homes had guns? I don't think it would be nearly as much of a concern.

    Whether 1% or 2% or 10% of the population has a concealed carry license and fewer are carrying at any given time still introduces that uncertainty for the criminal.
    Then the effect should already be there in every state thanks to leosa. Why aren't the criminals in IL afraid of running into an offduty or retired leo who is carrying?

    Further I think this whole line of thought is a losing battle when trying to be a ccw evangelist. You can't prove that ccw decreases crime. There are too many factors that go into the crime rate to ever be able to arrive at the conclusion. Citing Lott's data weakens your argument to many antis and I can't say I disagree. However we can easily prove that people with carry permits don't commit gun crimes at any significant rate. I think our argument is much stronger when we focus on how safe concealed carry is and how people have the right to self defense.

    Personally I'm also suspect of the answers you'll get from the convicts. Lets take the question “How is the new law going to increase/reduce crime?" Its great for the cons to pontificate on if it would cause them to think twice about future criminal behavior but the proof is in the recidivism rate. I wonder how many of them go "oh yeah I'd think twice" and then when they need drug money they rob the first person they see anyway. Tons of americans buy exercise equipment every year because they're going to get fit and really work out. When it comes down to it though it was a nice thought but didnt work out that way. Do criminals really wind up looking down the barrel of a gun enough to make them worry about it happening in practice?
    Every social movement (*snip*) that tries to break the bonds of mindless convention and tradition and that defies established privilege gets accused of being rude and worse, much worse, and there are always weak apologists for the status quo who use that pathetic etiquette excuse to try and silence the revolutionaries. Successful revolutionaries ignore the admonitions about which fork to use for their salad because they care only to grab the steak knife as they launch themselves over the table. -- Richard Dawkins

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    Please note that I said concealed carry, not in the home.
    Please note that I said I think that the mentality of the BG carries into the street and with the number of guns in cars plus guns with CCW puts a lot more guns on the street than you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Gun
    Having hard data like this...is very valuable. Policy decisions...can be influenced more by data like this than by anecdotal information
    Not sure how this research represents "hard data."

    They did 73 interviews. Of felons. They got 40 "usable responses." 14 of 40 supported "shall issue." 22 were against it. The other 4 got listed as "unsure/no opinion."

    So, how is this data supposed to be valuable to policy-makers? Do they listen to the 35% of felons who like shall-issue, or the 55% who don't?

    I like the authors' phrase that I and Soybomb quoted. But that's not data. And the rest of the study seems to me a bloody waste of time.

    I mean, no academic has ever asked ME (for publication) what I thought of shall-issue--I guess I should have committed armed robbery, and then I'd be someone whose opinion about this stuff actually MATTERS!

    Last edited by Loosedhorse; November 8th, 2008 at 08:01 PM.

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    I think that this will be a very valuable study. I had lost track of Mark Pogrebin, but he was the Department Head in the CU Graduate School of Public Affairs when I was studying for my master's. He is a former Lakewood cop and one of the most plain-spoken academics I have ever heard.

    Someone asked why we need a study to help affirm our rights. The answer is simple. Empirical data is helpful in quietly persuading elected officials to ignore the noise and concentrate on the signal. If you can't understand that, then you will never succeed in changing a regulator's mind. The system may be pure lard inside, but it is protected by two feet of armor plate in front. You may go around it, but you will never go through it head on.

    In My Humble Opinion, gun owners need to align with Victim's Organizations such as VOCA and NOVA. The only way that we will avoid being marginalized is to have additional sympathetic allies on our side. I will be meeting with several victim's organizations next week and I intend to try and ascertain where some of their member's are coming from on this topic. I don't know who said it first, but I love this slogan: "Gun Control is the rule that says a 5'1" woman has to take on a 6'2" rapist with her bare hands"

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    I think its (sic) wishful thinking on our part to believe that concealed carry is going to impact a criminals (sic) decision to be a criminal.
    Perhaps, but his miscalculation may have a permanent (and seriously detrimental) affect upon the continued pursuit of said career...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobNDenver
    Empirical data is helpful in quietly persuading elected officials
    Again, the "empirical data" in this study is that 22 of 40 felons (or 22 of 73--depends how you're counting) disapprove of shall-issue laws.

    This data should persuade elected officials to do what? And why should they find it persuasive?


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    Thanks for commenting guys.

    With my first, and most basic reaction to this study, the phrases "policy-making" or "rights" were non-existant in my mind.

    I don't think anyone, no matter how vigilant the anti, could plausibly use this study as a reason to limit, redact, or refuse law-abiding citizens the right to carry. The reason being, the ones who oppose "shall-issue" don't have a great understanding of it, and even if they did, their opinions wouldn't mean much to anyone. What they do know is a criminal lifestyle, and that the law is not on their side. They also know that the idea of law-abiding citizens being ready and able to shoot them while the criminal is "working", quite frankly, sucks.

    As LoosedHorse noted (to some degree), who cares what criminals think about our rights? They had them, but forfeited them, and nobody with any sense about them considers the right to carry an issue which is principally about criminals as individuals.

    The reason I liked this study is that it is biased from the get-go without becoming insignificant. That is to say, these people have forfeited their right to carry, so when they knock the idea of us carrying, it means little, because they are not free men and women. Their opinion as to why it is a bad idea is basically insignificant. What they are, however, are criminals. They're not those "policy-makers", and won't be. Hearing criminals say that this law makes it harder for criminals, and easier for the "good guys" is the only statement that really means much to any of us.

    I guess I'm discounting half of the study, but even those who feared "shall-issue" in regard to their criminal well-being, while still felons, seemed more eloquent and thoughtful than those who didn't care one way or the other.

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    Also: I have some other studies on what types of weapons felons carry as opposed to what kind of weapons they say they carry and such. That one's kind of interesting. They categorize the weapons in six categories, from pellet guns to "assault weapons". It's a pretty good commercial for those of us that realize that "assault weapons" are seldomly used, but when they are, it always makes the newspaper.

    Let me know if anybody's interested in that one.

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    Silver lining

    I guess the one useful thing about this study is that, the next time someone tells you they oppose shall-issue because of one of these reasons:
    Let’s say...you get a permit to carry a gun and that you and your wife argue one day...you might want to take out that gun.... Or, let’s just say have a really bad day, you come home, you lost your job and you feel like shooting somebody you could snap.
    I’m fine with it in the home. Having that helps to protect your family and that type of thing. But as far as out in the streets and concealed and stuff like that, I don’t think people should do it because there are many more chances that people will start pulling them out on other people.
    I think it will make more crimes because if a person A pulls out a gun on person B then person B will pull out his gun and that will just be worse. The person who is robbing doesn’t intend to use it only to scare people into giving them their stuff. But the person with the certificate to carry a gun will use it to kill because that is their purpose.
    Well, now you can say to that person: "That's just what a convicted felon would say. And DID say. Why are you on THEIR side of this issue?"

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    "felons"

    most of you dont have a clue about "criminals".your going to hide your guns when they are banned.You are a criminal.I lived in Boston for 10 yrs.in roxbury
    the mafia controled crime there.no one commited a crime in roxbury,as they would float down "muddy creek"I never carried in roxbury it was crime free.I knew a number of "bad guys"interesting to talk to.the brinks robbers split the money 2 houses down from me.some are very smart but eventually get caught.and a lot like guns and dont want laws against them.course that was before 1968 and every body could buy guns.theid not want to shoot anyone as that brought the law down on every one.now they shoot you for 50 cents.
    have we improved our lives?????since the 60s we have gone down.

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    I'm not sure what other states allow, but for example in Missouri you can keep a gun in your car if you're 21 and can legally possess one. That's it, no other restrictions. And while Concealed Carry hasn't become the overwhelming choice of most citizens, there are a ton of people who are packing in their cars. By extension, they also CCW when transporting the weapon to and from their car. And those that carried illegally though they could now get a CCW permit don't bother. For them, nothing's changed. They felt it was their God-given right before, and still is.

    I live near the Missouri state line that borders Illinois, a state with NO provision for CCW. But most of the gunny types I know have CCW permits from other states, which are honored in Missouri. And you can bet that when they are in MY state, they are, to a man, heeled!

    Plus you have all the people that defy the law, and carry anyway. They figure if they need it, it's better to face a misdemeanor charge (first offense) than to be shot and/or dead. There are more of them than you might think.

    PJ

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