When propagandists panic, they show their own paranoia.
I was forwarded an email from Michael Bloomberg’s agitprop organization, Everytown. In this email, they stated with authentic dismay and dread that in some states you can order a beer in a bar while having a holstered sidearm (providing you have a concealed carry license, a.k.a. CCW).
Sane people – which evidently excludes folks working for Bloomberg – would ask “Is this a problem?” Phrased more fully, “Do CCW holders enjoying an adult beverage in their corner watering hole cause problems?”
The answer is no. In fact, stats show it might actually abate violence.
Shots and Glasses
In our Non-Brady Scorecard project (buy a copy for just 99¢ at Amazon), we reviewed both pro- and anti-gun control laws, including allowing CCW holders to pack heat in pubs. Not many states allow this, but enough have had the law in place to at least get an acid test of if a CCW holder is likely to shoot up the joint if the bartender serves her a pinot grigio instead of a pinot noir (can you tell I’ve spent too much time in Napa Valley?).
Allowing people to carry concealed weapons in bars was negatively associated with overall violent crime, murder, rape, assault and even firearm homicide. 1 The only violent crime it didn’t seem to reduce was robbery, but few people are mugged in bars, so this is understandable.
Given this, Everytown’s attempt to panic people is more than pathetic. It is anti-intellectual (again, correlation to Michael Bloomberg is worth noting). The bigger question is why the carnage that Everytown touts is not occurring.
Ponder the nature of violence and the nature of people with concealed carry permits. People who commit murder, rape and assault are prone to erratic behavior and immune to the fear of legal penalty for their actions. People who apply for, train for and receive CCWs are not. In fact, they tend to be just the opposite – they are quite the Steady Eddie, civic civilian, law-and-order kind of folk. Whereas an assault and battery thug will more likely thump you after having a dozen beers, the CCW holder is out of the bar after one to get home to the wife and kids.
We know this because the stats show that CCW holders commit crimes at far below the national averages, or even state averages for those states with in-bar carry legislation.
The flip side is how having a CCW holder in a bar might change the disposition of the violence-prone. Long ago, in a pub far away, some friends and I were having a brew when a redneck trying to shoot pool bumped into us, then started chewing us out. We let the redneck pass. But one of my friends started discussing his firearm collection, then we started discussing out favorite ammunition, the scores a buddy got in a recent shooting competition, and other related topics. When the redneck bumped into us again, he was oddly polite.
Perhaps this is why violent crime is negatively associated with CCWs in bars. Just a hunch that most ruffians change their behavior when they are uncertain of the outcome.
Quit Wineing Everytown
Everytown is charged with generating fear. When there is no need to fear, they have to spawn it anyway – that is what they are paid to do. But CCW holders taking their sidearm into bars should trouble you no more than when they take them into restaurants that serve cocktails, or shopping malls, or sporting goods stores, or the thousands of places you have been this month where someone was legally carrying.
- I’ll note that the regression analysis does not strongly support covariance in measurement from state to state, but this is expected given the small number of states that allow CCW licensees to bring firearms into bars. That being said, the negative correlation was measurable ↩