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What is The Answer?

Here at R.E.M.C.O.R we are often asked questions related to gun control in regards to mass shootings and how we can reduce them or prevent them or mitigate their effects. The simple answer is, we really can not. Nobody can predict when another person is going to ‘lose it.’ Are there indicators? Usually, but much like suicides, even homicides and mass homicides can come at the flick of a switch. This makes the debate wholly centered toward gun control measures. Or does it? Below are excerpts from preliminary research conducted by our experts over two years ago. We are continually pursuing new data and statistics in these fields, but these serve as a starting education point. This particular issue arose around a campus carry law that was passed in Texas, so the points are partially rooted in that case. Also to note, because this research is constantly updated the below snippets are what we consider ongoing research and incomplete until further information and statistics are proven or disproved through research methodologies.

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Proponents for Conceal Carry

Proponents for the bill advocated that students have been allowed to carry on campus for decades, except into academic buildings, which become historic places of mass casualty when an active shooter incident occurs. Pro Campus Carry supporters also believe that open carry will help decrease the amount of sexual crimes reported on campus because of the attention being brought to concealed carry and being allowed to carry openly on campus, free of the prohibited zones. A 2000 study by PhD John Lott concluded that “States that implemented “shall-issue” concealed carry laws reduced murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7%, and robbery by 3%, according to a 2000 analysis of FBI crime data, (3).” He calculated that during that time frame “that 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults, and 12,000 robberies could have been prevented between 1977 and 1992 if concealed carry had been legal in every US state,” (3). Lott’s analysis of FBI criminal data can be considered a stretch because it exists on the assumption that a conceal carry holder, will act and the result will be positive, negating the ideology that with the conceal carry holder firing their weapon could result in exchange of fire, misfiring or wild shooting which could damage or injure more people and property.

Opposition against Conceal Carry

Outside of statistical theory and analysis there is no conclusive evidence that carrying concealed serves as a deterrent for sexual crime or crime in general. The Violence Policy Center (VPC) in Washington, D.C. confirms that “since May 2007 concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 9 law enforcement officers and 108 private citizens (including 13 shooters who killed themselves after an attack). In addition, permit holders committed at least 11 mass shootings (three or more victims) that claimed as many as 11 lives at a time,” (2). The VPC also cites their own analysis of Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) criminal data with the following facts: “for the years 2002 through 2007, a total of 395 permit holders were convicted for the crimes of: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; aggravated sexual assault of a child; assault with bodily injury; assault with bodily injury involving family violence; indecency with child – sexual contact; sexual assault on a child; and, deadly conduct (recklessly engaging in conduct that puts another person in imminent danger of bodily harm),” (2). There are incidents listed within the VPC analysis that don’t subjugate relevant information in backing up their claim that these TXDPS incidents are specifically related to the ownership of concealed carry licenses and weapons. The VPC continues, “Also, during the 2002 through 2007 time period, nine concealed handgun permit holders were convicted of murder or murder under the influence of sudden passion. In 2007, a concealed handgun permit holder was one of nine people convicted state-wide of capital murder of multiple persons,” (2). The VPC doesn’t relate their statistical analysis and compare their data to the amount of conceal carry owners within the state of Texas, mainly citing that “it is unclear how comprehensive the data is,” (2). The concern here, while the VPC cites a 2002 study of their own analysis of TXDPS data “Texas concealed handgun permit holders were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81 percent higher than that of the general population of Texas, aged 21 and older,” (2) however, because the comprehensiveness of the data is unclear, per their own report, an improbability in the credibility exists to their own analysis.

Analytical Conclusion on Pros and Cons

The VPC, has not even stirred debate, or brought into the debate, the mental status of the individuals whom committed these atrocities, nor did it acknowledge the historical deterrent statistical date of constitutional carry. In regard to mental defectives, there are three in recent history where the shooters were proven to be suffering from untreated mental illnesses; they were also able to have access to these firearms by the careless storage by the owners of the firearms. In fact, there has been no verifiable study or movement to analyze the data of the criminals notated by the VPC analysis against concealed or open carry. Furthermore, Lott’s analysis doesn’t analyze the criminals whom successfully committed crimes as to their mental behavior either. We presume that a criminal exists as a criminal, and there need not be any further breakdown considered. To a point, largely ignored in addition to mental status is the lack of studies surrounding proper firearm education to include how to secure a firearm.
This is fundamentally shortchanging the debate not only within campus carry, but the conceal carry movement. Because there does not exist a requirement for an individual’s mental status, the owning of a firearm becomes contestable. Any individual, so qualified in a clean record background can own a firearm, this does not take into account any evidence of a stressed, depressed, or maniacal mental state. ProCon.org maintains a list of seven pros and seven cons for conceal carry, and not one single mention exists regarding the mental health of concealed owners or the people against concealed carry. This is important in recent years with the discussion created by the enigmas that exist around Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Virginia Tech.

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