Ask a liberal what drives violence in the United States, and most will tell you easy access to handguns and other firearms. They overlook societal factors and focus on the inanimate object used by criminals to impose their wills upon their victims. What the liberals forget is, an armed society absolutely can be a polite society, and the United States used to be that polite society.
About 100 years ago, before liberals decided the Second Amendment is bad, the United States was a very armed society. It also was a very polite society. Why? You don’t start fights just because someone accidentally stepped on your shoes. That person might have a pocket Derringer or other pistol, and people generally knew better than to get in fights over stupid things.
A good example of how guns in the right hands promotes a polite society is provided by a 2011 study done by the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper in Virginia. Newspaper staff collected data on major crimes involving firearms during the first year that a then-new state law took effect and let patrons with CCW permits to carry in businesses that serve alcohol.
The study showed a 5.2 percent decline in major crimes during a one-year period, from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011. That decline ran counter to the fear-mongering anti-gun liberals espoused prior to the law taking effect. As Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave told the newspaper at the time: “The numbers just confirm what we’ve said would happen,” which was a decrease in violent crimes and a more polite society.
“None of this is surprising,” Van Cleave continued. “What the other side was saying, that this was going to be a blood bath. That restaurants will be dangerous and people will stop going. But there was nothing to base the fear-mongering on.”
Nowadays, though, anti-gun liberals claim firearms cause bad behavior, rather than promoting a polite society. That is why they want to overturn the Second Amendment and make it impossible for civilians to obtain firearms. Reality, though, shows the anti-gun crowd remains wholly ignorant of reality and firmly focused on baseless fear-mongering. Funny thing is, their own arguments prove them wrong.
A recent article about 12 states that do not require CCW permits to carry concealed attempts to portray such relatively loose gun laws as spurring deadly violence. The facts prove them wrong, though. In fact, several of those states enjoy less-than-average gun violence. The nation averages 11.1 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 citizens. Anti-gun activists claim relatively lax gun laws spur firearm-related deaths, but several states prove otherwise.
Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire have what anti-gun activists say are some of the world’s most lax gun laws. Two of those states also have gun ownership rates that exceed the national average of about 30 percent of adults owning at least one firearm. Yet, the states also enjoy some of the nation’s lowest rates of firearm-related violence.
Perhaps not coincidentally, those three states also are among the original 13 that ratified the Bill of Rights and made owning firearms second only to freedom of speech in importance. Maine recorded 9.8 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 residents, ranking it only 35th among national firearm-related death rates. Vermont reported 9.6 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 residents, making it the 13th lowest rate in the land. New Hampshire had 8.9 firearm-related deaths per 100,000, ranking it 11th lowest in the nation.
While curbing firearm-related deaths always is a good idea, reality says access to firearms is not the problem. Three of the states with the nation’s and world’s least restrictive carry laws have some of the nation’s lowest firearm-related death rates. Vermont is a fine example. It not only ranks as one of the states with the lowest firearm-related death rates, it also ranks as the safest state in the union, with 118 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. That is in a state that does not ban people with misdemeanors related to violence and firearms, the mentally ill, or drug or alcohol abusers from buying guns. Yet, it is the nation’s safest state, period.
Just as the Virginia study of bars and restaurants prove an armed society is more polite than an unarmed society, the rates of violence and firearm-related deaths in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire affirm guns and access to them very much contribute to a polite and safe society.