Sometimes when I look at material such as the following, I am reminded of the pointlessness of comparisons for those whose minds are made up. Then, I am reminded that I should stop being so cynical:
[quote from the NY Times]
The New York Times examined the permit program in North Carolina, one of a dwindling number of states where the identities of permit holders remain public. The review, encompassing the last five years, offers a rare, detailed look at how a liberalized concealed weapons law has played out in one state. And while it does not provide answers, it does raise questions.
More than 2,400 permit holders were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, excluding traffic-related crimes, over the five-year period, The Times found when it compared databases of recent criminal court cases and licensees. While the figure represents a small percentage of those with permits, more than 200 were convicted of felonies, including at least 10 who committed murder or manslaughter. All but two of the killers used a gun.
Bob Owens follows it up with this:
In other words, 200 permit holders were convicted of felonies out of 240,000 permit holders, or 0.0833333334-percent of NC concealed carry permit population.
I would love for the New York Times to do the research and see what percentage of the NYPD, Chicago PD, Los Angeles PD, or New Orleans PD is convicted of felonies in any given year.
Thinking that there must be some publicly available data which would bear on this, I went looking. Unfortunately, it would seem as though no one collects this data (or at least does not provide it publicly). I wonder if this is the type of information which should be accessible via an FOIA request–or one its non-federal equivalents?
The point of collecting this data would not be to show that LEOs are criminals, but rather to provide an honest comparison between groups of individuals who carry weapons on a regular basis.
Until we know otherwise, I am thinking that a convicted felon rate of less than 1% is sad, but probably not out of line with the general population, nor worth tromping on a fundamental freedom for US citizens.
Instapundit has a round-up of more people taking apart the NYT. But I particularly like this bit from one of the articles he links:
North Carolina has a statewide murder rate of about 5 per 100,000. Even without counting manslaughter, that’s 25 murders committed per 100,000 North Carolinians every five years. There are about 230,000 valid concealed-carry permits in North Carolina, so by pure chance, you’d expect these folks to be responsible for nearly 60 murders over five years. And yet only ten of them committed murder or manslaughter. Instead of “rais[ing] questions,” the Times has demonstrated yet again that permit holders are more peaceful than the general population.
Indeed. Shame on the NYT.