Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Concealed Handguns Increase in Colorado
According to a report released this week, the number of concealed handgun permit (CHP) applications in Colorado jumped by over 50% last year, and in El Paso County (the Colorado Springs area) went up 87%. (I personally contributed to that number last August!) There are now about 8,400 active concealed handgun permits in El Paso County, about 1.46% of the population, or 1 in every 68 people.
A graph of the monthly application statistics showed spikes in applications immediately following the February 2007 Utah mall shooting, the April Virginia Tech massacre, and the December New Life Church shooting. A Monument (just North of Colorado Springs) area politician also said that the increased number of CHP applications was due to encroachments on 2nd Amendment rights.
Why did I get a permit? Was I scared by the news? Was I upset about my rights eroding before my eyes? Was I on some kind of mid-life crisis, macho paramilitary kick? No, no, and no. (I'm not yet old enough for a mid-life crisis!) I have a family. If something happens, I have the responsibility to protect them. The news has taught me that by the time the police usually show up, it's already over. As an outdoorsman, I enjoy shooting. I'm a hunter. I treasure my constitutional rights. But beyond all that, I know that this world can be an incredibly dangerous place, and I have a wife and little ones to protect. I also have a larger responsibility to my community - not as some sort of vigilante who goes looking for trouble - but as someone who does not hesitate to defend the weak and needy and make our community a safer place. It's also a Biblical responsibility - see Proverbs 31:9; Isaiah 1:17; Luke 11:21 and others. (Don't get on me about the context of the verse from Luke. I know what it is, but the statement of fact still stands!)
All states except Illinois, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia allow their law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns if they jump through the necessary hoops of training, background checks and application fees. (Vermont is unique in that any law-abiding citizen may carry concealed - no permit required!) Everywhere that concealed carry has passed, crime rates have dropped. Criminals have to wonder, "is this guy one of the 1 in 68 here with a permit?" (Or one of those unnumbered libertarian souls who believe the 2nd Amendment is their concealed carry permit!) Is the owner of this home or business armed? It makes them think twice and the crime rate drops.
Concealed carry is a good thing! If you don't already, look into it!