“Five years after permitting law-abiding citizens to carry guns, 10 states found that their murder rates had dropped by an average of 15 percent, rape by 9 percent, and robberies by 11 percent. The likelihood of a mass shooting in those states dropped from nearly 75 percent to zero.

Concealed-carry laws help deter crime in two ways. They keep criminals off balance because they cannot be sure which of their intended victims is armed, and they save lives when an armed citizen is able to subdue a criminal before the police arrive. In Jacksonville, Fla., recently, a criminal brandished a gun in a restaurant and threatened to start shooting people at the count of 10 unless the cash register were opened. At the count of 8, two armed citizens with handgun permits stood up and shot him.

Not only do concealed-carry laws deter crime, they do not increase suicide rates, swell accidental shootings or result in citizens turning their guns on police officers — all dangers that opponents of concelaed-carry laws cite. By contrast, several police officers have had their lives saved by permit holding citizens. In Pearl Miss., an assistant principal was able to subdue the young murderer who opened fire at a high school because he carried a gun in his car. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about a weapon of death, but facts are facts: Guns save lives.”

Mona Charen, The Gazette, July 13, 1998, p. N7