Guest Writer

Outdoor Products Camping, Hiking, and mountain climbing toys

The Gunversation Centerfold Cool pictures for your computer desktop

Bows versus Crossbows  Is one really better than the other?

Beasts of Blackpowder Come shoot two guns that just drip of testosterone!! 

Mouseguns The truth about using small caliber defense guns

The Gun Nut Next  Door   Is the media and press trying to make you look like a nutjob?

Considerations for Home Defense   There's more to it than just buying a gun.

Evolution of the Speed Rock   Examine the various applications of the close-quarters, high speed stance.

Angel's Flight Proof that criminals haven't gotten any smarter in the last 40 years.

Amateur Gunsmith versus Backyard Butcher                A list of do's and don'ts for the beginning gunsmith.


Use of Force       Some serious talk about when and why a weapon should be used.


CCW Arizona Style                          What's it like to carry concealed when you live on the face of the sun?






About Gunversation



Why Won't The Media Report It?
by Robert A. Waters, author of The Best Defense
By any standard, the concealed carry laws passed by nearly 30 states in
the 1980s and 1990s have been wildly successful.  But if your only
information comes from newspapers and television, you'd think permit
holders were the source of thousands of criminal acts.
In 1999, as the debate heated up over Proposition B in Missouri,
newspapers in the state waxed hysterical.  Allowing citizens to carry
concealed weapons would lead to bloody rampages, editorialists claimed.
Robbers would shoot first, then take your money from your corpse.
Permit holders in cars would be unable to control their rage and leave
the roadways littered with bodies.  Accidental shootings would increase.
In a representative article, a writer in the St. Louis Post Dispatch
compared supporters of the bill to snake oil salesmen.  "Let the buyer
beware," the writer intoned.
What is the real record of concealed carry laws?
Between October, 1987 and January, 1999, the state of Florida issued
more than a half-million permits.  Only 109 were revoked because the
licensee used a firearm in the commission of a crime.  In other words,
the success rate of Florida's concealed carry law was 99.999%.
By contrast, the dropout rate for Florida's public high school students
is approaching 50%. 
If the two were graded, Florida's concealed carry laws would grade out
at an A+ while its high schools would rate an F-.
Virginia passed concealed carry in 1995, and out of 50,000 permits, not
one licensee has been convicted of a firearms-related crime.  Between
1994 and 1997, Arizona had issued 63,000 permits--only 50 were revoked.
Other states report similar results.
In addition to the lack of criminal activity on the part of permit
holders, each year thousands of crimes are prevented by licensees.
On January 21, 1998, Kenneth and Mary Ellen Moring were attacked in
their Orlando, Florida motel room by two robbers.  When one of the
assailants drew a gun on the couple, Mary Ellen knocked it out of his
hand and Kenneth, a permit holder, used his own gun to capture the
On April 1, 1998, Thomas Ellerbee turned the tables on two armed
robbers.  As he walked to his Philadelphia home, Ellerbee was assaulted
and robbed.  The victim, who had a permit, pulled his pistol out of his
pocket and shot both robbers.
On September 22, 1997, when an armed robber placed a sawed-off shotgun
to the head of waitress Amy Norton, two patrons of the Jacksonville,
Florida seafood restaurant stood up and shot him.  Both were permit
One of the reasons concealed carry laws are so successful is that they
are designed to aid law-abiding citizens who feel a need for protection
from violent crime.  During an eight-year period from 1987 to 1995, the
state of Florida received only 723 applicants from prior convicted
Citizens who obey the law are not the problem--they're part of the
Yale Professor Dr. John Lott's rigorous analysis of state concealed carry
laws has clearly shown that violent crime has decreased in states that
enacted concealed carry laws while in most other states violent crime
remained the same or increased.  His conclusion that criminals fear
armed citizens and alter their habits to avoid confrontations has been
mirrored in other studies.
If this is so, why hasn't the media reported the successes of concealed
First, reporters can't know everything.  They depend on sources to give
them information, then they filter what they learn through subjective
lenses.  When a gun issue comes up, many will contact Handgun Control,
Inc. (anti-gun) and National Rifle Association (pro-gun) for
information.  Independent studies have documented that HCI's data is
usually reported as fact while NRA's statements are labeled
assertions or opinions.  In his book, More Guns, Less Crime, Dr.
Lott quotes a spokesperson for the [anti-gun] Violence Policy Center as
saying, "We can get good media whenever we want."
The second problem is a perceived lack of time. To obtain accurate and
objective data on concealed carry, the reporter can easily call the
division of licensing in each state.  But this might require extra time
and effort, so HCI's analysis becomes a quick-fix for the proposed
story.  Now he doesn't have to spend all day talking on the telephone to
Are reporters anti-gun?
While many sincerely attempt to produce objective, balanced stories,
some are blatantly anti-gun.  Most obtained their university degrees
during the 1960s and 1970s, a time of liberal thought on most college
campuses.  Their belief systems were shaped by their education, which
included a bias against guns.  So even when a liberal reporter attempts
to be objective, personal views may seep into his reporting.
Have concealed carry laws fostered a wild-west shoot-em-up mentality
among permit holders?  Not at all.
Has blood run in the streets from gun battles and accidental shootings
committed by concealed carry holders?  Not at all.
Have states experienced negative consequences from having passed
statutes that permit law-abiding citizens to carry guns.  Not at all.
Why won't the media report it?

Robert A. Waters obtained his Bachelor's Degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and his Master's Degree from the University of Georgia. He worked for 25 years with the mentally handicapped before taking early retirement. Now living in his native Ocala, Florida, he is active in the community as a volunteer for a local Association for Retarded Citizens. He is married, with two
children.  Waters has written numerous articles about collectibles in magazines and newsletters. THE BEST DEFENSE is his first book.

Robert A. Waters may be reached by e-mail at  [email protected]

related links
Koch Crime Institute Review     
The Firearms Coalition  
The Gun Owners