Reducing crime is an admirable goal of lawmakers and society at large. Honestly, it’s starting to become the only vision for America’s future that the left and right share.
Unfortunately, the agreement ends there.
While the left prefers to reduce crime by pretending it doesn’t exist or by attacking constitutional rights, the right wants to get out of the way and empower citizens to protect themselves and others.
One of the most promising examples of this is the situation in Maine, which was recently named the safest state in the union by U.S. News and World Report.
This comes nearly a full four years after Maine enacted a “Constitutional Carry” law, which allowed residents to carry a concealed firearm without the need for a special permit. It sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Of course not, but that didn’t stop the left from freaking out about it.
According to a blog post on the American Thinker, one opponent of the bill in the state legislature said it would give citizens a reason to be afraid every time they went out in public. It’s unclear how he came to this conclusion.
Another state representative misrepresented the law when he suggested that it would lead to violent criminals legally carrying guns. This is untrue, as the law only applies to those who can legally purchase a firearm in the first place.
Well, four years later, we can tell them they were wrong.
This just goes to show that permissive gun laws do not necessarily correlate with higher crime. Crime has nothing to do with the tool that it is committed with but by the hearts of the people that commit it.
A quick look at U.S. News’ list and each state’s concealed carry laws demonstrates this perfectly.
Maine has permissive gun laws and ranks first on the list of low violent crime rate; Vermont and Idaho also have unrestricted concealed carry laws and are second and fifth on the list, respectively. Other states, such as Alaska and Arkansas, have similar gun laws but fall near the bottom of the list.
Mississippi, North Dakota and Montana are some permissive gun law states that rank in the middle.
On the other hand, there are restrictive states all over the list as well. New Jersey is U.S. News’ fourth safest state despite having some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. Hawaii and Maryland are near the middle, while Washington comes in at the back half.
What does this mean? It means that crime is a people problem, not a gun problem. Despite tough laws, criminals can still obtain guns, and allowing citizens to protect themselves does not make our communities any more dangerous.
All across the country, there are people with little intent to follow the law, and changing the laws around them does not make them more inclined to do so.
Instead, it creates a nation of sitting ducks over-reliant on a government that couldn’t give a second thought about them, up to the point of real oppression.
Lord willing, we’ll never come to that.