This morning I went in to get my daily Monster drink from the local gas station (because they have been on sale there for the last month) and I saw the above paper. It pissed me off. Not sure what I can really do about it, but I wanted to do something. Like everyone else, I don’t have a lot of extra time or energy. I went to my truck to look up the article on the local paper’s web site to share it and/or leave a comment. The article is behind a pay wall so that all went out (I did post my opinion on Facebook below).
After not being able to get the article on line I went back into the store to buy the paper. I had a lively discussion with the two ladies that work there on campus carry, why the article was full of it, and statistics about the crime rates of concealed carry holders. They asked questions about licensing and how teachers can do bad things. I told them about the licensing requirements in Texas including heavy background checks, fingerprinting, photos, and training. I talked about the CHL stats of how good we are (Texas stats for 2012 found here). The stats show that as a subculture we are responsible for less the 0.2% of criminal convictions in Texas, and if you take out the illegal weapons carrying charges (like UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF HANDGUN BY LICENSEE) then we have a conviction rate of 0.15% of crimes committed in Texas are by CHL holders (in 2012 63,272 people where convicted of crimes, of those 120 had CHLs).
I searched for a long time to find other conviction rates of subcultures/occupations in Texas but couldn’t find anything. I want to compare conviction rates of CHL holders against others like police officers, school teachers, politicians, or even clergy. I’m betting CHL holders commit the least crimes. The Texas Department of Public Safety does the records for CHL holders but nothing else.
Anyways, this article isn’t to give you info about the fight, I want to encourage you that there is something you can do. Writing papers, sending letters, talking to politicians all are almost insignificant unless a huge number of the people do it.
What you can do that is significant: Talk to other people about it. This morning I was able to change two opinions on being able to carry on a school campus. You can do the same thing by talking with people you interact with daily. If we could all talk to one person a week and change their perspective on the gun rights issue from “don’t care” to, “hey, that isn’t right”, we could easily change the world.
So talk to someone this week. Not argue with someone that is anti-gun, talk with someone that is on the fence or is indifferent about the argument. They are the ones that will help us keep our gun rights.