Regarding the Sept. 6 Ned Barnett column “Legal guns fuel criminal gunfire”: The notion that more concealed handgun permits mean more guns for criminals stems from an Associated Press piece about St. Louis.
Ignoring, momentarily, that St. Louis (including racially tense Ferguson) doesn’t necessarily represent the country, both the AP article and the underlying study ordered by Barack Obama rest on the same artifice: Breathlessly reporting thousands of guns stolen, they avoid mentioning trends.
If, for example, the number of guns stolen remained stable while permit-holders increased by 20 percent, it would imply permit-holders are storing guns more, not less, “responsibly.”
Barnett quoted police complaining about guns stolen from residents, yet Google turns up dozens of articles on police getting guns stolen from vehicles.
Since 1995, Grass Roots North Carolina has expanded concealed carry, better enabling residents to protect themselves. But we can’t always return home between work, shopping, doctor appointments and kids’ soccer games and, unfortunately, some businesses post against firearms.
Blaming gun owners for theft of guns lawfully locked into cars is like blaming rape victims for wearing their skirts too short; it faults victims, not perpetrators.
To confront gun theft, make it a 10-year felony. Make using stolen guns in crimes a 20-year felony. But stop blaming lawful gun owners for the actions of criminals.
F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina