Sunday, January 22, 2006
Dunphy on Handguns
The master, the teacher, the poet, the preacher himself --- Jack Dunphy --- has a new column on handguns. Here's a sneak peek:
But let's take a look at the experience of one such state, the one so roundly reviled on both coasts for having given us George W. Bush. In 1996, the state of Texas enacted Senate Bill 60, known as the Concealed Handgun Law, which restored the rights of law-abiding citizens who obtain the proper license to carry concealed handguns. When the bill was being debated, the antigun Cassandras predicted bloodbaths, envisioning pistol-packing Texans settling their disputes in roadside shootouts.
The exact opposite has come to pass. Writing on the Dallas Blog, Jerry Patterson, author of S.B. 60, says that rather than turning into the Wild West, Texas is now the Mild West, with falling crime rates and streets safer than ever. Since the bill's passage, handgun murders have fallen 18 percent, and the handgun murder-per capita rate has fallen 13 percent. As of December 2005, there were 247,345 active handgun licenses in Texas, and a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis has shown that the licensees are 5.7 times less likely than the average Texan to be arrested for a violent offense and 14 times less likely for a nonviolent one.