Why I Carry a Firearm

Back when I open carried (OC) everywhere I went, I would occasionally be asked why I carried a firearm.  I would often respond with the well-known, “because I can’t carry a cop.”  One person, a transplant from Minnesota responded with, “I don’t like firearms!”  I replied, “Well, I guess we have something in common — I don’t like bad guys!”  Fortunately, the funny look she got on her face was soon replaced by laughter.
When I carry concealed (CC), however, no one says anything.
Because…  It’s…  Concealed.
After a while, I wanted to find out just how reasonable or rational carrying a firearm really was.  What was the likelihood of me needing it in any given year?  Over my lifetime?  And for what purpose?  What are the national and local crime statistics?
I know some people who carry firearms because of mass shootings.  Given the statistical rarity of mass shootings, does that even compute?
Well, if you’re the only armed law-abiding citizen near a mass shooting, then yes, it computes.  By all means, stop the threat.  Save lives! 
In fact, Kaitlin Bennet is right.  Gun control policies, particularly “No Firearms” aka “Gun-Free Zones” simply do not work.  They’re where most mass shootings occur in the United States.  Furthermore, all it takes is ONE armed law-abiding citizen to stop a mass shooting. In fact, the FBI’s latest report on active shooter incidents in the U.S. clearly shows that armed and alert citizens have been and will continue to be part of the solution.
Even so, mass shootings are extremely unlikely. According to the November 8, 2018 Washington Post article entitled, “The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting,” 1,135 people have been killed since Charles Whitman gunned down 17 people from the University of Texas.clock tower on August 1, 1966.  That incident more or less began the modern era of mass shootings.  
I was born only a few short years before then, so in all that time, given our mean population between then and now, some 259.8 million, I have had a 1 in 228,899 chance of dying in a mass shooting.  That’s 0.000437%, or 0.44 deaths per 100,000 people.
Less than half of one death per 100,000 people seems pretty low, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is.  By comparison, here are a few of the Top 100 causes of death in the U.S.:
  • Bottom of the 100: Unspecified Diabetes Mellitus with Peripheral Circulatory Complications: 1.3 per 100k
  • Intentional self-harm by handgun discharge: 1.4 per 100k
  • Chronic viral hepatitis C: 1.5 per 100k
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis of liver: 3.4 per 100k
  • Motor vehicle accident: 3.5 per 100k
  • Murders and non-negligent manslaughters: 5.35 per 100k
  • Pneumonia: 16.2 per 100k
  • Top 1 out of 100: Atherosclerotic Heart Disease: 62.5 per 100k
  • Violent crime: 383 per 100k
Woah!  What?  You mean violent crime occurs six times more often than the Number One Leading Cause of Death?
Yes.  That’s exactly what I mean.  Specifically, violent crime in the U.S. is 6.13 times more prevalent than the leading cause of death.  Moreover, it’s 73 times more likely than murders and non-negligent homicide.
Thus, when I say I carry for my own personal protection, it’s not because of the possibility of a mass shooting which clocks in at 0.437 per 100k.  Rather, it’s because of “assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge, which clocks in 8 times higher at 3.4 per 100k.  It’s because murders and non-negligent manslaughters clock in 12 times higher at 5.35 per 100k.  
But mainly, it’s because violent crime clocks in 876 times more likely than mass shootings at a whopping 382.9 violent crimes per 100k.
For those who say, “That’ll never happen!” please note the motor vehicle accident rate, which, at 3.5 per 100k, is 109 times less than violent crime.  Yet, not only do we wear seat belts, but the federal government determined both the fatality and injury rate to be serious enough to MANDATE seat belt use.

Years ago, our Founding Fathers knew the dangers of an unarmed populace, so they MANDATED that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  They even stated that it was “necessary to the security of a free nation (state).

One gent, an ER doc, once spent the afternoon trying to convince me that firearms were “bad” because of “all the people he had to stitch up, if not zip up, in his emergency room.

Let’s examine that.

In 2013, there were 73,505 injuries and 33,636 deaths related to firearms.  Their total comes to 107,141 firearms-related injuries and deaths.

Also in 2013, there were 1.3 million violent crimes.  Of those, roughly 725,000 violent crimes were stopped by armed citizens.  That’s 6.8 times more good than bad.  Furthermore, experts examining the UK’s firearms ban estimate that violent crime would increase to between 200% and 300% of current levels if firearms were banned in the U.S.  That’s an additional 1.3 to 2.6 million violent crimes, but without the attenuating effect of 750,000 stops.

The net effect would be a 192% increase from our current 1.3 million violent crimes per year to roughly 3.8 million violent crimes per year.  That’s nearly 3 times as much violent crime.  “No way!” you say.  Wrong.  The United Kingdom experience a tripling of its violent crime following its firearms ban, and violent crime remains 2.74 (“nearly 3”) times higher than it was before.

Now you know WHY I carry a firearm.  Now you know WHY I firmly support our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  I support it because it’s safer — many times safer — than getting rid of them.

Yet along come the libtards, who cannot for the life of them figure out that assaults with firearms are just as deadly as automobile accidents, and that violent crime is 100 times more likely.  They’re all for wearing seat belts, not to mention prohibiting supersize soft drinks, but they refuse to even consider the only effective solution to a very real problem that’s 109 times more prevalent than motor vehicle deaths.

Bottom Line:  There were 1.28 million violent crimes in the U.S. in 2017. That comes to 382.9 per 100k people, which is 109 times more likely than dying in a motor vehicle accident.

THIS is why I carry a firearm.  Of COURSE I carry a firearm.  You should, too.  You wear seat belts, don’t you?  Then why wouldn’t you protect yourself against a threat that 109 times more prevalent than motor vehicle deaths?

To all the blitheringly idiotic liberals who think they know better:  No, you do not.  You don’t know the facts.  You’re ignorant.  All you know is the predigested liberal anti-gun mantra, factless ideals that have no basis in reality.

The FBI’s own statistics blow all of your anti-gun and gun control arguments totally out of the water.  You’re idiots with irrational fears.  Not only do so-called “gun-free zones” never work, they backfire, actually attracting mass shooters.  When it comes to firearms, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about and really need to shut the hell up and stop interfering in other people’s lives.

ResistBot, Tallies, and other forms of Congressional Bias

To the Honorable Congressman X:
Please be aware that much of the anti-Trump sentiment you may be receiving these days is fake, auto-generated babble produced by a program called, “ResistBot.” When someone wants to send you their negative comment or position about President Trump, but are either too lazy to or incapable of sitting down and composing an actual letter (or person-to-person phone call) using their own brain, complete with a premise supported by relevant facts and a summary conclusion), all they need do is use ResisBot. This phone app begins with, “Hi, I’m ResistBot and I’m going to help you write your officials. First, what name would you like to use to sign your letters?”
The app’s next question is more chilling: “Welcome to the resistance Kate. Nice to meet you. Will you tell me your zip code so I can look up who represents you in Congress?”
The final result looks like a formally typed letter, but with a fairly short message from the young liberal:
“As a young freelance journalist with few opportunities to get healthcare through work, I urge you to keep the ACA intact.”
I’m sure you can see the horrendous problem this represents, Congressman X. Now, instead of receiving self-directed input from those constituents who have taken the time and energy to actually craft their inputs to you, with apps like ResisBot, you’re now being inundated by volumes of 20-second thought-bytes which have not been thought out at all.
This is why I am strongly encouraging you to resist ResistBot.  It gives you the illusion of reality while strongly and grossly distorting input from your constituents.
The fact is that most people rarely bother to call or write their representatives and senators who oppose their political point of view. That has already created huge diversity of input, with liberal members of Congress thinking all their constituents are liberal and the same for conservatives. Any good statistician can easily solve the problem. They simply require all input sent to all members of Congress before they systematically adjust the numbers based on constituent demographics throughout the nation, including which members from which party are more or less likely to voice their opinions. Quite frankly, this is one of the major reasons why “all the polls” indicated Hillary was going to win. It’s caused by a mix of biases, including confirmation, ingroup, neglecting probability, observational selection, negativity, the current moment, and anchoring.
Quite frankly, Congressman X, your office, as are all offices of all government officials, are besieged by bias, and ResistBot has already begun making that much, much worse. It’s creator even says, “What staffers need are tallies,” and it’s entire aim is to screw up your tallies.  Now you will be flooded by input from those constituents who think nothing of grossly distorting your picture of your constituents, so long as they get their way.
If all you’re doing is conducting a simple count of issues and a pro/con/dk tally, you have already succumbed to these biases.
At least for now, ResistBot works by sending electronic faxes, making those inputs appear legit, as if sent from older people who may still be using outmoded fax technology.  The solution is obvious: Simply block the number(s) of ResistBot’s fax server farms. Very soon, however, they may migrate to sending e-mails, at which point you’ll have to screen your inputs by IP address, return e-mail, sent from e-mail, and a number of other means used by spammers.
What are you going to do, Congressman X, when it morphs yet again, to the point where this computer application can call your office directly, and upon detecting a human voice, simply say, “I’m in a bit of a rush, but I just wanted to let you know that I support keeping the ACA alive, thank you, and good-bye…” Are your staffers going to dutifully check the “ACA – pro” box on some tally sheet, thereby giving you the false impression that this was even a real person at all? Or worse, causing you (or many in Congress) to vote one way on an important issue when you should have voted another?
The fundamental problem is that the very act of creating tallies is itself already grossly biased, and while there are ways of partially mitigating some of these biases, many will remain, giving you a false picture of your constituents’ actual positions on various issues across the board. A periodic poll crafted by experts in statistical researchers and analysts would be far more informative, and it would also weed out the opinions of those who refuse to take the time to participate in our Republican government process.
Another good way is to have faith in your voters, that they voted for you because of your historic positions on the issues, and trust you to represent them on that basis alone. They trust you to be smart enough so as not to be swayed by the faxes generated by ResistBot and similar leftist apps, and to instead examine each issue on its own merits and make decisions that are best for our nation as a whole, commensurate with the U.S. Constitution and all lawful legislation following therefrom.