It looks like Chicken Little was wrong again.
We hear the same, ominous predictions every time a state passes a concealed carry law. Sarah Brady and her followers claim the sky is going to fall once citizens start packing heat. But it has yet to occur.
Michigan is no exception.
One year ago this month, the Wolverine State liberalized its firearms laws, allowing even more private citizens to carry firearms concealed for their own defense.
The Brady Bunch claimed that Michigan streets would soon resemble the fabled Dodge City. But it just hasn't happened. There are now several thousand new citizens carrying guns in the state, and the predicted shootouts simply haven't materialized.
Many people are quite glad the state has made it possible for more law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. For example, shortly after the new law went into effect, two men tried to rob a man from Van Buren Township. He promptly pulled out his handgun and fired a shot into the air.
At that point, the two thugs remembered they had business elsewhere, so they left their intended victim alone, ran to their car and sped away.
This scene happens all the time after states enact their own concealed carry laws. Citizens, who were once easy prey for predators, no longer have to be victimized. They are using their guns lawfully and are creating a huge deterrent against crime.
The statistics show that every day, all across the country, almost 1,500 people use guns while they are away from home to protect themselves from criminal attacks.
The success story has been so great that some opponents of concealed carry have even admitted they were wrong to oppose such laws in the first place.
Consider the state of Florida, which passed its concealed carry law in 1987 over vocal opposition from the Brady Bunch.
Gun banners claimed that once Florida passed its carry law, the Sunshine State would become the Gunshine State, and that people would be shooting each other in the streets. It was a cute jingle, but it was totally false.
In the ten years following the passage of Florida's concealed carry law, more than 475,000 people received permits to carry firearms. FBI reports show that the homicide rate in Florida, which before concealed carry was much higher than the national average, fell 39 percent during that 10-year period.
Florida State Representative Ron Silver, who was the leading opponent of the law before it passed, graciously admitted several years later that he had been wrong.
It happens all the time after states pass their own concealed carry laws.
Similar confessions have been heard in the state of Texas, which has seen its murder rate drop 34 percent in the five years following the passage of its concealed carry law in 1995.
One of the chief opponents of the Texas law was Senior Cpl. Glenn White, who is president of the Dallas Police Association. "I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict," he says.
He admits, though, that the "armed conflict" hasn't materialized, adding that now, "I'm a convert."
Senior Cpl. White has joined the growing ranks of police officers who favor the right of citizens to carry firearms concealed. In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, almost 65 percent of the officers polled agreed that "a national concealed handgun permit law [for private citizens] would reduce rates of violent crime."
The Brady Bunch wants us to believe that private citizens are eventually going to go off "half-cocked" after getting their new concealed carry licenses. But again, it's just not happening.
Private citizens who carry firearms are some of the most law-abiding people you'll ever meet. Why, they are even more law-abiding than some of our servants in uniform who enforce the law.
Take the Los Angeles Police Department as an example. By its own admission, the LAPD commits more violent crimes than do concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia combined.
This eye-opening finding came from an internal review board which reported on scores of examples of police abuse and corruption inside the LAPD last year.
All of which is to say: the scare tactics against private citizens carrying guns is just that. They are scare tactics.
The fact is, guns in good people's hands are saving lives. It happens every time, in every state that passes a concealed carry law.
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.