Clayton Cramer by way of Blode
Apparently now there are over 5 Million active CCW permit holders in the US. That's a lot, and as Blode points out, it has been a very low-key exponential growth, like that of homeschoolers, a group I expect has a lot of overlap. With just one more doubling, this group can probably achieve the level of political clout that nobody will be inclined to mess with them.
I suppose most of you have noticed that no mass murder in recent history has been carried out in a place where ordinary people can carry concealed weapons. I'd argue that this in no coincidence or accident.
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Your point about clout is interesting. CCW licensees are probably more committed to jumping through bureaucratic hoops than hunters are; AFAIK it is always easier to get a hunting license than a CCW. (In turn, I'm pretty sure in most states home defense--simply owning a weapon and being allowed to store it ready for use--is bureaucratically easier than hunting.)
Thus CCW licensees can be seen as the hard core of the 2nd Amendment's natural constituency. Also, a possible post facto crackdown against gun-owners (ban their guns and publicize the names of those crypto-fascist whatevers so their employees can reconsider their hiring! etc.) is contraindicated because, like a tattoo, a CCW isn't just something you can walk away from. A hunter can sadly throw his shotgun in the swimming hole and say he can't stand "gamey meat", but a CCW licensee's name is on the government's list until the cows come home.
Those five million Americans are not just armed, they are (mostly) registered to vote and totally dependent on an outcome of continued RKBA. And the current Supreme Court doesn't hate them either!
CCW in most states is now 'Shall Issue'. If you meet the qualifications, which are nondiscretionary & objective, you get the permit. THey used to be may issue, which meant you needed political connections. THe hoops for one in Texas or Florida or Utah aren't much at all.
Got a clean record, take a class, and you're in.
I didn't mean to exaggerate when I mentioned "bureaucratic hoops". Taking a class and all that isn't a huge burden but it is technically more effort than just getting the background check for getting a gun. So permit-holders in a shall-issue state represent a "firmcore" while in may-issue states they represent a "hardcore".
I plan to get one in my shall-issue state pretty soon. I have the equipment and the desire, now I just need to get a sitter.
A lot of states issue CCW to people who don't live there AND have reciprocity agreements with lots of other states. I think Utah is big that way---lots of states honor their CCW. So a lot of people get permits in that state who probably never set foot in Utah.
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