On May 26, Texas became the 21st state to join the ranks of Constitutional Carry States. Constitutional Carry, also called Permit less or Unrestricted Carry, means residents can carry a firearm openly or concealed without a state issued permit. Since 2010, the number of Unrestricted Carry states have skyrocketed from 2 states (Vermont has always been unrestricted, and Alaska was an early adopter in 2003) to twenty-one states. This explosion is reminiscent of the 20-year span from 1986 to 2006 where state laws pushed the number of Unrestricted/Shall Issue states from 9 to 39. That surge in Right To Carry legislation was due in large part to the increase in violent crime that began in late 1960’s and continuing until its peak in 1992. As the right to carry and the number of concealed carry permit holders increased, the violent crime rate decreased. This trend held true for almost 20 years (see Prepare for the Pattern). In 2020, the pandemic coupled with an increase in violent crime and violent protests convinced a whole new group of Americans to go out and buy guns in record numbers. As this new pattern continues, I expect to see both an increase in violent crime and an increase in the number of Constitutional Carry states. So it is important we understand what Constitutional Carry means from the Constitutional Definition.
The first part of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution reads
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State”
and the second part of the Amendment reads
“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The 2nd part is as plain as can be. There should be no restrictions on one’s ability to defend themselves. How can one person deny another the ability to live. For people that are working two jobs to make ends meet, the single mother in an inner city housing complex, or the elderly couple on a fixed income, the time and resources required to apply, pay and take mandatory training classes to obtain a carry permit can be a huge hurdle. These Americans, who are usually substantially more at risk of violent crime, have just as much right to self-defense as those that live in gated communities, or the politicians that hide behind armed guards. Self-defense is an inalienable right that should not be dictated or regulated by a government; period!
For too long, politicians and anti-2nd Amendment groups have used the term “well regulated militia” as a means to create infringements against our rights. However, if you research what “well regulated” meant in the 18th century, you will find a host of sites that say “The phrase well-regulated was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.”
As Americans we all have the right to defend ourselves, and many of us feel a sense of duty to not only protect our loved ones, but to also stand up for others that can’t. While this is a honorable and noble gesture, it is important to remember we do not rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of training we have mastered. If the extent of your experience with a handgun is limited to a 3-hour range session firing 50 rounds at a paper target, you ARE NOT “well regulated.” Even if you are an avid sportsman who is vary familiar with firearms or have had military training in the past, you will likely not “function as expected” under the stress of a dynamic critical incident. Even law-enforcement officers who are considered “highly trained” usually are only required to put about 100 rounds downrange every year and in gunfights, they average less than 20% hits on target.
The bottom line is, with a hyper anti-gun media any mistake by a lawful gun owner is going to be on the front page and lead every news program. If you are willing to carry the torch of freedom and stand up for what is right, then you need to take the responsibility of ensuring you will perform as expected under duress and seek all the training you can.