Many more Virginians are packing heatBefore we go any further, it needs to be pointed out who this Trejbal character is. I'll let the headlines and the attached links speak for themselves:
By Christian Trejbal, Roanoke Times
203,132 Virginians now have concealed carry permits.
That is a 50 percent jump since January 2007, when only 135,789 people had them. The number of permits tends to increase over time, but this sort of growth is astonishing.
In the middle of 2008, Barack Obama secured the Democratic presidential nomination. Fables quickly spread ... [yada yada yada]
A couple of more statistics deserve mention, though.
From 2007 to present, while the number of concealed carry permits jumped 50 percent in Virginia, 36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and 54 private citizens.
Possibly even more. [link]
Shedding light on concealed handguns
Paper’s publication of gun permit database sparks furor, prompts AG opinion
Gun Owners Irked By Newspaper Database Ploy
Update on Roanoke Times-Christian Trejbal.
VA: AG Against Roanoke Times’ Anti-Gun Gambit
State police close list of gun permits
How to be a real prick, by Christian Trejbal
“Out of a sense of caution and concern for the public we have decided to take the database off of our website.”
Okay, you get the idea. Trejbal (a) isn't very ... expansive ... in his thought processes, and (b) has a real problem with those little metal objects that go BANG! when you pull the little metal thingie that makes them go BANG!.
But what of his statistics?
First, are they accurate? And, if so, what do they mean?
"From 2007 to present, while the number of concealed carry permits jumped 50 percent in Virginia, 36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and 54 private citizens."
First, let's try to figure out the accuracy piece. Mr. Trejbal cites as his reference for that charge this report from the Violence Policy Center, released in July:
"Law Enforcement and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders"
It is worth knowing that the Violence Policy Center is as rabidly anti-gun as is Christian Trejbal. And the leadership thereof makes no bones about it.
But Trejbal acknowledges that fact in a comment to a commenter in the "Comments" section of the on-line Roanoke Times blog, saying "I'll readily concede that the group has an agenda, but that doesn't make the numbers wrong."
And of course, he's right about that.
And, because the NRA (after an exhaustive Google search) hasn't issued a rebuttal or refutation to date (as far as I can ascertain), we must assume the statistics are factual.
So let's look at the stats.
First, I'll skip the fact that 54 private citizens were killed by concealed carry permit holders over a three year period. As the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown, 130,741 private citizens were murdered with a knife between the years 1990 and 2005. And nobody, including Trejbal, gives two squirts about that.
But what about that "cop killer" number? That's nothing to dismiss out of hand, is it?
Though maybe it's worth putting in perspective. ("lies, damn lies, and statistics ...")
"36 concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and ..."
· The VPC report, if you check it, actually lists 5 concealed carry permit holders having slain 7 law enforcement officers. So erase the 36. It's 5.
· Statistics are slippery critters. Sometimes the absence of statistics speaks as loudly as those presented. Why do you suppose the Violence Policy Center listed only those crimes committed by CCW holders between the years 2007 and 2009? Because there were 0 - ZERO - cop murders committed by concealed carry permit-holders prior to 2007. None.
· Concealed carry laws have been around in one form or another for decades, but they gained momentum in 1987 with Florida's passage of a "shall issue" law. In all, 39 states now have laws allowing private citizens to carry a handgun concealed. (source)
· Reworking the numbers, then, there have been five incidents in the U.S. where police officers have been murdered by CCW holders in the past twenty two years.
· ... in the past 8,030 days. Five.
· In the past 22 years there have been an estimated 9,000,000 concealed carry permits issued to private citizens by the various states participating (the actual number is impossible to obtain as some states keep the data sealed).
· Of the 9,000,000 CCW permit-holders walking the streets of America fully armed, in the last 8,030 days (meaning there were billions of potential daily incidents), 5 have been accused of killing police officers.*
· Of those billions ------ 5
· Oh, and Mr. Trejbal might be interested in this (or not). USA Today: "40% fewer officers killed by gunfire in '08." And this: "Number of Police Officers Killed by Gunfire is Lowest in 50 Years." Might that make for a favorable argument as it pertains to CCW? The more permit-holders we have, the fewer cops are being killed?**
What does all this mean? Little, except the fact that there are a few bad people in this world and a whole lot of law-abiding, 2nd Amendment-supporting, God-fearing, America-loving human beings walking this nation's streets.
So Christian Trejbal offers up what seem to be legitimate statistics that support the notion that our police officer corps has
- - -
* Though the NRA hasn't come out with a statement about the VPC report, yet, one is hopefully forthcoming. The use of the word "alleged" and "allegedly"in reference to the crimes outlined raise a red flag of potential mischief being in play. These therefore become "alleged" "facts."
Let's get on it, fellas.
** I know there's no correlation, but this is an exercise in statistical manipulation, as was the VPC's, so give me some latitude.
*** Update: As I suspected, the use by the VPC of the term "alleged" in dealing with incidents of police homicides proves to be untrustworthy. A commenter to Trejbal's column points out that one of the cases cited by the VPC was thrown out of court with the defendant having been judged to have acted in self-defense.
Ya gotta love those VPC snakes.