West Coast Residents Seek Protection, Apply for Concealed Carry

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A recent report in the New York Post must have caused some grimacing in Sacramento, as it detailed how at least some residents in posh—and largely liberal—Beverly Hills have re-discovered the Second Amendment.

While Gov. Gavin Newsom was announcing plans to push legislation enabling California citizens “to seek injunctive relief, and statutory damages of at least $10,000 per violation plus costs and attorney’s fees, against anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California,” Los Angeles County citizens were seeking concealed carry permits.

Even in posh communities like Beverly Hills, increasing numbers of people are reportedly looking at handgun purchases because of rising crime rates. The Walther PPK/S is a stylish choice.

What’s going on? Perhaps Joel Glucksman, described by the Post as a private security executive, provided the answer: “Even hardcore leftist Democrats who said to me in the past, ‘I’ll never own a gun’ are calling me asking about firearms.”

He estimated that this year he’s seen an “increase of 80 percent in the number of requests.”

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva told the newspaper his agency has approved more than 2,000 CCW applications since 2018, from more than 8,100 applications. It’s a start, considering his predecessor approved only 194 permits during the previous four years.

Here’s the capper: “More than 1,800 people have been shot in Los Angeles in 2021,” the newspaper said, “up from 1,530 in 2020. Homicides in LA rose nearly 50 percent, from 161 to 236, between January to October of 2020 and 2021. There had been 361 homicides in LA in 2021 as of Dec. 9. That’s still a far cry from the peak: 1,984 homicides in 1991.”

People don’t think that far back. Some of them weren’t even born at that time, and others were children. It’s here and now getting their attention, in an environment where District Attorney George Gascon is under fire for his alleged soft glove handling of criminal cases.

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What's a person to do?

The Post article began by mentioning the dilemma faced by Beverly Hills resident Debbie Mizrahie. “I’ve always been anti-gun,” she told the newspaper. “But I am right now in the process of getting myself shooting lessons because I now understand that there may be a need for me to know how to defend myself and my family. We’re living in fear.”

In and out of California, more people are buying guns. Stout revolvers such as the Colt King Cobra in .357 Magnum make an impression.

At this point, one might say, “Welcome to the party, Ms. Mizrahie.” Look around the nation — it’s evident the good citizens of Beverly Hills are hardly alone. Communities up and down the West Coast are seeing the same interest in armed personal protection. Look at the number of homicides in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and be alarmed. Seattle, as this was written, was down around 40 murders (lower than in 2020), Portland had logged 70 and San Francisco had hit 52.

Elsewhere around the country, according to CNN, “At least nine major cities have broken their previous annual homicide records with about three weeks left to go in 2021. There have been 513 homicides this year in Philadelphia, higher than the previous total of 503 in 1990. There have been 230 homicides in Indianapolis, breaking the previous record of 215 set just last year.”

In October, the Crime Prevention Research Center updated its estimate on the number of active concealed carry licenses and permits to more than 21.5 million. That’s a 10.5 percent increase over the 2020 estimate, and keep in mind there are now 20 states with “constitutional carry,” meaning no permit is required.

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Happy New Year?

The final tallies on homicides from around the country will be coming in over the next several days, along with the New Year.

Take a hint from the CNN report about Fayetteville, N.C. There, Police Chief Gina Hawkins told the news agency homicides are up in her city about 39 percent above 2020.  A few paragraphs later, the story noted, “Shooting incidents — both fatal and non-fatal — have increased in nearly all major US cities where data was available, according to a CNN analysis. Guns were the most used weapon in every city where information was published detailing the method of homicide.”

The telltale line in the entire story was this: “While experts say the reasons for the rise in homicides are varied, murders are increasingly carried out by guns.” Notice something wrong with that sentence? The blame is being cleverly steered toward firearms, not the people misusing them.

More people than ever before started packing defensive sidearms during 2021, according to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center. Concerns about rising crime and shrinking police manpower play a part in this phenomenon.

The Survey Says...

A recent national survey by ABC News/Ipsos revealed Americans aren’t impressed with Joe Biden’s handling of the crime issue, especially how he has not handled so-called “gun violence.”

According to ABC News, only 36 percent of Americans approve of the administration’s handling of crime, a decline of 7 points from the 43 percent approval the president got in a similar survey in October. Importantly, among Independents, “only 1 in 4” approved of Biden’s work on violent crime involving firearms.

This probably should not have been surprising. Back in April, as reported by Newsmax at the time, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found a stark division along party lines about how to handle the gun issue. At the time, more than 80 percent of respondents identified as Democrats wanted to pass new gun control laws. However, Republicans by a 76 percent margin thought protecting the right to own firearms should be the higher priority, and 48 percent of Independents agreed (43% want more gun laws).

Back on Oct. 11, veteran poll expert Scott Rasmussen wrote something at Ballotpedia worth noting.

“To reduce violence in America, 53% of voters believe having the police crackdown on gang activity would be more effective than placing restrictions on gun ownership,” the report said. “Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans believe cracking down on gang activity would be more effective. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Democrats believe restricting gun ownership is the better approach. By a 50% to 24% margin, independent voters see cracking down on gang activity as more effective.”

Rasmussen’s poll numbers reflect the sharp divide in attitudes about guns and the right to keep and bear arms. Eleven years after McDonald v. City of Chicago, which incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, there are still a lot of people who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge owning guns is a constitutionally-protected right, not a regulated privilege. Some people still think the earth is flat, too.

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