Newest in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "For more Americans, owning a gun = safety"
Americans are increasingly convinced that owning a gun makes them safer.
A new Rasmussen poll found that an overwhelming margin of Americans (68 to 22 percent) “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.” And a series of polls by Gallup, Pew Research Center, and ABC News/Washington Post show similar results.
But it isn’t just what people say. They are clearly putting increased stock in self-defense. Since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to 12.8 million. A new study by the Crime Prevention Research Center finds that a record 1.7 million permits have been issued in just the past year. This is a 15.4 percent increase.
While 5.2 percent of adults nationwide have a permit, in Pennsylvania it is almost 11 percent, ranking it fourth in the country. More than 1 million Pennsylvanians have permits.
In five states, more than 10 percent of adults now have concealed-carry permits. In some counties around the United States, including some in Pennsylvania, more than one in five adults is licensed to carry. In much of the country, someone among theatergoers or restaurant customers is likely to be legally carrying a permitted concealed handgun.
But even these numbers don’t do full justice to the change that has taken place. . . .