Why conceal carry? Based on my reading of the comments I’ve received here and here, there seem to be two primary explanations: because you have a right to, and in order to respond to protect oneself and the innocent should there be a crisis (requiring deadly force).
#1 is, in my opinion, stretching the constitution, but we can leave that up to the courts.
#2 is an interesting one because it seems to be built on this idea that people who carry are self-appointed protectors of the innocent and vulnerable. Kind of like this guy:
So, if you see yourself as a Clark Kent who, on account of being armed, can act heroically (and more heroically then those who are walking around unarmed, which is an additional burden of proof for gun advocates), I can understand how you might see social value in the opportunity to walk around with a gun.
But are guns more frequently transforming average citizens into heroes or villains?
When I hear from gun advocates, I don’t think superman. I think Bladerunner:
I think Sailor:
I think Rodriguez:
I think Zimmerman:
Sure, it is usually easy to come up with a few extreme examples of gun holders with good intentions who became villains. There are also accounts of armed citizens decreasing the length and death toll of incidents of mass shootings. Of course, the role of armed citizens in putting down perpetrators of mass shootings assumes a continuation of our current lax firearm regulations which are a factor in the prevalence of mass shootings.
Dramatic stories aside, however, at the end of the day we should ask if average citizens, the innocent and vulnerable people folks are claiming their guns will help protect, are better or worse off because of our poor gun regulations.
The statistics suggest that America is a violent country.