We are not the people you should be afraid of

The Texas Department of Public Safety keeps track of conviction rates for Texas Concealed Handgun License holders. You can see all the published reports so far, and here’s the 2011 list (latest as of this writing).

While it’s evident CHL holders are not immune from doing bad things, the data does support the notion that CHL holders are an extremely law-abiding bunch – far and above the citizenry as a whole.

Here’s some number crunching:

The number of CHL holders that commit murder or manslaughter is remarkably low. From the DPS reports for 1996 through 2011, the number of murder and manslaughter convictions for CHL holders totaled 30 over the 16 years.

DPS also reports on the number of active CHL holders for each year. Those numbers were totaled to obtain the number of CHL holder-years. The total number of CHL holder-years for the 1996-2011 is 4,295,434.

The two numbers give us the ratio of CHL holder convictions for murder and manslaughter per 100,000 CHL holders per year. That number is .70/100,000.

Yes, the decimal point is in the correct place.

The rate of murder and manslaughter for the general population of Texas averaged for the years 1996-2011 is 6.0/100,000.

If such is the case, why do you think we’re the people you need to stop? Why are you afraid of us? We’re demonstrably more law-abiding and statistically less likely to commit a crime. Aren’t we the very sort of people you desire?


3 thoughts on “We are not the people you should be afraid of

  1. It would be interesting to see what the murder rates are per 100,000 Texas law officers…

    Not a dig at police. I have nothing but respect for them. It’s just how those who would disarm us keep saying how our police should be the only armed citizens.

    • I’m sure that data is somewhere. If you’re curious enough I can try to dig it up.

      I think what’s more interesting about the line of reasoning that “only police should have guns” is an underlying assumption that police are highly trained and private citizens can’t be, or at least the level of training and competence and skill of police will be higher than non-police. Just the other day, Greg Ellifritz published the results of a survey he performed to see if police receive enough defensive tactics training. In short: no. The mean number of hours of training received last year? less than a day of training.

      So they go through the academy, which is basics. Then they get less than a day of training per year.

      In fact, you’ll read in the survey results that many officers aren’t motivated to get any additional training. Some are, but the majority aren’t.

      So… I know what people want to believe about police, but the realities are far more sobering.

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