According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, President Obama’s administration has seen a 215% increase in concealed handgun permit applications since 2007. The latest increase brings the total of concealed carry permits in the United States to 14.5 million.
A large part of that number is women with firearms. According to the CPRC report, the number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of permits issued to men. The report also goes on to say that permits among minorities is increasing about 75% more quickly than it is for whites.
All of these record-breaking increases are coming as violent crime in America continues a rapid decrease. In 1993, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and interpreted by the Pew Research Center, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans. By 2013 the number of deaths was only 3.6. The number of crimes that involved guns but where no one dies was an even greater decrease of 725 per 100,000 in 1993 to 175 in 2013.
The FBI’s numbers of violent crimes in general reported to law enforcement has declined from a rate of 747 violent incidents per 100,000 people in 1993 to 387 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012, which is the most recent year for which it has published complete data. Homicides have fallen by 51 percent, forcible rapes have declined by 35 percent, robberies have decreased by 56 percent, and the rate of aggravated assault decreased 45 percent. Property crime rates are also down.
We may be safer today than we were, but the perception of violent crime decreasing has not seemed to have caught up with the general public. The New York Times reported in 2014 that people polled said they felt violent crime had actually increased over the past two decades. Part of that perception is no doubt the proliferation of social media, which allows people all over the country to be aware of crimes that they probably wouldn’t have been exposed to in the past.
Regardless of the causes of that misperception, criminals everywhere should be wary of picking on women or minorities as these groups of people are shattering the old stereotype of gun activists as old white guys.