In what is most likely an attempt to drum up liberal opposition to National Concealed Carry (CCW) Reciprocity and recent Republican efforts to push its passage through the US Senate, 60 Minutes aired a segment titled “The Showdown Over The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” – a piece featuring the typical biased and anti-gun reporting that Free Market Shooter has come to expect from CBS’s “marquee” investigative reporting program.
To be fair, this was one of the least biased firearms segments ever posted by 60 Minutes – they featured USCCA President Tim Schmidt and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), and detailed the story of Shaneen Allen, a single mother whose only “crime” was carrying a firearm in New Jersey with “just” a Pennsylvania CCW permit. But in typical 60 minutes fashion, they allotted far more time for the anti-gun advocates, and shaped their argument to avoid hard truths pushed by gun rights advocates.
60 Minutes gave the most airtime to New York City DA Cyrus Vance and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill:
Cyrus Vance: I think it would be a disaster for New York City. And I think for major cities around the country.
James O’Neill: I think it’s insanity.
Vance and O’Neill have established a formidable coalition of prosecutors and police chiefs from nearly every big city in America to lobby senators to keep the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act from becoming law.
Amusingly, these two individuals are responsible with putting tens of thousands of “licensed” armed individuals on the streets of New York City that are poorly trained and even more poorly equipped. This is none other than the New York City Police Department, which as Free Market Shooter, Bearing Arms, The RAND Corporation, and many others have detailed in the past, gives its officers bottom-of-the-barrel firearms training and a mandated 12lb trigger on all department firearms:
in a September, 2013 article—New York City Police Shoot Up the Citizenry Again—I wrote about one of several shootings where the police accidently shot citizens. In one infamous case, two officers shot not only an actual killer, but nine innocent bystanders. Fortunately, all of them survived. In almost all of these recent shootings, the officers were justified in using deadly force. They just couldn’t help shooting up the innocent.
A major contributing factor is the NYPD requires 12-pound triggers on their officer’s issued handguns. Twelve-pound triggers greatly complicate accurate shooting, particularly when repeat shots are required. The heavier and longer the trigger pull, the more difficult it is to obtain consistent shot to shot accuracy. Triggers in the 12-pound range predictably cause officers to miss, and to miss badly. Consider that standard Glock triggers, those sold to the public, require only a 5.5 pound pull. Combine extremely heavy triggers with the mediocre training common to police agencies, and it would only be surprising if the police didn’t shoot innocents.
Many Law Enforcement Organizations (LEOs) are inherently anti-gun. They don’t trust their officers, and they fear accidental discharges far more than the consequences of accidently shooting citizens. Rather than spending the time and money necessary to maximize shooting accuracy and effectiveness, they focus on trying to prevent accidental discharges through mechanical means.
Of course, 60 Minutes is a program Free Market Shooter has documented peddling a worthless “smart gun” that was later hacked using $15 worth of magnets. Only they could hold up the NYPD and its 12lb trigger as the “gold standard” in firearms safety.
In addition, the “formidable coalition” against CCW Reciprocity described by 60 Minutes is also glaringly inaccurate, according to GunFacts.info:
Fact: In a survey of 15,000 officers, 91% said concealed carry should be permitted citizens “without question and without further restrictions.” 39
Fact: 66% of police chiefs believe that citizens carrying concealed firearms reduce rates of violent crime. 40
Fact: “All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn’t happen …I think it’s worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I’m a convert.” 41
Fact: “I … [felt] that such legislation present[ed] a clear and present danger to law-abiding citizens by placing more handguns on our streets. Boy was I wrong. Our experience in Harris County, and indeed statewide, has proven my fears absolutely groundless.” 42
60 Minutes wisely chose to give the Giffords anti-gun group only a smidgen of actual airtime, as they have been apt to explain their firearms ignorance time and again. They likely would have followed the lead of many anti-gun organizations and cited a “study” from the Violence Policy Center (a well known anti-gun group) which attempted to paint CCW holders as brutal killers:
Gun owners who were legally allowed to carry a firearm have killed more than 900 people in shootings that did not involve self-defense over the last decade, according to a new report from a gun control group.
…a study which, like most anti-gun studies, uses firearm suicides to inflate its statistics:
The Violence Policy Center found at least 921 people have been killed by concealed-carry permit holders since 2007 during incidents ranging from mass shootings to suicides.
It would be interesting to know how many non-suicide killings are part of those statistics, as even liberal media has pointed out that at least 60% of firearm fatalities in the US are attributed to suicide. If you take VPC’s 921 deaths, annualize them, and break out the 60% of suicides, you arrive at 37 people killed per year by CCW holders. We’ll call it 40, just to round up and give the anti-gunners the benefit of the doubt. And according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, there are 14.5 million people in the US with a CCW permit.
This calculation leads to a firearm “non self-defense firearm homicide rate” among CCW holders of 0.27 per 100,000. The US has a nationwide homicide rate by firearm of 3.60 per 100,000, with an additional 0.24 for “unintentional” or “undetermined” firearm deaths, for a “total” of 3.84 per 100,000 non-suicide firearm deaths.
For reference, there are only 6 countries out of 219 listed on Wikipedia that have an intentional homicide rate below 0.27 per 100,000. As a group, US CCW holders are safer individuals than even the uber-safe Japanese.
And yet somehow, 60 Minutes and their NYC anti-gun peddlers consider CCW holders to be the “unsafe” ones, once again using suicide to bolster their argument:
They’re not just worried about more crime, but an increase in suicides, gun accidents and heated arguments turning into lethal altercations.
South Korea, Japan, Russia, Belgium, India, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Sweden – this is what you would consider a “diverse” group of nations. However, they (and many other nations) all have two things in common – more stringent gun laws than the US, and a higher suicide rate. If there is a correlation between firearm ownership and suicide rate, it is certainly not borne out in worldwide suicide statistics.
Even worse is that 60 Minutes and NYC’s “representatives” on its program tried to use NYC’s stringent gun laws as evidence that it is the “safest big city” in America:
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill say their city has the most to lose. Every year, New York takes in nearly 50 million visitors from all over the country into a congested, sometimes chaotic city. Even if a tiny fraction were legally carrying concealed weapons, it would mean hundreds of thousands of additional guns for what is right now the safest big city in America.
60 Minutes would do well to look at its own reporting (which Free Market Shooter once did) that examined the ever-increasing violence in Chicago, a city with even stricter firearm laws than even New York City. Again, if there is a correlation between legal firearm ownership and low gun violence, it is not something that can be seen when you compare New York City to Chicago, or Washington DC, or Baltimore, or any of the other high-crime cities where legal gun ownership is heavily restricted.
So, what did 60 Minutes get right in their segment? The fact that, in America, nothing “divides” quite like guns:
Of all the political and cultural issues that divide red states from blue ones, none is more volatile than guns and who can carry them.
With many other organizations airing and publishing biased and uninformed reporting on firearms just like 60 Minutes, the nation’s monumental divide on firearms is all but certain to continue. That is an awful thing, as just a little bit of firearms education could bring about a push for a broad consensus on guns.