The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has led to a revival of the debate over assault weapons, but journalist Evan Osnos says the real growth in gun ownership is from small, concealed handguns.
“Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns,” Osnos tellsFresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “Concealed carry, as it’s known, is now legal in all 50 states.”
Osnos, who writes about the evolution of concealed carry in the current issue of The New Yorker, estimates that there are about 13 million people who are licensed to carry a concealed gun in the United States — more than 12 times the number of police officers and detectives in America.
He says that gun manufacturers market a “concealed-carry lifestyle,” which uses fear to sell guns.
“If you are somebody who is considering buying a gun, or you’ve become part of this phenomenon of carrying a gun in daily life, you are constantly being reminded of ways in which you could encounter a threat,” he says.
The concealed-carry movement is central to the gun-rights platform of organizations like the National Rifle Association, Osnos adds.
“The idea that you should be allowed, legally and constitutionally, to carry a gun almost anywhere … is actually sort of the heart of what the gun rights movement believes is the future,” he says.
Democrats in Congress are staging a “sit-in” demanding that Republicans allow a vote on limiting gun rights. Actually this issue has been voted on, on 4 different occasions and has been turned down.
In most situations a policeman is at least 15 minutes away! If you need help “pronto” a concealed weapon might be the difference between a good ending or just and “ending!”