Back in the 1980’s, crime was out of control and the gun control debate was winning the day. I can remember thinking back then, that it was only a matter of time until we would have a total ban on handguns. There is an excellent article I came across by Scott McPherson on the Mises Wire where he chronicles the ascendancy of concealed carry.
Half the country wanted to ban handguns, nine states were trying something different. “Shall issue” concealed-carry laws were passed, meaning non-felons could apply for a license to carry a concealed handgun and their state government was obliged to respect their right to carry for self-defense.
Meanwhile forty states had either “May Issue” laws in place – meaning the state had discretion in the matter, typically resulting in denial (this is how it was in Michigan where I live) – or no law respecting a citizen’s right to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection.
That was then and this is now. A major cultural shift has taken place. More than ever, Americans are arming themselves against criminals and madmen in the modern era. Interestingly, this trend is also catching fire abroad. In Austria and the Czech Republic, for example, the migrant crisis, rising crime, and several high-profile terrorist attacks have been met by a renewed interest in self-defense and gun ownership. People are figuring out that when seconds count the police are always going to be too far away.