Why so few choose to carry?

This is a discussion on Why so few choose to carry? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've always wondered why so many law-abiding American choose not to exercise their right to carry a firearm for self defense. The average percentage of ...

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Thread: Why so few choose to carry?

  1. #1
    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    Why so few choose to carry?

    I've always wondered why so many law-abiding American choose not to exercise their right to carry a firearm for self defense.

    The average percentage of permit holders in the US is about 4%, but varies from state to state.

    In Minnesota the number of carry permit holders has steadily increased in two years from ~40,000 to 73,000 thanks to very active instructor training and offered courses.

    The mandatory class cost anywhere from $70 to $ 200, and the permit $100 with a 30-day wait. The gear does no come cheap either.

    So, why? Money? Hating guns? Ignorance? Hassle? Brainwashed? Fear? Utopia?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    The last 30-40 years of "guns are bad"..."only bad guys/cops/soldiers carry guns"...."the police are there to protect you"...."it's for the children" garbage.

    Pretty much everything you listed plays a part.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the permit system. For example, in VA we pay $50 for a 5-year permit through the county. In other localities, it costs MUCH more than that. Why? Is a background check and paperwork THAT much different? I wish states would look at other states' procedures and streamline where they can (I do NOT want the Fed mandating anything other than universal recognition (like drivers licenses))....so it isn't an undue burden on a citizen to exercise their rights.
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    Good question. As you both stated all things listed play a part.
    In this day and age money is a big thing, lack of knowledge about firearms would be in the top two of my list.
    Projects like Appleseed have taken off strongly I think simply people are seeing that firearms and firearms ownership can be fun, a family thing in that firearms owners are not evil eyed death merchants waiting to gun everyone down, and it shows responsibility.
    We are no longer a gun culture that we used to be. We are a culture of civil liability and it is the other guys fault that I messed up.
    There is a disease/illness for every crime, thought, bad act or act of stupidity since time began. It is not their fault they committed a crime their grandfather served in the army in WW2 and his genes from that time in the war transgressed into his father and was passed down to the son who in turn took his pent up aggresions out on the elderly woman with the purse because the moon was full and they will find an expert to testify to it.
    We have also "generally speaking" become a society where many people are taught to avoid confrontation. It's ok just let it go mentality. I am not saying we should yell and scream or use physical violence against someone just because they make a rude comment or gesture, unless that is what is called for at the time, but stand up for yourself and others if needed.
    Sig I agree totally in a National Carry Permit, if even that, but find one set of laws that are fair, firm, and consistent across the board and be done with it. So many posts on here become confused and go down hill quickly because of the difference in state laws.
    Anyways I will step down from my soapbox now.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  5. #4
    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    SigGuy229 thanks for your reply.

    Im certain your list pretty much explains most of it.

    However, the part that is beyond are the ~80,000,000 law-abiding firearms owners. We, the gun community, have always been split. To generalize the hunters have their own world; old school competitive shooters had theirs.

    I think things really started to evolve and improve when the different practical shooting disciplines commenced spreading the good word. I do not think the IPSC shooters have a bone to pick with the cowboy action shooters, etc.

    Several years back, I produced a film about Practical Shooting (IPSC/USPSA) and offered the NRA $10,000 worth free advertising in it (Id most of the biggest names of the industry as sponsors). The NRA told me point blank that they want nothing to do with practical shooting and USPSA. The next day I received one of those sky is falling, donate $25 immediately letters. I called the HQ and requested them to explain their rationale. They declined. I quit my membership.

    BTW, the production revealed a fascinating world of rivalries between the biggest names of American manufacturers, gun media, shooting organizations, and the gurus. The only really decent individual I had the honor to meet was Col. Cooper himself. He invited me to hear the story from the horses mouth. He was totally disgusted about the state of affairs all the stupid rivalry. The stories Id tell!

    I concur. The permit system sucks. The whole country should follow the example of Alaska and Vermont. Or, at least, reciprocity should be universal.

    The feds should definitely stay out of the whole firearms business just as the second Amendment declares. Ups, did I just lose my carry permit?


    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Good question. As you both stated all things listed play a part.

    In this day and age money is a big thing, lack of knowledge about firearms would be in the top two of my list.

    Projects like Appleseed have taken off strongly I think simply people are seeing that firearms and firearms ownership can be fun, a family thing in that firearms owners are not evil eyed death merchants waiting to gun everyone down, and it shows responsibility.

    We are no longer a gun culture that we used to be. We are a culture of civil liability and it is the other guys fault that I messed up.

    I am not saying we should yell and scream or use physical violence against someone just because they make a rude comment or gesture, unless that is what is called for at the time, but stand up for yourself and others if needed.
    Excellent points, as always.

    Wed get more young people involved. Im doing my best to offer free firearms instruction to all, especially women and children, and Im willing to pay the expenditures from own pocket. Ive had some success one American at a time.

  6. #5
    Member Array CajunBass's Avatar
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    I suppose that most people have no idea that they'll ever "need" a gun for any reason. For the vast majority of them, they're right.
    kahrcarrier likes this.
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    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    I haven't thought much about it. Matter of fact, it's not really that high on my priority list. After having taken the required class for my permit and seeing some of the people applying, the fact that not many people carry might not be such a bad thing.

    However, I am doing my part to increase the numbers - I teach 4-H shooting sports. The good thing about this program is that it teaches life skills - communication, respect, consideration and the like - in addition to shooting skills.

    While a right not exercised may be a right lost, those who exercise their right not to carry may do so for reasons beyond my comprehension. I think what it boils down to is being willing to accept the consequences of choice. I choose to carry and protect my loved ones, and am willing to accept the consequences of any issue to which that choice leads. Those who choose not to carry must be willing to do the same.
    USM1976 likes this.
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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Everything you mentioned, plus - the populace has gotten fat and lazy and expects the government to do everything for them, including protection (in the form of LEOs). THAT'S how we get bigger and bigger government.

    There are also MANY sheeple who think "it can't happen to me, I live in a guiet, peaceful, small, rural (insert your own adjective here) community. Why would anyone want to hurt, rob, rape (insert adjective again) me? They refuse to believe the violence and lawlessness is spreading at an alarming rate. "Oh, the news always exaggerates things."

    They are gullible and believe if a ban on handguns was enacted the BGs would walk up and turn in their weapons, too.

    So many reasons...

  9. #8
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    In addition to the reasons already stated (which I support), I'll bet a lot has to do with our tendency to avoid any hint that we are not captains of our soul and masters of our fate.

    Carrying means that however attractive these ideas may be:
    • I recognize that I cannot predict the future;
    • I admit that I do not have the power to prevent evil from confronting my family;
    • I grant that I'm not tough/trained enough to fend off every bad guy without proper tools; and
    • I abandon the notion that my mommy and daddy, my nanny, the cops, local, state or federal government, or whichever president we happen to have are able to protect me and the ones I love.

    Carrying demands that we live in the real world instead of a fantasy world.

    Living in the real world flies in the face of Joe Human's desire to be his own king (note how skillfully I avoided overstepping the 'religion' rule... but I don't think we need to even go there for this discussion: human nature really is pretty observable). We WANT to believe we're all-knowing and all-powerful, and it requires a tremendous amount of humility for the average guy to even face these issues, much less deal with them in terms of training, permits, equipment, situational awareness, and the like.

    Back to the attributes: it's the "all-wise" part that's the hardest: maybe the 4% are those possessing just enough wisdom to grant the points above and take appropriate action. May we have many more with ears to hear and eyes to see.
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    I have 4 buddies that I hang out with a lot. Each have their CC permit as well as several handguns and none of them carry. We go shooting but none of them ever carry. My FIL bought a 9mm to have at his house after we started going shooting some, but he has no interest in getting his CC permit. I told him he could open carry in his car while traveling but he has no interest in that either. I don't get it at all.
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  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunBass View Post
    I suppose that most people have no idea that they'll ever "need" a gun for any reason. For the vast majority of them, they're right.
    i am in total agreement with this statement...its not unreasonable to believe that the chances of needing your gun are very slim and many people see it that way...crime is everywhere but still only affects a very small percentage of people directly...just look at how many people do carry guns who have never been involved in a self defense situation...as small as the percentage of carriers is the percentage who have had to use theirs is very small also...

    call it lazy if you want...or call it a gamble on their part to choose not to exercise the right to carry...they may look at it as a long shot to ever need one as many people go through life without any sort of encounters...

    its a choice people make....

    question....how many people who carry have taken self defense classes such as martial arts?...why or why not?...the likelyhood of getting into a physical altercation is probably more than having to defend against a deadly weapon...i know it has in my life...

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I think most people don't realize that they can. Most people I've discussed CC with didn't even know that our state is a Shall Issue State. They were under the impression that in order to carry a firearm, they needed a reason, like back in the May Issue days.
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    I believe so few carry because they don't see the need. The perpetual "won't happen to me" carries on--until it does. Others find CC uncomfortable physically or inconvenient and give it up or carry only when they think they they might be entering an area of increased threat. Many are not, and will never be, comfortable around firearms, no matter what.

    I also don't put weight on the increasing number of permits as a reflection of the number of people actively carrying. I feel many of the applicants did so because they felt the opportunity to get a permit was going away and they'd better get one while they can, or that having the permit eliminates the "waiting period" for purchasing a handgun.

    In reality, most people will never have the need to protect themselves. The odds are with them. But for the unfortuate whose odds failed, many will wish they had carried.
    SigIsTheAnswer and Mr45 like this.
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array C Bennett's Avatar
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    Because 96% of people have their heads in the sand or think that since nothing has ever happened to them or their friends/family/in their neighborhood..that it could NEVER happen to them..they get complacent..and for most of them it works out and they never do become victims...but some people that thought that they could never be a victim become one and they either fight back(if they live) become proactive from that time forth and become a gun owner or they spread the word to others about what happened to them and some of those people finally get the message...but its still very few...

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's in NJ most families owned a pistol or long gun of some sort. Most fellas hunted and fished.....today, the gun has been made to be villianous, evil.

    Back then we even had a rifle team in High School, where students brought their .22Cal rifles into school and kept them in their lockers.....can one today even imagine that ?

    IMO, our social norms are out of wack today......low esteem, lack of confidence and empathy rule. Prime conditions for preditory individuals and gang rule.
    elmacgyver0 likes this.

  16. #15
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    As touched on earlier; If 4% of the public have permits I bet half of them dont carry on a regular basis. That is even more upseting. In my office we have 4 people who have permits and only one carried on a regular basis.
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