The Associated Press and as a result the Seattle Times today focused on a report out of Idaho that the Gem State is experiencing a spike in concealed carry.
According to the story, originally reported by Idaho’s KIDK, “nearly 8 percent of the (Idaho) population has a concealed carry permit.”
That should not surprise anyone familiar with Idaho’s political and social climate. It’s one of the most gun-friendly states in the nation. In neighboring Washington, with about 7 million residents, as of Nov. 1 there were 560,450 active concealed pistol licenses of which roughly 20 percent are held by women, and that number is expected to climb by the end of the month. Liberty Park Press will get an update from the Department of Licensing on Wednesday. The Evergreen State is considered to be “blue” politically only because of the liberal voting bloc in Seattle and the Puget Sound area.
Down in Arizona, as of this morning, there were 295,204 carry permits.
Idaho, Washington and Arizona are all open carry states as well, and in Arizona, one does not actually need a permit to carry openly or concealed. This is called “constitutional carry.”
Why are more people “arming up?” There are likely several reasons, including the threat of home-grown terrorism. Even with the election of Donald Trump – or perhaps because of it – there appears to be more interest rather than less.
During his campaign, Trump occasionally reminded his audiences that he believes in national concealed carry reciprocity/recognition and that he is personally licensed to carry. Whether that squares with his Secret Service detail probably doesn’t matter so much as it hit the right note with millions of armed citizens.
History has revealed that other presidents were known to carry guns occasionally. One biographer of Ronald Reagan said he carried a gun for years following the attempt by John Hinckley to assassinate him. Teddy Roosevelt carried a handgun, according to one biographer, when he went out in public.
What happened at Ohio State University Monday morning serves as a reminder that violence can happen anywhere. While this incident involved someone driving into a crowd and then attacking them with a large knife or machete of some kind, one need only remember what happened in Nice, France earlier this year when nearly 90 people were mowed down by a terrorist driving a large truck. As in Nice, the perpetrator at the university was shot dead by a police officer.
By some estimates, more than 14 million Americans are licensed to carry. Perhaps they have reasoned that if it saves just one life…