Small business owners around the country ask me one question as often as any I hear. They want to know where to relocate away from crime, away from high taxes, and away from union pressures.
If violent crime is your biggest concern, you cannot flee the District of Columbia fast enough. The violent crime rate in D.C. is 10 times that of some of my safe haven states like Maine and Vermont. And the D.C. violent crime rate is five times that of safe havens like New Hampshire, Utah and, yes, Virginia (but the safety is in southern Virginia). Illinois is high on my flight list. It is the only state that denies concealed permits to residents. California is also weak on the concealed weapons front. And the onerous new gun laws in New York, along with brutal taxes, a toxic political environment, and lack of castle doctrine protection and right to work status, put New York, as well as similarly positioned California, at the pinnacle of my Can’t Leave Fast Enough list.
Is there a single best move any American can make to provide protection for family and associates? Take the NRA handgun safety course leading to a concealed weapons permit. A few years ago, Debbie and I took the excellent NRA handgun safety course (the NRA’s prime educational tool for Americans), and now we both have a Florida concealed weapon’s license.
John R. Lott, Jr. writes in More Guns Less Crime that the total number of deaths and injuries from mass public shootings falls to a rate reaching zero five years after a nondiscretionary concealed-handgun law is implemented by a state (Lott’s study looks at specific data from the 10 states that changed their laws during the 1977-1992 period.).
As I write, I am studying the summary of the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This proposed weapons ban is driven strictly by political motivation. The proposed ban, like prohibition, will no more keep guns out of the hands of lunatics and bad guys than prohibition kept booze away from the thirsty or the mafia. How preposterous to even imply such a possibility. The legislation notes the millions of assault weapons and large-capacity weapons currently in existence. To deal with this mountain of munitions, the politicians with straight faces propose background checks on all sales or transfers of grandfathered weapons. I know dozens of highly armed citizens, and not a one indicates to me the intent of selling or transferring so much as a single high capacity magazine.
Big city crime zones, such as in New York, Los Angeles, D.C. and Chicago, suffer from some of the weakest gun protection laws for their citizens. And yet, as John Lott points out, despite opposition to concealed hand gun laws, urban, densely populated areas benefit most from being allowed to protect themselves.
You can quickly click to my Liberty & Freedom map for a state-to-state run down on a number of the safety and good business practices. I have noted above a menu of states you want to depart in terms of family security and a toxic business climate. It is perhaps not surprising that the worst of the worst are those states most directly aligned to the statist-oriented, big government track of the Obama administration. These are the areas one would expect to most aggressively promote the freedom-restricting notion of a Weapons Ban. No U.S. senator or representative who looks at an assault weapons ban in terms of safety could possibly think that such a ban makes a shred of sense or in large measure is enforceable. John R. Lott’s data is not contestable, and the politicians know it.
Americans are being duped by politicians who are using a national tragedy to forward their own self-interest. I can think of no bigger disgrace!
Originally posted January 28, 2013.