History teaches us that human nature is a constant. Virtue and vice haven’t changed. That makes comparisons extremely interesting and insightful. 6.5% of American adults took the class and paid the fees to get their license to carry a concealed firearm in public. Outside the restrictive states of California and New York, about 8% of the adult population have their permit. Women and minorities are the fastest growing segments of concealed carry holders.
Compare that to Los Angeles County, California. The issuance rate for permits in LA county is about 2200 times lower than the national average. Are the adults in LA significantly different than the rest of us? Is there some odd reason why Angelinos don’t want to protect their family, or is there another reason? Doctor John Lott collected the detailed data that makes the reason clear.
Not only were the LA permits few and far between, they also went to powerful white men. On top of the original factor of 2200 mentioned above, combine that with another factor of being 6.6 times less likely to get a permit if you are female rather than male. You’re 7.4 times less likely to be granted your concealed carry permit if you are Hispanic rather than White. Why are women and minorities so under represented? That doesn’t make sense given that violent crime is increasing in LA county.
The answer is politics and bigotry. The Los Angeles County Sheriff claims this political bigotry is done in the name of public safety. By law, the Sheriff can deny concealed carry permits to anyone he wants. He gives permits to retired and reserve law enforcement and to judges. In 2013, some permits also went to the sheriff’s political donors. Other Sheriffs in California give permits to current and retired politicians and news media. Ordinary citizens need not apply.
That shouldn’t surprise us. We often see the same biased behavior across the country in deep blue cities and in deep blue states like New York, New Jersey and Maryland. What is amazing is that California judges not only tolerate this gross disparity, but they endorse it.
Imagine if female minorities in California were ten thousand times less likely to get consumer credit, housing, jobs, or to be accepted into schools. We’d know what to call that. We’d call it bigotry.
Judges look the other way when we excuse blatant bigotry by labeling it as public safety. That was the same rationalization we used a century ago to deny Blacks, Asians and Hispanics the right of self-defense. It is the excuse that blue state politicians and judges use today.