Would Expanding Conceal-And-Carry Cut Gun Violence?

Governor Rick Perry has weighed in on the renewed debate over gun control, following the school shooting in Connecticut. Last night, he told a gathering in a Fort Worth suburb that concealed-handgun permit holders should be able to carry their weapons in any public place. But is the idea of arming more people in more places the right course of action?

Houston attorney Jack Reynolds is the author of the book "A People Armed and Free: The Truth About the Second Amendment." He supports fewer restrictions on gun ownership, and the expansion of places where concealed permit holders can carry their guns. He concedes that simply having more people armed in more places, like schools, would not guarantee an end to determined gunmen.

"However, in the first place, they probably wouldn't try it anymore because they know that people would be carry-and-conceal there. They would go somewhere else. If they did try it, then there is at least a chance that you could stop it. The kids and teachers in that school had absolutely no chance. When seconds count, the police are minutes away."

But gun control advocates say the idea that easing conceal and carry restrictions carry would reduce gun deaths was put forth in a study that has been discredited by the National Academy of Sciences. Ladd Everitt is with the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence.

"Scientific scholarship, essentially, has told us that, if anything, liberal conceal-and-carry laws are more likely to increase aggravated assaults. There's a limited dataset in this area. But that is what it has found. Scientific research has found no credible evidence that liberal conceal-and-carry decrease violence and crime, generally."

Concealed weapon permit holders in Texas can't carry their guns in hospitals, houses of worship, school or professional sporting events, or businesses that earn more than half their revenue from selling alcohol. There is no law that would prohibit an individual school district from instituting a conceal-and-carry policy. The Harrold Independent School District, near the Oklahoma state line, adopted a conceal-and-carry for some faculty and staff four years ago.

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