Though the number of female CCW permit holders has been on the rise over the past several years, the last couple years have produced a sharp increase in their numbers. Statistics from a number of different states are showing that compared to the previous years’ steady rise, the past two years have dramatically increased the number of female CCW permit holders in the U.S. The question is, why now?
Let’s take a look at the statistics first. In Utah, there were 14,000 women’s CCW permits issued in 2011, 15,000 issued in 2012 and a whopping 34,597 in 2013, more than doubling over the previous year. In Florida, the percentage of female CCW holders has risen from 15% of the total in 2007 to 23% so far this year, adding almost 216,000 armed women to the mix. Texas saw the rates of minority women applying for CCW permits nearly double from 2010 to 2011, though all classes of CCW holder increased during that time as well. Anecdotal evidence and gun sales show a similar trend.
I think it’s safe to say that the statement made by Kristen Rand, Violence Policy Center’s legislative director, saying that the gun industry’s, “efforts at reaching out to minorities and women have failed,” is completely inaccurate. More women are taking their personal safety into their own hands. But the question that remains is why are more women packing?
It could be the skewed numbers that are used to show our economy in a recovery when there are still millions of Americans out of work, leading them to theft and home invasions. The prevalence of videos shared over social media and mobile markets showing the violence that happens even in simple purse snatchings may also be a factor as women wake up and realize that just handing things over won’t guarantee safety. Other considerations include long response times from emergency services leading to terrible cases where the police show up in time to do the paperwork instead of actually stopping the crime.
Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that dropping crime rates are related to the sharp increase in gun ownership and CCW permits. When a criminal can’t know whether a target is armed or not, they are less likely to act. As a friend once told me while teaching me self-defense, “an armed society is a polite society.”
Image courtesy of Top Art.