Talk:Concealed carry in the United States

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The intro should include a clear definition and summary of the topic. It should not include any attempts to frame CCW as a pro or anti-social practice, which obviously compromises the article's neutrality. AP295 (talk) 20:44, 2 December 2020 (UTC)

It is absolutely not a violation of NPOV to summarize research on the topic. It is a violation of NPOV to scrub content from the page and omit RS content because it hurts your feelings or because you disagree with it. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:34, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
Of course it's not a violation of NPOV to summarize research. However, the intro should be definitional in nature, and not crafted to impress upon the reader any particular opinion. You can put those lines in another section if you want. AP295 (talk) 21:50, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
That is absolutely not in the Wikipedia guidelines. WP:LEADs summarize the body. It's a violation of the lead guidelines to specifically omit parts of the body because you personally dislike them. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 22:49, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
From the style manual The first sentence of the lead typically contains a concise definition and establishes the topic's notability. The rest of the lead should introduce the article's context and summarise its key points. Anyone can cherry-pick a few sources and summarize them to leave the reader with a specific impression. I have no problem with including those citations but they do not need to be in the intro by themselves. The casual reader cannot reasonably be expected to view the article objectively when you foist upon them some vague social imperative like "reducing violent crime" and imply that CCW does or does not facilitate that objective. That is completely beyond the pale for an encyclopedic entry. AP295 (talk) 23:22, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
I also notice the intro is somewhat lacking in basic information and context. For example, it does not tell the reader why someone might practice CCW. I want to add a sentence along the lines of "CCW is often practiced as a means of personal defense, and requires a permit in certain areas". AP295 (talk) 22:43, 2 December 2020 (UTC)
  • AP295: It seems that the content you deleted summarized the findings of well-regarded meta-analyses. You are mistaken when you call it "cherry-pick[ing] a few sources." In fact, the whole point of a meta-analysis is that it summarizes the broad spectrum of research (i.e., multiple studies, not just one). And the lead section is supposed to summarize the body, which addresses the scientific literature in detail. So I'm seeing no policy-based reason for your edit. Neutralitytalk 00:20, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
And I've invited you to put that content back into the article, but not in the intro. Why do you think someone practices CCW? Are their motivations in conflict with your apparent interest in "reducing violent crime"? It was not really a neutral introduction, and I'm sure you agree with that. It is dishonest to imply to the reader they are responsible for reducing violent crime and therefore should oppose the practice of CCW. They are not, and it's very much up for debate (per your own citations) whether CCW increases or decreases crime, and whether or not there are other social costs/benefits. To sum it all up in a couple of sentences predicated on your specific motivations and stick them in the intro is outright dishonest. AP295 (talk) 00:45, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
Edit- Sorry, I thought you were the editor I was speaking with before. All the same, the manner in which content is presented can have a profound effect on how the reader interprets that information. The cited content itself may be well regarded and I'm not trying to dispute its legitimacy or scientific merit. I think that's very clear from what I've said here so far and it's silly to feign ignorance and pretend that I'm challenging the cited content and not the way in which it's included in this article. AP295 (talk) 01:16, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
People strongly associate conspicuity with importance and so anything included in an intro tends to be taken very seriously by the reader. By raising the question of whether CCW increases or decreases violent crime in the intro, the reader is primed with that imperative and that's the frame through which they view the rest of the article. I could rewrite the entire article assuming the reader is interested in personal defense, and it would come out very differently. It's not uncommon on wikipedia to see an article that bears little relevance to my own interest in the subject, and I try to AGF and chalk it up to cultural differences but you're making it awfully hard. AP295 (talk) 01:47, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
And incidentally, the reader of this talk page should take note of Snooganssnoogans's comments, which are typical of propagandists, influencers and busybodies across cyberspace. By writing replies such as " because it hurts your feelings or because you disagree with it " they hope you'll become flustered and simply fail to articulate your point, which may be difficult to begin with. Beware. AP295 (talk) 02:54, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
The text that you take issue with simply does not "imply to the reader they are responsible for reducing violent crime" or tell readers what they "should oppose." It merely summarizes, in two sentences, some material that is about seven paragraphs long in the article. That's precisely the function of a lead section. You've made very broad claims (e.g., that the National Academics and RAND meta-analyses are "not really neutral" or "dishonest") without factual support for that. I would caution you to please focus your comments on content, and not on contributors. Accusing other editors of being "propagandists, influencers and busybodies," of being "biased," or of "stonewalling" are a classic example of what not to do. Neutralitytalk 17:21, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
" You've made very broad claims (e.g., that the National Academics and RAND meta-analyses are "not really neutral" or "dishonest") without factual support for that. " I've made no such claims. Wikipedia's civility guidelines also warn against making snide comments. In any case, if you feel the lines should be added back into the intro and not somewhere else, we should probably move to dispute resolution because I don't see anything productive coming of our conversation here. To nudge someone one way or the other in this intro using such exposition is inappropriate. The intro sets the tone and because of its salience, it's easy to set up a biased frame for the entire article. Suggesting in the last sentence of the intro that CCW is or is not associated with violent crime (not really, according to the research you cited) is political agitprop. AP295 (talk) 18:06, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
More generally, this is how a lot of political propaganda goes. It presupposes a certain motivation or obligation on part of the reader (like reducing violent crime on the national level) which may have nothing to do with their immediate interest in the subject, and establishes a choice architecture that encourages the reader to make a political decision while maintaining a veneer of objectivity. This sort of tripe does not belong on Wikipedia. AP295 (talk) 18:55, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
And the RFC above is another (especially obvious) example of this pattern. The sort of polarizing rhetoric in the talk page and the article itself is pervasive in mass media. It leads people to make poor decisions and warps their perception of reality. AP295 (talk) 19:26, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
Another reason why it doesn't belong in the intro are the conclusions that the casual reader might be tempted to draw from such a glib summary of aggregate information. For example, " If CCW increases violence at the national level, then federal regulation could effect a net social positive at the national level " CCW (edit: regulation thereof) may work fine for some areas but not others, and so federal regulation would be needless. Imagine the hubris it takes to name yourself "Neutrality" on Wikipedia and then spend your time reinforcing political propaganda and federal overreach. It's not hard to tell when someone's arguing in good faith and when someone isn't. AP295 (talk) 21:48, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
The main point I'm trying to make here though is not about CCW per se. It's that this article is a prime example of biased political propaganda being represented as general information about the topic. Who writes this nonsense? Influencers who make dozens of politically-related edits a day and then insist they are the sole arbiters of truth and justice on Wikipedia. AP295 (talk) 22:12, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
And I'll also explain why what you are doing is a sin. There's a reason Montana's gun laws wouldn't work in the Bronx and vice versa. The good news is, they don't have to. Articles like this discuss "gun violence" as a universal concept without the slightest mention of population density or demographics. It forces people into a conflict of interest that would not exist otherwise, which seems to be a common feature of political media in general. AP295 (talk) 16:31, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm not interested in arguing about gun control or "choice architecture" with you. Your comments complaining about the "mass media" or the past RfC are not relevant (and the content you removed, incidentally, was academic works, not the "mass media"). And long comments replete with inappropriate personal remarks are totally unhelpful. Neutralitytalk 18:12, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
They are very relevant because that RFC concerns the inclusion of just such a summary in the lead of this article. People often draw incorrect conclusions from statistical data, depending on how it is presented. To suggest that CCW "increases violent crime" or "decreases violent crime" means absolutely nothing by itself, and there's no reason to put it in the intro for the reader who doesn't plan on reading any further. AP295 (talk) 19:14, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
But that's really only half the problem. I could edit Wikipedia all day and still not keep up with all the statistical misrepresentation and other counter-intelligence that propagandists bang out on a daily basis. I removed two sentences from this page and lo, I attracted the attention of an editor with 30,000+ edits and a Wikipedia administrator. AP295 (talk) 20:09, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
I had a look at the metastudy, most of the studies they considered did not find that shall-issue policy increased violent crime. So, I had a look at the one study that did. First, they did not actually conclude that CCW increases violent crime, they concluded that introducing right-to-carry laws (in other words, shall-issue) increases crime. So that sentence I removed was not even true to begin with (or at least, it can't be sourced from that study). Now, I'm not especially familiar with the statistical technique they used (the synthetic control method), but the general idea is that, for each given state, they use a weighted average of crime rates in other states to compare with and determine whether permitless carry increases or decreases violent crimes. This is different from saying that violent crimes increased following the introduction of permitless carry. For example, in Texas, violent crimes decreased, but they concluded that the introduction of permitless carry increased violent crime in texas because crime was lower in their synthetic control. Of course, they're only trying to measure the impact of shall-issue laws being introduced, and their thesis is that violent crime would have decreased even more had those laws not been introduced, but I think it's important for readers to understand that shall-issue is not necessarily causing violent crime to rise, and they're not making any claims about CCW in general. AP295 (talk) 23:49, 4 December 2020 (UTC)
So another way to interpret the results of this study is that decreasing crime rates have enabled certain states to adopt a shall-issue policy without violent crime increasing, good news. Unfortunately, the authors are doom-and-gloom about the slightly lower crime rates that could have been (according to their nebulous synthetic control model where Texas is 57.8% California, 8.6% Nebraska and 33.6% Wisconsin) at the mere cost of our hard-won liberties. AP295 (talk) 00:06, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
After reading a bit further, I found some interesting information: " We can almost perfectly restore the DAW Table 4 findings, however, by simply following the typical pattern of crime regressions by limiting the inclusion of 36 highly collinear demographic variables and including measures for police and incarceration " and also " Those who are skeptical of these results because the LM specification is plagued by omitted variable bias, flawed pseudo-arrest rates, too many highly collinear demographic variables, and other problems, might prefer the estimates in Panel B, which simply limit the LM demographic variables from 36 to 6, and add the incarceration and police controls. These changes once again restore the Table 4 DAW dummy variable model result that RTC laws increase both violent and property crime". Look, I'm not a statistician, and the work is peer reviewed, but I really cannot help but be a little suspicious when I read things like this. AP295 (talk) 01:44, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
This is from Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Controls Analysis , by the way.
*sigh* and finally, Using the 6 DAW variables reduces the multicollinearity for the RTC dummy to a tolerable level (with VIFs always below the desirable threshold of 5). Indeed, the degree of multicollinearity for the individual demographics of the black-male categories are astonishingly high with 36 demographic controls – in the neighborhood of 14,000! This analysis makes us wary of estimates of the Their comment is cut off on page 13, I don't know what happened to the rest of it. Possibly a typesetting mistake. To be fair, they still included (controlled for) that demographic, but I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions. AP295 (talk) 02:19, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
One more thing I noticed while reading their report is that most of the states where their synthetic control had very good fit before the shall-issue date and then diverged shortly thereafter tended to have high illegal/minority populations. TX, PA, NC, MI. Meanwhile their method was unable to find good-fitting synthetic controls for the states Maine, Montana, Minnesota and South Dakota where their model suggested that shall-issue was a cause of decreasing violence. That's rather convenient. I think they're making a better case for the wall than against shall-issue. AP295 (talk) 18:32, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
And I'm sorry if all this seems crass but what irks me more than anything in the report is the dishonesty here on Wikipedia. These editors go off and make a hundred more political edits while I'm here trying to defend my two-sentence change to this article (which was, as it turns out, entirely justified). I'd expect an apology but for some reason I doubt one is forthcoming. AP295 (talk) 18:55, 5 December 2020 (UTC)

Aside from my comments above, I think the intro really needs a sentence to this effect: CCW is often practiced as a means of personal defense and requires a license in many areas. Possession of a handgun without a concealed carry license is a serious felony in certain areas. A CCW license is the only way to lawfully possess a handgun in some states as far as I know, and I'm not sure how many people are aware of that. It seems simple enough but I'd like to get a second opinion before I include it. I'll leave it here for a few days. AP295 (talk) 15:51, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

"CCW is often practiced as a means of personal defense" – This is unsourced (as is the rest of your comment). There are all kinds of motivations for CCW, and neither the lead nor the body needs to get into them. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:57, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps you can help me source that statement then. The intro really does not give the reader any indication of why one would want or need a CCW license or practice CCW. AP295 (talk) 16:00, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
And unfortunately, Wikipedia articles such as this often do not acknowledge common American cultural practices or interests and tend to hyper-focus on the political narrative surrounding the topic at hand. The result is an intractable and largely negative article like this one, which is really a shame. You've made over 500 edits to dozens of different articles in the past month, all politically related, and then stonewall constructive changes and leave me a 3RR threat on my talk page. It's hardly an unbiased way of editing Wikipedia. AP295 (talk) 16:36, 3 December 2020 (UTC)

Hello, everybody. Here's a reference for saying that CCW is often practiced as a means of personal defense.[1]


  1. ^ Ingraham, Christopher (October 19, 2017). "3 Million Americans Carry Loaded Handguns with Them Every Single Day, Study Finds". Washington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2020. Roughly 3 million Americans carry loaded handguns with them every day, primarily for protection, according to a new analysis of a national survey of gun owners published in the American Journal of Public Health.... Four out of 5 of them said that personal protection was the primary reason they carried a loaded handgun.

Mudwater (Talk) 22:45, 4 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! AP295 (talk) 02:40, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
I'll probably cite the journal itself though, since WaPo is a two-cent propaganda rag. AP295 (talk) 14:23, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
You could cite the journal, but from a Wikipedia perspective the Washington Post would be preferable. The journal is a primary source, and the Post is a secondary source. It's also a news organization that's in general highly regarded, though one might or might not agree with its political perspective. See WP:PSTS for more on this. Mudwater (Talk) 14:37, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia seems to recommend against it: Journalism and news-reporting about or touching on technical topics cannot be used as a reliable source for technical claims. Journalism (in either sense) simplifies both concepts and wording in such topics. Nor is it reliable for statistics; journalists get statistics from somewhere else (hopefully the actually reliable sources for them) and then often misinterpret and misrepresent this data. I think it's most appropriate to cite the journal. Politically focused news agencies tend to have extreme biases and are essentially state-run, according to Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. AP295 (talk) 14:47, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
And if you accept Chomsky's thesis, then it follows that many professional journalists have a pecuniary interest in being not entirely objective in their interpretation of academic work, so I generally distrust journalists. WaPo doesn't seem to use any particular citation format, nor do many other news agencies. (And for this reason, most of their stories wouldn't even be acceptable as a high-school paper, but unfortunately this is the standard of journalism we've become accustomed to.) They are middlemen who insert themselves between academia and the broader public. AP295 (talk) 15:07, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
You really have to wonder what's happening to our nation when "highly regarded" news organizations don't even know how to use MLA, APA, or latex citations. This is the example they set for young readers. And people wonder why our STEM performance has gone from world-class to abysmal over the last few decades, and why we're so polarized over things that may not even matter. AP295 (talk) 15:23, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
In general, secondary sources are preferable to primary sources on Wikipedia, Noam Chomsky notwithstanding. That text you quoted, about "Journalism and news-reporting about or touching on technical topics cannot be used as a reliable source for technical claims," is from WP:FMSP. That's an essay, that contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. WP:PSTS is a guideline, a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, so, that carries a lot more weight. With all that being said, in my opinion, citing the journal in this particular case would be fine. Mudwater (Talk) 15:32, 5 December 2020 (UTC)
Hopefully Wikipedia has some provision for the use of primary sources as long as the editor is not taking too much liberty in their interpretation when editing articles. I see no reason to run anyone through WaPo or CNN, FOX or any other mind-rotting gauntlet when we're citing relatively uncontentious information from an academic journal. AP295 (talk) 15:42, 5 December 2020 (UTC)

@Mudwater @Snooganssnoogans @Neutrality Here's why WaPo are a bunch of jackasses and I won't cite them in the article. Mudwater, here's a paragraph from the page you linked:

" But more recent crime research has come to a very different conclusion. This year, for instance, a comprehensive analysis of decades of crime data found that states that made it easier to obtain concealed-carry permits saw a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in violent crime in the decade following the change. ".

This text is hyperlinked to, which is a page dedicated to the exact same paper by Donohue, Aneja and Weber that I was talking about earlier. They did not find that "states that made it easier to obtain concealed-carry permits saw a 10-15% increase in violent crime." Crime continued to decrease in most of those states, but their model predicted it would have decreased further had those laws not been introduced. This is very different from saying that violent crime increased 10-15% in the decade after the introduction of shall-carry. Was it intentional? Was the author just an idiot who didn't read the paper? Who knows? But this is the problem I have with Wikipedia's "no primary sources" policy and organizations like WaPo where the authors see what they want to see and then regurgitate partisan nonsense and claim that "science" supports it. It's no different from a tabloid. AP295 (talk) 16:41, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

That guy at WaPo has probably never even used ANOVA in his life. I can't imagine the people at WaPo are any more qualified to interpret or summarize the results of such a study than the average Wikipedia reader. Is this what a "highly-regarded" news organization does? The millions of people who read that article are now grossly misinformed. How is that responsible journalism? This article is similar in its tone and content. I'll be fixing it at some point in the future, and don't give me a hard time about it. AP295 (talk) 17:01, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

  • (1) You don't get to declare the Washington Post "a bunch of jackasses"; (2) you don't get to declare that this source is banned from this article because you don't like it; (3) you also are not entitled to use article talk pages to rant about the evils of the mainstream media or to expound about Chomsky's theories (this website is not a forum for your view); and (4) your personal preferences and your "problem ... with Wikipedia's 'no primary sources' policy and organizations like WaPo" are immaterial. Neutralitytalk 19:58, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
But I did, because I'm concerned for the quality of this article (and Wikipedia in general) and the reliability of sources that people are proposing and regularly cite here. You can say these things aren't relevant or that WaPo can grossly misinform millions of people and still be a trustworthy authority on the subject but that's a little nuts don't you think? At the very least I'd expect them to correct their mistake and apologize to their readers but they won't, and that's really not acceptable. AP295 (talk) 21:06, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

I tried to find the journal paper (survey where gun owners cited self-defense as their reason for ccw) they're talking about but it doesn't seem like the paper is cited or otherwise linked on the page. @Mudwater, if you know the title and authors of that journal paper, please post it here so I can have a look and cite it if necessary. AP295 (talk) 14:38, 12 December 2020 (UTC)

A lot of literature seems to reframe gun ownership and CCW as a public health crisis or at least set forth that hypothesis, and a quick search turned up no sources that talk specifically about (legally) CCW as a means of personal protection, although I'm certain the majority of people who do practice CCW do so for that reason. I found one survey from pew research center where most gun owners cited defense as a reason for ownership but the question wasn't specifically about CCW. In any case, I think this article on Wikipedia is incomplete without any explanation of why so many citizens practice CCW. It seems like common knowledge among people who CCW so I don't think it's unreasonable to include a sentence like " many people who practice CCW do so as a means of personal protection ". If anyone disagrees, please let me know what other reasons you think someone might carry. AP295 (talk) 15:13, 12 December 2020 (UTC)

I definitely think the article should say that personal self-defense is the main reason that people say they carry a concealed weapon. Mentioning it in the lead is probably appropriate. So, I've gone ahead and added that, here, using the Washington Post article as a reference. Mudwater (Talk) 19:08, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I think I've made it clear why that WaPo article should not be cited here. I'm undoing your edit for now. If you can find the original source we'll add it back in with the journal citation. AP295 (talk) 19:13, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
For the reasons I stated above, a Washington Post article is a good reference here on Wikipedia. So, I think my edit should be restored. It says that most people give self-defense as their main reason for carrying concealed, and, as a bonus, gives a good estimate for how many people actually carry concealed in the U.S. Mudwater (Talk) 19:32, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm going to have to be firm on this one. We could try dispute resolution but you agreed earlier that citing the journal would be fine and I think most reasonable people would agree that we should not point readers toward a WaPo article that contains a very serious mistake regarding the topic at hand. I'll try again later to find the survey they're talking about if you don't have that information. AP295 (talk) 19:39, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
Going to another forum for dispute resolution is not necessary, in my view. Any interested editors can try to decide this here on the article talk page. Indeed, several other editors have already posted in this discussion. As for me, at the moment I've run out of things to say, but if I have any new or additional thoughts, I'll post them here. Mudwater (Talk) 19:56, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm going to be firm. If we've reached an impasse then I think dispute resolution is our best option. Otherwise, please leave that WaPo page out. AP295 (talk) 19:59, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
And if Jeff Bezos were so concerned about public health he would have thrown his $250 million into research for pediatric oncology or heart disease or something of that nature instead of buying the washington post. Guys like him always seem to like the idea of disarming the general public. AP295 (talk) 20:18, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
I see him rather as wanting to stop his country being the only one in the world with a statistic for people shot by infants. But of course I wasn't raised in the American gun culture. And this raises a core issue with this article. It doesn't provide proper definitions at the start for all those people who aren't Americans obsessed with owning guns, i.e. maybe 98% of the world's population. The language used here is obscure to most non-Americans. Better definitions and explanations are essential in this global encyclopaedia. HiLo48 (talk) 01:31, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Gee, that's real nice of him. I think one is more likely to get hit by an Amazon truck though. Or get clobbered at a protest after being worked up by some ditz at WaPo who doesn't even read the fucking papers. Anyway, what in particular is unclear to you? AP295 (talk) 02:24, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
To start with, there are the facts that the real issues here are not so much what concealed carry is (we do at least define that at the beginning), but whether it's legal or not, and that it's a huge issue in one country, and that some people in that country see it as some sort of god given right, and see people like Bezos as some sort of threat to their existence and find it necessary to denigrate him on this Talk page. The sociological and psychological issues are huge. (I would love to see those addressed in the article. Why IS one country out of a couple of hundred in the world so obsessed with this matter?) Then there are the other terms involved, such as Shall-issue, May-issue and No-issue. People such as you who comment aggressively on this matter write as if such matters are clear to all readers of English language Wikipedia. They are not, and the pseudo-legal language used in the article doesn't help. HiLo48 (talk) 03:01, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm by no means an expert on firearm law. The laws are overly complex and restrictive but we must also be on guard against "simplifying" solutions involving federal overreach. The situation for CCW law is roughly as the article describes it, although I haven't read it in depth and I already think it could use a lot of work. American politics seem to revolve around putting disparate groups of people under the same set of laws, which creates conflicts of interest that would not otherwise exist. This is why Bezos and the like are so obsessed with "open borders" and other such nonsense. It just makes it easier to control people if they're busy defending their interests against other large groups of common people who they're forced to contend with under the same ruling government. I think non-aggression is a better principle to build upon than any political ideology, but unarmed we're powerless against aggression in all its various forms and guises. In any case, I'll be keeping my guns, cold dead hands, so on and so forth. AP295 (talk) 03:32, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't think there's much there we can add to the article. HiLo48 (talk) 03:44, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
On the contrary, I have a lot to add and take out of that article. AP295 (talk) 03:46, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Will it draw on reliable, independent sources and objectively address the issues I raised above, such as the meanings of the terms I discussed, and why some people in just one country are so obsessed with this matter? That would involve explaining why it's not an issue to at least 95% of people. HiLo48 (talk) 03:55, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I'll do my best, although my Wikipedia time/concentration is limited and I still have some work to do on PCA first. I'll get to this article at some point though. It's not an issue to 95% of people because they put little value in self-determination. In that regard, I do believe Americans are somewhat exceptional. AP295 (talk) 05:27, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
One more thing, I don't so much intend to change or remove any of the legal information here. Rather, I think the article suffers from a severe NPOV issue and strongly frames gun-ownership as a growing public health concern when the research does not really bear that out (even though most of the authors don't seem especially respectful of the American tradition of self-determination and the right to bear arms). It's beside the point anyway. We do not want some snotty brat from WaPo telling us what we should or should not be able to own, much less Jeff Bezos, who I would bet is armed at all times. There's a damned good reason 2A exists. If you live here you need to get with the program, not tell us how to live. AP295 (talk) 06:11, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
I strongly recommend you read a few of our policies, such as WP:ASSUMEGOODFAITH and WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Whether you are ultimately right or wrong in your position, ignoring those guidelines will not help you achieve your aims. A little less aggression towards those with different views might go a long way. HiLo48 (talk) 07:04, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Of course, I think AGF is a good thing in general but not always a correct assumption, especially when it comes to these political articles. They do not merely have "different views", but are paid to be here and make edits for the purpose of influencing public opinion. They know a lot about human psychology and how to operate well within Wikipedia's rules. There are many, many subtle cues in this article designed to influence the opinion of the reader, and plenty of editors who will act incredulous if you point them out or remove them. I like Wikipedia, I often read Wikipedia, and I respect Wikipedia's rules. It's an incredible resource and those who improve it (which is often a thankless task) I hold in high regard. That said, I will make use of WP:IAR when necessary. AP295 (talk) 15:02, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
And I'll also keep non-American readers in mind. Since Obama signed HR 4310, they're using the same playbook against all of us. AP295 (talk) 15:16, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
How many non-American readers will have any idea what HR 4310 is? I certainly don't. You are completely out of touch with reality in the 95% of the world that isn't the USA. And if you truly respect Wikipedia's rules, you will provide concrete evidence for "They do not merely have different views, but are paid to be here". That is an obvious breach of WP:ASSUMEGOODFAITH. HiLo48 (talk) 20:08, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
You can google HR 4310 if you're curious. I don't plan on putting it in the article if that's what you're concerned about, since it doesn't have much to do with CCW per se (as far as I know). I'm not exactly sure what your point is or what you want from me. I call it how I see it. You're free to take it up with WP:ANI if you think I'm out of line but I disagree. AP295 (talk) 20:28, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
And a better question might be how Wikipedia can effectively deal with civil POV pushers and propagandists. Obviously the average user will not be able to furnish hard evidence. I do not expect anyone to be sanctioned based on suspicion alone. I'm not calling any specific user a paid propagandist, but certainly there are propagandists who edit Wikipedia. I'm sure Wikipedia has a lot of volunteers with a large number of edits, but it's hard to AGF when I see editors who have a long, dense history of politically-related contributions to many different and seemingly unrelated pages. AP295 (talk) 20:52, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

Upon further review, we could probably use some feedback from other editors. So, I've created a Request for Comment, below. "P.S." I did google HR 4310, and I'm still not sure what you mean. Mudwater (Talk) 22:20, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

Very well. I'm not yet familiar with how the RFC process works. How do I weigh in? AP295 (talk) 22:30, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
@AP295: You can just post your opinion at the bottom of that section. Most people post it as a bullet point, with a few words (like "yes" or "no", or "agree" or disagree") in boldface at the beginning, like I did, though that's not a requirement. With a Request for Comment, other editors who are watching for RfCs will see the section and come here to post. (See WP:RFC for more info on this process.) Mudwater (Talk) 22:48, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
A farce, but if you insist. In any case, wasting my time will not improve my disposition if that's your aim. AP295 (talk) 03:07, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

First image[edit]

I'd like to remove File:Right to Carry, timeline.gif from the page. It is the first image to appear in the article and it presents only a very recent history of carry laws in the USA, and contributes to the article's alarmist POV and tone. It is included in History of concealed carry in the U.S., which is linked here anyway. The graphic right below it is an up-to-date map. I'm not trying to obscure this information, but the way it's presented here borders on FUD (especially when CCW is framed as a public health issue) and readers can see it in the history article if they're interested in the history. AP295 (talk) 18:16, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

Going once, going twice... AP295 (talk) 16:39, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

I've restored it. It is purely informational. There's nothing alarmist about it.Terrorist96 (talk) 19:19, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Using well-established news outlets as references[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I am withdrawing the question and closing the Request for Comment. In hindsight, this question is too general for an RfC. A better question would be much more specific. Perhaps something like this: "For this statement: "According to a 2017 study in the American Journal of Public Health, four out of five people who carried a concealed handgun said that personal protection was the primary reason they did so." -- is this article in the Washington Post an appropriate reference? Mudwater (Talk) 14:49, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

For this article, is it appropriate to use large, well-established news outlets -- for example, the Washington Post -- as references? Mudwater (Talk) 22:16, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Yes, it is appropriate to use well-established news organizations -- the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press, CNN, and so on -- as references. As it says at WP:NEWSORG, "News sources often contain both factual content and opinion content. News reporting from well-established news outlets is generally considered to be reliable for statements of fact (though even the most reputable reporting sometimes contains errors). News reporting from less-established outlets is generally considered less reliable for statements of fact." Furthermore, such secondary sources are often preferable to primary sources like an article in a scholarly journal. As it says at WP:PSTS, "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources and primary sources." Another thing: Using well-established news outlets as references can be even more appropriate if the WP article explicitly refers to the source, though doing so is usually not necessary. For example:

    "A 2017 article in the Washington Post stated, "Roughly 3 million Americans carry loaded handguns with them every day, primarily for protection, according to a new analysis of a national survey of gun owners published in the American Journal of Public Health.... Four out of 5 of them said that personal protection was the primary reason they carried a loaded handgun."[1]


  1. ^ Ingraham, Christopher (October 19, 2017). "3 Million Americans Carry Loaded Handguns with Them Every Single Day, Study Finds". Washington Post. Retrieved December 12, 2020.

Mudwater (Talk) 22:17, 13 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Not that particular washington post article, for reasons that have already been discussed on this talk page. As I've pointed out before, that particular article misrepresents the result of a journal paper: "Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Controls Analysis". The following italicized text is a paragraph from that washington post article: " But more recent crime research has come to a very different conclusion. This year, for instance, a comprehensive analysis of decades of crime data found that states that made it easier to obtain concealed-carry permits saw a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in violent crime in the decade following the change. " . This text is hyperlinked to, which is a page dedicated the paper "Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Controls Analysis" by Donohue, Aneja and Weber. They did not find that "states that made it easier to obtain concealed-carry permits saw a 10-15% increase in violent crime." Crime continued to decrease in most of those states, but their model predicted it would have decreased further had those laws not been introduced. This is very different from saying that violent crime increased 10-15% in the decade after the introduction of shall-issue. Furthermore, I was unable to find the survey they mentioned from the American Journal of Public Health. They do not cite this source in any conspicuous way. Considering this, editors should not be obligated to cite "well-established" news organizations if the information can be sourced directly from academic and peer-reviewed literature, especially if the article is of low quality or contains serious factual errors that have the potential to grossly misinform the reader. AP295 (talk) 22:48, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
@AP295: That part of the Washington Post article, about what the study said about the effects on violent crime, may or may not be inaccurate. But I wasn't using it to reference that, I was using it to reference why people said they carried concealed -- for self-defense -- and also how many people carry concealed, as of 2017. Furthermore, it seemed to me that in the previous discussion, in the #Intro section above, you were objecting in general to using the Washington Post as a reference. Mudwater (Talk) 23:12, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Your propaganda is clumsy. AP295 (talk) 05:57, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
AP395 - Here's another rigid policy for you to absorb - WP:NOPERSONALATTACKS. HiLo48 (talk) 06:21, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
You and him can do all the wikilawyering you want but the WaPo article is still wrong and we still haven't identified the survey they're talking about from the American journal of public health. If we can find it somewhere on that page, Mudwater already agreed it would be fine to cite the journal, and since the WaPo article also contains serious factual errors about another paper we should not cite the WaPo article. Otherwise the claim can't be verified from the original source and we should not cite the WaPo article. It seems pretty cut and dry to me. AP295 (talk) 15:47, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Non-neutral RFC - This RFC seems to be aimed at making a point. It should probably be removed. Also no source is inherently reliable. It all depends on context. The proper venue for this dispute is RSP. PackMecEng (talk) 01:44, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes GMPX1234 (talk) 06:58, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Non-neutral RFC - Obviously a poorly written RfC. Try again. NickCT (talk) 18:20, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
@NickCT: Sorry, but it's not obvious to me. Can you please explain why it's non-neutral? And also, can you suggest a more neutral way of phrasing the RfC? @PackMecEng: too, in case you have additional input on these questions. Mudwater (Talk) 19:33, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
Want them to explain why the sky is blue while you've got them here? AP295 (talk) 19:40, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
@Mudwater: Basically it does not follow WP:RFCNEUTRAL. The question posed here can be summed up as "Should RS be used" which is a leading question. From what I gather the question should be more a long the lines of "Should this specific article X be used for specific statement Y" or something to that effect. As it stands, a general question about the reliability of a source does not belong in a RFC on this page. Rather something like that should be asked at RSN. But again the first thing they will ask you there is probably what do you plan on using the source for and what is the specific article. PackMecEng (talk) 19:51, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
I suggested earlier that the intro should contain a line explaining why CCW is typically practiced (often for personal defense). Mudwater suggested the WaPo citation, but the WaPo article was of very low quality and contained misleading information, so I don't think it should be cited. If anything, the original journal paper should be cited but I don't think anyone can really dispute (that is, argue for the idea) that personal defense is an uncommon reason for someone to obtain a permit or practice CCW lawfully. I'll probably just add it without a citation but I'm sure it'll be an uphill battle. AP295 (talk) 21:31, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
@AP295: Respectfully, the point is the Washington Post is de-facto a reliable source. All newspapers may occasionally, or even frequently, post erroneous or factually incorrect information. They remain de facto citable reliable sources. Additionally, your making a judgment call as to how The Post purportedly mis-represents a study almost qualifies as Original Research on your part. KJS ml343x (talk) 00:45, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
You can't be serious. AP295 (talk) 01:35, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
Tell you what, I'm going to remove that WaPo citation if it ever gets added again. If you want to run me up against 3RR and write me up at WP:ANI then go ahead and see how that works out. I'm sure they'll appreciate this ridiculous waste of time about as much as I do. AP295 (talk) 01:48, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes See my response above. KJS ml343x (talk) 00:46, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Invalid RfC. Our policies and guidelines apply across all of Wikipedia, and cannot be altered for specific articles. Among these is the general rule that context matters, i.e. reliability depends on the specific source (in this case, the specific newspaper article) as well the specific statement being made. I'd fear that any outcome of this RfC other than "invalid RfC" would likely be misused to violate that principle. A more appropriate and useful way to frame this RfC would be: should we use source X to support content Y? R2 (bleep) 20:46, 16 December 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I also believe it's invalid, but do you see the catch 22 here? Some editors claim WaPo should be cited because they're a "trusted" secondary source. The WaPo article contains statements that were incorrect and contrary to the information in the source they cited. When I pointed it out, I'm accused of "original research". If I'm not entitled to point this out, WaPo remains a "trusted" source. I see no reason why WaPo or any news agency are more objective or better qualified to interpret specialized academic work than anyone else. AP295 (talk) 21:34, 16 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Invalid RfC and I fear we've lost sight that this is an encyclopedia. The RFC statement is not neutral as required. "Should source X be used to cite Y" is for WP:RSN not RFC. It's pretty ridiculous to have an RFC about a WaPo article about a study in order to "prove" that concealed carry is used for personal self defense. This is quite a bit like citing a newspaper weather report to prove the sky is blue. I mean... this is an encyclopedia, and is everyone who edits this article aware that there is scholarship about guns in America, including concealed carry? There are entire books about this, by university publishers, like The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know written by Philip J. Cook and Kristin Goss and published by Oxford University Press, which has chapters about concealed carry and self defense, or Good Guys with Guns: The Appeal and Consequences of Concealed Carry by Angela Stroud, published by University of North Carolina Press, neither of which are cited in the article. There are law review articles on this exact question like [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], and thousands of other academic sources appear on a Google Scholar search. Editors should not edit an article with an idea in mind, and then find sources to back that idea up, and then argue about whether those sources are reliable or not. That's backwards editing; WP:RGW editing. Editors should come to an article with sources in hand, and then summarize those sources. That's forwards editing; that's building an encyclopedia. Levivich harass/hound 00:45, 19 December 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Adding to intro[edit]

The article needs something to this effect: "CCW is often practiced as a means of self-defense, but possession of a concealed weapon in an unlawful manner or without a license is a serious crime in many areas." Self-defense is a common reason for obtaining a license and I also think the intro needs to make clear that practicing CCW illegally can carry very stiff penalties, but I'm hesitant to add something like this without a second opinion, as I'm not a lawyer. If anyone can comment on whether or not it's appropriate/accurate warning to add, please do so here. I'm not so much worried about sourcing the first part. AP295 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 20:14, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Again, you need to look more globally. Carrying a weapon for self defence is actually quite rare around the world. And most of the people who don't are very happy that they don't. This article is already written in an appallingly US centric way. Don't make it worse. HiLo48 (talk) 21:02, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
The article is entitled Concealed carry in the United States . It is an article about the United States. If you want I'll add " the United States". I'm not looking for comments about that part in this section, really only about the "legal" warning, which I'm pretty sure is fine anyway. Your concerns are duly noted so please do not litter up this section. AP295 (talk) 21:08, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
And please do not misrepresent what I'm trying to say. Of those people who do practice CCW lawfully, many do so for the provision of self-defense. That is all the statement means. The article omits any (explicit) mention of CCW as a means of personal defense. It's not even linked to self-defense (except at the bottom). This is an NPOV issue. AP295 (talk) 22:40, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
And yes, the phrase "self defense" does appear in the article several times, but usually in a legal or historical context that avoids characterizing the modern practice of CCW as a means to an end. AP295 (talk) 22:59, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Another change to lead[edit]

I'd like to change this sentence: All 50 states have passed laws allowing individuals to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from a designated government authority at the state and/or local level; however, there are still many states that, though they have passed concealed carry permit laws, do not issue permits or make it extremely difficult to obtain one.

to this:

It is illegal in many states to carry or possess a handgun without first obtaining a permit from a designated government authority at the state and/or local level. Permits may be difficult to obtain in some areas.

I know very little about law, but as I understand the latter is more accurate. I'd like a second opinion. AP295 (talk) 15:16, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Since nobody seems to object, I made the edit. Laws prohibit or constrain behaviors and actions. Let's not sugarcoat gun control by speaking in terms of what is "allowed" to us by some unnamed, high-and-mighty benefactor. AP295 (talk) 17:41, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

Suggestion to remove Maryland from the discussion as a “no-issue jurisdiction in practice".[edit]

As of Summer 2021, it is not yet clear that Maryland is a “no-issue jurisdiction in practice", like Hawaii and New Jersey.

First, there is a significantly higher percentage of Maryland permit holders (0.47%) vs. Hawaii permit holders (0.02%) or New Jersey permit holders (0.01%).;;

Second, there is evidence that the Maryland state police permit denial rate was not at the “no-issue in practice” level. (“In 2018, the state police received about 4,400 new applications and 5,400 renewal applications last year — and denied about 500 of those applications.”).

Third, until the Maryland Handgun Permit Review Board was dissolved by the legislature in 2020, the Handgun Permit Review Board had “a rate of overturning or modifying state police decisions 83 percent of the time.”

With the dissolution of the Handgun Permit Review Board, it may be that Maryland is trending or could become a “no-issue” jurisdiction. But, there is not yet sufficient evidence that it should be placed as a "no-issue jurisdiction in practice" in the same category as Hawaii or New Jersey at this time.LonghornBob (talk) 18:00, 6 July 2021 (UTC)