By: José Niño

One of the biggest victories the U.S.’s Second Amendment movement has been able to achieve over the course of the past four decades has been the widespread adoption of concealed carry —be it licensed or unlicensed.

It’s already been well-established that gun sales have gone through the roof over the past year. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Lawful Americans fearful of the deteriorating social conditions around them have started to acquire concealed carry licenses for the purpose of self-defense in record numbers as well. Busybody politicians who hate the idea of civilians arming themselves were seething at the news of Americans buying record numbers of firearms and began contemplating disarmament strategies.

Although they couldn’t completely stop all gun sales, some states have found ways to throw wrenches in their citizens’ ability to bear arms. According to Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms, states have either shut down concealed carry licensing agencies or limited the hours they operate, thus leading to delays and backlogs in applications.

As many in the Second Amendment community have long observed, a right delayed is a right denied. States and municipalities with anti-gun functionaries did everything in their power to deprive lawful gun owners of their right to bear arms during the Wuhan virus pandemic.

Edwards cites the case of Philadelphia to illustrate one example of a city controlled by anti-Second Amendment officials who used the pandemic as a pretext to deprive lawful citizens of their right to carry. This stood in stark contrast to the rest of the state, which witnessed significant increases in the number of gun sales and concealed carry applications.

A rep​​ort by Davis Giangiulioat the Delaware Valley Journalspelled out some uncomfortable truths about the recent moves by the city of Philadelphia’s effort to make the license application process cumbersome for prospective concealed carriers:

In 2020, gun carry permits rose by 25 percent in Pennsylvania, and in the city’s collar counties, they rose a similar 22 percent, meaning nearly 6,800 more permits were distributed in the suburbs in 2020 than in 2019. However, in the city itself, permits fell by 19 percent.

Part of that was because the city was slow to start processing applications after the COVID-lockdown pause. But the figures remain stark: Even with fewer people becoming legally allowed to carry guns in 2020, Philadelphia still experienced a 40 percent jump in homicide victims, and is currently experiencing a 34 percent increase compared to the time last year.

Contrary to popular belief, more concealed carry holders have a demonstrative effect in keeping crime at bay. Second Amendment researcher John Lott’s seminal text, More Guns, Less Crime explains how increased gun ownership among the law-abiding confers positive externalities to the communities around them. Even if everyone in a given area is not armed, the very presence of a few concealed carriers makes criminals think twice about attacking innocents.

On the other hand, when lawful individuals are disarmed, criminals have a much easier time carrying out their misdeeds and easily overpowering their targets. During a time when law enforcement is being demoralized and defunded, criminals are quickly filling in the power vacuum that anti-law enforcement policies have inevitably created. The ultimate way to counter any rise of criminal activity is by giving lawful citizens the ability to bear arms.

No matter how one slices it, a populace deprived of its right to self-defense is one that will become a veritable punching bag for criminals.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.