Before 1987 (when Florida laws set the standard for allowing shall-issue carry permits), criminals knew it was very unlikely that their would-be victims were armed. No more! With the majority of states now being shall-issue — and with more citizens carrying guns for protection on more American streets — criminals cannot know who is armed and who is not. This deters criminals and contributes to a decreasing trend in violent crimes nationwide.
While the missions of the police officer and the armed citizen are different, guns in the hands of trained citizens can be just as effective against sudden attack as guns in the hands of trained police. The difference is that the responsibly armed citizen has the gun he or she carries immediately at hand when danger strikes and need not wait minutes or even hours for help to arrive. Most honest cops will tell you that most of the time, when they are called for help, they arrive after the danger has passed.
Violent crime has gone down in the United States for the last several decades, while the number of guns in civilian hands has gone up. But there is still more than enough violent crime to give the prudent citizen cause for alarm.
Violent crime is still a real threat that can strike anyone — anytime, anywhere. The latest statistics from the FBI (2015) show there were 1,197,704 violent crimes reported nationwide and an overall increase of 5.3 percent in that number for the first six months of 2016. These numbers are hard for some of us to understand, but that is because we are rational, law-abiding members of society. We are the sheepdogs that have to help protect our loved ones, our friends and even complete strangers from the wolves out there.