Another Month, Another Batch of CCW Killings

The only thing as constant as the gun lobby's claim that concealed handgun permit holders are model citizens who never commit crimes is the ever-growing list of killings by CCW holders that prove such claims false.

Let's look at three of the new killings detailed in the May update to the Violence Policy Center's "Concealed Carry Killers" website, which tracks killings by concealed handgun permit holders as reported by news outlets (since detailed information on killings by permit holders isn't made available by issuing states).

  • On April 15, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Norman Bren Whitton, 69, allegedly shot and killed fellow retiree Larry Butcher, 74, after a road-rage incident at an upscale East Tennessee retirement village involving Whitton's Cadillac sedan and Butcher's golf cart. Whitton was charged with second-degree murder.
  • On April 28, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Amanda Knight, 21, was allegedly part of a group of four criminals who took part in a home-invasion robbery in Washington state that resulted in the shooting death of James Sanders, 43. Knight was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and second-degree assault.
  • On May 2, 2010, former Navy Captain and concealed handgun permit holder Robert Klosterman, 64, shot and killed his wife Rebecca, 57, in their Virginia home before shooting himself to death.

These four new deaths are just fraction of the at least 166 individuals that have been killed by concealed handgun permit holders since May 2007. Included in this number are nine law enforcement officers. Not included are incidents where concealed handgun permit holders have tried to kill law enforcement personnel and failed, such as the case of Pennsylvania resident David Aaron Price.

  • On the night of Friday, March 21, 2008, David Aaron Price threw either rocks or debris at an unmarked police car as it was stopped at an intersection in Pittsburgh. When Detective George Satler got out of the car, Price opened fire with the 22 caliber Beretta handgun he was licensed to carry. Satler and his partner, Detective Tim Rush, returned fire, hitting Price seven times. According to Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant, "Even when the suspect was down, he continued to fire his weapon." Detective Satler was hit once in the lower back, treated, and released with the bullet still lodged in his body. Detective Rush was uninjured. Price died from his wounds. Price's father told reporters, "It's a complete shock. He would holler a lot, but he was a gentle person."

But the tally of murdered law enforcement, mass shootings, murder-suicides, domestic violence shootings, and all too many instances of guys who "holler a lot" going off on roadways, in parking lots, or at bars and restaurants means little to concealed carry proponents who above all want to carry their guns and care little about the innocent victims killed or injured in the process.