As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day, I saw a photo of a kind-looking lady shopping at a grocery store while packing a pistol. The author of the text that accompanied the image seemed to really like their caps lock key.
“Just a housewife out shopping in Alaska. No permit required in Alaska for either open (must be 18) carry or concealed (must be 21) carry. CHECK OUT THEIR CRIME RATE, LOWEST IN THE NATION? Why would that be? Not one school shooting either.”
I am an ardent supporter of gun rights. I’m much less supportive of ignorance and I like lying even less. Hopefully the person behind this meme was just uninformed.
Here are just some of the facts about guns in Alaska:
- Alaska’s gun-death rate is almost twice the national norm. We rank first in gun deaths per capita.
- From 2001 through 2010 Alaska had the highest gun-death rate among children under the age of 18 of any state in the country.
- We are the 3rd deadliest gun state in the union.
The Center for American Progress released a comprehensive report in April of this year.
It is pretty easy to refute that Alaska has the lowest crime rates by any stretch of the imagination. In many alarming categories we’re consistently up towards the top.
- Alaska has the 6th highest rate of violent crimes among US states. Only Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, and South Carolina rank worse.
- Forbes lists Alaska’s two largest metropolitan areas, Fairbanks and Anchorage, in their top five most dangerous cities for a woman to live. “37% of Alaskan women report that they’ve suffered some form of sexual assault in their lives.”
- Aggravated assault is twice the national average.
We have below average property crime rates, burglaries, and murders. But the lowest crime rate? Hardly. The facts present themselves as just the opposite of that. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Alaska has also not avoided tragic school shootings. Evan Ramsey is still serving time for the heinous killings of two people at Bethel Regional High School. He wounded two others.
Back to the meme itself: I also question why it states this is just a housewife shopping in Alaska. Doesn’t that seem a little sexist to assume? How are we sure of that? Given the lack of thought put into the other claims, for all we know she is a childless feminist from Montana. Or an English muffin inspector from Alabama who takes her job really seriously.
In light of the other erroneous “facts” given, if this is a gun-toting grizzly mama bravely patrolling the grocery store for rogue bread that’s up to no good, she is doing a horrible job single-handedly keeping crime down.
The only part of the meme that is correct is the part about our state’s gun laws. There are no permits required in Alaska for either open-carry or concealed-carry, other than age restrictions. We are as gun-friendly a state as they come.
So, before you believe something because you want to, google it. Search for the claims and you can find lots of facts (lots of bullshit, too). Just use some commonsense and you should be able to discern fact from fiction.