Guns & Patriots

N.C. Gun Rights Leader Denounces NYT Concealed Carry Article

In an interview with Human Events, the leader of Grass Roots North Carolina called the December 27 New York Times article on concealed carry permit holders in his state a “hit piece.”

The reporter Michael Luo, who has published other data-match stories with an anti-gun tilt, exposed his bias against gun rights, by choosing tight search parameters that produced the results he needed to support his anti-gun rights narrative, said F. Paul Valone, the president of the gun rights organization.

Valone said he had three to four phone conversations with Luo, in addition to a half-dozen emails as the story progressed that gave him an increasing sense of unease about the direction and methods of the story.

To make his points, Luo ran a data-match with two lists, the state’s roster of concealed carry permit holders against the state’s criminal database and sorted out permit holders with criminal records.

Luo found that in a five-year period, out of 240,000 holders, more than 2,400 were convicted of felonies and misdemeanors, not counting traffic violations. He further found that roughly 60 were convicted of violent weapon assaults.

In the same five-year period, 10 permit holders were convicted of murder or manslaughter, although only eight of those 10 used a gun in their crime, the article said.

“By cherry-picking anecdotes from error-prone data matching, reporter Michael Luo creates a false impression of widespread abuse by concealed handgun permit-holder,” Valone said.

“Luo admits not bothering to confirm more than a handful of the matches found, so given the small data set used, the number of ‘false positives’ may well exceed the number of accurate matches.

Luo told Human Events that he did tell Valone he had checked roughly 12 of the matches, but in fact he probably verified more than 12, paying attention to name, date of birth, race and address.

There was no agenda in the story, just an attempt to bring to light the number of permit holders either committed crimes in North Carolina or continued to keep their concealed carry permits after being convicted of felons or misdemeanors, he said.

“Data is data,” he said. “Up to others to draw conclusions on significance.”

Beyond the use of search parameters, Valone said he is upset that Luo did not quote him, despite his telling the reporter that he helped draft the law and after he pointed out provisions in the law that aid law enforcement officers, such as the link between the state’s driver records and concealed permit holders’ records.

“Any concealed handgun permit-holder arrested for a crime would be immediately identified as such,” he said.

“Furthermore, nothing in the law prevents the North Carolina Department of Justice from doing checks on permit-holders to ensure they remain in compliance with the law,” he said. “We not oppose such an effort. If the state fails to avail themselves of those tools, the problem lies not within the concealed handgun law, but instead within its enforcement.”

In a Tweet, the same day the story ran, Luo created the impression that there was no cooperation and conversation between him and the GRNC leader, in this text: “I did ask Grassroots North Carolina, pro-gun group, for examples of permit holders who stopped crimes to include in story, but they refused.”

The reporter, who was assisted by Tom Torok, the chief datatbase editor for the paper and the winner of three Pulizer Prizes, said he was eager to have Valone participate, but he needed examples of concealed carry permit holders who had used their guns to protect themselves or others.

Valone’s criticism of the data and his comments about the law and its enforcement did not address the issues in the story, Luo said.

Valone said he discussed with the GRNC board of directors whether he should provide examples, but there was a lack of trust.

“It was the consensus of the board that ‘No good can come of this,’” he said.

“All he would do is pick on that one poor soul and he would call it balance,” he said.

“The NRA has a searchable database and he could have very easily found examples, like we found four or five just in a quick search,” he said.

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  • Stratosaurus

    Jim, PLEASE don’t hold your breath waiting for the New Dork Slimes or Washington Post-Turtle to print news rather than opinions disguised as news.  It happens in almost every so-called newspaper in the US.  The agenda of the libloon press has been apparent for years.  Don’t expect a management change to do anything constructive.

  • Mike_in_Wasilla

    Here we have another so called journalist, Harvard educated no less, standing on the 1st Amendment to trash the 2nd. A person who believes he is so much smarter than us peons but is too dumb to know that if one is destroyed the rest will follow.
       I can’t think of one thing that is wrong with this country that is not completely or at least partly the fault of the MSM.

  • TheBitterClinger1

    And the final aim of the Gun Bans is to reduce free people to mere chattel of the State-cattle and sheep, piles of lumber and brick. Street gangs and criminals kill thousands, governments kill millions.Free people need their  means of self defense because Government HAS done it job and done it well repeatedly:
    East Timor?
    China and all the Soviet Block?
    Ruby Ridge?

    The day any government is formed is begins to enlarge, expand and seeks to promote itself. All people at all times and in all places will have this struggle forever-it is part of human nature. People capable of self defense have a chance. Unarmed people walk meekly into the Gulag, re-education camps and such.

     The NYT Concealed Carry Article could be an introduction to The Gulag Archipelago,  Hitler’s Willing Executioners or even Mao’s Little Red Book. The NYT editors lied? So did  Leni Riefenstahl and our media elite of the day considered her a genius.
    Armed people have a chance, and for our Government trusting friends: “Arbeit macht frei”.

  • GomeznSA

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    mr. luo’s agenda is patently obvious when he claims that he was merely a data collector (statistics) and it is up to others to draw conclusions. BULL – no one collects data (even skewed data as his is) without a defined purpose. How would said collector know what data to collect (and assess) if they have no purpose. Apparently he took a page or two from david belleisle? 
    He didn’t even bother to show a breakdown of the 2400 alleged ‘criminals’ (1% as was pointed out by Ed G) as to how many were felonys, how many were misdemeanors (that may or may not result in suspension of CCW privileges) and particularly how many of them ultimately were convicted (or not). He is at best intellectually lazy and at worst (DUH he works for nyt!) willfully complicit in the ‘guns are evil’ meme…………………

  • Guest

    That’s to be expected from the New York Times.They print fiction.

  • Concerned4America

    So 8 out of 250,000 permit holders killed someone?

  • JimPVA

    One wonders how many of the CWP abusers are Northern transplants.  For more than four decades now the North’s lower socio-economic class has been migrating south looking for better schools, lower taxes and better economic prospects. Among those migrating has been a criminal element and among their activities are firearms crimes. That someone who comes from a restrictive gun law region and has criminal impulses would abuse a law regarding concealed carry is no surprise.  For example, Northerners have friends or relatives make straw man purchases and then smuggle the guns north to their contacts. [Watch an episode of Law and Order and there’s about a 50/50 chance they’ll be whining about lack of Southern gun control.]  This migration is especially true of folks from New York City with their anti-gun culture where they have lived with the Sullivan Act for the last 100 years. 
    Leftwingers like to blame America for the illegal drug trade because we provide the demand/market. New York does the same thing in relation to firearms. There is a huge demand for firearms because of their laws.  They need to “liberalize” their laws on guns- not to mention reduce their taxes etc- so that their criminal element will stay at home or will not be defined as criminals by legislative fiat. Then they can save the world by catching all the abusers of CWP laws.

  • Dwight Hill

    ” Law and Order ” ? Jim , you have been too many Hollywood TV channels . Take a look at who is behind the ” ANTI-GUN ” in NYC . The same idiot who went to Vi. and tried to arrest people who bought guns from NYC . It’s not that we blame America for the drugs , but rather , it’s the government that doesn’t make a want to stop the drugs coming into this country . They would want to take away our rights the bear arms , and protect ourselves .

    You try to say that the South is where it’s at . Maybe , but try to blame the Northern people for what the government is doing .

  • StackoLee

    NYTimes article was obvious about it’s cherry-picking for anyone applying a scintilla of critical thinking.  Unlike most all other articles of that nature (‘exposing a problem!’), it did NOT gather easily-obtainable data from all over the Nation, used anecdotes rather than actual trends and picked the one system with the worst administration/record keeping problems, making it look like paper mistakes were actually ‘guns in the wrong hands’.

    That said, relying on the NRA for data is also fraught with bias and spin.  Article also failed to mention the problem of how Divorce leads to so many losing their Permits when a lying spouse obtains a Restraining Order (on advice of counsel, it seems) in order to gain control of the Home and thereby gain bargaining power.  A Restraining Order automatically disqualifies a person from having a valid Permit in many States, and that system is abused too much in Divorce proceedings (which also harms that system itself, which is meant to protect abused and not as a tool to gain bargaining power).

  • joesolargenius

    What percentage is that , I can:t count that low .

  • joesolargenius

    I approve of your new name for chicago  and I hope it catches on .

  • JimPVA

    Huh? Your grammar is so poor I can’t tell what you are trying to say with certainty.  Sorry, I missed the story about the “idiot who went to Vi.”  What is that about?  The South IS where it’s at, but that’s not what I was saying. I was making a point about liberal Northerners and New Yorkers in particular.  I do blame Northerners for voting into office the people who run their governments and have restrictive gun laws and send Democrats and liberal/moderate/Rockefeller Republicans to D.C. who will not secure the border with Mexico and pass laws like the “Assualt Weapons Ban”.  Who else is to blame?  Southern people?  I guess you don’t watch enough “Hollywood tv channels” because Law and Order does exactly what I said. I did exaggerate slightly to make the point, but only slightly. If you are a conservative Dwight I invite you to move South. We still accept Copperheads and are glad to welcome them to a region where they will be appreciated. 

  • AKgunguy

    the constitution doe NOT allow you or give you the right to self defnse or to Firearms, it’s function protects the right you were born with. If we the people can’t start to recognize this we are doomed. The right was with us at Birth NOT granted by a Govt or any piece of Paper.
    The Constitution and most specificlly the Bill of rights do not give rights to us, Look at the language of every one of the first ten Amend. The congress shall make no law,
    the right of the people shall not be infringed, etc, etc etc.
    I am not trying to be a know it all but we the people are not giving ourselves a chance at freedom when we stack the decks against ourselves because we don’t understand the English language.

  • A_Proud_Infidel

    Shitcrocko would be a better description.

  • fmike15

    Fortunately, I believe most people, at least those with brains, know that criminals don’t bother going through a course and background check to carry concealed. 

  • Neal

    Excellent, and you hit most of the salient points, but as they used to say in the old Ginzu Knife commercials, “Wait, there’s more…”:

    In the 20th century alone, more than 170 million people have been murdered by their own governments. Here’s a handy reference chart: 

    Also, let’s not forget Eric Holder and Operation Fast and Furious, which was by any reasonable person’s understanding an “under the radar” attempt to enforce more gun control on American citizens.

    Lastly, the article “Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front” should provide an alarming look at what’s becoming of the former “Land of the free, and the home of the brave”.,0,72624,full.story

    Another “Bitter Clinger”

  • Roland Day

    In addition to the Second Amendment, the people of North Carolina thought it appropriate to put similar language into the Constitution of North Carolina:

    Sec. 30.  Militia and the right to bear arms.A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.  Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.

    It is the stated policy of the State of North Carolina that the people should have a right to keep and bear arms. Mr. Luo seems to think that there is something wrong with the people exercising their constitutional right. The legislature has determined that the people of North Carolina who qualify shall have a right to keep their firearm concealed.  

    Mr. Luo needs to go back to New York and leave North Carolina alone. 

  • 2WarAbnVet

    I have a bit of advise for the NYT pukes; stay
    out of North Carolina and stay completely safe in New York City.

  • BigUgly666

    Outlaws have made a conscious decision to NOT OBEY LAWS ….. hence, the name “outlaw”.
    Any number of written, or unwritten, laws will never cause an “outlaw”, who has chosen to live outside the law, to live within the law.
    Anyone who thinks that will happen is a danger to themselves and to everyone around them.

  • dupkaman

    The NYT editorializing in their “news” stories.  That’s why I read the Wall Street Journal.  They keep their opinions on the editorial page.   The WSJ is a class outfit.  The Times is a sleaze publication

  • Yee Haw

    Amen! When will people realize that the Constitution doesn’t grant us ANY rights? Our rights come from the fact that we draw breath,  the Constitution serves  to guard against the encroachment on those rights, and those rights preexist said Constitution, and would continue to exist even if our enemies (foreign, or ESPECIALLY domestic) are successful in repealing/nullifying/replacing, etc. our Constitution. 

  • claims1

    Yep!  Afraid so!