The New York Times has an in-depth look at the growing number of states allowing carry conceal permits as well as more lax gun permit regulations and how it correlates to crimes:
Mr. Simons, his 4-year-old son strapped in behind him, slowed to a halt. The driver, Charles Diez, an Asheville firefighter, stopped as well. When Mr. Simons walked over, he found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
“Go ahead, I’ll shoot you,” Mr. Diez said, according to Mr. Simons. “I’ll kill you.”
Mr. Simons turned to leave but heard a deafening bang. A bullet had passed through his bike helmet just above his left ear, barely missing him.
Mr. Diez, as it turned out, was one of more than 240,000 people in North Carolina with a permit to carry a concealed handgun. If not for that gun, Mr. Simons is convinced, the confrontation would have ended harmlessly. “I bet it would have been a bunch of mouthing,” he said.
I have made it well known before that I do believe in the second amendment. I believe Americans should have the right to own guns. Of course with that comes a common sense approach. Groups like the NRA argue that people should be allowed to have things like automatic weapons or high capacity magazines to "protect" themselves. I don't see that. Generally these type of items are used in killing sprees, like we saw earlier this year when Gabby Giffords was shot.
But we also must learn to be a responsible nation if we want to be an armed one. Proponents always point to decent checks, but many of these proponents also want to downsize government. With a rash of people applying for permits, how can they be issued in a timely fashion and still go through the checks? That's a problem the times article looks into: