Concealed Carry Laws & Stolen Passwords

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a fantastic New Year and I hope you’re as optimistic as I am about 2014.

I love the New Year because it’s a great time to think about the year ahead and set goals. Notice I said goals, not resolutions.

While linguistically there may not be much difference between a goal and a resolution, setting goals always seems more upbeat and empowering to me than resolutions.

When I hear folks discuss their list of resolutions, they almost always include not doing certain behaviors — like eating or drinking too much. I prefer to set positive goals with realistic benchmarks for the upcoming year.

My top goal for 2014 is to provide members of the Self-Reliance Institute with even more empowering information than last year!

One way I’m already working to accomplish that goal is by creating brand new, informative products. I’ll be sharing details about those new products with you in the very near future.

Another way I’ll accomplish my goal of providing you with even more knowledge is by packing more information into each weekly Self-Reliance Institute Advisory.

So to start off the year, I want to address two issues in this week’s Self-Reliance Institute Advisory.

The first is good news about the relationship between concealed carry laws and crime. The second is a free service you can use to see if the email address or user name you use to access various websites has been stolen. If so, it’s quite possible your password for those sites has been compromised.

Let’s start with concealed carry handguns and crime.

Yesterday, I tripped across a very brief report at TruthRevolt.orgheadlined, “Quinnipiac Study: Concealed Carry Results in Fewer Murders,” with a subtitle that reads, “The results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level.”

Yes, most of us read that headline and say, “Tell me something I don’t already know!”

After all, those of us who follow concealed carry issues know that the spike in gun-related violence that the gun control zealots predicted would happen, as states made it easier to get concealed carry permits, never happened. In fact, as we know, crime dropped.

But what we know and what we can prove by scientific research is an important distinction. And it’s always good to have fresh ammunition (pun intended) when taking on the gun control zealots who always argue there’s no proof that concealed carry handguns actually reduce violence.

Here’s how “Quinnipiac Study: Concealed Carry Results in Fewer Murders” begins:

In what will certainly be gun control advocates’ new least favorite study, Quinnipiac University’s Mark Gius found not only that states with restrictive concealed weapons laws had higher gun-related murder rates, but that assault weapons bans had no significant impact on murder rates at the state level.”

And here’s the key finding from the research:

Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level.” (Underscore added for emphasis)

The study, published by Applied Economics Letters, is titled “An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates.” While I always encourage folks to read any material I reference or link to, I must warn you that the report is very expensive.

Let’s move on to a free web-based service you can use to determine if the email address or user name you use for one or more websites has been compromised.

I’d heard about this free service a little while ago, but I wanted to see how well it worked and whether the creator continued to improve the service. To be honest, I’d forgotten to check back until I read a good review at the other day.

In, “How to be notified that your password has been stolen,” the web-based service I previously stumbled across,, gets a good review noting the current updates and more updates to come.

The main improvement that needed to be added to the site, as its creator Troy Hunt himself acknowledged, was a notification service to allow users to enter an email address and be notified in the future if their address appeared in any databases added to the service. Troy has now added the notification service. allows you to check whether an email address is in one of several publicly-released databases of breached email addresses, with a total of 154 million email addresses. Troy says the site has been wildly popular and that, by far, the number one request for a notification service.”

I’ve tried the service,, and it works well. I tested an old email address that I know was compromised a while back and the site correctly identified it as a compromised email address.

Remember: If your email address or user name (often one and the same at many websites) shows up on a list from a website data breach, there’s a very high probability that the password you used for that site or account has also been stolen. Therefore, you need to change the password anywhere you’ve used it.

As with every other product or service I suggest, if you, let me know what you think or any questions you might have.

Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the concealed carry study I discussed above. Do you believe concealed carry handguns reduce crime?

You can email me at [email protected]. I respond to every email I receive.

Be safe and secure in 2014,

Rob Douglas

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