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Charles Ingram and Robert Webster were neighbors in Florida, but friends said the two older men had little love for each other and often quarreled. On a spring day in 2010, the two men, both gun enthusiasts who had state permits to carry concealed weapons, got into another argument across their lawns.

This time, police later said, both men pulled out their weapons. When Mr. Webster began approaching, Mr. Ingram raised his gun, as did Webster. Two shots rang out simultaneously, and both men fell. Webster died almost instantly, Ingram less than a month later.

That “Deadwood”-style neighborhood gunfight is one of 555 examples compiled by advocates of gun control detailing how the mere presence of legal guns can turn mundane moments into tragedies – sobering rebuttals against the estimated tens of thousands of times a year Americans brandish guns in self-defense to thwart crimes in progress.

In a country that witnesses bloody gun violence of all kinds on a daily basis, Ingram and Webster were part of a growing cohort, a sort of standing militia of what concealed-carry advocates say are between 8 million and 11 million citizens carrying concealed guns in public in the name of protecting themselves and those around them.

Less than two decades ago, fewer than a million Americans carried concealed weapons, and they were mostly ex-police, ex-military, or owners of cash businesses.

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Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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