Citizens can't protect themselves

The subject of carry concealed weapon permits is of particular interest to me. The Internet provides some revealing information. Kern County (2007 figures) has a population of roughly 800,500, and the county sheriff saw fit to issue 4,118 permits; that's one permit for every 194 people. Tulare County has a population of roughly 426,300 and their sheriff issued 2,495 permits, one for every 170 people. There's been no news of blood running through the streets, shootouts over parking spots, or showdowns at high noon in the cities down their way.

I'm curious as to why in Stanislaus County, with a population of about 510,700 souls, there have been only 628 permits issued, one for every 813 citizens. Are gun owners in Stanislaus County less trustworthy than those in Kern and Tulare counties? Have we been proven to be less safe than our gun-owning brethren? I'm a 66-year-old man who has never had any trouble with the law, and yet I can't be entrusted to carry a firearm for my own protection and the protection of other innocents who may come under criminal attack. There's something seriously wrong with that.