January 9, 2018

Gun murders and gun laws don't correlate by state

David Freddoso, Washington Examiner in 2015, Texas, where any sane non-felon can attend church on Sunday with a rifle strapped to his body and then carry it across the street into his local Starbucks without a permit (please don't do this), had a nearly identical gun homicide rate as California, where such behavior would get you arrested instantly and perhaps sent to Gitmo or worse. Similar pairings of disparate states can be found between restrictive Maryland and permissive Georgia, restrictive Massachusetts and permissive Utah, and others.

States with extremely permissive gun laws like Idaho, North Dakota, and Vermont shared similar low rates of gun murder with very restrictive states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At the other end of the chart, restrictive Illinois and permissive South Carolina; restrictive Maryland and permissive Tennessee shared similar and disturbingly high rates of gun homicide. New Jersey, where out-of-state drivers are sometimes arrested for having their guns anywhere in their own cars, is roughly comparable to Wisconsin, a permissive concealed-carry state where you can carry your gun on the city bus and no one can tell you otherwise.

Beyond just the idea that criminals don't follow gun control laws, the main problem is that the law is rarely a good preventative. Gun laws are primarily used after the fact to pile up longer sentences upon known (or suspected) criminals who get caught with guns. They are rarely used in a way that prevents mass shootings or common gun crime. Even when it comes to illegal purchases — one area of the law that should serve as a clear preventative — the federal government has been famously loath to prosecute known violators.

One thing that actually does correlate with higher gun ownership is a higher gun suicide rate. It would be interesting to have a debate over gun control that centers on suicide, but we never do that. And unfortunately, a lot of statistics are tossed around carelessly about "gun deaths" that deliberately try to conflate gun crime and gun suicide in the cause of making the case for gun control seem stronger than it really is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those who "cook the books" to achieve their control agendas should perhaps be listed publicly, like sexual predators, since they prey on our minds and our socialisation.

"It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ― C.S. Lewis