A Unique, But Logical, Approach To Gun Violence

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article with the following headline, “To Reduce Gun Violence, Arm All Americans.” That is probably the only real solution.

The article reports:

So there was another shooting in Texas. At last count, including the perpetrator, there are seven dead and around 20 injured. We don’t really know anything much about the perpetrator except that he’s been identified as white. Apparently, what prompted the shooting was the perpetrator was stopped by the police, shot his way out, and then raced off, shooting other people until he was finally cornered and shot dead. (Prediction: we’ll find out he had a long criminal record and active arrest warrants for major crimes.)

Now because I’m sure some rental commenter is just waiting to start typing, yes I think it’s awful that people got shot and killed. On the other hand, five people have been killed and 42 injured in Chicago already this weekend. Just this weekend. And I can’t help but wonder why the extremely high murder rates in places like Chicago and Baltimore don’t seem to be news stories.

I’ll leave that for another rant, however, and point out that when you consider murder rates there is a very very high correlation between really stringent gun laws and really high gun violence.

Or put that another way: research shows that very high gun ownership rates correlate with low gun violence. This is true on a local level, and it’s true nationwide where gun ownership has grown dramatically while nationwide gun violence has dropped about 25 percent.

It’s also true that beyond a simple statistical observation, most of the specific recommendations or approaches that people have suggested have no effect. The famous assault weapons ban from the Clinton administration showed no particular effect, and when it expired there is no particular effect. When, after the Heller decision, gun ownership in D.C. went up, gun crime went down.

The only thing that we know is effective to reduce gun violence is to increase gun ownership.

That makes sense–criminals (who generally obtain their guns illegally) are less likely to attack a population that may be armed. A soft target, such as a school, restaurant, or movie theater is much more likely to be attacked. If the criminal knows that a restaurant or theater allows concealed carry, he is likely to pick another target.

We need to accept the fact that there are people who live among us that do bad things. Disarming law-abiding citizens does not stop people who want to do bad things from doing bad things. Law-abiding citizens with guns cause people who do bad things to think twice about doing them.

Something You Are Not Likely To Hear From The Mainstream Media

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article quoting statistics on firearms homicides over the past 25 years. The numbers are not what you might expect.

The article reports:

Despite endless gun violence reports put forward by the establishment media, the dirty little secret is firearm homicides have plummeted over the past 25 years.

Yet most Americans, particularly Democrats, believe firearm murders have risen period.

When you consider the fact that the media chooses what it covers and what it doesn’t cover, the fact that most Americans are misinformed about gun violence is not a surprise.

The article includes some of the statistics:

But the reality is that the high water mark for firearm murders was 1994 while 2017, the most recent year with complete data on incidents, shows a sharp drop. There were “16,136 [firearm murders] in 1994” but only “10,982” in 2017.

And if looked at in terms of the murder rate, instead of simply the raw murder numbers, the drop in firearm homicides is even more evident.

For example, the FBI calculated “6.2 firearm murders per 100,000 people” in 1994, while the murder rate in 2017 was 3.38. And the murder rate was even lower than 3.38 in 2014.

An interesting correlation with the drop in firearm murders is the incredible expansion of private firearm ownership. In other words, the number of privately-owned firearms was increasing at the same time that the number of firearm murders was plummeting.

On December 4, 2013, Breitbart News reported a Congressional Research Service study showing “gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009.” At the same time, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was cut in half over a roughly 17-year time period.

There are a few things at work here. First of all, criminals do not like to commit crimes in places where people are likely to be armed. Second of all, by providing wall-to-wall coverage of any mass shooting for days on end, the media puts the idea in our heads that these are common occurrences. The media is much less likely to cover events where an armed citizen protects himself or prevents a mass shooting.

I really don’t understand why the media aligns itself with the gun-control left. Do they not realize that they too will be left defenseless?

What Second Amendment?

CBS News reported yesterday that Deerfield, Illinois voted on Monday to ban the possession, sale, and manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity magazines to “increase the public’s sense of safety.” My first reaction to that is, “Exactly what is an assault weapon? What about assault knives, assault baseball bats, assault wasp spray, and maybe assault china?”

The article reports:

CBS Chicago reports, anyone refusing to give up their banned firearm will be fined $1,000 a day until the weapon is handed over or removed from the town’s limits. 

The ordinance states, “The possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the Village of Deerfield is not reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right of self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”

The law does actually define assault weapons:

So, beginning June 13, banned assault weapons in Deerfield will include semiautomatic rifles with a fixed magazine and a capacity to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, shotguns with revolving cylinders, and conversion kits from which assault weapons can be assembled. And those are just a few of the firearm varieties banned. The list is long and includes all the following models or duplicates thereof: AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, Misr, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR, AR-10, AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, Olympic Arms PCR, AR70, Calico Liberty, Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle, Dragunov SVU, Fabrique NationalFN/FAL, FN/LAR, FNC, Hi-Point Carbine, HK-91, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle, SAR-8, Sturm, Ruger Mini-14, and more.

Antique handguns that have been rendered permanently inoperable and weapons designed for Olympic target shooting events are exempt, as are retired police officers.

“We hope that our local decision helps spur state and national leaders to take steps to make our communities safer,” Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said in a press release, after the ban on assault weapons passed unanimously.

At this point I should note that there was a federal assault weapons ban in effect from 1994 to 2004. Studies have shown that the ban had little impact on criminal activity. The action taken in Deerfield is in response to the recent school shooting in Florida. The actions in Deerfield do not line up with the facts. In 1990 the law was passed that created gun-free zones in schools. The law has had an effect opposite than what was intended–all but two of the mass shootings in school have taken place after schools were designated as gun-free zones. A gun-free zone simply tells the shooter that he will be unopposed until the police arrive.

So I guess Deerfield believes that guns are the problem and that making some guns illegal will solve the problem. How has that worked in Chicago and Washington, D.C.?

On April 2, ABC News reported:

London’s monthly murder rate has overtaken New York City’s for the first time in modern history, according to new figures from the Metropolitan Police and the New York Police Department.

…London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office said it was “deeply concerned” by the latest figures of knife crime in the capital, but insisted that London “remains one of the safest [cities] in the world.”

New York and London have similar-size populations of around 8.5 million each. But the U.S. city’s murder rate has dropped dramatically, by about 87 percent, since its peak in the 1990s.

London’s murder rate has in contrast risen by 38 percent since 2014 when the city had 94 killings. There were 119 murders in 2015, 109 in 2016 and 134 in 2017.

If Deerfield takes all the guns away from legal gun owners who have committed no crimes, do they honestly believe that criminals will not have access to guns? I hope I never have to shoot a home invader, but if I am ever faced with a home invader, I would rather have a gun than wait for the police to arrive.