Auditing Australia

Australia homicide rate before and after gun ban

“Australia,” said Hillary Clinton, “[is] a good example …” concerning gun control. But what precisely is it a good example of? Certainly not homicide. Major take-aways: 1996/97 gun ban and confiscation had no effect on homicides Ban may have led to increased sexual assaults Unarmed robbery fell faster than armed robbery, showing a disconnect The history and the current political claim In the wake of a mass shooting in Port Arthur, the Australian government orchestrated a “National Firearms Agreement” whereby all the states within Australia would enact tougher gun control (the various states within Oz largely had their own localized gun control regimes). The system banned all semi-automatic rifles, all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and created a restrictive system of licensing and ownership which was nothing short of draconian (then again, what can you expect from a government that censors Internet content). The government was legally compelled to compensate people … Continue reading

90% Wrong

miracle-cure

The news was abuzz last week with reports about yet another doctor committing criminology malpractice. This time, The Lancet, “a major contributor to health and medical media coverage worldwide” published a piece claiming that if just three gun control laws were passed on a national level, 90% of gun deaths would disappear. In the next article, statistical proof that Santa and the Easter Bunny were shacking up in Vegas was also provided. It is sad wonder that the media actually ran with the story, though I do favorably note that fewer reporters did than normal. It takes only a little Googleing to gain perspective on gun deaths, and the real numbers about gun violence are even spilling onto presidential debate stages. So perhaps the media, having been lambasted for a few decades for not doing their homework, has started. There were numerous problems with “Firearm Legislation and Firearm Mortality in the USA”. Most obvious are suicides, which for the year … Continue reading

Going Underground

unregistered-gun-rates-international

If the rest of the world is any indication, Americans shouldn’t be worried about registering firearms or having them confiscated. Nobody takes such laws seriously. While spelunking through a somewhat dated version of the Small Arms Survey, I ran across a master table that assessed how many guns were registered in countries that had firearm registration, and how many guns were held by people without the benefit of such paperwork. The numbers are compelling in a way that would make Hillary Clinton sputter. The Meme and the Meat Depending on which gun registering country you examine, the percent of unregistered guns to registered ones ranges from 1/10th to 150 fold. A large set of European nations have more unregistered guns than those the government deigns to allow (Greece, France, Germany, Belgium). Even Merry Old England has about as many guns off the books as on. Which goes against everything gun … Continue reading

Gangs and Guns: 60-Second Gun Facts Video

As promised during last year’s Gun Facts fundraiser, we produced a series of short, 60-second videos to educate the public on the more popular gun control myths. We are releasing one of these each month during this election year just to annoy politicians running for office. Our latest video dives into why gangs and guns are the core issue in gun violence, and why every common gun control proposal does nothing to fix the problem. The link to this new video is https://youtu.be/2PeA54VTJr4. Please click the “share” button under the video and pass it along to your Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr … friends. The 60-Second Gun Facts video collection can be found at https://youtube.com/c/GunfactsInfo (be sure to subscribe). … Continue reading

Over-Studied

over-studied

“We need to understand gun violence,” said the gun control industry talking head. “But the gun lobby has blocked all research.” To paraphrase Emo Philips, some days it just doesn’t pay for a propagandist to chew through their leather restraints. The Data Exists … everywhere Gun violence is one of the most ridiculously over-studied topics in American criminology. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has over 800 publications that mention “firearm violence” and over 500 data collections and surveys listed (albeit, some are updates of older ones). Google Scholar lists over 500 peer reviewed criminology studies with “firearm violence” in the title published in the last decade. When the National Academy of Sciences studied gun control and gun violence, they reviewed 253 journal articles, read 99 books, ingested 43 government publications, and even did some of their own original research. And this doesn’t even touch compilations and solo tomes published by … Continue reading

Booze, Bullets and Bunk

everytown panic guns in bars

When propagandists panic, they show their own paranoia. I was forwarded an email from Michael Bloomberg’s agitprop organization, Everytown. In this email, they stated with authentic dismay and dread that in some states you can order a beer in a bar while having a holstered sidearm (providing you have a concealed carry license, a.k.a. CCW). Sane people – which evidently excludes folks working for Bloomberg – would ask “Is this a problem?” Phrased more fully, “Do CCW holders enjoying an adult beverage in their corner watering hole cause problems?” The answer is no. In fact, stats show it might actually abate violence. Shots and Glasses In our Non-Brady Scorecard project (buy a copy for just 99¢ at Amazon), we reviewed both pro- and anti-gun control laws, including allowing CCW holders to pack heat in pubs. Not many states allow this, but enough have had the law in place to at … Continue reading

Female Fibs

Homicide Rates of Females by Race and Age

Driving a political wedge between wives and their husbands is a pretty lame notion. But leave it to a Michael Bloomberg apparatchik and an activist media outlet to give it a try. In one other their growingly desperate newsletters, The Trace (a agitprop pump delivering unfiltered intellectual effluvium from Bloomberg’s lips) flaunted a story about how women were in immediate peril from husbands and boyfriends and guns. Using scary sounding numbers, devoid of perspective and comparison, the article attempted to make women believe a man she knew with a gun was her mortal enemy. That would be your hubby. Starting with the leading premise The Trace used as their data source a set of spreadsheets architected by the Associated Press, an organization who drags journalism down the wrong side of the bell curve. Long known for providing an anti-gun skew, the AP doubled down by segregating data from the FBI’s … Continue reading

Reducing Rampages

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Stopping madmen with guns is – statistically speaking – best solved by people, not police, and people with guns. Rampage killings (which include all the common varieties of incidents where a lot of people are murdered, be it mass public shootings, active shooter events, spree killings, etc.) are what scares voters. Most people know and avoid rough neighborhoods. They also choose friends and mates wisely. This keeps mayhem low, evidenced by the fact most gun crime is isolated in a tiny number of towns with big city gang infestations. It is the random odds of dying in a rampage shooting that spooks folks. One fellow decided to see what keeps the most people alive in such incidents, and discovered citizens – especially armed citizens – are the most effective, and vastly more so than cops (see the section below on methodology, data quality, etc.). Survival is the objective The researcher … Continue reading

No Mass

define defile image

If you are losing, change the definition of the argument. There is a classic tale about Amtrak. They had a lousy on-time record. After months of investigation and planning, they implemented changes and quickly began boasting that their on-time record was fantastic. What they changed was the definition of “on-time” from plus or minus five minutes to 30 minutes. When empirical evidence does not support gun control, members of the gun control industry change definitions. It is a classic propaganda technique and one that has found new life in this election cycle. The news item which brought this to mind was when several reporters blindly echoed claims that mass public shootings were sharply on the rise. A quick dig into the data these reporters failed to vet showed that the definition of “mass public shooting” was itself inaccurate. The enduring and traditional definition of a mass shooting is one where … Continue reading

Missouri Misstep

Missouri Homicide Rate - before and after repeal of permit-to-purchase

Hokum requires a bit of magic. A popular con circulating in the gun control debates is that when the state of Missouri repealed their law requiring a permit to buy a handgun, that homicide shot up. Sadly, nobody told the FBI and the folks there who run the Universal Crime Reporting database. Sadly, too, few reporters have found the online portal to this data, otherwise the meme might never have lived longer than the Bloomberg School of Public Health press release. So how did this formerly illustrious school pump forth this effluvium when the raw numbers do not support the claim? It all comes down to math. In the press release for the study, they note that they too pulled data from the FBI crime database. But they also note that “the analyses controlled for changes in policing, incarceration, burglaries, unemployment, poverty, and other state laws adopted during the study … Continue reading