Brady Scorecard Scam

I love it when ideologues prove the oppositions’ point. Every year the Brady Campaign – the aging gun control group with fading influence – publishes their scorecard of state gun control laws, listing which states have “strong” gun control and those with “weak” ones. Every year it makes me chuckle. The source of the humor is that a simple diagram shows the meaninglessness of their analysis. Every year I plot states by the Brady Campaign ratings against various forms of crime, and every year there is no covarience. None. It is a simple yet savory summary that gun control laws make no difference in crimes of violence. But this year I noticed something I had never noticed before. On the far left of the chart is California, state that the Brady Campaign believes has the strongest gun control laws. It ranks #1 according to Brady. On the right is #50, Arizona, the state with almost … Continue reading

Big City Bang-Bang

America's top 20 cities for homicides

It is no secret that most gun violence occurs in America’s big cities (in part because big city mayors, who don’t give a damn about the poor, who are most affected by violent crime). What is interesting though is how bad these places are and how disproportionately they contribute to American gun homicides. It is, after all, the big cities where street gangs thrive and to where criminal devolve. Here are the mind numbing numbers: America’s homicide rate is 4.7 The top 20 most deadly big cities 7% of the nation’s population 21% of their homicides Thus, making 20 cities disappear would lower the lower the national homicide rate to 4.0, or 15%. So can we send these cities to Syria? Detroit Baltimore Philadelphia Memphis Chicago Milwaukee Oklahoma Washington Dallas Indianapolis Jacksonville Fresno Nashville-Davidson Houston Louisville Boston San Francisco Phoenix Tucson Los Angeles … Continue reading

Worldly Women and Guns

high income countries and guns women

The gun control industry has made much of an obscure study concerning firearm fatalities in high-income countries. Because all politics (by low minded people) is wedge politics, they grabbed the one horrible sound bite from the study, namely that “86% of all women killed by firearms were US women.” (emphasis mine) We have already covered … endlessly … that though America’s suicide rate is not high, the preferred means for American suicide is with a gun (Canadians have an identical suicide rate, but own fewer guns, and thus tend to poison themselves more often). Thus, it is of little surprise that more suicidal American women die by guns and thus more American women are “killed by firearms.” Even this study noted that “the US firearm suicide rate … for females … was 14.4 times higher.” But the gun control industry spin goes deeper. They like contrasting America with other “high-income” … Continue reading

Assault Rifle Rename

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence redefines assault rifle

It would be easy to laugh if the motivations of gun control groups were not so well advertised. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV) is the newly self-anointed gun control propaganda group. I attended one of their meetings where they were collaborating with members of MADD and the anti-tobacco coalition, openly discussing reforming public opinion. Their desire to enact more gun control laws – regardless of efficacy – is something they promote with slightly snarky glee. So when they get basic definitions wrong, I doubt it is amateurish idiocy. One LCPGV web page I discovered this graphic. Ignore the irrational concepts it promotes, but pay close attention to the text block in the lower right where they claim an “assault rifle” is a “semi-automatic firearm”. According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Small Arms Identification and Operations Guide, assault rifles are “short, compact, select-fire weapons that fires a … Continue reading

Understanding California’s Crime Collapse

Violent crime in California, 1984 through 2011

Some gun control groups claim that California’s drop in violent crime since the early 1990s is due to gun control. But a causal review of California gun-related legislation shows that when violent crime started falling in the Golden State, there was no significant gun control legislation. If not gun control, what then explains the drop in violent crime in general, and firearm crimes in particular starting around 1993. My preliminary research indicates it is traceable to California’s Three Strikes law and the firearm penalty enhancements passed in that same year. But it is worth digging into the data to see if we can understand why. Up to 1993, violent crime in California was significantly higher than the rest of the country. Like most other places, robbery was a leading cause of violent crime. In fact, in the pivot year, robbery accounted for 38% of all violent crime. The rate of robbery as a subset of … Continue reading

Holder on Hold

Trends in federal gun crime prosecutions

Despite heavy federal penalties for illegally acquiring guns or committing crimes with them, the feds have never been big on prosecuting gun crimes. As Bill Clinton’s attorney general said (and I paraphrase) “that’s a state issue.” (see our infographic on current attorney general Eric Holder who helps smuggle guns to Mexican drug cartels, and is responsible for what you are about to read). News of the day shows the trends. Federal gun crime prosecutions started to rise once the National Instant (background) Check System (NICS) was in place, then started a decline in the latter Bush years. Under Obama, the decline was not reversed. There are a number possibilities with this trend line. Since crime in general has been falling over the past decades, perhaps the total number of ripe opportunities to prosecute people is also falling. But that argument is implausible since there are over 34,000 Brady Act retail purchase violations committed by felons … Continue reading

Reason gets it wrong

Reason magazine got it wrong on Chicago violence

In a recent blog piece, the otherwise reasonable Reason magazine got the Chicago violence story wrong. In short, Reason was saying that things in Chicago are not bad … compared to other horrible places … and that violence is a lot less than at it’s peak. The problem with this … errrr … reasoning is that by any measure, Chicago violence is off the charts and not doing as well as the nation. This first chart shows the trends. You notice that the rest of America is much safer than Chicago, and had I the time I could run the same series for other major metro areas and get similar results. More to the point, most of Chicago’s “progress” echoes national trends (the second chart put the U.S. on a different axis so we can see trend tracked together). This means whatever minor good if happening in Chicago is likely unrelated … Continue reading

Children and handgun availability

Child Firearm Deaths and Handgun Availability

One bit of persistent good news is that very few children die from guns in the United States. There is no need to recite all the other statistics about things that kill kids. We know that suffocation, drowning, poisons and other life hazards are more dangerous to kids than guns. The rate of child gun deaths remains low, about one kid per day out of a population of 61 million such critters. But I had to look at the trends, because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ annual Firearms in Commerce reports show that the number of guns keeps increasing steadily. Certain policy groups promote that gun availability is a danger to your offspring. Not the case. Peaking in 1993 (as most violent crime did), the rate of kids being killed with guns (regardless of the cause) has been falling fast, and leveling off around 2004 (around the same time that violent crime across … Continue reading

AKs and ARs: Real assault rifles vs. mythical “assault weapons”

AK-47 assault rifles (not wespons) used by drug cartels

When Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, passed away, some media reports estimated that about 100 million AKs around the world. They are full-fledged and full-auto war weapons. There are between 3-10 million AR-15s in the United States. These are civilian, semi-automatic sporting rifles, and not weapons of war. This perspective is important. In the worst of the worst places around the globe − Syria, Rwanda, Somalia − AK-47s are the norm and the corpses are plenty. Civilian AR-15s are nearly never used in homicides in the U.S. (yes, it has happened, but statistically it is so rare you cannot assign statistical accuracy to their use in crimes). Mexican drug cartels show how this all gets in the way of gun policy. Drug cartels like AK-47s … a lot. South America is awash in Soviet made AK-47s left over from when the former communist block was exporting their ideology one bullet at … Continue reading

False evidence, biased judges

One reason constitutional rights are made inviolate is because judges have been known to violate them. If passed, a California law will be invalidated due to this principle. Cali is considering giving judges to power to take away a person’s guns based on something less than evidence. Known as AB1014 and the Ex Parte Gun Violence Restraining Order bill, the law would empower a judge to revoke the Second Amendment if a person is claimed to be a danger to himself or others. This is one of several knee-jerking reactions to the recent Santa Barbara slashing/shooting/driving homicides homicides. The idea is that is a friend, family member, neighbor or perfect stranger claims you are armed and nuts, the government can take away your firearms. Lack of real evidence is the issue. The law as currently written requires a judge to consider squishy evidence such as written or oral statements by … Continue reading