Number Nuts

What economists and criminologists think about gun control

When both economists and criminologists think that concealed carry either decreases or does not change homicide rates, we may have scientific consensus. Main take-aways: Survey of economists and criminologists Only surveyed those who have published in peer reviewed publications Only surveyed those who studied empirical data Scientific consensus is that: Guns prevent crime more than cause it “Gun free” zones are dangerous Guns do not change suicide risk CCW licensees are very law abiding CCWs decrease or do not change homicide rates Studying People Who Study Guns Both economist and criminologists study crime. They take different views of it, the former examining crime as a rational response to risk and opportunity, and the latter from a legalistic and bureaucratic process. This caused economist John Lott and criminologist Gary Mauser to team-up and survey their peers on a small set of gun related issues. The goal was to see if there … Continue reading

Physician Perspective

Compare deaths from medical mistakes and guns

Next time your doctor asks you about guns, remind him that doctors are vastly more deadly. Once in a while, an amusing perspective on guns and gore comes about. After debunking gun control myths, providing perspective is the Gun Facts Project’s second mission and our greatest joy. Perspective is valuable, and once people have a perspective about guns, crime, violence, danger and self-defense, their attitudes toward many things change. Especially about politicians. And now, a change of attitude about their family quack. The Unamusing News Recently, Johns Hopkins – the same institute that contains the ever anti-gun Bloomberg School of Public Health – published a report estimating that 250,000 people are mistakenly killed by the healthcare system. This quarter of a million former humans constitutes nearly 10% of all Americans who croaked last year. Now, this isn’t to say that your personal doctor is a careless and indifferent lout who … Continue reading

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

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

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

“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

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

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