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

EveryCon and Your Child

Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group EveryTown should be renamed EveryCon. In a bit of email agitprop, they made the following two statements: I want you to imagine a chilling scenario: Your child is at friend’s house for a sleepover. While she’s there, her friend starts playing with a parent’s unsecured gun. All of a sudden, the gun fires. A child is unintentionally shot and killed. The intent of this first one is to frighten anyone who likes kids and wants them to be safe, which is basically everybody. To create fear, they invent a personalized scenario, then … Sadly, this sort of tragedy happens with frightening regularity in our country. In 2013, almost two kids per week were killed in shootings that involved unsecured guns. … they present that scenario is real. This is a common propaganda ploy, and one equally matched in shamelessness and ham-handedness. You would think that … Continue reading

Booze, not bullets

Comparison of gun, alcohol, automotive and poisoning deaths

Alcohol has always been fun, but deadly. Now we find out the the odds of dying from drinking is much larger than dying from guns. A recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study determined that 88,000 working age Americans die from excessive drinking (not always from the booze itself, but tied to guzzling more than one should). This tally provides some perspective. We have long known that working-age adults were almost three times as likely to be killing by a motor vehicle, and almost five times more likely to get poisoned than to catch a bullet meant for them or someone they were standing close to. But consuming more than a couple of drinks a day is deadlier still. Why bring this up? For perspective’s sake. People picture guns as a huge daily threat when compared to other things – voluntary liver abuse and associated pancreatitis, hypertension, prostate cancer and cirrhosis – the risk … Continue reading

74 School Shootings Bunk

How you define a thing defines that thing. Recently the President of the United States, echoing without analysis a gun control group sound bite, talked about how there have been 74 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre. He did not elaborate on how he came by this number because, frankly, he doesn’t know what he is talking about (surprise). Like many criminological things, the definition of a “school shooting” is borderline nonsensical and defined by government criminologists. In the Bureau of Justice Statistics publication Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013, they note: School associated violent deaths include those that occurred while the victim was on the way to or returning from regular sessions at school or while the victim was attending or traveling to or from an official school sponsored event. Ponder this for a moment. A kid wearing the wrong colors while dashing from school to home through a gang-infested … Continue reading

Media Meddling

Since I work with the media to help them understand the realities about guns and public policy, I receive many media inquiries. One source is via Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a service where reporters can widely query experts. After the rampage in Santa Barbara, a reporter from the Arizona Republic nakedly asked for expert to help the gun control industry craft better market messages. We all accept there is bias in all media. We also accept that reporters, like the rest of us, often skew their work. But the request from Megan Finnerty goes beyond bias: she is actively aiding a political ideology, and thus abusing the very word “journalist”. Here is her request (minus some links she provided). Folks everywhere should call the “newspaper” (800-331-9303) and express their concerns: I am looking for thoughts on how Richard Martinez, the outspoken father of a young man killed in the Isla Vista, … Continue reading