Suppressed Perspective

BATF Traced Weapons by Type - 2016

“He had a suppressor? That’s unique.” This was from a Gun Facts fan email during the breaking news cycle of the mass public shooting in Virginia Beach. The point being made was that by his reckoning, firearm suppressors were not often used in mass public shootings (MPSs). Fact is, they are not used in crimes much at all, which makes the desire of some politicos to ban suppressors an amusing example of uninformed policy pontification. Major Takeaways BATF traced 97 suppressors in all of 2016. This is 0.01% of those in circulation. Suppressors are ignored by criminals for the same reasons they rarely use derringers or machineguns. What the BATF Tracked We used 2016 for this review of suppressors for the reason that it is recent, we could get other crime data easily, and it skipped 2017 when there was a mass BATF trace of suppressors recovered in one state, … Continue reading

Red Flags

Suicide Rates Before and After Red Flag Laws - slope comparison

Are red flag laws effective, or should politicians be flagged for being offsides? Take-aways Too few data points for statistical robustness Largely irrelevant to homicides Barely effective on suicides For suicides, “studies” thus far count only “firearm deaths” instead of all forms of suicides, which is a grave methodology error Trade-off between a few lives saved and significant due process questions is out of balance Wave Your Flag “Red Flag Laws” (RFL herein) are all the rage these days, with many states enacting or considering them. However, the relative newness of RFLs makes analyzing their effectiveness a little tricky. Before 2016, only two states – Connecticut and Indiana – had RFLs. To see before-and-after effects of any law, you need a little runway (we at the Gun Facts project think ±5 years is sufficient). Most states with RFLs have less than three years of experience with these laws. So, with … Continue reading

Traces of a Con

Gun Stores and Eating Establishments in the United States - 2017

“There are more gun stores in America than Starbucks and McDonalds combined.” This was a headline from a propaganda organization within the gun control movement. As with any wild-sounding claim from either camp, the Gun Facts project took interest. A bit of data chasing and number crunching shows that the claim is marginally accurate yet totally misleading. But what else would one expect from The Trace. Major Take-aways There are even wilder and less accurate store-vs-store claims floating about than this one. There are approximately 236 more gun stores than the combined total of Starbucks and McDonald’s outlets (28,382 vs 28,146); but that’s if we count pawn shops as “gun stores.” Subtract those (8,002) and the claim gets reversed. In addition, an unknown number of the above “gun stores” are just gunsmiths and not actual retailers. The ratio of gun stores to these two food franchises varies wildly from state … Continue reading

Tracing Suicides

Total suicide and firearm suicide rates from 2000 through 2016

The Lie of Fear: Creating a false sense of fear in order to motivate people to action while easing them past critical thinking. This entry, from the book Shooting The Bull, was the very first items in the “Catalog of Canards”, a list of most common propaganda techniques of the modern era. That organizations favoring gun control too often employ the Lie of Fear is regrettably understandable. Which brings us to The Trace and their artless attempt to scare people about suicides: Take-aways Firearm suicides growing much more slowly than overall suicides. Trace chose to start trend analysis during a low-point in firearm suicides. The interesting angle Depending on the year you examine, firearm suicides constitute about 60-66% of firearm deaths in the United States. For decades gun control advocacy groups (which, charitably stated, The Trace is one, given the legendary activist donors on their disclosure page and that Michael … Continue reading

AR-15s: Mostly Harmless

AR-15 and Violence - infographic

The AR-15, allegedly the most popular consumer rifle in the United States, has become the poster child of the gun control industry. But from a homicide statistics standpoint, they are mostly harmless. Main Take-aways AR-15s constitute maybe 4% of all American firearms. AR-15s are used in 0.4% of firearm homicides, maximum. Just How Many AR-15s Are We Talking About? There is no doubt the AR-15 is a popular rifle. The firearm industry notes this. Users note this. Even the gun control industry notes this. Knowing how many are out there is crucial for understanding if they are a problem or not. The AR-15 has been around since 1959, but the last eight years has seen a significant increase in its popularity. And no wonder. The rifle is lightweight, meaning anyone can shoot it (YouTube has a bunch of videos of tiny young girls firing them). They don’t recoil much due … Continue reading

Gun Deaths: Meaningless Metric

GUNS IN OTHER COUNTRIES gun homicides by number of gun in oecd countries

You can get an average citizen to cross their eyes in brain damaging confusion by telling them that “gun deaths” is a meaningless statistic. And it is, though members of the gun control industry continue to use the hollow phrase, and some members of the media never question its meaning or validity. It doesn’t stand up to domestic or international scrutiny. Since it is the job of the Gun Facts project to eradicate bad information, let’s spend a few electrons today killing off the “gun deaths” charade. What in the heck is a “gun death”? This is not a caustic question. In the realm of people dying by catching bullets, there are a number of categories concerning such deaths. And many of these categories are made up of sub categories. And for each of the categories, there are ways of achieving the same result (a dead person) without a using … 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

NYT Fiction

Source states for guns, strict and lax gun control laws

Main Take-aways The “Iron Pipeline” doesn’t exist. Most guns that move from one state to another do so as part of normal human relocation, not trafficking. The time it takes for a gun to slip into criminal use is so long that the problem is local crime control and not interstate gun control. When it comes to gun control, nobody has ever accused the New York Times of honesty or accuracy. I won’t break their losing streak. In a recent bit of editorial effluvium and journalistic malpractice, the NYT penned perilous prose concerning the mythical “Iron Pipeline” of guns migrating into states with strict gun control from states without. The Gun Facts Project has already run the numbers and shown the Iron Pipeline to be both a con job as well as demonstrating the inverse is actually true. In brief, states with strict gun control laws are more likely to … Continue reading

Universal Isn’t

universal background checks for guns

Universal background checks aren’t and cannot be, which makes them a horrible ruse and a social abuse. How “universal” background checks are sold to the public Akin to the now completely discredited “gun show loophole” canard, “universal” background checks are sold as a crime prevention measure. Various gun control groups have made it their current cause because it polls well with voters … until voters are presented with the perspective about guns and violent crime. The idea being sold is that (a) every firearm transaction needs to be approved by the government using (b) a personal background check to assure the buyer isn’t a felon or other prohibited person. This allegedly will (c) reduce violence with guns. The problems, as you will shortly see, are that (1) the solution is nowhere close to being universal, (2) will have no impact on gun violence, (3) is ripe for governmental abuse and … Continue reading

Suicides and Propaganda

Homicides and suicides - time series

It is no secret that when a member of the gun control industry speaks of “gun deaths” they are purposefully including suicides by gun. By not disclosing that suicides are about 65% of all guns deaths, they create dread in the public by making “gun deaths” appear to be a growing menace. But this got me to wondering if there is a hidden agenda to them broadcasting this canard more frequently. There is. Because over the last seven years of records, more people have been killing themselves. Since in the U.S. guns are a preferred means of suicide (where as in Canada poison is more popular), any upward change in suicide rates makes it look like guns are a growing problem. Firearm homicides have remained rather static in recent years, as the chart shows. However, suicides started rising sharply along with the Great Recession. This is a common occurrence — hard times cause some people to escape their … Continue reading