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

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

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

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

New York Inanity

  Prioritize New York! You are getting things mighty backwards. Two recent news stories show how lackadaisical thinking harms public policy. The first was the state’s Attorney general bragging that he had eliminated the plague of realistic-looking toy guns. The other headline was that half of the shootings and 40% of the 300 homicides in New York City alone thus far this year were gang related. Keep in mind that NYC homicides are up over 5% this year (this despite the so-called SAFE Act of 2013, which enacted a wealth of new gun control laws … which appear to be doing nothing). Ponder that. It is likely that toy guns resulted in zero deaths, yet gangs resulted in at least 120, not to mention the non-fatal stabbings, shootings, beatings and other pastimes gangs enjoy. With 375 different street gangs and a rising homicide rate, gangs would be an obvious priority … Continue reading

Gangs and Guns

Street gang pentration and population in major cities around the world

America doesn’t have a gun problem, but it sure as heck has a gang problem. Quick Take-Aways America has an insanely high concentration of people in gangs – about 953% higher than other countries (see analysis warnings below). Thankfully these are confined mainly to a few really rank cities. American gang culture is not replicated elsewhere Nearly every study associated gang membership with violent crime (including gun homicides). The Silly Propaganda When the gun control industry starts complaining about American gun violence, they never mention gangs. When someone (like me) mentions gangs to gun control advocates, they dismiss gangs as a non-issue. As someone who has lived next door to Oakland, California I can attest that it is very much an issue (as it is in Barack Obama’s own Chicago). Yet it is very different in America. “European cities lack the strong gang traditions that exist in some large U.S. … Continue reading

Newsom’s Nuisance

evil gavin newsom california

Nobody has ever accused California’s Lieutenant Governor of being well informed. Sadly, he insists on proving it. Emboldened by presidential politicians strutting for gun control, Gavin Newsom is supporting a public ballot initiative to bring Californians four new forms of gun control. [EDITOR: It is noted that Newsom is running for Governor] Clear in his proposal is an utter lack of understanding about the nature of crime, violence and guns. Without exception, the proposals will: Do nothing to address the common and recurring forms of gun violence. Possibly push illegal activities to more underground means. Harass and legally imperil legitimate gun owners and hobbyist. So what doesn’t Gavin understand about gun policy? Nearly everything (and this opinion comes from someone who has lived in and around San Francisco for 20 years and watched Newsom’s dementia up close)? His proposals may be ignorant, but the method of announcing his support was … Continue reading

Cali Crossroads

Are gangs on the run in Los Angeles? No, but their violence may be abating, and it has nothing to do with gun control. The state of California (a.k.a. the State of Emergency) recently published a pair of decadal crime reports. Buried in the data is evidence that despite a backward-thinking mania, California has enjoyed a drop in violence without an increase in gun control. At first blush, the decline appears to be uniquely tied to Los Angeles County, and to a brace of 1993 era laws that targeted criminals. The big take away is that from 2005 through 2012 (the latest date for which we can compare Cali stats against the rest of the nation) California violent crime has shrunk impressively. Part of this is due to the fact that the rest of America is not the violent cesspool known as L.A.! SoCal can only improve, edging ever closer … Continue reading

VPC DGU Dupe

An acquaintance of mine once claimed that Josh Sugarmann, head of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), consumed copious amounts of military grade narcotics and had been doing so for some time. I found the statement offensive since it masked more likely organic sources for Sugarmann’s disconnect from reality. In the VPC’s latest con job they: Assumed all defensive gun use (DGU) results in death Compared criminal homicides with legal interventions (justifiable or even meritorious killings) Ignored all manner of non-lethal DGUs In an attempt to make American’s believe that guns have no rightful purpose in self-defense (something that recent polling indicates is going the opposite direction), the VPC contrasted criminal homicides with guns with self-defense shootings that only resulted in the attacker permanently halting their predatory practices. This willfully ignored: DGUs where the attacker is wounded. DGUs where a warning shot is fired. DGUs where the gun wasn’t fired (pointing … Continue reading

Cop killers and under­ground guns

Bureau of Justice Statistics - crime gun sources

A serial felon shoots his girlfriend then assassinates two cops, and this is all caused by the “gun lobby.” I have a pet theory that one reason the gun control industry has been losing favor with the American public is that their talking point sound evermore like PETA (a.k.a. psychotic). We have all now heard about Ismaaiyl Brinsley gunning down two New York cops. What did not immediately hit the news cycle is that the former Mr. Brinsley (who saved taxpayers a wad of cash by killing himself after the two officers) had a rather lengthy criminal record. According to a dispatch from the New Republic, an organization never guilty of journalism, the last year in which Brinsley was eligible to legally buy a gun was 2008. So how did he get his hands on one? With all the “tough” criminal control laws, who failed? Nobody, aside from perhaps the … Continue reading