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

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 A popular con circulating in the gun control debates is that when the state of Missouri repealed their law requiring a permit to buy a handgun, that homicide shot up.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