U.S. Gun Laws & Violence – a Brief Look

Earlier this week a Bernie Sanders supporter shot and wounded several GOP congressmen at a charity baseball game practice. In response thereto a number of politicians called for more restrictive gun laws, as they usually do in the wake of any high-profile shooting. Considering that the rest of the world loves bashing the United States’ so-called “out-of-control gun violence”, perhaps it is time to unpack the statistics on this issue a tad.

Now, this is not going to be a particularly scientific or rigorous investigation. The sources used are all linked in, and they are all in the public domain. The purpose of this little exercise is simply to see if there is any meaningful link between the murder rate in a particular state and the nature of their gun laws. To ensure we compare apples with apples, all data used dates from 2015.

As our benchmark number we will use the US national murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate in 2015, which was 4,9 per 100 000 people.

According to Guns & Ammo the 10 worst states for owning a gun in 2015 (and their respective murder rates per 100 000) were:

  1. District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) – 24,1
  2. New York – 3,1
  3. New Jersey – 4,1
  4. Massachusetts – 1,9
  5. Hawaii – 1,3
  6. California – 4,8
  7. Connecticut – 3,3
  8. Maryland – 8,6
  9. Illinois – 5,8
  10. Rhode Island – 2,7

According to the same publication, the 10 best states for owning a gun in 2015 (and their respective murder rates per 100 000) were:

  1. Arizona – 4,5
  2. Vermont – 1,6
  3. Alaska – 8,0
  4. Utah – 1,8
  5. Kentucky – 4,7
  6. Wyoming – 2,7
  7. Alabama – 7,2
  8. Kansas – 4,4
  9. Missouri – 8,3
  10. New Hampshire – 1,1

From the above it is obvious that there is no relationship between how restrictive or permissive an individual state is with regards to gun laws, and its murder rate. If there were we would expect to see prohibitionist districts like D.C. have a much, much lower murder rate. We would also have expected to see Vermont with a much higher murder rate. Interestingly in both the top and bottom 10 states, there are 3 which have murder rates higher than the national average.

Another interesting observation is that Texas (ranked as the 15th best state for gun ownership) had exactly the same murder rate as California (among the most restrictive states in the US) in 2015 – 4,8 murders per 100 000 people.

Clearly something else is afoot here. The fact that crime and violence has multifactorial causes is not a surprising nor new revelation. It is something that has been known to policymakers for decades. The fact that the United States is currently experiencing a homicide rate which is at a 51-year low, whilst the amount of new guns manufactured and imported over a 20-year period increased by 141%, is further proof that there exists no correlation between gun laws and murder rates.

Yet whenever a high-profile shooting incident occurs, there are calls by politicians for more restrictive gun laws.

This is, simply put, bad policy. It may look and sound great on CNN (except when it does not), but it ignores all the evidence to the contrary (which is pretty overwhelming) and is nothing more than a cheap play on voters’ emotions in order for the official to appear to “be doing something”.

If we are going to force a connection between variables that clearly aren’t related, then Californians are obviously worse people than Texans since they commit the same amount of murder without having easy access to guns. The answer is clearly that we need to ban Californians.

Right?

 

7 thoughts on “U.S. Gun Laws & Violence – a Brief Look

  1. I re-posted this on riflemaniijournal, and linked to my main blog Brittius, because WordPress is not working correctly and will not allow me to re-post on both blogs.
    The comment is this: Statistics, do not reflect the criminal intent or mindset of people committing crimes or those who refuse to wake up and recognize what is happening beyond the fact that a firearm was involved. I have seen on the streets, a number of dead bodies with a claw hammer lodged in the skull, or screwdriver perforation wounds, yet houses are built and home improvement centers not threatened.
    The intelligence level of those I had arrested in the majority of cases where violence was involved, or deadly physical force was involved and used by a criminal, is where they commonly behaved like savages. Education was minimal. No parental involvement. In fact, most, had issues where there was no male head of the household and the mother either working, or engaged in being doped up or on the streets strolling. No discipline other than volume of yelling. A feral beast.
    The recent shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, has opened a dialog, where the usual gun banning trolls are out but, this time, all over the news, Constitutional Carry, is being discussed. Regardless of the political beliefs of the shooter in the incident, it is understood that with some 300 million (+), citizens, everyone’s behavior cannot be in check, and that response times will be delayed because law enforcement cannot be everywhere, at every time. The best defense against any criminal, or deranged madman, is to be armed.
    To date, fourteen states of the USA, are Constitutional Carry states. There are no mass killings. Prisons are there and nothing out of the ordinary as life goes on, each day, however it is known that those Constitutional Carry states, have a noticeable improvement of politeness, civility, and respect, since Constitutional Carry, and murder rates, robbery rates, and crime in general, indicates lowered statistics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We know guns cannot cause anything and only those indoctrinated by a bunch of bleeding hearth agenda driven agony aunts “believe” they do or can. We allow these charlatans to control the media and dominate the news, to set the iterative and redefine government and police policy. Yet we are millions and they are few.

      How is it even vaguely possible that a few individuals control our destiny and fate and yet we have not one single response worthy of discussion or of any use at all. Instead we bluff ourselves that our organisations are experts when they have demonstrated they are clueless. That they supposedly act for our benefit when had they done the same for the ANC they would be wearing tyres for necklaces and been removed as traitors.

      Which official of the ANC fighting bad, unjust and inhuman laws no different to the FCA would have lasted one minute after suggesting ways to improve, streamline and make more efficient apartheid laws? Yet firearm organisations officials expect to be thanked for doing this? For what reason should they be thanked? For supporting and entrenching useless laws that waste police manpower, resources, funding and distract from solving crime and arresting criminals? For deceasing public safety and giving criminals a less risky opportunity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Civilized, Society. Progressiveness. It all went sour, early on, and people went “along with the flow”, for a number of reasons, all of which to their detriment. Humanity has not yet bounced off of the bottom, and the worse is yet to come, therefore, the mind, a brain, must be forged as steel and the means, such as firearms, in many sizes, shapes, calibers, along with other tools, when educated in the utilization of such, is the only true defense of family and property. Hopefully, governments will harden soft stances against warped minds and illiteracy.
        Self-discipline, courtesy, respect, politeness. The world needs to bring all of it back, while maintaining a secure grip, and not teetering over some tipping point where policies will render people defenseless and vulnerable.

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  2. Sigh! If only you were right it may not seem so bad but the truth is stranger than that. SAGA in a moment of dementia had a complete mental breakdown and the Einstein’s in control thought they could snow government up by supporting the FCA and adding more idiotic acquirements that had no hope of implementation. SAGA then set out to convince the even less astute other firearm organisations this was a good idea and the only plan that had any hope of success. Anyone who objected to this idiocy was attacked mercilessly like that of a bunch of cowards defending their plans of collaboration. The result….

    All opposition to the FCA was squashed by SAGA, Gunsite, SAHunt and other hunting or shooting groups. GOSA was formed by the Firearms forum with the explicit objective of never ever collaborating or giving up the fight. The only organisation that initiated a direct opposition, succeed by SALGO.

    It took a good number of years and constant bashing of opposition with SAGA and Gunsite leading that charge where opposition to the FCA was reason to get banned. All opposition was quelled and smashed by mercilessly attacking anyone who dared to speak up. These organisations succeeded in a total demoralisation of SA firearm owners by acting and advertising as agents for police efforts, repeating warnings and advising owners to comply with this abominable and utterly useless law. A law that impacted only the innocent and least likely to commit crime. There simply was no leadership only an exhibition of cowardice and unwillingness to support or aid people impacted by the law. In the words of a a SAGA release. “There is nothing wrong with the FCA only the implementation is flawed”. It has not changed. It is the mantra of all firearm organisations now.

    GOSA could not even gather enough funds to challenge the confiscation of arm that were never compensated for. Judgement in the appeal — If government holds a gun to your head and threatens punishment or else unless what it had already given was relicenced or handed is was a VOLUNTARY hand in. Any desire to have demonstrated objection to such blatant manipulation of the courts long gone due to sycophantic leadership for firearm organisations.

    South Africa simply followed the universal direction of firearm the worlds firearm organisations which are lead in general by self-motivated people out greed or favour to themselves only. There is not one firearm organisation left that acts for the interests of public safety and citizens fights to self-defence. Not one in South Africa of that you can be sure. GOSA now just an echo of a washed up SAGA completely gutted by dereliction of duty to members rights, public safety and the right to self-defence.

    It will indeed be a difficult fight that will never happen as long as the cowards are in control who will tear down anyone or anything that objects.

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  3. Both SAFF and later SALGO operated in the background so as not to be seen as pressure groups and as independent citizens which is in fact what they were. Each speaking for themselves. A SABC host tried to join SAFF after a member mentioned SAFF this in a complaint. He made SAFF look worse than a NAZI death camp with wild accusations of pressure groups that could not be refuted as he would give no air time on his show. Never expect the supporters of gun control to fight fair be be reasonable.

    Not many know what SAFF and SALGO achiev not reveibeed but for a period they owned the media and no gun control articles or news item would receive a dozen complaints, corrections and rebuttals. The Citizen printed eight SALGO letters on one occasion. Items were also posted written as blogs some carried by Firearm news, MyNews24, Richmark Sentinel, and various newspapers. They made the news not just reacted to it. Robust debate took place on many websites. GFSA closed its message board and that is how it should be. Who gave gun control carte-blanc freedom from rejection of the lies it promotes and allows gun control unopposed access to the public in order to indoctrinate them? Firearm organisations that is who. If that unopposed access had never been given we would not be here today. Nor would we be willing to trade our lives and safety of our loved ones for governments largess and caprecious permission to defend what we love and is our right.

    Some info http://gosa.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2330

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