Responding to the horrific killings of 20 innocent children and 6 innocent adults, many political types began howling for increased gun control. While acknowledging the bewildering horror of slaughtering children, lets also acknowledge that emotional reasoning provides a poor foundation for laws and governmental policy. How much of the problem are guns?
Several times Australia has been held up as an example of radical gun control cutting murder by guns. Too bad it didn’t cut down on murders.
This chart, published by the Australian government, shows the number of homicides from 1993 through 2007. Note that while the number has declined, that decline didn’t begin until long after Australia cracked down on gun ownership, and has not been very impressive. In fact, the homicide rate in the U.S. has declined more steeply, as we will see momentarily:
England banned many weapons in 1996 and saw a similar result, i.e. no reduction in murder related to gun ownership.
So adoption of harsh gun laws that likely would be unconstitutional in the U.S. did little or nothing to improve homicide rates in either Australia or the U.K. The next question is, how were homicide rates trending over the same time period in the U.S.? This chart comes from the Department of Justice. It shows the U.S. homicide rate per 100,000 population from 1950 to 2010. Note that from the mid-1990s to the present, the homicide rate in the U.S. has declined at a significantly better rate than either Australia or the United Kingdom:
Maybe the Brits and Aussies should study our gun laws to get some pointers on how to bring down the crime rate. Nothing scares criminals like armed “victims” who–oops!–aren’t victims after all.
The Times concludes:
As Mayor Michael Bloomberg stressed on Monday while ratcheting up his national antigun campaign, “We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. In the whole world, the only one.”
Michael Bloomberg raises an interesting question: how does an idiot become a billionaire? But that is a topic for another day. I am not sure what problem he thinks is unique to the U.S.; surely not the problem of murder. But there is one factor that distinguishes the U.S. from most, if not all, of the other wealthy countries, and that accounts more than anything else for our higher murder rate: we have a far larger minority population.
Minority population? Surely it’s racist to consider this, but lets take a quick look.
Using Bureau of Justice Statistics, we see in 2005 the murder rate for whites was 3.5 per 100,000; for blacks 26.5. “In 2008, the off ending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per 100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites (3.4 offenders per 100,000)”
3.4 per 100,000 sits slightly below Europe as a whole. It’s worth noting, “Countries like Russia and South Africa have murder rates that dwarf ours, with a tiny fraction of the gun ownership.” Surely those are developed countries, especially Russia. How many countries have put a man in space? Who was the first man in space? Could have been Russian and Yuri Gagarin? The NYT tells lies rather than practice objective journalism.
But, now, the knee jerk lazy intellects have decided guns are the problem. Remember this?
Some want to pretend there is some evil conspiracy by the NRA that perverted the 2nd amendment. But, even liberal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and liberal Senator Patrick Leahy recognize the 2nd amendment. Although, I must admit that our gracious host, H.M. Stuart said it as well as anyone.
Just as no one would ever seriously entertain the phrase “no woman needs two breasts” or “no man needs two testicles” or “no person needs two kidneys” and no one would ever interpret a law as generously granting humans that privilege over and against a prior state in which that was not already a self-evident, pre-existing right, the Second Amendment does not in fact grant “the people” any “right” to “keep and bear arms”, rationally understood as the common personal battle munitions of the day.
Entirely to the contrary, it prohibits government or anyone else from infringing upon that pre-existing condition.
Indeed, I hope I never need my guns, for protection or survival. But, if I do need it, I’ll really need it. Keep in mind that it took the police 20 minutes to arrive at Sandy Hook School after the first call. 20 minutes. Which brings up the adage: When seconds count, the police are only (20) minutes away. A woman I knew in Knoxville awoke one night to an intruder in her house. She called the police and a mutual friend who lived over 5 miles from her. Guess who got there first despite having to drive through city streets for over 5 miles.
If it’s truly about saving live, then how come this isn’t a huge issue – a U.S. suicide rate of 12 persons per 100,000 including a suicide rate of 19.2 per 100,000 for men? Oops, I’m sorry, men don’t matter. Don’t go blaming the suicides on guns. Many of the countries with tougher gun laws and much lower gun ownership rates have as high or higher suicide rates.
No, at best it’s a knee jerk, empty minded reaction. It’s also about elitists, megalomaniac billionaires, politicians and other members of the ruling class, many of whom have armed bodyguards, wanting to wield and extend their power over us. Most likely, there’s a touch of racism as we must take guns away from those violent blacks although many times they need self protection the most. (It seriously diminishes a woman’s ability to defend herself. Do you have the time, or the ability to become a world class female street fighter, which is what it would take for a woman to be able to defend herself from a typical thug if she is unarmed? God made man; Samuel Colt made them equal.
P.S. In the latest news, Obama decided to use the tragedy to push for higher taxes. No shame.