Guns Archives

UN Data Shows More Guns, Less Violence

“More guns, more violence”, so goes the mantra that, apparently, many liberal politicians and their voters keep chanting. In one way, it sort of makes sense, if you think about it without considering anything else other than the number of guns.

However, there were some maps made by the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime that tend to set this mantra on its ear. Remember, now; this is data from the UN, not some conservative think tank.

The map shows that where gun ownership is higher, the number of homicides is, generally speaking, lower. In most cases, where the country is orange or red on the gun ownership map – the high end of the scale – they’re green on the homicides map, meaning the low end. Places like the US, which no one would deny is awash in guns, to those places in Europe where you can still get them, more guns mean fewer homicides. And all these values are population based; per capita.

And to just reinforce the point, when the country is green on the gun map – where it’s difficult to get guns – you’re extremely likely to see red on the homicide map; one might say figuratively and literally. Fewer guns in Central and South America, Africa and Russia don’t translate into rainbows and unicorns, unfortunately.

It’s time to stop chanting and take an honest look at the facts. The unicorns might just be grazing in another field entirely.

    Guns vs the Murder Rate

    A recent study out of Harvard concludes that gun bans do not reduce the murder rate. In fact, if anything, they increase it. Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with higher gun ownership often had lower murder rates. Russia, with very strict gun laws, has a murder rate 4 times higher than our own United States, which is, according to some, awash in guns. Meanwhile, European countries with significant gun ownership, like Norway, Finland, Germany and France, had remarkably low murder rates.

    Basically, the study found no evidence, anywhere in the world, to suggest that more guns meant more murder.

    Additionally, the study found, “the determinants of murder and suicide are basic social, economic, and cultural factors, not the prevalence of some form of deadly mechanism.” That is to say, if you want to know why someone kills others or themself, there are loads of other things to look at than the gun.

    I doubt you heard about this on network news. Consider this a public service. In short, Harvard found that guns don’t kill, people do. Not that we needed a study to know that. Well, I guess some people needed a study. The rest of us know that inanimate objects rarely, if ever, have a mind of their own.

    Where you should look at the gun is in the many incidents where a gun was used to save lives. Check out this list of mass shootings that didn’t happen because of law abiding citizens carrying guns that stopped them.

      When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

      When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

      Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

        The "Consider This!" Podcast, Episode 28

        Maybe this is why I’ve not been blogging much. Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor.

        The latest episode covers the fight of North Carolina pro-choicers against a license plate that advocates a choice, and a rundown of how well the Washington, DC gun ban reduced homicides (hint: it didn’t).

        Click here for the show notes, links to articles mentioned, and ways to get your voice heard on the podcast. You can also listen to the show right on the page, or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or the Blubrry network.

          Legislating with Our Head <i>and</i> Our Hearts

          After the shooting in Newtown, CT, I noticed on Facebook many people asking that the country have a “conversation” about guns. Now typically, that’s a request for some sort of dialog. However, a few of those asking for that proceeded to immediately disparage anyone who would disagree in the slightest with more restrictive gun laws. That, folks, is a monologue, not a dialog.

          To have a dialog, we need to consider all possible options. And to do that, we need to find out what works. Not just in theory; we need to know what has worked well over a long period of time. And for that, I’d like to look at the history of school shooting deaths in Israel.

          “Israel?”, you might say. “What can a nation with a population of 8 million tell the US, a nation of 300 million, about gun laws?” What indeed. Let’s look at their history of school shooting deaths. Israel, you will remember, is a nation under siege from all of its neighbors. The entire country is essentially a war zone, which you’d know if you ever tried to fly there. You think we have onerous airport security here? But Israel is fighting for its life, so it has to take many more extraordinary precautions.

          In 1974, there was a terrorist attack at an elementary school in Ma’alot. Palestinian terrorists took 115 hostages, of which 25 died. Now, British colonial laws were in effect at the time that were designed to keep Jews from owning guns. After Ma’alot, anyone from the Israeli Defense Force (current or former) was allowed to carry a gun anywhere. This included teachers. Field trips always were with armed guard.

          So, just the opposite of what’s being called for here happened there. Instead of gun-free zones, guns were around children all the time, especially when they were out and about. The reason was to prevent terrorist attacks, but presumably if it’s expected that this law was to prevent those, then they’d work against any random shooter. And understand that this law didn’t stop Arab hatred. It didn’t cure mental illness of any kind, and certainly not the kind that the Newtown shooter had. It didn’t eliminate evil.

          It’s just that now, guns were in school, held by people who had been trained in their use. And for over 30 years, there was not a single death in a school shooting in Israel. All this in spite of the fact that some teachers carried guns. Or, you might say, because of the fact that some teachers carried guns.

          But you write that sentence the way you want. Regardless, draw your own conclusions as to whether it was effective.

          Because that’s really what we should be considering when it comes to protecting our children; what is effective. Seeing what happened in Newtown, CT made us feel powerless, and we feel like we must do something to try to prevent this from happening again. But let’s do something effective. Let’s pass laws, not just with our hearts, but with our heads as well.

          A city in the metro Atlanta area, Kennesaw, GA, passed a law in 1982 that all heads of households were to own a firearm, except those with mental or physical disabilities. The law is never really enforced, but the fact that it is on the books is enough. The year after the law was passed, Kennesaw’s burglary rate dropped more than 50%. The following year, it dropped another 50%. Oh, and where guns are banned, like Chicago, IL, they had more deaths in 2008 than we had soldiers killed in Iraq that year. Just this past New Years Day, 15 people were shot, and 3 were killed, in a single incident on the west side of Chicago. Again, draw your own conclusion as to which is more effective.

          If gun-free zones make people safer, should we make the White House a gun-free zone? Should VP Joe Biden, who is tasked with working out new gun laws in the wake of Newtown, should he lead by example and disarm his Secret Service detail? No, we protect those who are important to us. We should do no less for our kids. President Obama sends his girls to a school that has an armed security detail, so clearly, he has his own opinion on gun-free schools.

            Friday Link Wrap-up

            In Canada, strip searches from possession of a deadly … crayon.

            Also from the Great White North, government intrusion into homeschool, saying that Christian parents can’t teach a Biblical view of homosexuality. Freedom of religion is being chipped away slowly enough that most don’t see it.

            If Obama is some post-racial president, why is he launching "African Americans for Obama"?

            Medical "ethicists" are seriously arguing that post-birth newborns are "not persons" and can ethically be "aborted".

            With all the religious implications of Obama’s policies, you’d think he’d have kept around his faith-based council for advice. Nope, they’ve just faded away.

            Movie reviewers of the liberal persuasion are all for anti-war, anti-military or pro-environmental message movies, but that idea gets thrown out when they disapprove of the message. Suddenly, it’s "propaganda".

            Scofflaw Democrats. "The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 further provides that if, for two years in a row, more than 45% of Medicare funding is coming from general revenues rather than Medicare taxes, the president must submit legislation to Congress to address the Medicare funding crisis. President Bush dutifully followed the law, but President Obama has ignored it for the last three years."

            Obama claims that we can’t drill our way out of the energy problem, and then, in the same speech, notes that domestic oil production is at it’s highest level in 8 years. Because we drilled! Can’t have it both ways, Mr. President, but the press will try to let you have it.

              Wikipedia Is Back

              After protesting the SOPA/PIPA bills going through Congress (rightly, in my estimation) by going "dark" for 24 hours, Wikipedia is back, to the relief of students everywhere who may have never opened a real, physical encyclopedia in this post-book world. The protest brought the issue of anti-piracy vs. anti-freedom to the attention of many people.

              Now, I’d like those folks who were very concerned over those bills to look up a couple of things on Wikipedia that should also have garnered their attention recently, if they’re really concerned about what government is doing without their knowledge.

              Operation Fast and Furious

              Solyndra

              If you’ve not heard about this in the news, that’s perfectly understandable. They’ve been nearly blacked-out themselves regarding these issues. Which is odd considering F&F is responsible for the deaths of Americans.

              Are you really concerned about what your government is doing, and you’re not just jumping on the SOPA bandwagon? Read up.

                Friday Link Wrap-up

                When the International Monetary Fund needs bailing out, from bailing out so many others, it’s time to seriously question the socialist policies of those it’s having to bail out.

                The Pope reminds Europe that moral failure usually precludes many other kinds of failure, eve economic.

                A page to bookmark when someone brings up the faulty idea that billionaires are running the Tea Party.

                Congress will investigate Planned Parenthood. About time.

                Meryl Yourish has a keen eye for news media bias against Israel and, coincidentally, a bias for Palestinians. The latest? A Palestinian man kills an American tourist (because he thought the American was Jewish, which he wasn’t). The AP headline only say the Palestinian man was convicted of "stabbing" the tourist. (Oh, and the tourist was a Christian who happened to be wearing a Star of David.)

                "Despite increases in gun sales, gun crimes continued to decrease in the United States for the fourth straight year in 2010, according to the FBI." This goes completely against the liberal narrative. The reality is likely closer to crime is down because of the increase in gun sales.

                "President Obama’s jobs bill is better than doing nothing in the face of a national crisis, but it won’t have much impact on unemployment." This incredibly foolish line begins a column trying to suggest Obama’s Stimulus Jr. should be bigger. First of all, how is wasting money on something that won’t do what it purports to do better than doing nothing? That’s how politicians have gotten us into this fiscal mess. Second, the answer is always more, more, more. And yet here we are anyway. How can more pounding our heads against the wall feel any better?

                And finally, a political cartoon (of sorts) of my own. Someone took a picture of tax protesters, and attempted a little irony by pointing out things around them paid for by taxes. But they missed the point entirely. Then point is… (Click for a larger version).

                  Friday Link Wrap-up

                  Guns: A year after a law was passed in Virginia allowing those with permits to carry concealed weapons into bars (i.e. "alcohol-serving businesses"), gun-related crime in bars actually declined slightly. They did not turn into the shooting galleries that were predicted. This didn’t make national news, of course, because it doesn’t fit the narrative. If it had gone up, I’m quite sure we’d have heard about it for days on the evening newscasts.

                  Politics: First Ed Schultz and MSNBC selectively quote Gov. Rick Perry to make it sound like he’s being racist against the President. Seems you can’t say the word "black" in any context without it being called "racist". Then, MSNBC’s newest talker, Al Sharpton, takes the smear and, ironically, calls Gov. Perry divisive and ugly for saying something he didn’t ever say! Say what you want about Fox News, but if you don’t see far, far worse bias on the part of MSNBC, you’re just not paying as close attention as you think you are.

                  The Economy: The US may have lost it’s AAA rating from Standard and Poor’s, but on that same day, Ohio’s rating went up. Republican Governor John Kasich has presided over newly-balanced budgets, an 8.6% unemployment rate, and a steadily improving economy, coming back from the recession quicker than the Feds. This was done with reducing the size of government and rewarding job-creators.

                  And speaking of the economy (click for a larger version):

                    Friday, er, Monday Link Wrap-up

                    There have been more casualties in Afghanistan under less than 3 years of Obama than we did under 8 years of Bush. Additionally, in the first 3 years of the Iraq war, we had fewer casualties than two and a half under Obama. This is not to criticize Obama for these deaths; that’s what happen in war. But Reason magazine notes that this raises 2 questions. "First, where are the antiwar protests? And second, where is the press?" The "anti-war" protestors are, as I’ve said before, more anti-Bush (or anti-Republican) than anything else. And the press are tied up trying to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin. It’s a full-time job, y’know.

                    Unions hand-picked 6 of the most vulnerable Republican state senate districts to target for recall. They just needed 3 wins to take control. They could only manage 2. Granted, recall elections have been notoriously difficult to win over the years, but if Democrats and the unions that sponsor them can’t get their base energized over their own referendum on alleged "anti-worker" sentiment in hand-picked districts, that doesn’t say much about how the public views them.

                    Atheists seem to believe that if humanity would just get rid of this archaic religion thing, violence would drop and peace would reign. Just ask Richard Dawkins, Chris Hitchens, or even John Lennon. Yeah, well, how did that work in the Soviet Union, where atheism was essentially the national religion? Or in Europe today, especially Britain, where religion is on the decline?

                    And speaking of ideas not working, how’s that gun ban in Britain working out for those store owners in the middle of the riots?

                    Remember the spontaneous "You lie!" outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson of S. Carolina during an address by President Obama about his health care bill? Joe said that after Obama said, "There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms — the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally." Well guess what? Turns out Joe was right.

                    Why do we need voter ID laws? To keep this from happening; overenfranchised Democratic voters. And how about this bit of irony: "While NAACP President Benjamin Jealous lashed out at new state laws requiring photo ID for voting, an NAACP executive sits in prison, sentenced for carrying out a massive voter fraud scheme."

                    Dale Franks of Questions & Observations has some great points about our economic situation. A couple of paragraphs, from one post talking about the hole we’re in:

                    And don’t come back at me with some lame "Our GDP:Debt ratio was 120% at the end of WWII" silliness.  Yes it was. And you know how we fixed it? We cut Federal spending from $92 billion in 1945 to $38 billion in 1949. For 2011, 40% of the federal budget was financed with borrowed money: We’ll spend  $3.818 trillion, of which  $1.645 trillion is borrowed. If we funded only defense, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security, and interest on the debt, we’d still have a deficit of $673 billion. Just to balance the budget this year—forget paying off any debt—we’d have to cut an additional ~25% from Health, Defense, and Pensions. Follow the link and download the CSV file, open it up in Excel, and run the numbers yourself. The magic number to balance the budget this year is the revenue of $2.174 trillion.

                    That’s $2 trillion this year, not over 10 years.

                    And from another post, noting that tax increases alone, even historic tax increases and an incredibly rosy set of other assumptions, aren’t going to do it. Spending cuts, substantial cuts, must happen.

                    In order to pay off this year’s share of the $61.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the government will have to collect $4.261 trillion in revenues.  With an estimated 2011 GDP of $14.922 trillion, that comes to 28.6% of GDP. If we assume government revenues rise to the historical average, the we’ll need the government to take 31.6% of GDP in tax revenues. Happily, because we’re assuming a 3% rise in GDP and revenues for every year over the next 30 years, that percentage will decline slightly every year, until, in 2041, we’ll only need to collect 20.5% of GDP in tax revenues to pay off the last installment, assuming, again, 14.8% of GDP covers the operation of government.  If we go back to the 17.8% figure, then we’ll have to collect 23.5% of GDP in revenues.

                    Either way, for the next 30 years, we need to collect substantially higher tax revenues than we have collected at any time in the nation’s history, and we have to do it every year for 30 years.

                    The point being, this is probably not possible, economically or politically. This is how bad our situation is, and how much action we need to take now on spending.

                    And yet, who gets blamed for trying to bring sanity back to the budget? (Click for a larger version.)

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