The EU

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Correlation or Causation

For John, BLUFWhat are the limits and benefits of firearms?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Murder rate drops as concealed carry permits rise, study claims".  Of course it is Fox News, so it may not be real science. 
A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.

The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007.  The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.

OK, so this is the reverse of what the statistics in Europe suggest, which is that less guns in the hands of citizens means less crime, or at least fewer murders.

One of the things about Europe is that they got a jump on sopping up weapons before and during and directly after World War II.  No one wanted francs-tireurs after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, especially of the Werwolf variety.  Of course in the Soviet Zone of Occupation and other occupied Eastern European nations weapons were also being picked up.

One of the problems with the gun debate is how we know we have something good enough.  There are those who think that any killing, any shooting that might have resulted in death, is reason enough to ban all guns.  Such is the view in places like New York City and Chicago.  In New York City, with police searches that really challenge the Bill of Rights, murders are fairly low, but in Chicago, which had very restrictive laws, murders make one think of Baghdad.

Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we have a law that mandates a one year prison sentence for having an unlicensed gun.  Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we have a very low ratio of folks going to jail vs arrests.  I expect the reason is that Prosecutors go for an easy conviction to a lesser charge rather than having to fight it out in court.  There may also be the issue of not enough jail cells to house all the offenders who might be convicted.  That means spending money and that means taxes (or cutting something else).

Our Commonwealth's General Court is considering new gun control, as reported in Thursday's edition of The [Lowell] Sun.  On the other hand there is no recent article telling us what the legislation would do.  On the other hand, The Boston Globe does have a 10 July article outlining the changes being proposed by the Lower House.  However, the General Court has until 31 July to finish this up in the Senate and confirm in the House in the event of changes.

For those who want no firearms in the hands of civilians, there is the question of if they have a proposal for actually sweeping up all those weapons out there.  The idea that we could go house to house searching for weapons suggests a total breakdown of the social contract.  If gun control advocates believe we can soak up all the guns let them propose that the police also go unarmed, leaving firearms in the Police Station until needed to confront known armed perps.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Actually, it is Social Science, so thus it might not be real science.
  Per The Huffington Post 60 Chicago folks were shot over the 4th of July Weekend, nine fatally.

1 comment:

Neal said...

First and foremost, there is no "gun debate." A debate implies a rational discussion between two parties in which a defensible position is crafted via dialogue or one party succumbs to the irrefutable logic of the other person's position. The gun debate is two warring factions in society that demand philosophical supremacy via the "legal" suppression of the other view. The problem is that there is no "science" and no "rational" answer. This is because man is highly individualistic making quite literally every life moment a fairly unique event multiplied by the population of the earth. One rule cannot possible cover all the possibilities.

No need for guns in the US? How long does it take for a response to a desperate 911 call....if one can even be placed? To ensure 100% public safety from those who could care less about laws would require a police state of monumental proportions and a restriction of human rights such as the world has never imagined possible. Guns exist. They can be acquired and used, nothing short of planet wide elimination of all firearms can begin to promise the absence of guns in crime. How many guns in Chicago are registered?

I have guns in my house. I have them for protection from other people who disrespect my right to freedom from their misadventurism. Do I expect to use them? No. Would I if necessary? Yes if the alternative would be the death of me or my family members. Does that make me a criminal? To gun grabbers, yes, but then, most of them live in safe environs and the liklihood of anyone penetrating their ivory towers is relatively least...until someone does.

In the final analysis, the "debate" about guns and gun control is little more than political noise that obscures the pressing matters that need immediate attention. And don't bore me with fear stories like the fellow who killed his whole family in TX in the past few days. If not a gun, a sledgehammer, or a knife, or a baseball bat..or fire. It is ludicrous to pontificate that a crime would not have occurred had a gun not been involved. No one can possibly know that.