Thursday, March 7, 2013

The 'Duh' files: Gun laws link to fewer gun deaths

Although this study makes perfect sense and should be hailed as a sunray of common sense by anybody who acknowledges that more guns = more shootings, it is problematic in that it sets up this false dichotomy between states/cities with and without strict gun control.

The problem is that America is not the USSR or Red China: people and things may move freely and it's easy enough to buy a gun in a lax city/state and take it someplace else.  

There is also a chicken-egg issue that the study's authors acknowledge but don't attempt to sort out: states with lower rates of gun ownership have fewer gun fatalities; but it may be because gun control in those states is easier to pass because they have fewer guns to begin with, rather than gun-control laws leading to fewer guns in circulation. But like I said, it's a technical issue that only egghead liberals like me take notice of, and it should not obscure the ironclad, statistical truth that more guns lead to more gun deaths.

Now here are some selected stats from this study:
  • States that have the most laws have a 42% decreased rate of firearm fatalities compared to those with the least laws; 
  • States with the most gun laws saw a 40% reduction in firearm-related homicides and a 37% reduction in firearm-related suicides;
  • From 2007 to 2010, 121,084 firearm fatalities occurred.

Think about that last stat, covering just four years.  That's the equivalent of 9/11 times 40, the Iraq war times 27, the Afghanistan war times 55, or Vietnam war times 2.  In just four years!  And that's considered "normal."  We don't even think about it, much less stick magnetic ribbons on our bumpers, organize celebrity concerts, or erect solemn memorials.  We accept preventable murders without psychological trauma or remorse.  Amazing.

By Tom Watkins
March 7, 2013 | CNN

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