Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Gun Control?

I really don't want to wade into the gun control debate.  I just have a few observations that I'd like to share.

  • There is no gun control. There are a lot of guns out there. Many of them are in the wrong hands. Whether you believe gun control should exist, or should not exist, the fact is, it doesn't exist in any effective form.
  • According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Connecticut, where yesterday's horrific tragic took place, and its neighboring states of Massachusetts and New York are all among the more restrictive states with regard to gun ownership. (Brady, 2012)
  • According to some studies, violent crime varies INVERSELY with legal gun sales. Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Thomas Baker has crunched the numbers in the state of Virginia, and has determined that gun sales in the state have climbed 73% since 2006, while the number of violent crimes involving guns has declined by more than 27%. (NRA, 2012)
  • A loophole in the federal law requiring criminal background checks allows sales at gun shows to go forward without a check. This accounts for 40% of all U.S. private gun sales. That's just a poor work product from the legislature. (CSGV, 2012)
  • Fortunately, there are "not enough" mass shooting incidents to draw reliable statistical correlations with anything. (I know. PLEASE don't take the first words of that sentence out of context.) Common sense might say otherwise, but the numbers aren't there to draw sound quantitatively-based conclusions about violent media exposure and other potential influences. 
  • Mass shooting incidents, especially in the otherwise comfortable affluent suburbs get in-depth media attention, but they are statistically insignificant compared to the scourge of gun violence on our city streets. The daily killings in our cities receive relatively little attention in most outlets.  A notable exception is the Huffington Post's Chicago Gun Violence stream. (Huffington, 2012a).  
  • On a single night in Chicago (Monday, 12/3/12), there were 11 shootings overnight. November shootings in Chicago were up 49 percent over 2011. Through 11 months, shootings were up 11 percent and homicides were up 21 percent. (Huffington, 2012b)
  • Guns are designed to kill.  Don't create specious arguments against gun control by comparing gun violence deaths with traffic fatalities, for example. Cars do not have a lethal primary purpose.
  • "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." may be a time-worn cliché but it has some basis in fact. We cannot blame inanimate objects for the evil actions of broken people and the soul-sickness to which we are all susceptible.


Brady (2012). Brady 2011 state scorecards. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
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CSGV (2012). Gun show loophole. Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
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NRA (2012). Wayne's commentary (11/27/12), more guns, less crime in Virginia. The National Rifle Association of America.
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Huffington (2012a) Chicago gun violence. The Huffington Post.
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Huffington (2012b). Shot waiting for bus: Chicago bystanders among 11 shot overnight after violent weekend. The Huffington Post.
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