Foriegn Press Needs a Lesson on US Gun Laws

This article in The Guardian isn’t all that bad, but I feel the need to correct some errors they made.  The foreign press is generally much much worse than our own press at getting things right in terms of gun crime in the US:

Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities in a bloodstained corridor along the East Coast are seeing a surge in killings, and one of the most provocative explanations offered by criminal-justice experts is this: not enough new immigrants. The theory holds that waves of hardworking, ambitious immigrants reinvigorate desperately poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods and help keep crime down.

They’ll string you up from both sides of the political spectrum for suggesting something like that in the US papers.  From the right, for suggesting that immigration can be good.   From the left, for suggesting that without “moderating” effects from new immigrants, black neighborhoods turn into war zones.   But let’s continue:

It is only a partial explanation for the bloodshed over the past few years in a corridor that also includes Newark, N.J., and Boston, but not New York City.

I should point out that Boston, New York City, and Newark, New Jersey, are cities with very strict gun laws.  New York Cities gun laws would be familiar to someone from Britain: that is a roughly de-facto ban on them.  But that doesn’t stop the Guardian from saying:

Some cities “never bothered to institute the reforms, policies and programs that impacted violent crime because they felt immune from what they saw as big-city issues,” said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University in Boston. “Now they’re paying the price.”

These efforts include limiting gun purchases, suing rogue dealers and deploying officers more strategically, based on crime data analysis.

Gun purchases in Boston are quite limited.  It’s very difficult for someone to obtain a firearm in that city.  And what exactly is a “rouge” dealer?  We have laws to deal with dealers who sell guns to criminals already.

The vast majority of U.S. homicides – nearly 90 percent in Newark last year – involve guns. And they are more powerful than ever. The weapons of choice are semiautomatics that can spray dozens of bullets within seconds.

Good to see New Jersey’s strict gun laws, which require police licensing before purchasing or possessing anything, are working effectively to quell crime in Newark.   Oh, and Guardian reporters might want to learn the difference between automatic and semi-automatic before spouting off.  Semi-automatic firearms don’t “spray bullets” you twits.

“If there were more immigrants in the city of Philadelphia, there would be less violence? I’m not making the connection here. I’m not getting it,” she said.

In New York, city leaders have pushed through strict gun-control laws while attacking social ills such as littering and loitering. New York’s homicide toll has plummeted to one-fourth its 1990 high of 2,245. The count could slip below 500 this year.

New York City leaders didn’t change the cities gun laws at all.   New York City has had a defacto ban on guns for most of this century, and it’s seen it’s crime rates go up and down over that time.   It changed its crime rates almost exclusively through better police methods, and getting criminals off the streets.

I say this isn’t a bad article, because it does touch on some of the causes of crime in American cities, but of all the cities talked about here, only Philadelphia has relatively liberal gun laws, and it’s lumped in with cities along the east coast, who also have a similar problem with increasing crime.  Guns are not the variable here.

Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols in Baltimore, David Porter in Trenton, Erin Conroy in Boston and Michael Rubinkam in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

I’m sure they did.   Remember foreign press, our media culture knows about as much about guns and gun laws as my cat does.  They are not experts.  Not even close.  You’d be wise to ignore anything they tell you, and talk to some real experts on American gun laws.

4 Responses to “Foriegn Press Needs a Lesson on US Gun Laws”

  1. Alcibiades says:

    I always thought immigration had a tendency to cause crime, at least when a large, poor group floods into the inner city. The Irish and Italian gangs of the 19th and 20th centuries seem to be proof of this. Black (more of an internal migration rather than immigration proper) and Hispanic gangs are also an extension of this phenomenon.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    The big question – is your cat as well armed as Jeff’s over at Alphecca?

  3. Sebastian says:

    I had joint custody of a cat with my ex girlfriend, but Bitter is allergic, so I don’t watch him much anymore.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    Oh, that’s right – you had mentioned that before.