Well, That Kind of Ruins the Narrative …

Breitbart: “Congressional Study: Murder Rate Nearly Halved from 1994 as Gun Ownership Soared” It’s almost like more guns != more crime. Not just nationally either. It’s almost like when ordinary people can more easily arm themselves, the criminals no longer feel they can rule the streets.

20 thoughts on “Well, That Kind of Ruins the Narrative …”

  1. I’m not seeking to mess up our narrative, but I recently read a factoid (that I think would be difficult to verify) that the decline in violent crime has been a worldwide phenomenon. Of course I would suspect as statistics go, that would depend on what is classified as “violent crime,” since people seem to have been slaughtered in great numbers, worldwide, during the same period, if not here.

    1. At the very least, you can say that guns don’t make things worse. MAYBE you can’t say they make things better, but they certainly don’t make things worse. That’s still important to destroy their narrative and any argument for gun control.

    2. Steven Levitt’s theory in Freakenomics was that legalized abortion was responsible for the sharp crime reductions. Needless to say that offended nearly everyone, but that’s not to say it’s wrong.

      1. I think the removal of lead from out society had a greater affect- specifically in gasoline. It tracks much better than abortion.

    1. That’s what he said. The operator “!=” is semantically equivalent to “does not equal” or “is not equal to.”

      Sebastian’s statement – “more guns != more crime” – is properly read as “more guns does not equal more crime.”

        1. Or, alternatively, the Common Lisp and Haskell convention of “/=”, which I marginally like better. Neither is all that great if you’re not all that familiar with the conventions, though.

          Of course, you could always have just used the actual Unicode symbol, but I personally don’t yet know how to access those symbols, short of looking them up and copying and pasting (which is a bit of a hassle, to be sure).

  2. The rise and fall of the crack epidemic in America was largely tied to gun violence in the late 80s and early 90s. Once that went away, so did gun violence. The Assault Weapon Ban was a response to that, albeit wrong.

  3. The response in rebuttal will be that a much larger portion of shooting victims survive due to faster emergency response times and better medical care. And it’s likely true to some extent.

    1. It turns out that robbery, rape, and aggravated assault also dropped dramatically in the 1990s. Non-gun robberies dropped even faster than gun robberies — very hard to explain that as caused by either more gun control or improved E/R work.

  4. It’s not just nationally – if you compare within the US, areas that liberalized firearms ownership earlier than others don’t see any particular slowing of the “less crime” trend; there’s just no correlation between the two figures; meaning that liberalizing firearms access did not affect the trend towards lesser crime.

  5. We are dealing with a fundamental right. It is important to not overreach and claim more guns = less crime, as that can be challenged by the anti’s in ways that cloud the facts and confuse the undecideds who simply don’t care very much.

    All we need, or -should-, state is more guns /= more crime. Full stop. Put the burden on the anti’s to disprove that and don’t hand them openings to digress.

    Setting aside the (ideologically correct but unconvincing and frightening to the non-ideological middle) “it’s a right so it doesn’t matter if it is actually negative for society” position; in practice it is sufficient that gun rights are neutral, there’s no need to say they have magic positive powers as well.

    1. I’m always very careful to make that point when arguing in front of neutrals; it’s very easy to show, using the government’s numbers, that more guns has no effect on crime, in such a way that almost anyone can understand.

    2. I like to point out to people that I discuss this with that all substantial rights have a significant penalty in human lives, it’s just harder to get numbers for them. We don’t know how many people are killed each year because the police can’t just search where they want without a warrant, or how many are killed because the police arrested someone and they remained silent so the police had to release them, or how many people were inspired to kill because of something they saw in the movies, or read online or in a newspaper, or even because they read some radical tract. Certainly, we know that mass shooters are inspired by the reporting of other mass shooters, and publicizing suicides leads to increases in suicides.

      How many people have died because someone had a distorted view of Islam? How many have died because someone had radical religious anti-abortion views? I can think of several examples off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are more.

      How many people have died, crushed in crowds? That happens nearly every year about this time.

      But we protect the rights of free speech, the press, freedom of religion, and the right to peaceably assemble.

      All substantive individual rights have a cost to society, or they wouldn’t need to be explicitly protected. If they didn’t have a cost, no one would bother to try and infringe them.

      1. I try and minimize that point, because a lot of the folks on the other side are just fine with, say, anti-bullying laws…

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