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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The NRA is stupid

NRA-ILA's 'fact sheet' regarding the Brady Bill.

** California had more murders and other violent crimes than any state in 1993. Despite a 15- day waiting period on all firearm sales (retail and private; rifle, pistol and shotgun) its violent crime and murder rates were, respectively, 54% and 46% higher than the rates for the rest of the country. Among U.S. cities, Los Angeles had the the third highest number of violent crimes (83,701), including the second highest number of murders (1,076).

That's amazing! California had the highest number of violent crimes? And Los Angeles is second in cities? Wow. I wonder if there's some corresponding statistic. After a lot of research and not a little bit of whiskey, I found what I think might be a link. It turns out, California also has another attribute which tends to be linked with a higher number of crimes: people. Yes, in a massive anomaly, California is in fact the state with the highest population. And Los Angeles? You guessed it - second most populous city. More Turkeys are also raised in California than any other state. They recite the same thing for New York and NYC - using, instead of per capita or as compared to similar socioeconomic group, the gross number of crimes. Almost as if this matters.

Other curious omissions are statistics from, say, the FBI UCR on handguns used in the above violent crimes. Because, if they were so inclined, they might find that this application has dropped since the Brady Bill.

** Only 7% of armed career criminals obtain firearms from licensed gun shops. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms "Protecting America: The Effectiveness of the Federal Armed Career Criminal Statute," 1992, p. 28)

** Only 7% of "handgun predators" obtain firearms from licensed gun shops. (James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi for the Department of Justice,"Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Study of Felons and Their Firearms," 1986, p. 187.)

As noted by the fact sheet, most of the states which had traditionally high-crime areas were Brady exempt by virtue of extant restrictions. One could, if one were so inclined, cite this statistic as proof that these restrictions are working. Consider the converse - if 90% of handgun "predators" and career criminals were legally buying their guns, in spite of the restrictions. That would also be cited as proof that the laws weren't working. This, of course, is sort of beside the point - a large number of people are deterred out of being criminals at all by the law, and so aren't counted in these statistics. All this says is, if someone is willing to be a career criminal, they are also willing to get a gun illegally. It does not factor in people who are going to just knock over a liquer store or any of the other recitivists, where making it just a little harder to get a handgun prevents them from ever comitting the crime.

Violent crime has declined nationwide during the 1990s, but in the first two years of the Brady Act (before additional states subject to the Act`s five-day waiting period became exempt) violent crime and murder rates declined less, overall, in states subject to the 5-day wait. The overall violent crime rate in states the Brady Act`s five-day waiting period was imposed upon declined six percent versus a decline of 9.4% in "Brady-exempt" states. The overall murder rate declined nine percent in Brady states, versus 16.9% in "Brady-exempt" states. (Data: FBI)

Post Hoc...

There is enough out there for and against gun control that making things up seems useless and silly.

cranked out at 12:17 PM | |

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