Crime

Guns and Crime, Going in Different Directions

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Quick and dirty macrodata chart from the NRA via LewRockwell.com on guns and crime in the U.S. showing that as gun possession goes up and gun laws loosen, violent crime goes down. From 1991-2009, total violent crime down 43 percent (with murder down 49 percent). Meanwhile:

There are well over 250 million privately-owned firearms in the U.S., including nearly 100 million handguns and tens of millions of "assault weapons"…and the number of firearms typically rises about 4 million per year.6 Annual numbers of new AR-15s, the most popular semi-automatic rifle that gun control supporters call an "assault weapon," are soaring. In 2008, there were more than 337,000 new AR-15s configured for home defense, competition, training, recreational target practice and hunting.7 NRA-supported Instant Check firearm transactions have increased over 10 percent annually since 2006.8

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  1. Correlation does not equal causation (you can make the same case for Roe v. Wade), but this is useful evidence to rebut gun control zealots.

    1. Indeed, it’s at least evidence that the two facts can exist at the same time.

      1. Yet that doesn’t stop anti-gun zealots from using an unproven fact that there is a correlation between looser gun laws and higher gun crimes, this despite the fact that we now have evidence that specifically refutes this hypothesis.

        It’s not like I expect the anti-gun left to be rational, but since we’re making observations, this should pointed out.

        1. This evidence does not refute that, as they could fall back on a fav around here and say the drop happened DESPITE the proliferation of guns.

          1. Which would destroy their primary argument that banning guns is necessary to decrease the violent crime rate.

            If it is the case that crime dropped *despite* the increase in legal gun ownership, then clearly we can reduce crime without banning guns, and clearly it is not the case that increased legal gun ownership creates, causes or contributes to an increase in crime or danger to the community.

            Of course, there’s no sense in trying to present empirical data and hard, objective evidence to an anti-gunner. I’ve been there; done that; don’t want to bother with that futile exercise anymore.

            1. They can just claim that while increased guns do cause crime, some other variable caused the crime to decline further, and therefore if guns were more restricted the decline would have been even higher.

              Folks around here do this in economic arguments all the time, such as when I point out periods of rising government alongside increased propsperity.

              1. I fail to see the need to conflate the two. I know “bigger government” and annoying the libertoids is your pet monkey to flog, but it’s really beside the point here.

                Your proposition apparently is that if more guns does not necessarily cause more crime, then an analogous reasoning is that more government does not necessarily equal less prosperity.

                The problem there is how do you propose to measure “more” or “bigger” government. And government’s affect on prosperity – regardless of the size of government – really depends more on what actions that government takes.

                I will submit, however, that as a general rule, Jefferson was right when he said, essentially, that the general nature of things is for government to increase and individual rights to decrease.

                Increased gun regulation is an example of that very syndrome.

          2. they could fall back on a fav around here and say the drop happened DESPITE the proliferation of guns.

            It’s a “favorite” around here to say that “despite the evidence that more A didn’t produce more X, we still should ban A”?

            Maybe more people in your depressing circle of socialist retards relies on this “favorite” but I don’t see it employed amongst the H&R crowd.

            The argument that more guns will mean more crime is STATISTICALLY UNSUPPORTED by the evidence in this post. It isn’t an argument that we should then hand out guns like candy so crime will go down 100%, although some idiots will argue this.

            1. So when bigger government failed to produce Teh Misery, like in the 1960’s, it’s evidence that bigger government is not always bad? Thanks!

              1. So when bigger government failed to produce Teh Misery, like in the 1960’s, it’s evidence that bigger government is not always bad?

                The failure to produce “teh misery” is now your argument for bigger government?

                It’s nice of you to admit this, but I would refrain from using it as a slogan.

                BIGGER GOVERNMENT: “We Haven’t Produced Complete Misery Yet, Give Us Another Try!”

                1. No, actually not only have increased government and failure to induce teh misery existed at the same time, but the former and prosperity have existed at the same time. Just like an increase in guns and decline in crime can exist at the same time, eh?

                  1. “No, actually not only have increased government and failure to induce teh misery existed at the same time”

                    If you can look around at the US today and say this isn’t teh misery, then you’re a fucking goddam idiot.

                  2. not only have increased government and failure to induce teh misery existed at the same time,

                    In very limited circumstances, one could argue this, yes. But when taken with the overwhelming evidence that shows that increased government results in less prosperity and less freedom it would be ridiculous to make this claim.

                    And you’re still missing the point, unsurprisingly, that pro-gun folks aren’t using this as an argument for MORE GUNS (like you are using in your analogy for BIGGER GOVERNMENT) they are simply stating that MORE GUNS didn’t correlate with MORE GUN CRIME. And not only that, as others have stated in this thread gun owners should not use this as evidence that correlation equals causation.

                    There is plenty of evidence to support the argument that bigger government means less prosperity and less freedom, and the dreadful history of the 20th century is in large part a history of the terrible results of these collectivist big government endeavors.

                  3. No, actually not only have increased government and failure to induce teh misery existed at the same time, but the former and prosperity have existed at the same time. Just like an increase in guns and decline in crime can exist at the same time, eh?

                    You raise the taxes, people pack up and leave, you fucking retards. You guys don’t understand that concept?

    2. True.

      I am not a big proponent of the argument that more guns = less crime, ala John Lott – at least not from the standpoint of causation. But it sure as hell shoots full of holes the argument that guns cause crime, or that somehow more heavily regulating guns will decrease crime.

      Just this morning in my local newspaper, there was a story of a pizza delivery guy who was held up last night. He had just delivered the pizza and walked back to his car when another car pulled up next to his. Apparently these four yuckapucks had been following him and waiting for the right moment. One of the guys pointed a rifle at the pizza delivery guy. Pizza guy told him to drop the rifle and stop pointing it at him. Rifle guy refused and demanded money. Pizza guy told him once more to drop the rifle. Still no. So Pizza guy pulled out his handgun and shot rifle guy. Ended up hitting him in the face and now he’s in critical condition in the hospital. So one robbery thwarted and four would-be robber yuckapucks captured, because of a legal gun owner. And – it turned out the “rifle” was a BB gun. Idiots. Pretty stupid thing to try to rob someone with a BB gun here in the Richmond area. Chances are they’ll be packing.

      1. To me the best stat to use is this: 95%+ of gun owners will not use their gun in an illegal fashion this year, or any recent or coming year. That’s well established iirc, and so, why do you want to put restrictions on those people?

        1. I agree with the caveat that the number is much higher than 95%. More like 99.98%, I would SWAG.

          Consider the fact that there are an estimated 100 million households in the U.S. that own guns. And consider that there are an estimated 200 to 250 million guns in those households. Meaning that the average gun-owning household owns more than one gun (based on that statistic, I own several households’ worth myself).

          Now consider the reported rate at which guns are used in the commission of some kind of crime. If I recall, the number is something along the order of 300,000 to 500,000 times per year. I’m talking every time some creep shows a gun to commit a crime.

          So let’s say 500,000 crimes committed with guns divided by 100 million gun owners = 0.005 or 0.5%. So yeah, 99.5% – or higher – of gun owners never commit a crime with their guns – at least based on reported stats.

          This is totally seat of the pants, back of the napkin stuff, of course.

          1. Florida data. Since CCW permit program started: 1.84M issued, 5,753 revoked, at least 640 reinstated.

            99.7%, that’s 997 out of every 1000 are either still valid or were allowed to lapse. Out of the 5034 revoked for post facto criminal activity, it is my belief, and this part is not supported by the document cited (but I’ve heard from multiple sources) that the vast majority are domestic violence in which no firearm was involved.

      2. We have also learned during this recession that crime DOES NOT increase during times of economic downturn. Fucking libs are losing grasp of their sacred cows.

        1. We have also learned during this recession that crime DOES NOT increase during times of economic downturn. Fucking libs are losing grasp of their sacred cows.

          Beat downs of Pauly Krugnuts by other economist have become a genre of late, too. Good times!

  2. Yet, without fail, every proposal to loosen gun control is met with the same “Blood in the streets! High noon in Tombstone!” blather.

    For all the beatings John Lott has taken, I have yet to see much to refute his thesis that More Guns = Less Crime.

    1. One KY state rep had the cajones to admit she(I think) was wrong and blood didnt flow in the streets after the concealed carry law passed. (S)he still opposed it and was voting against a change that was being made, but (s)he admitted it really hadnt been a big deal so far.

  3. I just wish the US state department would decide exactly what is and is not restricted for export. I just went to order a Magpul AR-15 stock that has been otherwise widely available in Canada, and was informed that their latest shipment was held up on the US side because collapsible stocks are apparently verboten for export.

    We have had a similar situation for a while, with lowers marked 5.56mm being randomly rejected for export. Sometimes even lowers marked .223 are stopped. Some still trickle through here and there but it seems like a purely random process.

    1. Something has to be done to stop the flow of machine guns into an unstable, third world shit hole like Canada.

      1. Nothing can save that vermin infested, sparsely populated, grab-bag o’crazy.

        Eh?

  4. All the cool kids have custom built ARs. I’m jealous but I can’t justify plopping down $2500 for one.

  5. Oldie but goodie from John Ross:

    THEY SAY: “If we pass this License-To-Carry law, it will be like the Wild West, with shootouts all the time for fender-benders, in bars, etc. We need to keep guns off the streets. If doing so saves just one life, it will be worth it.”

    WE SAY: “Studies have shown blah blah blah” (FLAW: You have implied that if studies showed License-To-Carry laws equaled more heat-of-passion shootings, Right-To-Carry should be illegal.)

    WE SHOULD SAY: “Although no state has experienced what you are describing, that’s not important. What is important is our freedom. If saving lives is more important than the Constitution, why don’t we throw out the Fifth Amendment? We have the technology to administer an annual truth serum session to the entire population. We’d catch the criminals and mistaken arrest would be a thing of the past. How does that sound?”

    http://web.archive.org/web/200…..stakes.htm

    1. We have the technology to administer an annual truth serum session to the entire population. We’d catch the criminals and mistaken arrest would be a thing of the past. How does that sound?

      I like the way you think! I’ll run it by my research staff and see if it is doable.

    2. There’s no chance I’d want anyone asking this. Sure it sounds absurd to you, and me, and lots of people, but there are plenty of people it *doesn’t* sound absurd to. To them it sounds like a great idea, cause we’d get ‘criminals’ off the streets.

    3. Although no state has experienced what you are describing, that’s not important. What is important is our freedom.

      Flaw: People who believe in gun control also believe that government can do no wrong. For them the freedom argument is a null program.

      Much more impressive to say, “Forty of the fifty states are right-to-carry, and not one of those states are having a problem with it. By the way, I’m going to the range this weekend. How’d you like to tag along? Meet some real gun owners? Have some fun?”

  6. I have my next “Get Rich Quick” project:

    Nxt time Team Blue is poised to take both houses and the White House, I’m opening a gun shop.

    Obama did more for gun sales than the NRA could ever do. 2009 and early 2010 saw record numbers of guns bought, and I’m not missing that boat next time around.

    1. Seriously. I had the same thought.

      A buddy of mine pretty much saw it coming and bought himself a whole bunch of pretty neat firearms which now are worth quite a bit more than he paid for them a mere two years ago or so.

  7. I guess this ends the argument about whether the government is taking away our gun rights.

    1. You’d better not be saying what I think you’re saying.

  8. There are well over 250 million privately-owned firearms in the U.S.

    Finally, news that can make me proud of America. 😀

    1. Not quite 1 per person, but getting there.

  9. How many of those ARs and such end of up in Mexico greasing the violence caused by another brilliant government program the War on Drugs – I assume the gun grabbers argument today would basically be that – these assault weapons are being exported illegally in mass to Juarez, etc. – obviously bring a legal market to Schedule 1 drugs would eliminate most of that…

    1. Uh, none?

      The drug cartels get their guns from the Mexican military.

  10. Worst case scenario, roughly using numbers from thread.

    Formula:

    xF+k=V

    x-number of guns
    F-violent crimes caused per gun
    k-crime do to all other reasons
    V-violent crimes

    x1 – 172M guns in 1991
    x2 – 250M guns in 2009
    etc, etc.

    For worst case scenario, k2=0, all other crime has been eliminated, the ONLY reason any commits a crime is because the gun caused it. Silly, obviously, but still.

    Solving for F in

    250F+0=429.4

    F=1.72 crimes/100k/1M guns or .172 crimes/100k/100k guns.

    So each gun “causes” about .172 crimes.

    plugging back in for 1991, k1 was 451.5, so over the last 18 years ALL OTHER POLICIES eliminated over 450 crimes/100k. Damn those swat teams are good.

    So in the absolute worst case scenario, about 1/6th of gun purchases are for committing a crime.

    If, on the other hand, we assume k1=k2, then F is -.456, so each gun purchase prevents nearly 1/2 a crime.

    Probably somewhere in between, I think averaging the two is probably closer to correct, so an F=-.284. Yeah, I buy that.

    All math subject to error as I did this in a hurry.

    1. Ummm…F=-.142, forgot to divide by 2.

    2. Numbers from article, not thread. Sigh.

  11. The dominance of the AR-15 is due to Clinton era restrictions. There was no competition for the platform for a decade, during which market forces turned it into a modular rifle that’s almost hilariously versatile from a gun afficionado standpoint. Magazine restrictions and other odd features of the AWB pushed handguns to be smaller and more efficient designs, culminating in an inexpensive polymer and steel glock 19 that was far more concealable and reliable than anything near it’s price point. Clinton made assault rifles and handguns what they are today.

    If Clinton is the Engineer in Chief, Obama is most responsible for distribution. No man has ever sold more AR-15’s than Barack Obama. Not a reaction to anything other than a solid Dem sweep, there are a freaking ton of AR’s in private hands thanks to our president. Who says government never does anything right?

  12. Everybody knows that the surge in gun sales is the result of President Obama’s election.

    So why did the surge start in 2006, before Obama was a gleam on the horizon?

    Could it be a cultural shift, with firearm ownership becoming more socially acceptable and popular? Perhaps resulting from the success of the concealed carry movement?

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