The Gun Tragedy/Gun Law Lag


Although my article today about gun control in the aftermath of the Loughner shootings is optimistic that it won't lead to much legislative action against guns, the Washington Post implies a different view with this chart showing the time lag between some gun-related crime and the legal response to it, including 13 years from James Brady being shot by John Hinckley to the Brady Law, and five years from Stockton schoolyard massacre to the "assault weapon" ban.

NEXT: Gun Control Wouldn't Have Stopped Loughner

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  1. It seems public opinion (and other obstacles) have been trending increasingly against the gun control crowd. The rush to incorrectly judge Loughner’s motives has mostly overshadowed talk of increased controls, and that lack of a focused initial message has hurt the cause as well. Nothing will come of it.

  2. I figure with the kind of time lag you cite, Brian, our overlords should be implementing the next round of firearms restrictions right about the time the USofA implodes like the House of Usher.

    So we’ll probably all be serfs by then, not have any guns at all – perfect timing, it’s all good.

  3. There is a slight inaccuracy in one of their maps. Washington State has some waiting periods. If you do not possess a Concealed Pistol License you must wait seven days between the purchase of a handgun and when you can take ownership of it.

  4. I don’t think there’s any connection between political rhetoric and what that nut job Loughner did, but if there’s anything that can make normal people start sounding like the vicious ultra-conservatives the left so desperately wanted Loughner to be?

    It’s screwing around with the rights of gun-nuts.

  5. I’m starting to think maybe they should ban guns. Then when all the sheep pussies don’t have guns and all us non-sheep who say fuck you to the ban still do, maybe we can finally turn this thing around. You won’t have stuff like this TSA bullshit going on when the non-sheep are in charge.

  6. Their case of cause-and-effect is somewhat dubious. As they point out in the first case, the 1968 Act only happened after RFK & MLK got shot.

    Furthermore, violent crime peaked in the early 1990’s, giving Congress the “political capital” to pass the Brady bill & “Assault” weapon ban in 1994.

    As the Virginia bill shows, politicians are more than happy to pass bills in a hurry when they think they will gain political benefit from doing so.

  7. “Furthermore, violent crime peaked in the early 1990’s, giving Congress the “political capital” to pass the Brady bill & “Assault” weapon ban in 1994.”

    It was drive by shootings that did that too. I know a lot of inmates in California at the time blamed the “three strikes” law on drive by shootings getting so much press. For a while there, they said you’d be better off telling everybody in County you were a rapist rather than that you’d done a drive-by…

    So, yeah, it was an anti-gang thing is my recollection. AK 47s became pretty standard street fare for a while there. …they still are, it’s just…that was a few news cycles ago, so who cares anymore, right?

    1. Civilian-legal semiauto AK-47s don’t really do anything different from a lot of guns. They just have that commie chic about them.

      1. They are also, usually, not AK-47s, they are AKMs. In the US an actual AK-47 is uncommon and quite expensive. AKMs however, are plentiful and cheap. IMO, for CQB or home defense, the AK-74 is the one you want, specifically the AKS-74u, -74un, & -74ub variants.

  8. My favorite part of the article: the title.

    “Gun Control Wouldn’t Have Stopped Loughner”

    So, if we banned all guns, the most strict form of gun control, back at the turn of the century…this wouldn’t have stopped him, because he would be unable to get a gun?

    So, what the article really should be titled: “Half assed gun control may not have stopped Loughner.”

    Note: not saying we should ban all guns, just pointing out that the author failed in using sound…reason.

    1. Turn of what century? Guns you can ban guns all you want. I will make a fortune by making them in my machine shop and selling them to people that want them. The Cartels will also step right into that gap. Look at Britain. They banned handguns in ’97 and their gun crime has increased. If an island can’t keep guns out, what chance to we have?

      1. Tim,

        You should know better than to try and use reason on the gun-grabbers.

  9. One of the things that strikes me is that Giffords is the first member of Congress to be wounded or killed in an assassination attempt on American soil in 42 years. Two Congressmen have died in violent acts since then, Leo Ryan before the Jonestown mass suicide in Guyana in 1978, and Larry McDonald when Korean Flight 007 was shot down.

    This suggests to me that the laws we already have are adequate. The problem in this case is that the laws weren’t enforced.

  10. Radley Balko commented on how often governments abuse guns in this

    And yet governments refuse to disarm.

    The hypocrisy factor, which is curiously not present in debates over bans on polygamy, heroin, and same-sex marriage, is a huge reason as to why gun control laws are

    See also ” Gun Control, Chicago Style” at Reason.Com.

    1. The hypocrisy is there in the case of heroin. A lot of confiscated heroin winds up back on the street due to corrupt cops.

      The entire “French Connection” shipment disappeared from the evidence lockers of the NYPD.

  11. The problem isn’t guns, that’s the symptom. The “disease” is this country’s national mental health policies. In the 1950’s, when there was less gun control and more mental hospitals, there were no assassinations. In the late 50’s and early 60’s Congress passed laws that began closing mental hospitals throughout the nation. This policy is also the cause of the drug problem in the US. The mentally ill self-medicate and, believe it or not, they prefer “street drugs” to treat their symptoms rather than prescription pharmaceuticals with their side effects. It’s time for Congress to revisit the “Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963” (that’s no typo, it’s “1963) and begin the re-institutionalization of the mentally ill.

  12. We are much better positioned that we had been at any of the times covered by the chart. We have Heller and McDonald under our belts, a right-to-carry revolution has swept the country, and even a suggestion of a resurgence of gun-grabbing has produced a gun- and ammunition-buying bonanza.

    Those anti-gun ghouls are pouncing on this tragedy, as they have always done in the past. This time the sky is a different color.

    This is a tough case, just because if had been so unpreventable. What the grabbers are going to be looking for is reinstatement of the failed “Assault” “Weapons” “Ban,” and, what is even worse from the standpoint of civil liberties, broad, burden-shifting redefinitions of mental health disabilities, which would be bereft of due process protections.

    What they would like is to make a mere denunciation, or some bureaucrat’s suspicion, expanded into a Section 922 (g) Prohibited Person category.

    The least malignant of the schemes floated thus far compass “flagging” those about whom there is a bare suspicion of mental incapacity, forcing the individual to “prove” his own sanity. This burden-shifting would prove extremely burdensome, as the mental health professions do not deal in such certainties.

    The grabbers are attempting to create a new definition of mental disability, applicable only to the RKBA, which would strip us of rights without the protections of existing mental health procedures.

  13. A word of counsel to my fellow RKBA proponents. We do not serve our cause by engaging in frivolous “sharpshooting” (more gunspeak–it’s everywhere!)about the definitions of “Assault Rifle,” “clip,” “magazine,” or “automatic” which we mav seen in the glossary of “Small Arms of the World” or some such place.

    This is a debate-losing tactic. These terms have commonly accepted meanings, and insisting on such precision when it is not necessary is merely distracting and makes the complainer appear as, well, more or less a smacked @ss who has nothing better to say..

  14. The chart avers that Pennsylvania does not have a mental health reporting requirement. I do not concur.

    See, 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6302 (c)(4) and 18 Pa.C.S.A. Section 6111.1 (f), (g).

    We wonder what else they got wrong. This may serve as a danger sign concerning the mental health reporting aspect of this debate. It may be that we are seeing an argument that reporting requirements comporting with due process don’t count, because they don’t rope in those not adjudicated incompetent or dangerous to self or others.

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