Gun Control

D.C.: More Legal Guns, Far Fewer Murders, Despite Post-Heller Fearmongering


"More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence," D.C's then-Mayor Adrian Fenty said after the Supreme Court's 2008 ruling in the Heller case, a ruling that overthrew the district's handgun ban.

Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle Over the Second Amendment

A few years later:

The District is poised to finish the year with fewer than 100 murders for the first time since 1963, and neighboring Prince George's County likely will post its lowest homicide total in 25 years.

The "murder capital" of the United States two decades ago, the District has had 79 murders so far this year, according to police records. The annual number has been declining steadily since 2008…

Correlation is not causation, past guarantees are no promise of future performance, and less than a couple of thousand D.C. residents appear to have tried to get their post-Heller legal weapons.

Still, fears that better legal access to guns would lead to more gun violence were dead wrong in D.C., and Virginia as well.

Read early and often my 2008 book on the Heller case, Gun Control on Trial.

NEXT: Coca Cola Re-Opens Plant in Mogadishu

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  1. So nice he posted twice.

  2. The drop in murders might have more to do with the amount of money pilfered from the rest of the country by the federal government. Artificially raising the standard of living in and around the district.

    1. You think that’s only been happening for 4 years?

  3. I think the incredible explosion of wealth in Washington and the fact that white hipsters and cronies have pushed out huge sections of the minority community has something to do with the reduction in murders. Jonah, Megan and Calib generally don’t cap many people.

    1. Where did they push them to?

      citation needed

      1. Fairfax and PG Counties. And you can go to this site called google. It will search the web for you. And when you do that and run the right search you will find Washington is now majority white for the first time since God knows when. I have been in and out and lived I this city since 1995. It is a totally different city now than it was in the 90s.

        1. IOW, you make claims without proof and expect others to research it.

          Got it.

          BTW, you ran off and never answered my question yesterday about what principles could justify supporting fiscal liberty but not gay marriage. Care to give it a whack or are you going to run away again?

          1. I did answer it. One has nothing to do with the other. From1789 until 1932 this country had great fiscal liberty but homosexuality was a crime. So how can you claim it is not possible when we had auch a state of affairs for over a hundred years. Your comparison makes no sense.

            1. I’m not a moron John. I realize it is possible to have both at the same time. That isn’t what I was asking and you know it. I’m sure I don’t have to explain to an attorney, what a principle is. I was asking from a MORAL STANDPOINT, how do you justify being in favor of one and not the other?

              1. there is nothing consistent about demanding government recognition for your lifestyle and them demanding a small government. You are treating gay marriage like the issue of criminalizing conduct. They are not the same. You can married now. You just can’t always get a government certificate for it. So what? You are overreaching and making analogies that don’t work.

                1. NO! I’m not. YOU postulated that peer pressure is what caused people to cave on social issues.

                  I claim the reason they take those positions, (particularly those who tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal) is that they are standing on principle.

                  They value liberty. So they take a stance that supports liberty.

                  MY POINT is. Republicans and Democrats do not stand on principle. If they do, it certainly isn’t liberty that they value.

                  SO I’M ASKING, “what set of principles could cause someone to support fiscal freedom but not gay marriage?”

                  Either name the principle(s) or admit the R/Ds are, IN FACT, unprincipled.

                  Can I make it any clearer than that?

                  1. Is gay marriage the only social issue these days? Wasn’t this conversation about that broader subject? John, if you don’t like this example, how about the WOD, prostitution, or gambling?

                2. They gay agenda is not about demanding government recognition of their lifestyle. It’s the opposite, they want government to stop recognizing their lifestyle as deviant. It’s the fear-the-queers crowd who want the negative government recognition.

                  1. Bullshit. The gay agenda is about using the force of law to coerce people I to accepting their lifestyle. There is nothing small government about it. It is all about using the law and the gun to coercsively settle a social conflict.

                    1. ^This is what buttmad SoCons actually believe

                      Not enforcing your definition of marriange = “imposing”

                    2. Cytoxic,

                      If the gay agenda were about small government, it would have ended with Lawrence v. Texas. It is no longer illegal to be gay. You can live openly and not be harassed by the cops. And that is as it should be.

                      But it didn’t stop. Gay marriage has nothing to do with “marriage”. It is about making homosexuality a “protected class” under civil rights law and making it illegal to object to homosexuality.

                      I have no problem with homosexuals and am anything but a social conservative. But unlike a lot of people on this board, I actually think people have a right to be left alone and believe what they want to believe even if I believe shit I don’t like. So the gays lose me when they want to use the force of government to prevent people from objecting to their lifestyle.

                      Go ahead, get married. Do what you like. But don’t expect everyone to like you for it. They have freedom too.

                    3. John, you would have a point if SoCons didn’t support marriage licensing laws that exclude gay people

                    4. So, I’ll again take your silence to be an admission that Republicans and Democrats do NOT act on principle. There is not overarching philosophy within the Republican or Democratic parties. All you’ve got are a bunch of hypocritical talking points who’s origin is some politicians ass.

                    5. All you’ve got are a bunch of hypocritical talking points who’s origin is some politicians ass.

                      Thus sayeth the man who claims to believe in small government but thinks government ought to dictate what kinds of marriage each person thinks is legitimate.

                      Got it.

                    6. Oh, fuck you John. Now, you are just being a disingenuous cunt.

                      I’m not dictating anything to you. You can marry your dog for all I care. I am telling you, if you believed in liberty, you wouldn’t care who someone else married. No one, here at least, is asking for EXTRA rights for gaiz. They want EQUAL rights for gaiz. And you can still hate them to your heart’s content.

                      Now answer the question or shut the fuck up.

                    7. I don’t hate guys you nitwit. You just think I do because you are totally emotional about the issue and think anyone who defends the rights of people you disagree with agrees with said people.

                      And gay marriage is not about equal rights anymore than affirmative action is about ending discrimination. It is about just the opposite. Once the government says it is “marriage”, then anyone who offers health insurance to spouses, has to offer it to gay spouses even if they don’t recognize the marriage as legitimate. It is the government telling people what they can and cannot object to..

                      Freedom is just not the freedom of thought. It is also the freedom to act on that thought. Totalitarian fucks like you Francisco don’t get that. You think that as long as someone can say something they are free. Bullshit. They are only free when they can act on it in their own property and in their own lives.

                      And I have answered your question multiple times. You just don’t like my answer because you are incapable of understanding how coercive your own position is.

                      Take your statist control elsewhere. Sorry but “you can be free as long as you act exactly as I tell you” isn’t freedom.

                    8. John, if SoCons supported ending marriage licensing laws altogether, then I would be sympathetic to their grievance about the government forcing a particular definition of marriage on them. Given that they by and large do not support such efforts, and instead support forcing their definition of marriage on everyone else, it’s a little hard to take seriously cries of “statist control” from the other side on this issue.

                    9. JESUS FUCK! You are like arguing with T o n y. The gay issue doesn’t have ANYTHING the fuck to do with it. Pick another Republican issue?

                      Substitute any of the following for gay marriage in my question:


                      Are you that fucking stupid that you don’t understand the word principles?

                      What set of principles could cause someone to support fiscal freedom but not prostitution (or drug legalization or gambling…)?

                      I don’t give a flying fuck what your position is on any of these issues…I want to know what the principles are that drove you to your position.

                      Let me give you mine, so you understand what I’m asking you, because you are either too stupid to grasp it or you are simply evading answering my question.

                    10. My guiding principle is liberty.

                      I have two tenets:

                      1. A person can do as they wish, PROVIDED, in doing so, they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

                      2. The ONLY purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

                      That’s it. Everything I believe is boiled down to those two guiding principles/tenets.

                      I believe in fiscal liberty because of 1. I believe in gay marriage, prostitution, gambling…because of 1 and 2.

                      Do you, or any one in the Republican/Democratic party have any such principles? If so, what are they? I contend that both sides are equally hypocritical, at least as far as liberty is concerned. But perhaps they live by other tenets I haven’t discovered.

                      Do they? If so, what are they? If not, you admit right now that your party is unprincipled.

                      If you cannot understand what I mean now, you are beyond hope. Answer the question!

                      (And don’t think you can ignore this because it’s an old thread. I’ll re-post it somewhere else until you answer the question.)

        2. Fairfax and PG Counties.

          That explosion of wealth in Washington has resulted in growth here in Fairfax county, but it’s not because of people fleeing a gentrified DC; it’s because all of that federal tax money is being spent on government contractors based here in Fairfax. They’ve been sucking up unemployed workers from around the country and ensuring that the majority of people here will help perpetuate they system.

  4. One counterfactual:

    In some places where the murder rate is dropping, the attempted murder rate is soaring, but the doctors have gotten really, really good at saving people who would have died 10, 5, or even 1 year ago.

    I’m not sure how you would control for that in analyzing the data.

    1. citation needed

      1. Wall Street Journal article I read last week while sitting in a doctor’s office. No idea of how old.

      2. Hopefully I did this right –…..DgyWj.html

        1. Yep, that’s the article.

        2. Thx

          So Brian, how about a follow-up comparing numbers of shootings compared with deaths for the same towns. I’d be interested to see those stats.

    2. Yeah, I would like to see an article about that.

      1. So would I, because frankly, I find the idea that emergency treatment of gunshot victims has undergone a dramatic increase in the success rate within the last YEAR to not be at all credible.

  5. I’m certain Hipster Douchebag Focus Group will cover this over the weekend.

    I eagerly await their impassioned use of “Correlation is not causation when the outcome defies our expectations!”

  6. The town in Georgia’s got a law on the books
    Says if we all got guns then we won’t have crooks
    Now what could make them think that way?
    What could make them act that way?

    They’re just right wing pigeons from outer space
    Sent here to destroy the human race
    They don’t give a damn about you or me
    They just buy guns and watch TV
    Let’s go!

    1. I happen to live just North of Atlanta. The town you speak of is 5 miles north of me. Since passing their gun law, they have not had a murder.

      1. I don’t think sarc is a member of the Dead Milkmen.

  7. Corrolation is not causation

    I remember another reason

  8. It was already trending downward and would have declined even more without the massive influx of “legal” weapons in the hands of potential gun criminals.

    1. What happened to the rate after they passed the ban?

    2. Change your name to “Fist of ignorance”.
      You are a moron.

      1. Pretty sure the tongue is in the cheek.

  9. the attempted murder rate is soaring, but the doctors have gotten really, really good at saving people who would have died 10, 5, or even 1 year ago.

    This is apparently uncontested fact in places like Afghanistan, so I would not dismiss it out of hand.

    1. The newspaper article I was referring to specifically mentioned the improvements coming from lessons learned in the wars.

      1. It makes sense. The answer would be to look at the overall violent crime rate.

        1. Or you could look at the aggregate rate for murder and attempted murder.

      2. I just read the entire article, and to say that the “data” underlying the central claim is sketchy would be a major understatement. The article even admits that the data from more than five years ago is basically worthless!

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