Friday, February 1, 2013
Some interesting truths to the gun debate...
I kind of quit debating the cause/effect of individual case studies because of the sheer number of variables which can be argued. Take Chicago for example, very high crime rate and very tough gun laws but Chicago has a high number of poor and dependent however; if you take the case studies as a whole a few statistical trends do emerge.
1. Small incremental changes to gun laws, like most being proposed right now, have no overall affect on violent crime or gun crime.
2. Major draconian changes that drastically limit the overall volume of guns in circulation do tend to ultimately lower gun crime after a long period. What they won't tell you is that overall violent crime actually goes up by a similar ratio. It's actually worse but when you factor in a global recession, its about a wash.
3. Anyone trying to make a point on either side almost always cherry picks numbers from violent crime vs gun crime and thus both sides use real numbers and appear to be right by their respective supporters.
4. The major events that get everybody's attention and drive most legislation are actually relatively minor statistically. When comparing the X in 100,000 deaths one is so much more likely to fall in his/her bath tub or get hit crossing the street than be a victim of a mass shooting.
5. The follow-up legislation resulting from a specific event rarely address'es the actual cause. Example. The Brady bill assault rifle ban - James Brady was shot with a 22 cal but the follow-up legislation sought to control simi-auto center fire rifles that "looked like assault rifles"
6. Local restrictions have the worst impact of all on violent crime. If every home had a sign indicating whether the residents were gun owners or not, which homes would most likely be victimized? If I'm a mugger/burglar and my neighboring community bans guns, I'm just going to where I'm less likely to get shot.
So there you have it. Both sides actually argue ideology over results.
I guess my take is, why do we not focus on the overall violent crime numbers? Isn't that what is important? If you want to change violent crime, gun laws seem to have little impact. It's really a cultural/economical thing. With high unemployment you almost always see an increase in violent crime. We play ultra-real video games where statistical majorities spend hours triggering our reward centers of our brain by killing people with no consequence.