More Guns = Less Crime

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by pspr, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. pspr


    By John Lott, Jr.

    With another closely decided 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that state governments are not able to ban most Americans from owning most types of handguns. The court ruled that firearms are "essential for self-defense." The court found that if the Second Amendment indeed protects an individual right to own a gun, the notion that the government can't ban all handguns is the minimum protection the Constitution can offer.

    Yet, just as with abortion, this is the first of what is likely to be a long string of court decisions.

    The decision is an important win for Americans who want the right to self-defense, but the decision also indicates how many questions still must be answered.

    When the “Heller” decision was handed down in 2008 striking down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and gunlock regulations, Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley predicted disaster. He said that overturning the gun ban was "a very frightening decision" and predicted more deaths along with Wild West-style shootouts and that people "are going to take a gun and they are going to end their lives in a family dispute." Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty similarly warned: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."

    Yet, Armageddon never arrived.

    Washington’s murder rate has plummeted -- falling by 25 percent in 2009 alone. This compares with a national drop of only 7 percent last year. And D.C.'s drop has continued this year.

    Comparing Washington’s crime rates from January 1 to June 17 of this year to the same period in 2008, shows a 34 percent drop in murder. This drop puts D.C.'s murder rate back to where it was before the 1977 handgun ban. Indeed, the murder rate is as low as was before 1967.

    Other gun crimes have also fallen in Washington. While robberies without guns fell by 7 percent, robberies with gun fell by over 14 percent. Assaults with weapons other than guns fell by 7, but assaults using guns fell by over 20 percent.

    The expected narrowness of the court's decision today had already encouraged Mayor Richard Daley and the city of Chicago to threaten last week to effectively undo the Supreme Court decision with new regulations.

    Daley promised to quickly adopt all the regulations that Washington adopted in 2008 after its gun ban was struck down, as well as some additional ones. To get a handgun permit in Washington, applicants must pay fees over $550, make four trips to the police station, and take two different tests.

    Taking the court's 2008 decision that all handguns can't be banned, Washington went so far as to still ban all semi-automatic handguns that can hold a clip. Chicago plans on doing the same but adding a requirement that gun owners buy insurance that covers any incidents that might arise from the weapon.

    Obviously, if Chicago were to impose any tax on newspapers, the courts would strike it down as an infringement on free speech.

    But the new Chicago and Washington gun "fees" will be allowed until the Supreme Court revisits that issue.

    Where that line will be drawn on this closely divided court will be influenced by its newest member and the potential new member whose confirmation hearings get underway today.

    Neither the latest justice, Sonia Sotomayor nor the next potential justice, Elena Kagan are sympathetic to an individual's right to self-defense.

    In Washington, about 1,000 people now have permits to own handguns. With the gunlock law that made it illegal to have a loaded gun now struck down, over 70,000 people have permits for long guns that can now be used protect victims.

    Yet, if over 70,000 armed citizens can produce 26 fewer murders and 375 violent crimes, imagine what can be accomplished if even more citizens are allowed to defend themselves.

    We can only hope that Chicago will not adopt such high fees and stiff regulations that only allow the wealthiest will have the opportunity to defend themselves.
  2. Wallet


    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
  3. I'm pro-2nd Amendment, a gun owner for well over 20 years, and I've had a CCW (license to carry a conceled weapon) for 12 years.

    That said, I don't think it's as simple as more guns = less crimes. You can find statistical examples of more guns = less crime and more guns = more crime. This is true of areas in the US and around the world.

    My neighborhood has very high legal gun ownership, and a very low crime rate. There's an area about 30 miles away that has very high gun ownership (mostly illegal guns) and very high crime rates.

    Most gun crimes are committed in connection with gangs and illegal drug activity. Most of these crimes are committed by people who obtained their guns illegally.

    In California, where I live, you're 300 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than you are to be killed by someone who legally owns his/her weapon. Very few people who legally own guns commit crimes with them.

    In Southern California the police have focused their efforts on anti-gang activity in the last 10 years. Gang-related crimes are down dramatically and gun crimes have fallen by over 70%.

    If you look at the crimes committed by people with guns, over 80% of them had a history of previous criminal arrests and conviction BEFORE they ever used a gun to commit a crime.

    The correct equation is: fewer criminals = less crimes (and less gun crimes).

    Laws and law enforcement should focus on getting ciminals (and illegal guns) off the street. Everywhere that happens, gun crimes fall like a dropped rock.
  4. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Reminds me of when New Jersey voted to raise the speed limit on interstate highways to 65 (if memory serves). The outcry about how the freeways would be "bathed in blood" was shouted in Trenton for weeks. What happened? Accidents and fatalities actually decreased.
  5. pspr


    I agree with much of what you said but in areas like Chicago people need to be able to defend themselves. Most shooting seem to be gang shooting and, of course, with illegal Saturday night type of weapons.

    Arming the citizenry will at least make sure the crimes stay within the gangs and not spread out to businesses and homes.
  6. This is a key point and why we can't ever compromise an inch with the anti-gun forces. Everything they say is lies. Their only goal is total confiscation of guns, as has largely happened in the UK.

    Everytime there is some tragedy, usually by some deranged person who is already violating several laws, they come up with their "common sense" restrictions on gun ownership. Morons like moderate republicans are just itching to go along with them. Of course, their ideas of common sense regulations eviscerate the second Amendment. They would bar us from owning semi-auto rifles( always called "assault weapons" to make them sound scary) and shotguns as well as modern semiauto pistols.

    Demcrats come up with a never ending stream of rationales, usually invovling keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, etc, but their proposed laws and regulations invariably severely burden the rights of the law-abdiding. When it comes to severely punishing actual criminals and taking them off the streets, they are MIA.
  7. Lucrum


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  8. Lucrum


    Thread title should probably read: "More guns in the hands of law abiding citizens = Less crime".
  9. pspr


    "It's about our right to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there"

    So true. That was the Founding Father's intent.
  10. Lucrum


    Oh and another thread title suggestion: "More dead criminals = less crime".

    Of course the panty waist bleeding hearts piss themselves at the mere thought of it though.
    #10     Apr 16, 2012