More Gun Laws Do Not Mean Less Crime

By: Kristin Tate
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Since the Sandy Hook shootings, we frequently hear that we need more and stricter gun legislation. Surely, stricter gun laws will help to lower gun violence in America. Right?

Nonsense.


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The incident in Connecticut was devastating, of course, but stricter gun laws are not the magic solution to preventing future tragedies. Emotion must be put aside to objectively assess the effectiveness of strict gun laws. The data overwhelmingly demonstrates that stricter gun control does not yield lower crime.

If gun control were effective, Chicago would be the safest city in the country. Prior to 2013, Illinois was the only state where carrying a concealed weapon was illegal. In December, federal judges struck down the ban, ruling it unconstitutional. But now Illinois lawmakers are working to pass other gun regulations, like an assault weapons ban. Despite a history of strict gun policies, Chicago is one of the nation’s most violent and deadly cities. In 2012, there were over 500 gun-related deaths in Chicago. That is up over 10 percent from the rate in 2005. Gun control is clearly not working in the Windy City.

Houston is similar to Chicago in socioeconomic factors like population, density, and racial segregation. Both cities are plagued with drugs and human trafficking. Chicago and Houston are America’s third and fourth most populous cities, respectively, each with between 2 and 3 million residents. Non-whites make up 50-60 percent of the population in both places, and the poverty levels in each city are almost identical at just under 30 percent. Yet in 2012, there were only 217 murders in Houston — less than half of Chicago’s death toll. A major difference between the two cities: Houston has very few gun laws. Criminals there know that many citizens are well armed for self-protection.

Gun control advocates have good intentions, But good intentions do not always yield positive results. Strict gun laws do not work because they take guns out of the hands of only law-abiding citizens. These civilians are then left with few ways to defend themselves against armed criminals, who do not follow laws. It is absurd to think that banning guns would stop a criminal from possessing them. If that argument worked, no one in America would posses or use illegal drugs. Banning something does not make it go away.

Despite the obvious evidence that goes against their appeals for gun laws, politicians frequently exploit the gun issue to enact more government regulations and control. Many politicians use emotional appeals to push aggressive laws. During his State of the Union address, President Obama used the massacre in Newtown to vehemently demand stricter gun control.

Obama proposed background checks, magazine limits, and banning assault weapons (which he inaccurately refers to as “weapons of war”). “Assault weapons” are defined by cosmetic features only, like folding stocks and barrel shrouds. Assault rifles, on the other hand, are produced for military purposes.

The propositions made by the President would not have prevented the Newtown shootings. Adam Lanza might not have passed a background check, but this is irrelevant since he stole the gun from his mother. A magazine limit would have likely been ineffective as well, since reload time takes a mere 3-5 seconds. Similarly, a ban on semiautomatic rifles would have been a moot point. Connecticut already had such a law, and it did not stop Lanza from gunning down over twenty innocent schoolchildren.

The president’s emotion-based rhetoric uses the Sandy Hook victims to try and convince people to support policies that would not have prevented this event in the first place.

If Obama and other gun control advocates were serious about “protecting our children,” they would discuss public swimming pool safety (drowning is the number one cause of death among young children). Gun related murders are far down on the list of causes of child mortality. Even the National Public Radio, hardly a fan of the National Rifle Association, acknowledges that school violence has decreased considerably in the last two decades. In fact, the violent crime rate in general has dropped significantly over the past 20 years, while firearms sales have risen.

Since the incident in Connecticut, gun control has been a hot topic and many states have moved to create stricter gun legislation.

Advocates of gun control need to start thinking with their heads, not just their hearts. Such horrific violence and its causes should be studied intelligently to discover effective solutions. Having an honest discussion about violence in our society is healthy. But enacting new, kneejerk laws after each tragedy is not the answer.

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Kristin Tate is a multi-media reporter for Breitbart News and BenSwann.com. Dedicated to fearless journalism, she regularly works on undercover stings with James O'Keefe to reveal government waste, abuse, and fraud. Tate was a Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) Chapter President and Founder. She will continue to fight tirelessly for individual liberty and free markets through new media. Visit Kristin's website at www.TheLibertarianChick.com.
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  • Marc

    Great article. It’s concise, and puts a lot of good information in one place. And it strikes a tone that shouldn’t upset gun control advocates. Very well done.

  • Tom223

    Based on statistics, the politicians in Illinois and Washington DC who have been keeping law abiding citizens from owning guns for protection for decades now are guilty of being an accessory to murder. They have blood on their hands. Based on the statistics there have been murders in those areas that could have been avoided had those victims been allowed to defend themselves with firearms.

  • jk

    The police very often cannot get to the scene of a crime in progress fast enough so something like home invasion you are very much on your own and too many law abiding citizens have already been murdered raped and tortured in their own homes in the USA, criminals often carry guns & knives they do not care about magazine limits or any other laws they basically just do not care, so why should law abiding citizens be left unarmed or armed but with restricted shots its criminal to prevent the public from attempting to protect themselves and their loved ones from violent criminals.

    • Chris Moschini

      I’m pro gun control, and find this to be the most well-reasoned argument against gun control in this list of comments. Thanks for a reasoned argument. I disagree with you, but I appreciate the reasonable tone and thought.

  • Kevin Merck

    “Gun control advocates have good intentions”

    With all due respect Kristin, that is definitely not the case. Someone who advocates disarming the public, which is against the law, and puts everyone in this country at the mercy of common criminals and government criminals, is a criminal, devoid of any good intentions.

    It’s very simple Kristin, If you advocate subverting the Constitution for any reason, you are a criminal. The people who want to take our guns *DO NOT* have good intentions. The people who want to take our guns are responsible for Sandy Hook and that’s the case whether you understand that it was a staged event or you only have the guts to admit that it happened because it was in a “Gun Free Zone”. In either case, these gun grabbing criminals are to blame and have the worst imaginable intentions.

    • Bianca C

      I agree with Kristin. Gun control advocates have good intentions. But like ALL liberal policy, good intentions rarely make good policy (welfare, gun control, subsidized housing, EBT cards, etc…) The heart is there, the brain is not.

      • Kevin Merck

        That’s hogwash and I’ll tell you why.

        They have the facts. They know they are breaking the law and putting lives in danger. These people are not stupid. They know exactly what they are doing and what the consequences of gun confiscation will be if they are successful.

        There are no good intentions, just criminals pretending to have good intentions, and people like you, who are gullible enough to believe them.

        Hitler loved people like you. He claimed to have good intentions too, as do all psychopathic criminals.

        “Let no more be said about the confidence of men, but bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution”.

        -Thomas Jefferson

  • prpetty

    I like your article, though when I read it I see a gun rights advocate as will most of the gun control crowd. The problem I have is that no matter whether you try to stay with the facts or not (which you did as far as I can tell) it will be seen by gun control advocates as a pro-gun piece. I wish it were different but because gun control advocates are like politicians, they will make up anything to scare people into doing what they want, this debate will always ebb and flow with the political makeup of the nation, until guns are banned. I jump to that conclusion because at this time we have the right to own guns, so we don’t have anything to fight for in congress…all we can do is fight against something being proposed. In that kind of stance we are always on the defensive. The gun control people are using the tactic of wearing us down by making it too expensive to own a gun. What they don’t understand is that the right to own a gun, to me, is worth my life.

    • jac

      Don’t understand your point… Tate made an effective, fair argument and supported it with facts. To make a statement that says anything, one has to take a side and argue for it. That’s what articles do. Newsflash… Gun rights ARE under attack, those for gun rights must speak out now, or lose the right.

    • Bianca C

      Yes, it is a “gun rights advocate” piece. That doesn’t make it a politically biased piece. The Constitution is also a “gun rights advocate” piece.

      • Kevin Merck

        That would be “God Given Rights”.
        The Constitution doesn’t just advocate for our rights, it refers to them as unalienable.
        If you want to hang on to those rights you’d better get that straight.

  • prpetty

    I like your article, though when I read it I see a gun rights advocate as will most of the gun control crowd. The problem I have is that no matter whether you try to stay with the facts or not (which you did as far as I can tell) it will be seen by gun control advocates as a pro-gun piece. I wish it were different but because gun control advocates are like politicians, they will make up anything to scare people into doing what they want, this debate will always ebb and flow with the political makeup of the nation, until guns are banned. I jump to that conclusion because at this time we have the right to own guns, so we don’t have anything to fight for in congress…all we can do is fight against something being proposed. In that kind of stance we are always on the defensive. The gun control people are using the tactic of wearing us down by making it too expensive to own a gun. What they don’t understand is that the right to own a gun, to me, is worth my life.

  • Justin Myrick

    I love you Kristin.

    • Bianca C

      A bright, young, beautiful libertarian is always great for our cause!

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    So glad someone finally made the comparison of Houston to Chicago. Or any other Texas metro area for that matter.

  • juanitarojas

    Every massacre (3 or more victims) occurs in a “gun free zone”. Including Giffords’ one. Couldn’t have been designed to protect criminals better from their victims, if they tried.

  • Dude

    A gun free zone theater protected one man.
    That man is James Holmes who killed innocent people.

  • Arthur Davis

    I support everything just said. Except Background checks are a common sense thing we need to implement in this country. Take the Reagan shooter John Hinkley, he said that if the process for him to get a gun was longer or if he was required to have a mental/background check he wouldn’t had waited the time to buy the gun and shoot Reagan. I don’t support banning assault weapons or ammo max or any of that. But background checks make sense and if a citizen has nothing mentally or criminally wrong, a background check is nota threat to their 2nd amendment rights.

    • jac

      James Holmes passed a background check.

      • Shadis

        So? Just because one person happened to pass a background check (as he was mentally capable a couple years ago) does that mean we just shouldn’t have background checks for everyone? What kind of logic is that? Background checks are common sense things that we need to implement and are only being stopped because the NRA is paying of Congress so they can sell more guns.

  • bmwdude

    ” Chicago is one of the nation’s most violent and deadly cities. In 2012, there were over 500 gun-related deaths in Chicago. That is up over 10 percent from the rate in 2005. Gun control is clearly not working in the Windy City.” This is disengenuous at best. The stated 10% bump came well after 2005. Actually, only began in 2011, AFTER SCOTUS ended the handgun ban there. Further, if you compare homicide statistics since the late 1980′s when the gun bans were brought into play by both the City of Chicago and many of it’s surrounding suburbs to address the PHENOMINAL homicide rate then, you will find that homicides have been CUT IN HALF since then. Even today’s horrific rates are STILL HALF what they were in the 1990s. REAL facts always beat cherry-picked ones. http://redlineproject.org/2013chicagogundeaths.php

    • Ken D

      Bmwdude, are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that gun control is effective? Then why don’t you move to Detroit? I’m sure you’ll feel VERY safe with all those gun control laws protecting you.

    • jac

      Those convenient cherry picked stats have nothing to do with gun control… overall violent crime is down in America, but not in Chicago, where violent crime has been steadily increasing. And the reduction since the 80′s and 90′s, while nation wide, is attributed to other factors, not gun control. the http://www.npr.org/2013/01/07/168771088/u-s-murder-rate-declines-but-chicagos-goes-up

      • Chris Moschini

        The only source you cite contradicts your conclusion and supports the person you were trying to disprove. From that article:

        “Consider the city we’ll focus on morning, Chicago, where 506 people were murdered in 2012. That’s a sharp increase from the year before.”

        2011 was the final year the handgun restriction was in place; 2012 was the first year it was off the books, and crime jumped up sharply.

        It’s hard to take a single city’s results too seriously though when guns can come in from outside quite easily – it’s not like there’s border control or customs at the city limits. It’s likely better to look at countries where ease of access to guns is low vs high and look at their crime rates, since the ability of guns to cross national borders tends to be more difficult. In Australia or Japan, for example, crime is significantly lower, shootings are dramatically lower per capita, and gun control is strong.

        Australia:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/02/did-gun-control-work-in-australia/

        Japan:
        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/

        • Kevin Merck

          Go live in Japan then bonehead.
          Stop advocating for breaking the law. You are nothing but an ignorant criminal.

        • jac

          You don’t seem to know how to read… the npr reference, one of many w/ left leanings that cite reasons for Chicago’s sudden decrease violent crime in recent months after years of bucking the national decreasing trend, is only due to heightened police presence in the “hot zones” after massive public outcry and national pressure from the national attention on the murder of the student… No mention of gun control. The sudden decrease that occurred in 2011 occurred when Emanuel too over as Mayor, and with national attention focused on him and Chicago’s violent crime, he heightened police presence in violent areas to clamp down on gangs and illegal gun SALES. But that murder decrease was short lived, as national attention shifted away and Chicago’s high crime and murder rates resumed its upward trend, against the rest of the nation as a whole. Left leaning publications like the NY TIMES, CS MONITOR and others report these facts.

    • Kevin Merck

      That had more to do with the epidemic of crack cocaine than anything else.
      Gun control not only doesn’t solve any problems, it’s against the law.
      Want to decrease inner-city deaths?
      Stop the CIA from bringing in all the drugs or use your astonishing brainpower to find a way to make them legal, and far less profitable, therefore eliminating the criminal element.

  • Ken D

    Great writeup, Kristin. Your point that “good intentions do not necessarily yield good results” is spot on. Liberals love to shower the poor with goodies keeping them poor and unmotivated. Republicans love to go to war all over the world to help “promote peace”… RIIIIIGHT. Excellent job!

  • LeTronk

    Correlation =/= Causation. This goes for both sides of the argument.

  • Ixnay66

    I find this statement in the story hilarious:
    “If gun control were effective, Chicago would be the safest city in the country.”
    Not true when you can drive 15 minutes and buy guns in Cook County. Gun control COULD be effective if it was national rather than just by city. In 1 year, 20% of all guns used in violent crimes in Chicago were bought at the same gun store on the outskirts of the city in Cook County.
    Making a statement like the writer did makes her look incredibly naive and ignorant.

    • Bdubbya

      There will always be a place to yup them regardless of the law. Your argument holds no water.

  • Gun_is_bad

    Whether Gun is really effective, you could not simply compare the murder between Chicago and Houston. I think you have to show data that how many law-abiding people are murdered between these two cities. Were there fewer murder of good people in Houston?