Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gun Ownership Fights Crime

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Heller case, I read letter to the editor in my local newspaper condemning the decision as “Welcome to the Wild West,” and predicting increased firearms violence.

I responded online applauding the court’s ruling. I wrote that the crime rate dramatically increased in the United Kingdom and Australia after those countries outlawed most firearms. I also claimed that the crime rate in the District of Columbia also increased following its draconian (and unconstitutional) gun ban.

Other readers responded to me, demanding that I prove my assertions without quoting the National Rifle Association.

Fair enough. I would take anything from the Brady Campaign with more than a few grains of salt.

First, let’s look at crime rates in the U.K. and the impact of the gun ban in that country. Just look at this report from, the Times of London, Aug. 26, 2007.

“The Home Office figures — which exclude crimes involving air weapons — show the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun attacks in England and Wales soared from 864 in 1998-99 to 3,821 in 2005-06.”

Australia’s experience with gun control is similar to the U.K.’s.

“The number of Victorians murdered with firearms has almost trebled since the introduction of tighter gun laws.” Geelong Advertiser, Victoria, Sept. 11, 1997.

“Gun crime is on the rise despite tougher laws imposed after the Port Arthur massacre, but gun control lobbyists maintain Australia is a safer place . . . The number of robberies involving guns jumped 39% last year to 2183, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and assaults involving guns rose 28% to 806. The number of gun murders, excluding the Port Arthur massacre, increased by 19% to 75.” — “Gun Crime Rises Despite Controls,” Illawarra Mercury, Oct. 28, 1998.

“Crime involving guns is on the rise despite tougher laws. The number of robberies with guns jumped 39% in 1997, while assaults involving guns rose 28% and murders by 19%.” — “Gun crime soars,” Morning Herald, Sydney, Oct. 28, 1998.

“Murders by firearms have actually increased (in Victoria) since the buyback scheme, which removed 225,000 registered and unregistered firearms from circulation. There were 18 shooting murders in 1996-97, after the buyback scheme had been introduced, compared with only six in 1995-1996 before the scheme started.” — “Killings rise in gun hunt,” Herald Sun, Melbourne, Dec. 23, 1998.

“Victoria is facing one of its worst murder tolls in a decade and its lowest arrest rate ever.” — Herald Sun, Melbourne, Dec. 11, 1999.

“The environment is more violent and dangerous than it was some time ago.“ — South Australia Police Commissioner Mal Hyde, reported in The Advertiser, Adelaide, Dec. 23, 1999.

After the ban, D.C.’s murder rate only once fell below what it was in 1976. From 1977 to 2003, there were only two years when D.C.’s violent crime rate fell below the rate in 1976. After the ban, DC’s murder and violent rates rose relative to Maryland and Virginia as well as relative to other cities with more than 500,000 people, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency report.

One writer expressed fears of “mass murders by disgruntled employees or school outcasts.” Data show that he has more to fear in states that do not have nondiscretionary concealed carry laws. Ten states passed nondiscretionary concealed carry laws between 1977-92 (California is not one of the states). Not only did gun violence decrease in those states, but mass public shootings in those states were eliminated five years later.

In fact, mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens in such places as the Appalachian School of Law in Kentucky in 2006; a high school in Boulder, Colorado in 1997; and most recently in Winnemucca, Nevada, in May 2008.

Contrast this with mass shootings in “gun free zones” such as Virginia Tech or the Long Island Railroad where helpless victims were slaughtered because they were unable to protect themselves.

One reader asks, “When will the madness end?”

The madness ends when people who would commit these crimes know that their intended victims will defend themselves.


Monterey John said...

Well reasoned, well researched, well written

The Peasant said...

MYTH: The crime rate has been skyrocketing in the UK and Australia since stricter gun control laws were enacted in 1996-1997.
TRUTH: The truth is that the UK police has changed its system for recording crime since implementing new gun control laws. This change in recording crime made it appear that the crime rate went up. The British Crime Survey, which was unaffected by this change, shows a decrease in crime. Go to the section under violent crime in the British Crime Survey. "The increase in violent crime recorded by police, in contrast to estimates provided from the BCS, appears to be largely due to increased recording by police forces. Taking into account recording changes, the real trend in violence against the person in 2001/02 is estimated to have been a reduction of around five percent." (from Chapter 6- "Violent Crime in England and Wales" of Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002- pdf file)

is_life_real said...

Reply to comments from The Peasant said...

The official numbers for hand gun crime in the UK are as follows


Band failed to stop criminals using hand guns. As for changing the way crimes are recorded that is rubbish unless they have done it every year and they have not.