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Does Gun Control Work? July 18, 2007

Posted by federalist in Regulation, RKBA.

Gun control does not reduce the rates of murder or suicide.  The latest analysis of international data is presented by Kates and Mauser in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Whether gun availability is viewed as a cause or as a mere coincidence, the long term macrocosmic evidence is that gun ownership spread widely throughout societies consistently correlates with stable or declining murder rates. Whether causative or not, the consistent international pattern is that more guns equal less murder and other violent crime.

How can this be?  In the August issue of America’s 1st Freedom Kates suggests:

The people you need to control are not going to obey the gun control laws.  And the people you don’t need to control, those are the ones who obey.  So what you get is, you get either nothing, or you get worse results, with gun control.



1. Hamilton - July 30, 2007

But surely SOME so-called “mentally ill” persons would not have the resources or wherewithall to acquire a firearm through other means?

Is there in your view any ground for “common sense” gun control or gun control reform? Or is it all bad?

2. federalist - July 30, 2007

I don’t think anyone would argue that persons who are mentally incompetent have a right to keep and bear arms. (Just like they generally do not have the right to vote, dispose of property, etc.)

The great thing about this study is that it pulls the rug out from under those whose “common sense” dictates that more guns will obviously result in more gun use — i.e., murder and suicide by firearms.

3. thenonconformer - February 17, 2010
4. federalist - February 17, 2010

OK, I’ll bite: Are traffic lights analogous to gun control? No. They are merely signals that, when commonly followed, prevent drivers from attempting to occupying the same space at the same time. The best analog would be signals employed at shooting ranges that indicate when it is safe to fire, or when firing must be halted so that people can safely go downrange.

Are traffic laws in general analogous to gun control? Perhaps. However most traffic laws pertain to the safe use of vehicles, not to blanket prohibition on ownership of any type of vehicle. They are more analogous to laws proscribing the use of firearms: E.g., common prohibitions against brandishing, or restrictions on when and where a firearm can be discharged.

Thenonconformer happens to be writing about gun registration in Canada, which is a form of gun control heavily resisted in the United States, but which is perhaps analogous to the registration of vehicles. Note, however, that neither country requires vehicles to be registered if they are not driven on government roads. Note also that whereas vehicle registration frequently aides in the prevention and correction of crimes involving vehicles, nobody has put forth evidence that registering guns — which Canada has done for a number of years at tremendous expense — has contributed to the prevention or correction of crimes involving those guns.

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