Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gun homicide data does not support more gun control.

The latest data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report on weapons used in homicide (2011) do not support the need for new gun control laws.  The data shows that both the number and rate of gun homicides have decreased since at least 2007.  This includes handguns, rifle and shotguns.  "Assault weapons," which are the prime targets, are included in the "rifles" count.  Use of rifles has declined, and in 2011 stood at 323 homicides.  Unfortunately, there is no good data available on Assault Wepons alone.  (The UCR data on homicides is probably the UCR's best crime data) Whatever "causes" firearms homicides, or prevents it,  is causing a decrease.  It is fairly obvious that gun control laws are not causing it.  In fact, the number of guns in society and the number of people license to carry have increased markedly in recent years. Further, there is no credible evidence that guns cause crime or that gun control works.  A series of tragic mass murders with guns has fueled an emotional cry for more gun control.  Emotion is not a good basis for policy. Why don't people take a look at the data and the research?  However, emotion is a good basis for propaganda. Politicans of all-stripes are always looking for emotional ammunition to support their views. The propaganda campaign for and against new gun controls is well underway.  I'm sick of it already.

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