The Gun Grabbers Just Can’t Let Go of This Ridiculous Argument

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pistol shooting wikimedia

You have to give the gun grabbers credit where credit is due. They sure make a pretty compelling argument. Every country in the world that has strict gun ownership laws, also has lower crime rates when compared to countries with loose gun laws. And most importantly, mass killings are just about unheard of and murder rates are far lower in these places.

Oh sorry. I’m afraid I misspoke. These countries rarely have mass shootings and the number of gun crimes is also quite low.

People who support gun control love to make the same lame argument. It’s an argument that defies all logic, and somehow it just won’t die. After every mass shooting, they love to present some statistic that shows mass shootings are rare or nonexistent in countries with strict gun laws, or that gun crimes are also few and far between in those places. These statistics are more often than not, absolutely correct. They’re also completely irrelevant.

Isn’t the overall murder rate far more relevant than the number of murders committed with firearms? Not to the gun grabbers. I can only guess why they won’t let this argument die. Either they have some kind of mental deficiency, or they are willfully ignorant of these statistics, because it would shatter their world view. They simply refuse to see the bigger picture.

The latest iteration of this argument comes from several researchers who sifted through 130 gun control studies from 10 different countries, to see what effect these laws had on the number of gun related crimes. Here’s what they found:

So what do Santaella-Tenorio et al. conclude? First, and most importantly, that gun violence declined after countries pass a raft of gun laws at the same time: “The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths,” the study finds.

This finding doesn’t highlight one specific law, like an assault weapon ban, in isolation. There were “so many different kinds of laws,” Santaella-Tenorio explains, that it was hard to make good international comparisons on every specific kind of gun restriction.

Rather, countries passed big packages of gun laws, which overhauled the nation’s firearm code fairly broadly, which all tended to share similar features. According to Santaella-Tenorio, they generally included:

  • Banning “weapons that are actually very powerful,” like automatic weapons.
  • “They all implemented background checks.”
  • “They all required permits and licenses for purchasing guns.”

South Africa’s comprehensive Firearm Control Act, passed in 2000, contained all these measures. One study found that firearm homicides in five major South African cities decreased by 13.6 percent per year for the next five years. “Reductions in nonfirearm homicides were also observed,” Santaella-Tenorio et al. note, “although not as pronounced as the ones observed for firearm homicides.”

Austria’s 1997 firearm law, similarly, required background checks, limited access to powerful firearms, and imposed rules about how gun owners had to store their guns. Santaella-Tenorio reviewed two studies on Austria’s 1997 law, both of which found evidence that the law had reduced deaths. According to one of them, firearm homicides went down by 4.8 percent, while suicides went down by 9.9 percent.

Australia and South Africa seem to be their best examples. The funny thing about those countries, is that while the research shows that gun deaths did indeed decline, the overall murder rate also declined. This fact comes with a few caveats however.

Take a look at the historical murder rates for both of those countries. In South Africa for instance, the murder rate really did decline after they instituted strict gun control laws. However, the murder rate was already falling for at least 5 years before the year 2000 (that’s as far back as that data goes) and it continues to decline to this very day despite no new legislation.  And in Australia, the overall murder rate has also declined, but not until 8 years had passed since they started rounding up all the guns.

In other words, there is a strong correlation between gun laws and gun deaths, but almost no correlation between gun laws and the overall murder rate. Admittedly, it’s also a fact that many pro-gun advocates would also prefer to ignore.

What nobody wants to admit, is that we don’t really know what drives crime rates.  In the US for instance, the national crime rate has been falling consistently for more than two decades, and nobody can figure out why. I’ve heard all kinds of theories to explain this, including higher incarceration rates, lower lead levels in the water, increased police presence, an aging population, roe vs wade, and even the proliferation of the internet and video games. None of them have been able to hold up to scrutiny, and it seems that the number of guns on our streets isn’t a factor either.

The truth is, the real drivers of crime are incredibly murky. The only thing we know for sure is that when the economy falls apart, crime often increases, but only most of the time. Crime rates continued to decrease in the US even during the Great Recession.

And perhaps that is why this argument that the gun grabbers are always trying to make, is so stupid. Like everyone else, they desperately want to find a single simplistic cause for all the murders that happen; a cause that fits their world view. But in the real world there isn’t just one reason, and if there were, it certainly wouldn’t be guns since there isn’t any convincing data.

Remember that the next time the gun grabbers go on about “decreasing gun murder rates.” What they’re really saying is, “give up your rights, even though it won’t benefit you or your community in any way.”

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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  • I forgot

    When firearms are outlawed, only outlaws will have firearms…and I do mean the government outlaws. Protect the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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  • Mike

    Any time you punish law abiding citizens for the acts of criminals it only emboldens the criminals.

    • Reverend Draco

      “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

      “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature.
      They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit
      crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for
      the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent
      homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence
      than an armed man.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776

      • Mike

        They had a lot of sense back then, nowadays no one in government has it, and all any government wants to do is serve itself not the people.

        • Reverend Draco

          It’s an awful lot like a business. . . the Founder puts their heart and soul into it. . . the next generation, having seen and been peripherally involved in the building of the legacy, have respect for it. . . each successive generation takes it more and more for granted.

          I see this being played out in a company I used to work for. . . The Founder lived and breathed the business. . . his son and son-in-law are much the same. . . the next generation grew up with money, and only see the business as a money-printing machine – they don’t have a real grasp on the business of the business, if you get my meaning.

          • Mike

            so very true.

  • doucyet

    And pray tell………what does any other country have to do with ours. If you don’t it here, leave, move to Australia or South Africa.

    Please! Just go……….

  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    It may be true that no one really knows what drives crime, but-I’d like to know what would happen to the overall crime rate-in addition to the overall murder rate-if this nations children were actually being educated. By educated, I mean fundamental knowledge-reading, writing, arithmetic, basic science, health, literature, the true meaning and purpose of the Constitution and the application of critical thinking skills, which is woefully absent in schools. I believe this country would be much less “progressive” and much better off.

  • Gil G

    Rather than trying to link guns with crimes stats – why not just simply argue that the right to own guns is on par with owning a car. In other words, no one has to justify the reasons for the vehicle they own. Plenty of people own vehicles that have excessive power and size but it’s their right to do so. By the same token most people own guns simply because they can – it’s doesn’t automatically mean for self-defence or taking down the government but simply enjoying owning a high-powered weapon because you can.

    • WinstonSmithy

      That’s a good argument only with respect to the power of the car or the reason they own it. Car ownership/registration and driver licensing, etc. are excessively regulated or “infringed upon” today. Similar, though not exactly, “control” schemes do exist for firearms today but their legitimacy vis-a-vis the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is questionable at best.

    • SP_88

      I totally agree with the reasoning behind why we own a big car or truck or a big firearm, because we can. We don’t need a reason, it’s our right to do so. If I want to mount a Howitzer on the back of my jacked-up 600 horsepower 4×4 with 40 inch mud tires, etc then that’s my business. I shouldn’t have to justify my actions to the state.
      But requiring a license for anything is not something that a free society should have to do. A license is special permission from the government to do something that they have otherwise deemed illegal. Either we have the right to do something, or we don’t. If I have the right to get in my car and drive on roads that were created and maintained by my tax dollars, why do I have to ask the state for permission, pay a fee for a license and pay a fee for a registration and a license plate? I shouldn’t.
      There are ways to ensure that people who drive are capable of driving. And ways of identifying a vehicle with a marker plate. And none of it should cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
      Firearms are entirely different. People don’t go 90mph down the highway in a firearm. The only similarly I see is demonstrating your ability to operate it. And to me, there is a difference between getting a license and demonstrating your ability to operate a firearm or vehicle and having an ID card that shows you demonstrated this ability. I don’t want a bunch of incompetent people driving around on the same road as my family. So I don’t think it’s too much to ask that people who want to drive are required to prove that they can drive well enough to be safe.
      And operating a firearm is not much different. I don’t want someone to go into a store, buy a gun and have no idea how to operate it because they’ve never even held a gun before and they have no idea what it’s capable of. I don’t think that it’s too much to ask that someone who wants to buy a gun is required to show that they are able to safely operate it without endangering themselves or anyone else.
      And again, this is not the same as a license. I don’t think that we should have to ask permission to exercise our rights. But when it comes to safety, I think that we should have to show that we are able to operate a firearm. After all, how hard is it to learn how a gun works? Chances are that if you like guns and you want to buy one or several, you already know about them. You probably already can prove that you are safe enough to have a gun. This is something that mostly applies to new gun owners. Someone who has never had a gun, who is considering buying a gun should be required to show their ability to safely operate one. And once they learn how to operate a gun safely, and they demonstrate this, they will get a picture ID showing that they did. And every few years they should get a new picture.
      And perhaps after every other new picture ID, or every third one, they should have to demonstrate their ability again, especially if there are a lot of new advancements in firearms technology or operations. These are reasonable precautions to take for the safety of the person with the gun as well as anyone who is within range of it. The more safe people are with guns, the less bad press there is for the gun grabbers to use against gun rights.
      Anything else is an infringement on our gun rights. The Constitution is very simple and unambiguous. And there should be no crazy laws that claim otherwise.

  • Broos

    Jest the serial Big LIE; incessantly repeated for your cognitive dissonance, until your voluntary embrace of Their DOUBLE-THINK!

  • WinstonSmithy

    No ID to vote? Then no ID to buy a firearm. Just sayin..

  • Guillotine_ready

    If the people are disarmed only the criminals who are also the ones passing the laws will be armed. How would you like to have armed psychopaths who want to reduce the population be the only ones with guns.
    New study topic–what do psychopaths do with guns.

  • People,
    The oppressors do not need to disarm you to take away your freedom–they’ve already accomplished that! We possess no sovereignty over our bodies, possess no sovereignty over our property and possess no sovereignty over the fruits of our labors/money!

  • SP_88

    When people are free to do something, it will succeed or fail of it’s own merits. When the government gets involved and starts regulating it, suddenly it becomes a big problem. Things that should succeed will fail because of regulations, and things that should fail will be dragged out and forced to continue because of government regulations. And in both of those cases it is bad for the people who are stuck with the results of government interference. How many things that the government has become involved in are actually successful?
    Look at the free market economy. Government interference has corrupted it to the point where banks that should have gone bankrupt long ago are still running and losing money through poor investment, greed and corruption. It’s almost impossible for people to start a business in certain industries because of government regulations. The medical industry is one such example. Pills that should cost a nickel a piece are being sold for $500 each. And if someone wants to manufacture them and sell them for a lot less to help people who will die without it and make a profit in the process, they can’t because of useless regulations that do not protect anyone except the super wealthy criminals who are price gouging the poor people who need these medications.
    Gun laws are no different. They claim that they are worried about the 11,000 gun homicides each year, but when the citizens are disarmed, how are we going to prevent the 2.5 million people who are saved by a citizen with a gun from becoming a victim of a criminal? Basically they are willing to trade 11,000 gun deaths for 2.5 million deaths caused by stabbing, beating, strangulation, etc. Government interference will have the same negative impact on this as it does on everything else they touch. They have the reverse Midas touch. Everything they touch turns to shit.

    • Reverend Draco

      Ringo’s Law: Everything government touches turns to crap.

  • frankenbiker

    Hitler, Stalin, Mao, all instituted strict gun control measures, or outright gun bans before they commenced their mass murder assault on their own populous. What makes anyone think it’d be different here?
    Look at Iran, its totally illegal for anyone to own a gun, yet its the terrorist hotbed. They’ve got plenty of AK 47, AK 74’s etc. Same with Libya, Egypt, Venezuela, Iraq, Turkey etc. The list goes on. Yet here in the good old USA, there are over 300 million guns in the hands of over 100 million people.
    The expression there are as many guns in America as there are blades of grass, means something to these animals. With more and more states loosening their gun laws, the violent crime, and the chances of a terror attack is minimalized.

  • bsroon

    Oh Joshua, Joshua, Joshua – (sarcasm font broken, but:) coming from the Bay Area you are somehow anathema to their religious (read – faith based) assumptions.

    As you know, faith MANDATES that there be no evidence, provable facts, etc. Then you don’t believe due to faith, but evidence or other valid, logical reasons. The FAITH that gun control is “better” and those supporting such a violation of the human right to self-defense are “better” than the gun-toting neanderthals who define their penises with firearms – even the women – is inviolable. You shame the Bay Area – keep it up, lol

    Note; Faith does not mean faith based beliefs are necessarily WRONG – but they cannot PROVE they are right…

    • Reverend Draco

      I see that you passed Incoherence 101 and 102 at the top of your class. . .

      • bsroon

        Hey – i am SO totally sleep deprived it’s a minor miracle i can find a keyboard – bummer goat for 3 nights. Last night basically up from 9 PM to 4 AM. Not good.

        Nonetheless, if you have faith – you may very well not be wrong – but to state for example that you “are saved” because “Jesus died for your sins” is a faith based statement. You have no proof. There are personal convictions – but since you haven’t died, and the soul is not tracked to Jesus’ side – there is no EVIDENCE.

        Therefore – while you MAY be correct – YOU HAVE NO PROOF of such an assertion’s validity. If you had rock-hard evidence of some nature that proved the life and some of the assertions about Jesus’ life – or he came back very publicly and withstood all the questioning that would be (fairly/unfairly?) imposed – thus proving his validity – you THEN would not be in faith – because you had “facts and evidence”.

        Simple, really, and like i stated you can have faith about VERY important things, be ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, without proof. i’ve had numerous “psychic” events throughout my entire life – but those are personally experiential and thus not transferable to other people. This falls into a similar category to faith – belief without verifiable support.