Do strict gun laws cut crime? The relationship is murky at best


I think gun violence is tied to income levels, population density, unemployment levels, and not just gun laws. Partisan gun law proponents, you are now free to call me a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, while partisans opposing gun laws will no doubt be certain I am a commie librul.

Friends who live in Oakland are freaked because an 81 year old woman in their neighborhood was shot during a home invasion. I know the neighborhood. It has nice homes with long-term residents, is near a Mormon temple, yet there is increasing amounts. Car break-ins are common. Some home have been burglarized repeatedly. The city seems mostly useless. California has strict gun laws. However, that didn’t stop the home invasion.

Oakland residents feel helpless. The city and police seem worse than useless.

“We need nuts-and-bolts policing, not another pie-in-the-sky pork-barrel policy,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to pay for people’s kids not to commit crimes.”

What is even more stunning is that after a year in which consultants were hired – at great expense – to help improve the Police Department, the city still has no comprehensive plan to address crime citywide.

We recently lived in Cedar City, Utah, a town of 30,000 where everyone has lots of guns and knows how to use them. Utah gun laws are quite relaxed. The level of gun violence in Cedar City was minuscule. So are home invasions. Would you break into a home knowing residents were probably armed and grew up using guns? Didn’t think so.

In Oakland, crime is creeping up from impoverished, war-zones into the hills. That’s the root of the problem.

New research says the link between gun laws and violence is unclear even as gun control partisans tried to twist the conclusion to make it appear there was.

From the research:

A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually. As our study could not determine cause-and-effect relationships, further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association.

However that didn’t stop a partisan website from distorting the research.

Leaving the gun laws as they are in states with the highest gun death rates is akin to pulling the trigger on thousands. Some states are better at this public policy issue than others, and it’s time for the laggards to learn from the high performers.

If you think I’m wrong, the burden of proof is on you to provide counter-evidence. Not just ideology.

Belligerent twisting of the data helps no one and convinces no one.


  1. I’m not sure about that:Measuring the effects of firearms laws in Australia.
    However, I’d think that the US population is so armed that laws or no laws the weaponry out there is ungovernable. It would take much more than law change to rein in the gun addiction:Number of guns per capita by country.

    The obsession is insane and the US is a war zone pretending to be a peace.

  2. The gun homicide rate in the U.S. in 2011, the latest year I could find stats for, was 1/4 of what it was in 1993 (1.8 vs. 7.3 per 100K) according to the National Institute for Justice, relying on FBI data. Despite big headlines, gun violence has been dropping steadily.

    It is also worth noting that, in 2011, firearms were used in only 8% of all violent incidents. That’s higher than 2008, but the same as 1993, suggesting that violence overall has dropped at the same rate.

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