February 25, 2016

Firearms and Violent Crime

(As always, Hilary Clinton wants to have a "dialogue" about firearms in America. What she really means is she wants the rest of us to shut up and let her preach about how guns are evil and American people are too stupid to be trusted with owning them. Someone raised the issue on Facebook, again, and once again I wrote up a long defense of firearm ownership. The facts have not changed even a tiny bit, despite the recent terror attacks in Paris and San Bernadino. Here is the text of the comment I posted to Facebook this morning along with the relevant links.)

Violent sadists have been part of us from the beginning. They will be part of us until the end.

At some point we have to recognize that we cannot allow social norms to be dictated by either the paranoid or the sadistic. In the United States there are about 20,000 pages of federal firearm laws and about 40,000 more pages of state firearm laws, not to mention municipal firearm laws. We have more than enough gun control laws.

Detroit and Chicago prosecutors routinely allow felons with a long history of violent convictions to avoid federal prosecution on firearm charges by acting as confidential informants or by turning in rival drug dealers and other felons. This must stop.

Mass shootings always make the headlines because they are horrific and sell advertising. In reality though, they are only a small percentage of violent crimes. The vast majority of violent crimes involving a firearm are either inter-gang turf wars or drug addicts feeding their habit. Two-thirds of firearm related deaths are neither crimes nor accidents, they are suicides. There are estimated to be around 300 million firearms in circulation in the United States. Only a small percentage wind up being used to kill someone. Why punish tens of millions of rational, non-violent, law-abiding gun owners by restricting their freedom to buy, sell, trade, target shoot, hunt, and train themselves in self-defense just because a few hundred violent sadists use firearms to kill people?

If anything, more good people need to be armed, trained, and willing to defend their lives and their property with deadly force. The first person on the scene of a violent crime is the victim. If the intended victims routinely respond with deadly force, the number of violent incidents will decline even faster and farther than they have been. It will never be zero. The human animal is too violent by nature, but with vigilance, training, and proper firearms in the right hands, there would be dramatically fewer.

According to both the FBI and the CDC, outside of Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Atlanta, violent crime has been steadily declining since 1960 and in many counties it is at an all time historical low. It is not a coincidence that the cities with the strictest firearm regulations have the highest incidence of violent crimes using a firearm. Criminals greatly prefer unarmed victims.

We don't need more dialogue and we don't need more gun control laws. The only thing we need to do is prosecute or kill the violent every time their raise their heads. Sadly, there is no other real world solution. The human animal is just too violent by nature.

Pew Research: Firearm Homicide Rate has drastically Declined
Mises Institute: Comparing US Murder Rates with other Developed Countries is Misleading
Gun Culture Blog: ASC Paper on UK Firearm Ban Results
FBI Uniform Crime Reports: FBI UCR Database
CDC NIOSH Database: NIOSH Database