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The Impact Of Gun Control?

Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 9:49 am

a letter from Charles Warre | 0 comments

Seldom does a severely wrongheaded commentary appear with the impeccable timing of Jerry Greenspan's "It's the Guns," in the Nov. 12 Eagle & Journal.

His research was carefully accrued while avoiding the many statistics that interfere with his opinion, with a few anecdotal tales thrown in for good measure. Most amusingly, he seems to think that criminals who are willing to rob and murder will somehow shrug and become law-abiding if they cannot legally purchase a firearm. Let's examine that.

In heavily restrictive France, "The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms," said Philippe Capon, the head of UNSA police union. "They are everywhere in France. AK-47s sell for 1,000 euros ($1,181) to 1,500 euros on the black market," he said.

This helps explain the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and the Paris shootings that occurred two days after Mr. Greenspan's column appeared. Either the shootings occurred because France's gun laws are too lax, or the terrorists know that the only thing that stops a criminal with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Either way, further disarming French citizens is unlikely to make them safer.

Yes, there are accidental shootings. However, there are also self-defense shootings.

Two years to the day after the accidental shooting Mr. Greenspan cited, Semantha Bunce, 21, was at home breast-feeding her four-month-old son. Two men knocked on the front door, rang the doorbell, and kicked in the door of her home in east Charlotte, North Carolina.

The mother-of-two quickly took her son to the bedroom and placed him in the crib before grabbing her gun.

When the men opened fire at her in the stairwell, she then fired back from the bedroom door. Mother and son survived (the son was unharmed), and one man has been arrested. There are entire websites devoted to similar stories of guns assisting in self-defense. One of them that would seriously disturb many anti-gun preconceptions is

The column illogically added suicides to the gun murder rate. If guns cause suicide, so does our bridge, and we should require a permit and a waiting period to cross it (which suicidal people would ignore in the same way that gun laws are ignored by criminals). So let's focus on our murder rate.

The US tops the world in terms of gun ownership per capita, with 90 guns per 100 people. And just as you would predict, the world leader in per capita intentional murders, with 90 per 100,000 people is ... gun-controlled Honduras. But we're number two, right? Or at least in the top ten? Not quite.

Of the 218 countries examined, the US is number 111 in terms of the greatest number (per capita) of intentional murders. We would certainly rank even lower if we didn't have to include Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Newark, whose murder and non-negligent homicide rates range from six to ten times the rate of the US as a whole. (As an aside, if Detroit were a country, its murder rate would rank it just above Venezuela as the second-most murderous area in the world). All of those cities are gun-control bastions. They have other factors in common, but those would best be discussed another time.

Some people would conclude from the above that not only do guns not cause murder, and more gun laws will not reduce them, but they serve a valuable purpose in allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Others will simply continue to jerk their knees furiously at every new (illegal) shooting, and attempt to confiscate firearms from everyone who had nothing to do with it.