Gun Control In America – A Solution Looking For A Problem

Gun

I like to think that I fix a lot of problems.  In my job I’m responsible for fixing things that are broken.  And, when all broken things are fixed and I’m waiting for t them to break again, I try and look for patterns, trends and other data that will help me in future situations.

Normally, when we see a trend in a specific condition getting worse, we investigate it, see if the trend is legit, and if so, work to mitigate it.  Understand it.  Fix it.

And then, after we think that we have put in place corrections, we watch it to make sure that what we did is really working.

And if it is…we leave it alone and just let it keep getting better:

Gun violence in America has fallen dramatically over the past two decades, and the number of murders committed with a firearm is down too, though guns are still by far the leading type of crime weapon, according to a new report from the Justice Department.

Gun violence is down.

As for where crime guns came from, the study notes that less than two percent of convicted inmates reported buying their weapons at gun shows or flea markets.

Any talk of this mythical “Gun Show Loophole” is bullshit.

Murders committed with a gun dropped 39 percent to 11,101 in 2011, from a high of 18,253 in 1993, according to the report.

Other crimes committed with guns were down even more sharply — from 1.53 million in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011, a drop of 70 percent, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

What we’re doing is working.  There may be no need to take any further action.

12 responses to “Gun Control In America – A Solution Looking For A Problem

  1. Or, maybe it’s the lead. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline and what we’re doing is not what’s working. And maybe we still have a homicide rate 3-5 times higher than other industrialized democracies despite having a violent crime rate that’s pretty much the same.

    • Or, maybe it’s the lead. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

      Fascinating article.

      But I don’t care if it’s abortion, crime technology or gasoline, gun violence is going down. At this point it’s hard to argue that taking away constitutional rights is needed.

      Interesting note. Lead in gasoline was effectively eliminated in 1995-1996. Given the 23 year delay, we should begin to see crime stats flatten in 2018. However, the Primary Phase was initiated in 1986. Which means that for localities impacted by the early ban, crime rates should have begun to level off 5 years ago.

      Do you know if studies have followed up on that?

      what we’re doing is not what’s working.

      Crime is going down?

      • My point is that all crime is going down and it has nothing to do with laws about guns. Requiring enhanced background checks and real efforts on tracing guns used in crimes and cracking down on straw purchasers is as much “taking away Constitutional rights” as is prosecuting terrorists for only talking about blowing things up is taking away their freedom of speech.

        • My point is that all crime is going down and it has nothing to do with laws about guns.

          Hmm….perhaps the typed word is failing me.

          What you are saying is my point exactly; crime is going down and it doesn’t have anything to do with gun laws.

          Or guns.

          Given that, leave the laws and the guns alone.

          With all of THAT said, I agree, and almost every single American agrees and virtually every gun owner I know agrees, that we want laws that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals. Given that knowledge, we should target people who use guns to commit crimes. And unlike NY that want to police search homes of legally registered gun owners, perhaps we should police search the demography of gun criminals.

          Requiring enhanced background checks

          I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that people intending to commit crimes with guns are not going to submit to a background check. You are focusing on law abiding citizens.

          real efforts on tracing guns used in crimes and cracking down on straw purchasers

          Here is where you resonate with me.

          For the life of me I cannot understand why the pro-gun guys won’t allow increased statistical analysis of guns, gun crimes and what not.

          Beyond me.

          • I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that people intending to commit crimes with guns are not going to submit to a background check. You are focusing on law abiding citizens.

            But if it’s illegal to sell the gun without the background check, it’ll be harder for a criminal to avoid that. Background checks don’t solve the entire problem, but they do narrow the universe of options for would-be criminals.

          • But if it’s illegal to sell the gun without the background check, it’ll be harder for a criminal to avoid that.

            Yes. It will be more difficult. However, that may be a distinction without a difference. For example, it’s currently illegal to buy and sell weed or beer to kids; neither of which we think is difficult to do.

            Again, I am FOR keeping guns out of the hands of the “bad guys”. I just don’t think that asking law abiding citizens to subject themselves to such a check is the best way to do that.

            I would, for example, propose this in response to NY’s attempt to search the homes of registered gun owners:

            Search the homes of men ages 15-35 who have been convicted of crimes. Or, to continue NY’s example, make it legal to stop and frisk on suspicion of illegal carried weapons.

            If we’re gonna restrict rights, which I admit is a legitimate action –think “fire” in a theater– why would we begin with a segment of the population that isn’t responsible for the VAST majority of gun violence? Why wouldn’t we conduct even back of the envelope analysis and begin by restricting the rights of the group of people who DO commit that violence?

  2. To piggyback on what I think Steve is saying, gun violence did go down, but so did all other forms of violent crime. That doesn’t mean gun violence isn’t a problem that needs to be addressed. If I have a 107 degree fever, and then I walk out into the snow, my fever will drop, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sick. The overall temperature in the country has dropped but gun violence is still a hot spot.

    The proper questions are how our gun violence relates to other developed countries and whether gun control would actually affect the crime rate. With respect to the former, we are second highest among those nations. With respect to the latter, we can’t say because of GOP efforts to prevent the CDC from doing any research at all. I can’t say for sure what they would find, maybe guns prevent more crime than they enable as the NRA insists, but why won’t they let us find out the answer with data? What are they so afraid of?

    • The overall temperature in the country has dropped but gun violence is still a hot spot.

      I think it’s incumbent upon us to reduce all preventable death, be it from guns or swimming pools or cars. With that said, I would suggest that gun violence is going down – for whatever reason – and that the only reason it’s a hotspot is because people have a problem with guns in ways they don’t have problems with cars.

      The proper questions are how our gun violence relates to other developed countries and whether gun control would actually affect the crime rate. With respect to the former, we are second highest among those nations.

      I will stipulate that we will have a very elevated rate of gun violence due to the fact that people in the US own guns.

      What are they so afraid of?

      This I can’t understand and am equally baffled as you are.

      • Sorry, I wasn’t clear on the hotspot thing, I was trying to extend the fever metaphor and failed.

        What I meant is that all crime is going down, so of course gun crime is also going down. Therefore we can’t assume that current measures are working to contain the specific problem of gun crime. Gun crime is still very high, and we need to address it specifically as a problem, instead of assuming that the overall drop in crime shows that we’re effectively controlling the gun part of it.

        For example, it’s currently illegal to buy and sell weed or beer to kids; neither of which we think is difficult to do.

        It’s certainly more difficult to do so than if pot and beer were legal for kids. It’s pretty much undisputed that background checks at least deter SOME amount of illegal gun ownership, and that’s a good thing. More to the point, it doesn’t cause any harm at all to legitimate gun owners.

        I would, for example, propose this in response to NY’s attempt to search the homes of registered gun owners

        I assume this is where you’ll point for the harm to gun owners, but I’m unable to find any story on this. I tried searching your blog too, because I thought you’d posted, but can’t find it anywhere. Can you link me to some background on this actually happening?

        • I assume this is where you’ll point for the harm to gun owners, but I’m unable to find any story on this. I tried searching your blog too, because I thought you’d posted, but can’t find it anywhere. Can you link me to some background on this actually happening?

          I read it in passing some time ago. I honestly thought it was NY State and Cuomo, however, I think it’s New Jersey:

          Jimenez (D-West New York) filed legislation Wednesday that would require gun buyers in her state to present the results of a mental health examination before purchasing a weapon and that would direct police officers to inspect the buyer’s home to determine if the gun would be kept away from children and the mentally ill. Jimenez’s measure, if passed, would likely be the first of its kind in the country.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/new-jersey-gun-control_n_2450518.html

          Also found this while searching:

          http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/20/gun-bill-giving-sheriff-right-inspect-homes-pulled/

          To their “credit”, they pulled the section.

          • Okay, so there’s two legislators in the whole country who proposed radical restrictions and then thought better of it. How does that support the argument that gun owners are burdened by a background check? And if that’s not the support, then please explain how a background check is a burden or restriction on lawful gun ownership.

        • Okay, so there’s two legislators in the whole country who proposed radical restrictions and then thought better of it. How does that support the argument that gun owners are burdened by a background check?

          Fair enough, but it’s out there; think crazy North Carolina and Official Religion madness.

          My point is that people in real office are not only discussing this stuff, but crafting and submitting legislation. To which my reply is, “Let’s restrict the liberty of the criminals first, not the law abiding citizens.”

          And yes, you’re right, background checks aren’t a bad idea. My point is that we should be honest about the expected gains and consider the rest of the ideas. And if there are better ideas out there, we should try those first. Some of which might include:

          Increasing sentencing for crimes with a gun.
          Enforcing existing laws.
          Enhanced statistical analysis of gun crimes -I know, I know, I can’t explain it-
          Stop and frisk laws
          Home searches of people with criminal records that have a propensity of gun violence.

          And if that’s not the support, then please explain how a background check is a burden or restriction on lawful gun ownership.

          It’s not. I’m one of the 90% that is in favor of increasing background checks. I’m also a believer that if we want enhanced background checks, we should submit a bill with just that, and only that, as the contemplated bill.

          I’m not in favor of all the other crap bolted onto the bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *