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Why State Rankings Connecting ‘Weak Gun Laws’ to ‘Gun Violence’ Are Complete Bogus

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Photo: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

(Photo: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

Gun-control advocates love to create specious reports that attempt to show the impact certain anti-gun policies have on crime rates.

A recent example is one produced by the Center for American Progress, CAP, called, “America Under Fire: An Analysis of Gun Violence in the United States and the Link to Weak Gun Laws.” It was immediately picked up by biased media outlets and parroted by gun-grabbing politicians.

The CTPost ran a story titled, “Connecticut Among Five Safest States for Gun Violence,” and quoted Gov. Daniel P. Malloy in the article who referenced the study during a press conference.

“We’re proud of the progress we’re making in Connecticut,” said Malloy. “We have the second-toughest laws. We are the fifth-safest state with respect to shootings.”

The underlying argument being made is that anti-gun policies are responsible for low crime rates. However, this claim is B.S.  To use a football analogy, it would be like arguing, “The Patriots have the best uniforms in the league, that’s why they’re 6-1 on the season.”

Clearly, uniforms have no impact on team performance.  Reasons for the Patriots success include all of the following: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, the clever defensive schemes, the solid run game, the dominate players at TE, the overall team discipline, the doggish work ethic perpetuated by a winning culture.

Anyways, in an awesome response to the CTPost and its coverage of the CAP study, NRA legislative liaison for the state of Connecticut, Christopher G. Kopacki explains how one ought to trust the FBI on crime stats and not the study of a progressive think-tank.

Remarkably, the “study” in its very first paragraph, describes many of the factors which influence a state’s violent crime, murder and suicide rates and then ignores all those factors in its analysis, instead focusing on only one factor: gun control laws. The nation’s top law enforcement agency, the FBI, is adamant that its crime data NOT be used to create these misleading state “rankings.”

The FBI says, “These incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents. For this reason, the FBI has a long-standing policy against ranking participating law enforcement agencies on the basis of crime data alone. Despite repeated warnings against these practices, some data users continue to challenge and misunderstand this position.”

Here are some factors the FBI says are “known” to affect crime rates:

• Population density and degree of urbanization.
• Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.
• Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors.
• Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.
• Modes of transportation and highway systems.
• Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.
• Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.
• Climate.
Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.
• Administrative and investigative emphases on law enforcement.
• Citizens’ attitudes toward crime.
• Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.

The FBI has this exactly right. If you are truly interested in promoting effective laws to protect the public, you must consider all the factors that influence crime rates — not the one factor the FBI doesn’t even consider, gun control laws.

So, just know when you see or hear about these state “rankings” as they relate to “weak gun laws” and “gun violence,” they’re complete nonsense. Gun control laws have no statistically significant impact crime rates.  Just as uniform quality has zero impact on team performance.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Robert Hafetz October 30, 2016, 6:47 am

    There is much simpler answer. Homicide and violence is concentrated in cities not states. Cities run by democrats with strict gun control already. After you point that out pivot to the root cause of violence are democrat social policies that removed the father from the poor family, victimization, and lack of opportunity for the poor to better themselves.

  • Stan Cunningham October 28, 2016, 2:04 pm

    What politicians need to understand is that laws do not affect the bad guys. Laws only affect the good citizens that try to obey them. The bad guys love to see more restricted laws passed so they don’t have to worry about being caught or killed. Objects don’t kill people. Unstable people kill people with what ever weapons they have. Knives, Guns, Hammers & Cars.

    • Dean Simons November 1, 2016, 2:36 pm

      I know it!?!?!?! Where is the “knee-jerk” car, knife (insert instrument of mayhem here) legislation after this most recent lunatic goes on a spree??? Where are the crying, child protective, soccer van driving moms barreling down the avenues THEN??? Politicians are only interested in giving off the appearance that they are doing something, albeit too late, to justify their phoney baloney jobs.

  • mike ryan October 28, 2016, 11:29 am

    Excuse me, you need to write better articles – The TSRA, Texas State Rifle Assoc. cites FBI stats to conclude that CHL holders are 16x less likely to commit crimes than even police officers! If we follow this train of thought to its logical conclusion, we should outlaw ALL police dept, save taxpayers MONEY, and allow ALL citizens a CHL license like TEXAS does!! The Texas crime stats indicate a DIRECT correlation between increased CHL holders and REDUCED crimes! Write about that!!! MAGA!!

    • DIYinSTL October 28, 2016, 2:53 pm

      Texas collects its own stats on violations of the law by concealed carry permit holders. They do not rely on the FBI who does not correlate this kind of info and does (or at least should) not know who has a permit. The FBI only aggregates gross data from the States. I’m trying to get the Missouri legislature to enact similar record keeping here.

  • EH October 28, 2016, 9:18 am

    The two safest states in the country are Maine and Vermont. Both of which have lax gun laws and constitutional carry. Using their logic, I guess it’s safe to say that gun control increases crime.

  • JT October 28, 2016, 8:44 am

    Under “reasons for the Patriot’s success”, you forgot to mention cheating.

  • srsquidizen October 28, 2016, 7:13 am

    They often use the word “shootings” when comparing states with high gun ownership (rural) to those with low gun ownership (urban). That way they include a hunter who shoots himself in the toe as “gun violence.” Well people, in states where people drive cars a lot they have more wrecks. And in states where people enjoy shooting sports they have more gun accidents. Doh. They fail to mention some of those states have “low” accidental shootings because most citizens don’t have a gun. They either don’t want one or local laws for owning a gun legally are just too much red tape. But in certain urban areas of those states with low “shootings” the gun-involved crime rate is absolutely horrific in spite of those laws. And nearly all of that violence is committed by criminals banned from having a gun anywhere in the country by federal law. “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

  • Miles Huggins October 28, 2016, 3:50 am

    I wanna know where illinois and california rank hell newyork for that matter even if its just by that stat

  • Lieutenant Colonel Albert mourino October 26, 2016, 4:51 am

    I need a recommendation for a concealed weapon (Pistol) for a Mail and second for a female I would appreciate your thoughts thank you very much

    • American USMC October 27, 2016, 11:20 am

      What about a Charter Arms 44 Bulldog and and 38 special or 32 mag for the lady

    • Dean Simons November 1, 2016, 3:02 pm

      Colonel sir, get spell check, or a Female (counterpart to your male) to write your English correspondences. After that, anything you’re comfortable with, can easily handle (conceal, etc) is your baby. I like the S&W Shorty Forty. Small, compact, .40 caliber semi automatic, precision built, good stopping power. Or a Glock 23 perhaps. S&W also makes the lady S&W series 60/642/3913. Revolvers are easy and relatively safe. Caveat here is I believe in U.S., additional safety (most unwarranted) has been mandated into new production revolvers which may “lock up” after as few as 1 shot. Maybe a Taurus comparable model here. 3913’s are probably a good alternative 9mm after that for a female CCW.

  • Christian October 26, 2016, 4:04 am

    They are lying and everyone with a clear head should know this. And you receive the proof from other countries. Germany has one of the toughest gun laws ever, prohibiting almost everything, even knifes with a steady blade that is longer than 12 cm (you can buy but you are officially not allowed to carry it, not even concealed), yet, Erfurt 2002 and Winnenden 2009 were even worse than Columbine 1999 or Roseburg last year! Or what about the massacre during the concert in France this year, which wasn’t that different compared to Orlando? So much about tough gun laws reducing gun violence…

  • Tom Horn October 25, 2016, 9:13 pm

    And they explain Chicago, How? No legal CCW, one big Victim Zone, and continual gun violence/murder by law ignoring criminals.

    • Alan October 28, 2016, 6:13 pm

      Exactly!! I too was thinking that same thought.
      By their own claims of analysis, Chicago should be the bastian of peace!
      What a joke!!!!

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