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Fewer Guns, More Crime

By Greg L | 16 December 2008 | Crime | 26 Comments

The London Times wrote about the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the notion of gun control recently.  You might expect them to decry the barbaric and unenlightened Americans whose lust for guns fuels death and violence, but in this case at least you’d be mistaken.  As least some subjects have come to realize that banning guns simply emboldens the lawless while it restricts the lawful, fueling rather than abating violence.  After banning guns in Britain, they now have a level of crime several times higher than we, and some are starting to understand why.

Lest we ever take seriously the notion of following the horrible path they blazed, this should be required reading for anyone developing public policy.

The short answer is that “gun controls” do not work: they are indeed generally perverse in their effects. Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a strict gun ban policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus. It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

One might contrast the Virginia Tech massacre with the assault on Virginia’s Appalachian Law School in 2002, where three lives were lost before a student fetched a pistol from his car and apprehended the gunman.

Virginia Tech reinforced the lesson that gun controls are obeyed only by the law-abiding. New York has “banned” pistols since 1911, and its fellow murder capitals, Washington DC and Chicago, have similar bans. One can draw a map of the US, showing the inverse relationship of the strictness of its gun laws, and levels of violence: all the way down to Vermont, with no gun laws at all, and the lowest level of armed violence (one thirteenth that of Britain).

H/T to the Virginia Citizens Defense League for pointing out this editorial in VA-ALERT.

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  1. Citizen12 said on 16 Dec 2008 at 1:58 am:
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    If the Brits are to turn it around they should act quick. They shold not leave their people unable to defend themselves.

    In their quest for cultural diversity and the embracement of Sharia law, they too, like the French, have been populated by a growing number of Muslim “no-go zones”.


    If you recall the riots a few years ago by the “anti-assimilate” radical inhabitants of the 751 “no-go zones” of France, G.B will surely head down that road as well.


    Unfortunately, with our ineffective immigration policies, the banking industry and our own government’s acceptance of Sharia Compliant Financing, we are well on our way to problems like that here.


  2. freedom said on 16 Dec 2008 at 4:58 am:
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    …but why is it that so many supporters of gun controls just “don’t get it”?

  3. Jay said on 16 Dec 2008 at 7:09 am:
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    “You might expect them to decry the barbaric and unenlightened Americans whose lust for guns fuels death and violence”?

    Been to London in the past ten years? If so, you’d have a more complex opinion.

  4. Johnson said on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:04 am:
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    Remember, Freedom, that liberals live in a fantasy world where inanimate objects are hated and blamed for killing people.This refusal to deal with reality and the almost manic desire to live in a dream world makes them unfit to participate in any sort of public policy forum. I equate it with allowing the inmates to administer the loony bin. Does anyone out there really believe that money comes from the government? Does anyone really believe that an assembly line worker deserves $75 an hour?

    I’m amazed that the London Times actually printed that opinion. Freedom and security belong to those willing to fight for and defend it. Let those who are willing to be victims of violence go forth unarmed and hope for mercy from their assailants. Let those who refuse to be victims arm themselves and watch the crime rate spiral downward, along with the number of criminals.

    Mr. Jefferson is my favorite founding father.

  5. Anonymous said on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:36 am:
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    Johnson’s comments demonstrate exactly why conservatives fared so poorly in the last election. Let’s look at his very first statement, which sets up a strawman consisting of a mythical liberal who hates inanimate objects. Show me a liberal who “hates inanimate objects.” You can’t, of course, but that doesn’t stop Johnson from lying. Only, because Johnson asserts it to be so, then it must be true! Just like Bush waving a huge “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner when the mission was anything but, too many conservatives have this pathological tendency toward this sort of magical thinking.

    In his next sentence, he then claims that because liberals don’t think the way he does, they shouldn’t be allowed into debates on policy. As a final howler, he tells us how much he adores Mr. Jefferson, demonstrating he’s probably never read anything Mr. Jefferson has written. (Jefferson loved debating ideas with those who believed differently than him.) Johnson may want to check out The Federalist Papers sometime in order to learn what the Founding Fathers thought about repressive ninnies like him who would try to squelch open debate.

    This silly refrain of equating liberalism with mental disease ignores the real issues, and casts conservatives in a poor light. I might just as easily posit the same argument against conservatives: they have an irrational belief that fertilized eggs are “people” with rights, that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, and that giving tax breaks to wealthy people and jacking up the taxes on the poor is a fantastic idea that will somehow stimulate the economy; therefore conservatives are retarded and ought to be thrown off a cliff. And my argument is no more valid (ie, it’s equally stupid) than Johnson’s.

    But please, conservatives, just go right out trotting out this same nonsense time and time again, and see where it gets you. It’ll be awfully nice to get an even bigger liberal advantage in Congress in the next go-round.

    Always remember that liberal essentially means “open to change,” while “conservative” means “maintain the status quo.” If it weren’t for liberal thinking women couldn’t vote, blacks would still be slaves, your children would be working in factories, and a 40-hour work week would be for slackers.

  6. Anonymous said on 16 Dec 2008 at 10:18 am:
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    Anonymous said on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:36 am: Flag comment
    Always remember that liberal essentially means “open to change,”

    ……and that is all we will be left with in our pockets when this upcoming administration takes over.

  7. Arlington Minority said on 16 Dec 2008 at 10:31 am:
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    Gun control is one of those urban myths like global warming that never loses its simplistic grip on the most gullible among us.

  8. Harry said on 16 Dec 2008 at 10:40 am:
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    I own numerous guns, have been hunting for 52 years, but have mixed feelings about guns in schools. When I attended college in PA I took my shotgun to college and it was stored in the ROTC building gun area, when I wanted to go hunting I went and checked out my gun. The college had a policy concerning guns in student housing, frankly i saw nothing wrong with that policy, given the number of drunken “kids” running around, particularly on weekends. Of course in the 196′2 we didn’t seem to have too many nuts running around killing students, although I do remeber the Texas Tower incident. I don’t disagree with prohibiting guns on campus, but don’t know how it can be effectively enforced by those who will break policy/law/regulation, on the otherhand I don’t feel comfortable with 18-22 years olds carrying in a college setting… my thoughts

  9. Citizen12 said on 16 Dec 2008 at 11:33 am:
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    Johnson said on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:04 am: Flag comment
    Does anyone really believe that an assembly line worker deserves $75 an hour?

    Does anyone really beleive they make $75 an hour?

    It is time to put to bed the urban legend of the $73 per hour wage for the UAW worker. This was a reckless statement made by a writer at the Heritage foundation, who led you to believe it was a wage and not what it was, the labor cost per hour.


    In 2006 Chrysler had app 42,000 hourly employees and 84,000 retirees. For the typical Chrysler hourly worker earnings profile see page 40. Not a bad wage, but a far cry from the $150,000 inferred.


    All told, the truth is while the average hourly wage of a UAW worker is a few dollars more per hour than their non-union counterpart, the actual yearly earnings of the non-union worker exceeded the union worker.

  10. Billy Bob said on 16 Dec 2008 at 11:49 am:
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    Off topic, so excuse me for hi-jacking this thread. Just wondering if
    any of you posters happened to see channel 4 news last night, reporting
    on the arrest of the PWC Deputy, 65 year old pervert, for child porn.
    The FBI says it is one of the worst cases they’ve encountered. My
    concern is the fact that MJM has reported NOTHING about this case.
    This is amazing…uh, probably not, since the folks at MJM have a glowing
    record of protecting the sheriff and the goings on in his department.

  11. Non-Euroweenie said on 16 Dec 2008 at 2:27 pm:
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    I was in a study abroad program at Oxford. Our college had ground glass mixed in the mortar at the top of its old stone wall and the gates were locked a half hour after the pubs closed. I am not a big fan of walling myself in to hide from the bad people “out there.” It was a bit of a culture shock.

    At the time, there was a crazy wandering around a couple towns at night, assaulting people, sometimes at gunpoint. I don’t think he’d have done so well in the American countryside. He went pretty much unchallenged in England.

    I had a couple people in pubs (some of them French, which totally galled - or should I say “gauled?” - me) opine that Americans seem too rough around the edges, that we tend to run around with ‘coonskin caps and guns too much. As I told them, colonists are almost always tougher and edgier than the people they broke off from. Much as some people may wish it upon us, we Americans are not euroweenies and we cannot be held to euroweenie standards. We don’t run like a Frenchman from a popgun.

    I don’t agree with the definition of “conservative” above. A “conservative” seeks to preserve rights and liberties. I admit we have some kooks (so do liberals), but many good movements that some scholars would incorrectly term as liberals, were actually born out conservative philosophy. Like the civil rights movement.

  12. cargosquid said on 16 Dec 2008 at 3:26 pm:
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    If you want to see the future of a liberal USA dominated by the Democratic Party, look to England and the PC nanny state that they have developed. One doesn’t need to learn from history. Just look at England and see America’s possible future.

  13. Love the USA said on 16 Dec 2008 at 5:07 pm:
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    Billy Bob, it’s on line now.

  14. citizenofmanassas said on 16 Dec 2008 at 5:36 pm:
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    If it weren’t for conservatives, there would be no America.

    Liberals love to say they support freedom of speech and ideas and are “open minded” care to explain why liberals do not practice what they preach? Why is it that colleges are not open to conservative ideas and speakers? Care to explaIf it weren’t for conservatives, there would be no America.

    Liberals love to say they support freedom of speech and ideas and are “open minded” care to explain why liberals do not practice what they preach? Why is it that colleges are not open to conservative ideas and speakers? Care to explain why the most liberal Governments are some of the most repressive and restrictive?

    Care to explain why people move to conservative areas and leave liberal areas?

    The libs will screw things up and you will then see the GOP voted back in. The libs have shown in the last two years running Congress they are not ready to lead.

    Harry, if the students train and take safety classes, I see no problems with them having guns on campus.

  15. Chicko said on 16 Dec 2008 at 5:52 pm:
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    here’s another one of those sicko illegals:


    wanna bet this doesnt show up on the harpies website?

    we’re batting a 1000 this season with illegal immigrants raping and killing our citizens.

  16. Rocky said on 16 Dec 2008 at 6:04 pm:
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    During WWII, the NRA sent 120,000 firearms to the U. K. that
    had been donated by its members. Its seems they didnt have
    nearly enough personal firearms to arm its citizens for a land
    invasion by the Germans. Here is the full story:

    (scroll down to WWII)


    I hope they (collectively) wise up someday.

  17. Johnson said on 17 Dec 2008 at 10:30 am:
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    Thank you, Citizen 12, for the correction on the UAW’s hourly wage. I think that we can all agree that some labor unions have taken things way too far. I belong to one of the largest Federal worker unions. We can’t strike, nor would we. Our union protects us from management abuses and allows us to negotiate working hours, conditions and assignments. The Bush administration is particularly abusive to Federal labor representation and has just signed an executive order that basically bans them. Illegal? Not really. Just another slap in the face for the folks who protect all of us. Homeland Security ranked second to last in the last two biannual surveys of federal employee job ratings. No morale at all. One particular agency is enjoying a 50% turnover rate nationally. The Bush administration has lost virtually every grievance, mediation and lawsuit it has defended from it’s own employees, particularly the attempt to change the GS scale to pay-for-performance, which is failing miserably where it was implemented because the affected employees had no say in the matter.
    Anon says it all when (s)he won’t even post a name. Aren’t you proud of your opinion? The rest of your reply is name-calling and whining. Seems like that’s all you have left after facing logic and common sense.

    Apologies to all who are offended.

  18. Johnson said on 17 Dec 2008 at 10:33 am:
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    Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays to the Liberal posters. Let us pray that 2009 brings us peace and prosperity.

  19. Citizen12 said on 17 Dec 2008 at 8:31 pm:
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    Agree with you 100%. It seems a truly bad hand has been delta to many in the creation and execution of “Bush’s Brainchild”, Homeland Security. With many good people trying to do their job right, all the while being undermined by budget issues, performance restraints and blatant political interference and manipulation, it is no wonder why moral and turnover are in their present state.
    Citizens should be more appreciative of the dedication of all our civil servants, Federal, State and Local, who see their work as more than a just a paycheck, and make a positive contribution to our lives every day.

  20. Greg L said on 17 Dec 2008 at 9:06 pm:
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    From a friend…

  21. Johnson said on 18 Dec 2008 at 11:06 am:
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    Would it be considered entrapment if I put that sign on my door? I guess I could hide it, once the smoke cleared….

  22. Wolverine said on 18 Dec 2008 at 6:39 pm:
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    Non-Euroweenie —

    Interesting comment about your experience at Oxford. The last time I was there was in 1975, and I don’t remember seeing walls like that. Is this something new specifically in response to the crime increase after passage of the anti-gun law?

    I have seen that sort of protective measure all over Africa for many decades, including the former British, French, and Belgian colonies. Only it wasn’t ground glass. It was actually very nasty shards of broken glass mixed in with and poking upward from the cement tops of the walls. It worked pretty well, although not well enough to avoid having to hire a night watchman to patrol your compound. Now I’m wondering if the idea used in Africa came from Brit practices at home or whether the Brits have adopted an idea from their “African experience.”

  23. Harry said on 19 Dec 2008 at 8:07 am:
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    I had my cwp returned by the clerks office because i left the “distinguishing marks, tatoos, scars” part blank since I don’t have any of those. I’m mailing it back today with “none” written in, I’m sure they will find another technicality.

  24. es_la_ley said on 19 Dec 2008 at 5:55 pm:
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    # Johnson said on 18 Dec 2008 at 11:06 am:

    Would it be considered entrapment if I put that sign on my door? I guess I could hide it, once the smoke cleared….

    I like this sign….


  25. es_la_ley said on 19 Dec 2008 at 5:59 pm:
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    # Johnson said on 18 Dec 2008 at 11:06 am:

    Would it be considered entrapment…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe ‘entrapment’ only applies to the government. :-)

  26. Johnson said on 22 Dec 2008 at 10:49 am:
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