The Washington Times‘ research into the linkage between gun laws and gun crimes shows no relation between the two. States with stricter gun laws tend to have higher rates of gun crime;
For example, New York, even before it approved the strictest gun-control measures in the country last week, was ranked fourth among the states in strength of gun laws by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, but was also in the top 10 in firearm homicide rates in 2011, according to the FBI.
Meanwhile, North Dakota was near the bottom in its firearm homicide, firearm robbery and firearm assault rates, but also had some of the loosest gun laws and worst compliance with turning over mental health records to the background check system.
Analysts said the data underscore that there are no simple or easy broad answers to combating gun violence, which is a complex equation involving gun-ownership rates, how ready authorities are to prosecute gun crimes and how widely they ban ownership.
But, in an environment when legislators feel an impulse to do anything in order to justify their jobs, facts don’t have any place in the discussion. If Dianne Feinstein’s Scary-Looking Weapon Ban passes and more gun crimes happen, it will be because her law didn’t go far enough. Two of our most famous gun crimes happened during the last weapon ban – the Columbine shooting and the DC sniper. And there was the spate of school shootings during Bill Clinton’s last year in office.
The Times continues;
“There do appear to be some gun controls which work, all of them relatively moderate, popular and inexpensive,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, there is support for a gun-control policy organized around gun-owner licensing or purchase permits (or some other form of gun-buyer screening); stricter local dealer licensing; bans on possession of guns by criminals and mentally ill people; stronger controls over illegal carrying; and possibly discretionary add-on penalties for committing felonies with a gun.
“On the other hand, popular favorites such as waiting periods and gun registration do not appear to affect violence rates,” he said.
So, the “do something” knee-jerk legislation doesn’t affect gun crime, but government doing the job they should be doing anyway does seem to have some effect. But people who write laws for a living, think they can appear to be doing something useful by writing more laws. Well, there was a backlash from voters in 1994 and there will be another one next year.