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Bang! Bang! You're... Safe?

Recently, the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence released its report card on all 50 states, rating them as far as "gun safety" goes. The top score went to California, with a 79 out of 100 points. My own New Hampshire scored a 9 (alongside Nevada and Texas), and 22 states scored even lower -- with Utah ranking a mighty zero.

My goodness. I had no idea I lived in such a dangerous state. I thought we were pretty safe.

Oh, right. We are.

New Hampshire ranks 50th on that list, with a score of 0.43. And California? Brady's "safest" state? 4.82 -- more than 11 times worse. (That's gun homicides per 100,000 residents.)

Oh, and Utah? The state that scored a zero? Twice as bad as New Hampshire, with 0.93. That's still less than one-fifth of California.

I'd really like to see how Washington, DC ranks, as they have the toughest gun control laws and exceptionally high murder rates, but the Brady Campaign -- for some reason -- doesn't want to discuss them.

I'm not a big fan of the "correlation equals causation" fallacy, but sometimes it holds true. And when there is such a dramatic correlation -- an inverse relationship between the strength of gun control laws and the numbers of gun-related homicides committed -- it's absolutely mind-boggling that anyone could deny the plain reality of the situation:

Anti-gun laws do not prevent gun violence. Anti-gun laws, if they have any effect, ENCOURAGE gun violence.

Think about the mass shootings that the anti-gun crowd likes to bring up. How many of them happen in places where firearms are not restricted or banned? None of them. They happen most often in places that have chosen to designate themselves "gun-free zones" -- which assures the spree killers a ready supply of defenseless victims.

If the mere presence and ready access to guns is such a lure for gun violence, kindly cite to me a shooting spree that took place at a gun show. I'd feel a thousand times safer at one of those than on the Virginia Tech campus, where the administration assured all its charges that they were safe because they had RULES that kept the guns away.

According to the Brady gun-grabbers, New Hampshire gets a failing grade and scored only a 9 out of 100 on "responsible" gun-control laws.

I, too, am gravely disappointed in this.

We oughta aim for scoring even lower next time. Look out, Vermont (8 points) -- we can't let you hold the title of "Brady Gun-Grabber's Worst State In New England."


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Comments (40)

Yes, and out West here we h... (Below threshold)

Yes, and out West here we have all sorts of gnashing of teeth and whining about National Parks now allowing folks to (gasp) carry guns.

If the assault rate of Rangers goes down, don't expect any big headlines.

Actually, I saw a study a w... (Below threshold)

Actually, I saw a study a while back that equated violence to population DENSITY. (And if they can't get a gun, they get a knife, or even fists). Check it out - the population density of california is maybe 5 times the population density of New Hampshire?

(Population density = # people / square mile of land)

(DRAFT) It's not nice to ri... (Below threshold)

(DRAFT) It's not nice to ridicule somebody else's religion. These faith-based beliefs are a precious part of the American dream, much like the belief in global warming global climate change and killing inconvenient babies abortion on demand abortion rights women's reproductive rights.

Some things are based on faith, and these things rise above logical explanation. Just because our Living Constitution is obsolete imperfect doesn't mean it can't be overturned improved as our legislative majority civilization matures.

I would have thought that Wizbang could show a little more respect for the deeply held beliefs of others when it comes to gun grabbing Republican redneck disarmament gun safety laws.

Show a little respect.

Well, that didn't work. Sor... (Below threshold)

Well, that didn't work. Sorry. I'd delete it if I could.

Technical question: How do you code strikeouts? I tried using "s", and the preview looked fine during editing, but it got eaten when I posted it. I know it can be done.


Bobdog,I'll test b... (Below threshold)


I'll test below using <strike>

I vote yea nay.

It works in preview, anyway.

Bob, I picked up on your to... (Below threshold)

Bob, I picked up on your tone immediately. And no, I have no idea how to do strikethroughs in comments.


...but not on final post. H... (Below threshold)

...but not on final post. Hmmm.

Maybe the people who live i... (Below threshold)

Maybe the people who live in those "bad" states, the ones with the low homicide rates, are just better at behaving like grownups.

From Thomas Sowell:<p... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

From Thomas Sowell:

"One of the many hard facts that get overlooked by those impressed by visions and rhetoric is that mass shootings almost invariably occur in gun-free zones like schools, workplaces, or houses of worship. When has a mass killer opened fire on a meeting of the National Rifle Association or fired on a group of hunters?"

The Brady Bunch, like the z... (Below threshold)

The Brady Bunch, like the zealots who worship at The Goracle's feet aren't concerned about reality. Just like the people who followed Jim Jones.

Any time someone tries to c... (Below threshold)

Any time someone tries to convince you that gun rates are becuase to many of the wrong people have guns ask them a simple question.

1. Ultimately, how are you going to get the guns from the hands of the "criminals?"

If they tell you the truth, be afraid...

They won't, Matt.G... (Below threshold)

They won't, Matt.

Guys like Mayor Daley will tell you that the only way to be safe is outlaw and confiscate all the guns in the country (except his bodyguard detail, of course).


Seems like I've seen strikeouts in comments before, but the regular "s" and "strike" tags don't survive posting. Rats.

If all else fails, grab a c... (Below threshold)

If all else fails, grab a chair, grab a wooden spoon, let's rock!

As usial the BRADY CAMPAIGN... (Below threshold)

As usial the BRADY CAMPAIGN gives low grades to states with a higer gun ownnership and low crime rate just like after FLORIDA passed its CASTLE DOCTRINE they were calling FLORIDA the GUNSHINE STATE becuase the BRAINLESS CAMPAIGN consists of blabbering nit-wits

Woo Hoo!! AZ is at the bot... (Below threshold)

Woo Hoo!! AZ is at the bottom of this list too! Yee Ha!! Next year we need to work harder and score a 1. ;o)

I am amazed how some states... (Below threshold)

I am amazed how some states even tell their citizens that the government will control their second amendment rights. Texas, Utah and NH would never let that happen. ww

As usual, the left cannot a... (Below threshold)

As usual, the left cannot allow facts to get in the way, especially when it comes to the Holy Grail of all leftist thought--the overturning of the 2nd amendment. Accomplish that and 300 million people could be "brought under control"-- for their own good, of course--in no time flat. (Although our leftist friends would face one hell of a shooting war first!)

Actually, DC had a tremendo... (Below threshold)

Actually, DC had a tremendous drop in violent crime last year, "coincidentally" after DC vs. Heller.

While driving through Arizo... (Below threshold)

While driving through Arizona, I stopped at a McDonalds and was a little surprised to see a guy standing in line, looking just like an old time cowboy complete with hat, boots, and a gun carried openly in a leather belt holster.

It's funny how people react when I tell them about it, they look all shocked and ask, did I feel threatened? Was it scary? I laugh and say that I've never felt safer in a McDonalds than I did that day.

Wow. Found something on DC.... (Below threshold)

Wow. Found something on DC. They make Louisiana look like complete amateurs.

DC Firearm death rate

I'm proud to see that Flori... (Below threshold)

I'm proud to see that Florida scores only 6 on the Brady Bunk List. If we all work together we can bring our rating even lower. I'm not sure that we can ever reach Utah's outstanding performance of ZERO, but it gives us a goal to work toward.

NH, Texas and Utahvs... (Below threshold)

NH, Texas and Utah

It's really about cultures. A culture that worships violent criminals tend to have more gun violence.

Oops, linky broken. Try thi... (Below threshold)

Oops, linky broken. Try this one?

Mouseover DC

Or copy and paste link to browser. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?cat=2&ind=113

Or hey, the rate for 2006 in DC, was 20.6

Test notest... (Below threshold)
Pakvi Roti:

Test notest

The Test, notest is mine. I... (Below threshold)
Pakvi Roti:

The Test, notest is mine. I tried using the <del></del> tags. It displays properly in the preview but not in the post.

If guns kill people, then..... (Below threshold)

If guns kill people, then...

- pencils miss spel words

- cars make people drive drunk

- spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat

Mycroft (2nd comment):<br /... (Below threshold)

Mycroft (2nd comment):
I did "check it out" - it took about 3 minutes - and you are simply wrong about population density. California is more densely populated than New Hampshire, but the ratio is 8:5, not 5:1. Check it out in the obvious place.

I was struck by the same ob... (Below threshold)
Paul Butzi:

I was struck by the same obvious problem with the Brady ratings as you discuss in 'Bang, Bang, you're safe'

I took the time to look up, not just homicides rates, but overall violent crime rates.

I think you'll find that if you do a linear regression to get the correlation between the Brady ratings and violent crime, you'll see that the higher the brady rating, the more violent crime - exactly what you propose.

The problem with this is that the correlation coefficient is very low - working from memory, it was something like 0.002. In other words, although higher brady ratings seem to be aligned with very slightly higher violent crime rates, the correlation is essentially nonexistent.

Yes, there are some states with high brady ratings and high violent crime rates. And there are some states with very low brady ratings and very low violent crimes rates. And there are also states with low Brady ratings and very high violent crime rates (e.g. SC and Tennesee). It's important to remember that the plural of anecdote is not data. When you plot ALL the data (except for the troublingly missing DC), you get get a blob. No correlation to speak of.

So, do I believe that stricter gun laws result in lower violent crime rates? No, I do not.
Do I believe that eliminating restrictions on gun possession and carry would immediately result in lower violent crime rates? Again, no, I do not.

I suspect the problem is that the argument for the 'deterrent' effect of having armed citizens walking around requires a much higher percentage than you get by just relaxing the laws and allowing carry. Too bad.

I'd be happy to forward on the excel spreadsheet with the statistics and the regression if you'd like to see it.

Think about the mass sho... (Below threshold)

Think about the mass shootings that the anti-gun crowd likes to bring up. How many of them happen in places where firearms are not restricted or banned? None of them.

Technically incorrect. The infamous Austin clock tower shooting happened in a place where firearms were legal and easily available. However, it was stopped, in part, by an armed and ready citizen, which might have had a discouraging effect on any copycats...

Now, how many mass shootings have taken place in unrestricted areas since then, or in areas where CCW legislation has passed? Zip. Zilch. Nada.

It's really about cultur... (Below threshold)

It's really about cultures. A culture that worships violent criminals tend to have more gun violence.

Or, a culture that has no examples of responsible self-defence tends to elevate irresponsible gun usage in it's place. If all you see or hear about is gangsters waving guns around, you tend to think that is the totality of what firearms are about. If you live somewhere like I do, where firearms possession is taken as a responsibility and where guns are not celebrated as a means to commit random violence, you think of a gun as a tool and not an icon.

ExurbanKevin--Charles Whitm... (Below threshold)
Mark Jones:

ExurbanKevin--Charles Whitman wasn't a "classic" mass shooter of the sort we see today. He took up a _sniper_ position, with cover and concealment. Perhaps because he anticipated receiving return fire. He did _not_ go strolling casually through a crowded venue shooting people as he went, like school and mall shooters do these days...if he had, he would have been stopped a lot sooner.

This is like how Trojan ann... (Below threshold)

This is like how Trojan annually releases STD safety ratings depending upon how aggressively contraceptive products are peddled. Guess where you're most likely to get an STD...Brigham Young University.


Mycroft: Populatio... (Below threshold)


Population densities by state:

In rank order, CA is 11th w/236 per square mile, and NH is 21st with 147. Those are roughly comparable when you consider that densities run from 1171 (NJ) to 1 (AK).

If you look at the pop density list, it looks eerily close to a rank order of Democratic political tendency, with a couple of fliers in the wrong places (FL, ME). But it doesn't seem to align well with the gun violence density in the original post. For instance, FL has higher population density than CA, but much lower gun violence. And high-violence Louisiana doesn't have very high population density.

In fact, the underlying problem seems to me to be that state-level data is not granular enough. For instance, in Massachusetts, the bulk of gun crime occurs in some small neighborhoods in greater Boston, and most of the other 200-odd towns have decades between shootings, if they have them at all. Even in NH, most of the gun crime that occurs, occurs in certain circumscribed urban areas. You can set a google alert to catch all the shootings in Rye and Deerfield and Tuftonboro, and it'll have cobwebs on it before it ever fires off a story.

I wonder if anybody's ever done a real geospatial analysis on this data. There's a PhD in it for some clever guy or gal who can dig up the data.

I wonder what the gun crime numbers are for the NLSY (National Longitudinal Study of Youth) and whether the Study has them geo-identified.

Wyoming is currently consid... (Below threshold)

Wyoming is currently considering dropping the provision that one must have a permit to conceal carry entirely. The bill passed the state House as a CoW (Committee of the Whole) vote. This was done last week. It is currently getting consideration by the state Senate. So far there has been no word on what is being done on it. If it passes there, the Governor may sign it. I kind of expect it to be vetoed, as the Governor is a big Obama supporter. Update: The bill is dead as of yesterday. It failed to get the necessary votes to bring it out of committee.

I'm going to play devil's a... (Below threshold)

I'm going to play devil's advocate. (I'm actually pretty sympathetic to the right to bear arms.)

Can you rule out the possibility that the causality is backwards -- California doesn't have a high violence rate because of gun control; California has gun control because of a high violence rate?

It's not exactly a case for the effectiveness of gun control laws, but it does undercut the case for the effectiveness of relaxing gun control laws.

A very useful but very poli... (Below threshold)
George B:

A very useful but very politically incorrect product would be a car navigation system that showed crime rate vs. zip code or other small geographic area. I would expect that the high crime areas would be well correlated with high population density plus low income with especially high crime rates in African American neighborhoods. Not afraid to visit downtown areas packed with rich people, but I never take the Martin Luther King Blvd. exit in an unfamiliar city.

Woo Hoo arizona places on t... (Below threshold)

Woo Hoo arizona places on the bottom of the list of the brainless campaign and they have a lower crime rate most likly as always with narrowed minded liberals

I lost 70 points moving fro... (Below threshold)

I lost 70 points moving from CA to Vegas. Nice!

The finer-grained analysis ... (Below threshold)
Phil Turmel:

The finer-grained analysis has been done, back in 1994, by John Lott at the University of Chicago. He used county-by-county data from the FBI uniform crime reporting datasets. I read the original peer-reviewed paper back then when I was participating in the grass-roots push for "shall-issue" CCW rules in South Carolina.

Lott went on to publish an expanded version as the controversial book "More Guns, Less Crime" (1995). The book claimed a statistically significant relationship between % of a county's population with CCWs and reductions in violent crime, plus a slight inverse relationship with property crimes. Counties with higher population densities tended to have greater reductions in violent crime, with more statistical significance.

Interestingly, the analyses included effects over multiple years, and took into account the changes in CCW laws in different states over those time frames. Lott also took advantage of the long time frame to show that the %CCW significance persisted in a variety of economic scenarios.

Lott also published an examination of gun-control laws in particular, called "The Bias Against Guns" (2003). I highly recommend both books.

Wait until California relea... (Below threshold)

Wait until California releases 40,000 criminals because the democrat legislature wasted the money on illegals.

I am buying guns!






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