Handgun Control, Inc., DBA the Brady Campaign has released its ‘brady numbers’ and once again people who should know better get taken for suckers.
so far, the most conspicuous victim is law professor Eugene Volokh, who fell for it hook line and sinker, in an opinion piece titled “Zero correlation between state homicide rate and state gun laws” and is linked above.l
Brady does what the FBI has for many years warned against, making comparisons without taking all the factors into account. Here is what the FBI Uniform Crime report warning for 2008:
Each year when Crime in the United States is published, many entities—news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our Nation—use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.
There is a great deal more which you can read at this link.
Briefly, a legitimate comparison of crime rates and gun laws in various jurisdictions must take into account social, economic, and demographic factors in addition to the cumulative effects of local, state, and federal gun laws.
It takes at least 40 hours of work to properly compile data on one set of State laws and crime rates. It takes much longer than that if city ordinances must be taken into consideration. It would take up to 6,000 hours of boring, repetitious labor poring over incomplete and often deliberately misleading data to compare each of the fifty State with only two more states: New Hampshire with Vermont and Maine for example. It would take far longer to do a proper comparison of the 2,500 possible combinations of States comparative gun laws and crime rates.
Meaning the “Brady number” is as valid as the Bode-Titus law (rule) in predicting exoplanet orbits.
All of which proves once again the con man’s adage that “folks that think they are smart are the easiest conned.” I regret that Mr. Volokh, who is a nice guy as well as smart, was taken in.