Those Who Think Like Christopher Evans Must Explain Two Things

Writing at the notorious Cleveland Plain Dealer, one Christopher Evans builds on the Chardon High School shootings to demand “more gun control.

Those like Evans would do well to try to explain two things. The first thing is restrictive gun control law’s track record. Without exception the imposition of every existing gun control law has been followed by a sharp increase in homicide, violent crime, and every other variety of crime.

U.S. Homicide Rates, 1885 to 2010

World wide, more than 24,000 restrictive gun laws have failed to reduce violent crime; or to maintain the violent crime rates at the same level. In the United States more than 2,200 restrictive gun laws have been followed by a sharp increase in crime. On the National level, that has happened, not once, but twice.

A rash of labor troubles resulted in 28 severely restrictive state laws passed in 1904, and taking effect in late 1904, or early 1905. The result can be clearly seen if you click on the graphic and examine the homicide rate for that period. Note the near perpendicular rise, from just over 1 homicide per 100,000 population to more than 5. Then note the notch as labor troubles subsided, followed by another sharp increase triggered by New York’s Sullivan law.

Additional restrictive gun laws were added until the homicide rate reached 10 per 100,000 in 1929. Sharply curtailed law enforcement funding resulted in much relaxed enforcement of restrictive gun laws, and the homicide rate subsided, reaching a post Sullivan law low of 4.6 per 100,000 population in 1962 and 1963.

Then note the increase after the entertainment industry funded the gun control drive that resulted in the Gun Control Act of 1968. And the near vertical increase in the homicide rate starting in 1969. By 1974 the official homicide rate was 9.8. The “false peak” in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, when the homicide rate officially peaked at 9.8, was a result of the drive to pass the “Brady Bill.”

As restrictive gun laws have slowly been repealed, the homicide rate has slowly declined. The 2010 rate was 4.8 per 100,000, the lowest homicide rate the United States has seen since 1963 – and except for two years before the 1960’s gun control drive, the lowest homicide rate since 1905.

So Christopher Evans must explain why more than 22,400 restrictive gun laws have ALL, without exception, been followed by a sharp increase in violent crime. Those laws have been imposed by towns, by cities, by states, and by nations. And without exception, the amount of increase in homicide and violent crimes is dependent on the severity of the law, and the strength of enforcement.

But that is not all that Christopher Evans and his fellow gun control advocates must explain away to justify their support for laws that have resulted in more than 600,000 excess deaths in the United States alone.

He must also explain away the results of every permissive gun law: from every law that grudgingly allows a law abiding citizen a license to carry to laws that require citizens to possess a gun: have been followed by sharply reduced violent crime numbers and sharply lower violent crime rates.

Even pro-gun court decisions have a limiting effect on violent crime. The District of Columbia lost the “Heller Decision” in 1998. In 1997, the District of Columbia’s homicide rate was 30.8 and rising, but in 2009 the homicide rate was down to 24.2.

But of course, asking Christopher Evans to explain the reasoning behind his position in favor of another killer law is asking for horsefeathers. Evans cannot even explain why he hates an inanimate object so much that he is willing to sacrifice 20,000 more lives every year to rid the United States of guns.


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A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.
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