Does Gun Control Stop Gun Violence?
Posted by Dan Draney on February 28, 2010
Ryne noted the post by Jay Tea at Wizbang poking holes in the Brady Campaign‘s latest report card ranking states for their fervor in implementing gun control laws. A quick comparison of the murder rates by state with the Brady rankings shows several highly rated states have higher gun homicide rates than “less safe” states that don’t toe the Brady line and allow their citizens to own these dangerous objects:
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.
That made me wonder what the correlation is between Brady’s gun control rankings and gun homicide rates. Plotting the gun homicide rates against the rankings from the Brady Campaign for each state gives the chart at the right. Clearly, the Brady ranking is useless as a measure of the risk of being a victim of gun violence, as there is no correlation between the two. The states ranked above 40 by the Brady Campaign averaged 2.75 gun homicides per 100,000 people, while the remaining 42 states averaged 2.89.
The Brady Campaign’s press release doesn’t explicitly claim that their rankings represent “safety.” Although if tight gun control laws don’t make you safer, what’s the justification for them?
At least there have been reports of violence prevented with gun-free zones.
UPDATE: What’s up with Lousiana (10.13) anyway? Unmentioned, but obvious: There is no significant difference in the averages of the Brady Top 8 and Bottom 42.