Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gun Control Laws and Reason Magazine

Reason magazine has a column here arguing that stricter gun control laws won’t stop mass killings.

I’m not sure what the point of this article is.  Since random mass shootings are so unpredictable and uncontrollable we should do nothing to stop gun violence?  Is that the idea?

As the article points out, mass shootings are only a small fraction of total gun violence.  How about these realities:

European countries with strict gun laws don’t just have a much reduced rate of gun violence, their total murder rate in about a third of the murder rate here:  In the U.S. we have 4.8 murders for every 100,000 people.  In the United Kingdom the rate is 1.2; in France 1.1; in Germany 0.8; in Greece 1.5.  This gives lie to the oft-repeated comment that if people can’t kill with a gun, they will find another way.  Maybe not.

And while the rate of gun murders has dropped in the U.S. according to CDC data, the number of hospital admissions for shooting victims has gone from 20,844 in 2001 to 31,759 in 2011.  More people are getting shot; we just have better trauma care now.

I am really curious.  Unlike politicians and the NRA, I don’t think that Reason Magazine has a financial stake in stopping gun control laws.  So why this article setting up a straw man to argue against?

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