December 2013

Gun control nuts and the NRA – but I repeat myself – love to point to Chicago as a town with tough gun control laws and a high homicide rate. There, they sententiously declare, is an example of what happens when you do not let law-abiding citizens arm themselves to the teeth.

It is pathetically bad reasoning.

If your argument against gun control is based on the murder rate in a city vis-a-vis its gun laws, intellectual honesty demands that you look at every city.

Take New York – the  city with the nation’s toughest gun control laws. In 2013 (with 2 days to go) there have been 332 murders. The year will see the fewest murders since 1923 (as long as records have been kept) – down from a high of 2254 1n 1990.

New York is so safe that, even before 2013’s decline, it was 53rd on the list of cities by murder rate.

Even Chicago is losing its luster as the NRA’s poster child for the negative effects of gun control. Indianapolis has surpassed the Second City’s murder rate.

In fact, as bad as the murder rate in Chicago is, in 2012 it trailed that of 12 other cities with populations over 250,000 – seven of which where in states with permissive gun laws.

In fairness, it must be noted that these statistics – while they completely undermine the logic of the NRA’s position – do not, by themselves, “prove” that gun control lowers the murder rate. That would take a far longer analysis.

I mention this to point out that the NRA can only make its argument sound reasonable by cherry-picking the facts.

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