John Bolton

John Bolton


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Liberal Statistician: "I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise."

But it doesn't matter. Keeping law abiding Americans from owning guns is the only and reflexive solution Dems have. They often forgive criminals who USE guns!

We must have gun control!  That's all we hear every time there is a mass shooting. But we already have gun laws and in many cases, it doesn't seem to make the slightest difference.

If guns were the problem, why did Obama forgive so many criminals who used guns or violated gun laws? If more gun laws are what's needed, why did prosecutions of criminals under existing gun laws drop dramatically under Obama?

Cities like Chicago have the strictest gun control laws in the country yet there are killings every week.

Liberals clamoring for more gun control should be forced to answer these questions before they further limit the Constitutional rights of law abiding Americans.

Consider this:

I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

By Leah Libresco October 3
Washington Post
Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn't even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?

However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.
If Democrats who constantly preach about gun control spent even a fraction of their time promoting mental health or combating gang violence we might make some progress. But when was the last time you heard Obama or Hillary talk about the scourge of gang violence that has unleashed a genocide against black people in our inner cities?

Trump is the only President to take on gang violence directly with an effective program.

And what good are more gun laws if the next Democrat president is so desperate for votes that he or she will continue to pardon gun offenders?

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