People are violent even without guns

(I find that I’m too thrifty not to get the most mileage out of my writing.  People who get my newsletter — and if you don’t, you can fill out the subscription form to the right — will have seen this post already, but I couldn’t resist a slightly wider audience for it.)

I wrote the other day about the extraordinary violence in England, a level of violence that increased dramatically after the Labour Party outlawed almost all guns.  After reading that post, a friend send me a link to an article by Tom Gresham, writing at the Tactical Wire.  Gresham’s article bounces off of Bob Costas’ inane little homily asserting that Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, would be alive if guns were outlawed.  After pointing out the most obvious fact, which is that Belcher could easily have killed Perkins with his bare hands, Gresham gets to the heart of the matter, which is the way the anti-gun Left abuses data.

Arthur Fellig photo of suicide 1936Gresham first tackles Costa’s claim that, even if guns aren’t used to kill innocent bystanders, they drive suicide rates.  Gresham has one word to demolish that argument:  Japan.  Japan’s laws almost completely prohibit guns.  Nevertheless, says Gresham, “the suicide rate in Japan approaches (sometimes exceeds) twice that of the U.S. No guns in Japan, but twice the rate of suicides of the U.S., which has perhaps 300 million guns.”

Gresham also points to a stunning statistic about America, one I hadn’t known.  In the 20 years since most states passed laws mandating issuance of concealed carry permits to qualified applicants,”the murder rate in the United States has fallen dramatically.”

We now have three interesting facts:  (1) Mostly gun-less Japan has twice the suicide rate of America; (2) mostly gun-less Britain has almost five times as much violent crime as armed America, a rate that increased dramatically when Britain banned most weapons; and (3) when American states enabled law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, gun crime decreased, rather than increased.

Lion lying down with lambWe’ve talked before at the Bookworm Room about the fact that correlation is not the same as causation.  Those three facts taken together, though, indicate that it’s reasonable to assume a connection between guns and violent crime.  The connection, though, isn’t the one the Left wants us to draw, which is that guns increase the violent crime and suicide rate.  Rather, the connection is that an armed society is one that sees fewer violent crimes and fewer suicides.

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  • Jose

    According to the WHO, In 2011 Japan’s suicide rate was 36/100,000 for males.
    The latest number for in that article for US males comes from 2005 when the rate for US males was 18/100,000.
    I don’t know the particulars, but I believe it is impossible for ordinary citizens to own firearms in Japan.  I can offer 2 anecdotes that relate…
    1.  A couple years ago there was a news report on the popularity of firearms tourism with Japanese citizens.  Many of them travel to Hawaii and go to the public shooting ranges, some of which are located in shopping malls.
    2.  A fellow veteran who did a tour in Japan told me that US military firearms can only be shipped on international flights.  When a service member and his weapons deploy to another country, the firearms must be driven to an international airport for an outbound flight – no internal connecting flights allowed.  There is no legal provision for air travel in Japan with weapons.
    In contrast, in this country, even now it is legal to take a firearm as hold baggage on any flight.

  • Jose

    Tom Gresham is a great advocate for the 2nd Amendment, and also a good TV and radio host.  His Guns and Gear program is available on Youtube.  I download podcasts of his radio program to play on my daily commute.  
    Finally, I offer this video from The Onion which illustrates the inability of the mainstream video to place blame where it belongs.  You could apply it to pretty much any facet of multiculturalism.  The sad thing is some of the comments prove that many people can’t tell it is a send-up.

  • Jose

    – should read “mainstream media

  • Ymarsakar

    Those Japanese laws also apply to swords often times, btw. aka shinken or sharp steel swords.

    I would assume there is a connection between increasing crime and increasing Leftist rhetorical power. Which is more apparent now than before. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    Not only does Japan ban the ownership of handguns and rifles (not shotguns), but they make citizen register any knife with greater-than a 2-inch blade with the police.


  • Ymarsakar

    “Rather, the connection is that an armed society is one that sees fewer violent crimes and fewer suicides.”

    The point is, the Left doesn’t want a society with fewer violent crimes and fewer suicides.

    People should never miss that all critical note. All too often people get fooled and misdirected by Leftist rhetoric into thinking that if they could prove that guns would make society safer, the Left would agree with them. The reason why the Left doesn’t want guns, isn’t because they think guns increase crimes and other negative issues. The reason why they don’t want guns is because their highest echelon leaders believe in the same data as those here at Bookworm Room believes in.

    It’s only the cannon fodder that attempts to believe otherwise.


  • Ron19

    Jose #1:

    Before you travel to another state, go talk to your favorite gun shop about travel rules and permissions.

    I’ve read that New York has a custom designed gotcha to confiscate your legally transported gun, and they will destroy it before you have a chance to try to get it back, and will levy a heavy fine.     

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left is very violent, and they say they don’t use guns. Probably because they would cap themselves in the balls and brain if you gave them one, as they swung it around wildly thinking they could use the evil magic totem to cast dark spells upon their ideological foes.


  • BombthePeasants

    when are you going to get your own lead candy dispenser, and heat up? The apocalypse clock is ticking…
    I want everyone to take their defense in their own hands, no pun intended.