(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.
Gresham 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.
We’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.