Gun Control Actually Increases Gun Violence

guns SC Gun Control Actually Increases Gun Violence

The atrocity committed in Connecticut last week is still to me incomprehensible and ineffable. I can find no adequate words to express my grief for all of those affected by such an inhumane act. As the joys of anticipation of Christmas for those families were dashed and replaced with the profoundest grief at losing a loved one, especially the children, the weight of their sorrow has hung over all of us.

As a sentient people, we should be repulsed, angered, saddened, and outraged at such a heinous act. The challenge is to channel the emotions and the feelings that have distressed us, into actionable ways to address such violence. Our feelings and emotions instinctively call for reduction or elimination of the tool of choice for the perpetrator. Yet we must, when reaching for solutions, transcend our feelings, and reason through logically what is viable, what will work, and what won’t.

The immediate call for more gun control is instinctive, yet must be approached logically rather than emotionally, based on empirical data. And there is a lot of it available.

The city of Chicago currently has the most restrictive gun control laws on the books, has been declared a “gun free zone” where handguns are banned, yet it is the most bloody city in the world in terms of gun-related deaths. The city averages 40 deaths per month from guns, and is nearing 500 for the year. Chicago’s murder rate is 19.4 per 100,000, which is by far the highest rate in the nation, at nearly 3 times New York which is at 6, and nearly 2 ½ times Los Angeles’ 7.5. In fact, Chicago ranks as the number one deadliest Alpha city (significant urban center in the global economic system) on the planet. Since it is no longer possible to legally own guns within city limits, the only ones who still have them are criminals. It doesn’t appear gun control works for Chicago. In fact, the city illustrates how correct the aphorism is that if guns are outlawed, only the outlaws have guns. The law-abiding citizens do not.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2003 thoroughly analyzed fifty-one in-depth studies dealing with gun control. Those studies included everything from the effectiveness of gun bans to laws requiring gun locks. From their objective analysis, they “found no discernible effect on public safety by any of the measures we commonly think of as ‘gun control.’”

In 2005, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine conducted a similar analysis of extant gun laws across the country. They arrived at a similar conclusion, as the abstract for their research concludes, “that evidence for the effectiveness of a given firearms law on an outcome is insufficient.” After reviewing over fifty different gun control laws, and coming to the conclusion that their effectiveness on an outcome is “insufficient” is euphemism for “they had no discernible effect.”

Some have argued for a so-called “assault weapons ban,” which would restrict firearms clip size for ammunition, among other things. We had such a federal law on the books from 1994 through 2004. A 2004 University of Pennsylvania study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice to ascertain the effects of the ban, revealed, “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

So-called “gun free zones” obviously don’t work either, as Chicago clearly demonstrates, and the very concept is ludicrous. Every shooting in a school is done illegally per federal law (1995 Gun Free School Zones Act). For those intent on inflicting harm, nothing’s quite so appealing as a gun free zone, for they know all the law-abiding citizens are going to be compliant, giving the perpetrator a veritable shooting gallery to work with, unfettered and undeterred from his mayhem by a legally armed citizen. In short, criminals aren’t the least deterred by gun free zones, and if anything, they’re likely to consider any signage indicating a gun free zone as a welcome sign.

Since gun control doesn’t work, let’s look at increasing the ability of citizens to protect and defend themselves. Simi Valley, California is consistently listed among the safest of American cities. They have all of California’s gun control laws in force, but locals know it as the home to a lot of police officers from neighboring communities. Nothing like trained and armed homeowners to keep a community virtually crime free.

In 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia, witnessing an increase in local crime, did something counterintuitive to the likes of Chicago and New York: they passed an ordinance requiring heads of households, with some exceptions, to own a handgun. Crime dropped precipitously, and has stayed down. So much so, that Family Circle selected the town as one of the ten best in the nation to raise a family in.

Our problems with violence and mass shootings have much more to do with cultural and societal issues, mental illness, and a lack of ability on the part of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Guns are not the root of the problem. Our nation was brought to its knees eleven years ago by nineteen fanatics armed with box-cutters. The tool of destruction is not the perpetrator; the person using or misusing it is.

Gun control has proven impotent in curbing the problem, and “gun free zones” are absurd, since they practically advertise themselves to be potential venues of mayhem and violence. More gun control is not a solution, but only serves as a Band-Aid to our emotions so we feel like we’re doing something. The problems are much deeper in our society than Band-Aids can cure.

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.  He can be reached at

Photo credit: Gregory Wild-Smith (Creative Commons)

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  1. utahexplorer says:

    Look at what it has done for Australia. Every facet of crime has skyrocketed since they turned in their weapons. Of course, the bad guys didn't! See a trend?

    • The guns grab as far as politicians are concerned have nothing to do with the gun violence, It's only the sheep that can't think for themselves. That were brain washed in or Public school system that believe it can make a difference. For the politicians it's the power grab. We are getting awfully close to civil war in this country and Obama and the rest of his Communist know it and they know they are target number one if it does come to civil war. Our Founding Fathers knew as long as the population is armed the Government can only go so far. I think the minute they try to confiscate our guns as some of these looneys are calling for the was will start. I only hope the Military won't back Obama. He doesn't deserve their or our loyalty. He's a coward that's why he leads from behind. He would never take any chance himself. Someday in the future the truth will come out. We will find he wasn't a US Citizen and that's why he's been hiding his records. They prove he isn't a citizen. This foolishness over strickter gun controls won't come close to solving the problem. In neither the 2 instances lately neither shooter obtained their weapons legally and neither was using assault weapons either. The only people who pay attention to the law are law abiding citizens. Anyone intent on killing people have already decided to break the law do you really think that one more law is going to matter? I believe that they really teach the students that someone will tell them everything. They don't teach logic in school anymore. They don't teach students to find their own answers. I heard stories that if you didn't have the same opinion as your professor he would fail you. When I was working I noticed that most young people had to be told what to do all the time. I don't know how many times of told some college kid to do something and I get the answer I don't know how to do that you're going to have to show me. My question is this who did Einstein ask? They're not taught to lead they are taught to follow. That way they are much more controllable. Socialist don't want to be questioned and someone who needs to be told what to do seldom questions. They don't know enough to question. Discovery and Advancement are only achieved if you can think for yourself. That's why in the US short history of 230 plus years has done more toward the advancement of mankind than any other civilization since the beginning of time and it was possible because we are a democratic republic under a Capitalistic system. That is the only system that encourages and rewards risk taking and hard work. Most rich people got that way through hard work and taking chances. There are very few small business owners that work less than a 60 hour week. I believe that small business owners earn what they make. People who complain that they make it on the poor workers backs are either jealous or blind. Most workers who same this aren't willing to work the hours necessary to become rich so when a fool like Obama comes around and says he's going to spread the wealth well they see dollar signs. I don't know any successful businessman that doesn't work between 60 and 90 hours a week. That's what it takes to become wealthy all this non-sense about sharing the wealth is a smoke screen. Did anyone see any wealth sharing in Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, or Iran. The only one's that got rich were the elite. That would be in our Obama and his gang. The rest of the people following him are a result of our Socialist Public School System brainwashing our children. They are taught to follow the leader instead of excelling. That's why they are trying to do away with awards like valedictorian or in sports giving trophies to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place instead they give a trophy to everyone for participating. They say it's so the other kids won't feel bad. Life's a bitch and then you die. The sooner kids find that out the better. You're going to end up with a generation of robots that only do what they are told. I think we are almost there. I hope it's not too late to reverse this non-sense but I'm afraid civil war is going to be the only way. It's ashamed that the people can't see the forest through the trees. I guess the Communist/Socialist and Marxist finally have gotten their way and destroyed this country. All we can do now is pray that God changes his mind and decides to help us.

  2. mr_bad_example says:

    i have no signs on my door, i live in a condo, but my car has "NRA Patron Member" decals on it. i bet my neighbors like that. there are 18 units in my building, my car is a little "smart" and is very noticeable. i've lived here over 22 years and never heard of any crime in this building. potential crooks can walk though the parking lot, see the smart with NRA decals, and then can guess which resident is the "gun nut", then walks to the next building. my neighbors all like me, wave and say hi. i've never had any vandalism to my NRA decal'd cars. knowing that there is one gun owner in a building can be a deterrent to crime.

  3. Sick and Tired says:

    Why is there not more of a clamor for the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment? Is it not to prevent a repressive government from oppressing the people and for the people to overthrow that government?

    • Because in school they don't teach the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I bet they barely mention it. It would be politically incorrect to talk about it. Besides the liberals believe that it's only talking about individuals that belong to military units possessing firearms and not the citizenry. Our children are being brainwashed. They are being taught that climate change is a proven fact instead of a theory that is flaky. They are taught that the earth has rights. They don't teach them that God gave Man dominion over the earth and all it's creatures. Instead they are taught that everything has rights that trump man. That's non-sense. This is being taught to advance Agenda 21 and all the other treaties that the UN are pushing. All to take control of all the resources in our country and put it under control of the UN. I've said it before if you are a business owner that has to layoff people because of Obama. The first one's to go would be the Obama supporters. You know if the roles were reversed they would do it in a second. They are for silencing any opposition. They would change the constitution to limit speech to only what's acceptable. They are getting close. Obama may be able to get enough liberals on the court to swing far to the left. For what those that voted for Obama brought down on us fire every single one. Then they will see what Obama is bringing down on us.

  4. Here are some statistics I compilated some time ago. I lived in Switzerland several years and always felf extremely safe there. Now I know, it was not just an impression.

    "Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a peoples' militia for its national defense.
    The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.
    In some 2001 statistics, it is noted that there are about 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or "selective fire") stored at private homes, mostly SIG SG 550 models. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession, all selective-fire weapons having been converted to semi-automatic operation only. In addition, there are several hundred thousand other semi-automatic small arms classified as carbines. The total number of firearms in private homes is estimated minimally at 1.2 million to 3 million.
    Government statistics for the year 2010 records 40 homicides involving firearms, out of the 53 cases of homicide in 2010. The annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population was 0.70. The annual rate of homicide by guns per 100,000 population was 0.52."

    Please feel free to forward these stats/

  5. Edwardkoziol says:

    Would someone be dumb enough go to a police convention and try to rob them,I doubt it because they know the officers would have guns.Now you take a convention with signs no firearms allowed all over the place to me that is an invitation to crime.The liberal commie democraps claim that police are going to protect you but just think by the time they got there someone could be dead.Take Newtown,Conn. if that principal was trained and carrying instead of lunging at Adam Lanza she could have shot his balls off.

    • You are correct about the labeling of the Democraps as such, however, you are way off the plantation when you infer that Lanza had anything remotely resembling "balls" as he took out his anger against defenseless children who, even if they did have access to guns, would have not been very effective in using them. Hence, no balls to shoot at.

      The whole situation is extremely sad and My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.

  6. With the latest of the left trying to blurt out all of our gun toting communities on a map in New York, it could be a good thing. Because now all the theives know where they can go and NOT get shot braking in.

  7. I'm from Canada and live in Canada. We have gun control and let me tell you this, I can get a gun on the black market here quite easily. I can buy illegal weapons in Toronto and mail them anywhere in Canada. Anybody in Edmonton and Calgary Alberta can easily obtain banned fire arms. Banning or gun control does not work!

  8. If the Second Amendment is not to protect against a tyrannical government, please educate us as to what it IS for.

  9. JacktheFAC says:

    Nobody loves unarmed citizens more than criminals and dictatorial politicians. A few years ago Australia passed strict gun control laws and people turned in their private fire arms. The next year violent crimes increased over 400%. Why? Because the people no longer had the means to defend themselves. Switzerland has little or no violent crime. Why? Because all men are armed and can defend themselves and their homes. Several years New York passed the Smith Act to disarm its citizens to "cut down on crime." Now crime is out of control because the people no longer can defend themselves. What will no happen in our schools when terrorists armed with AK-47s storm the schools and shoot up the students and no one is there to fight back?

  10. The title is a little dishonest. There is no proof that gun control increases violence.
    You talk of transcending our feelings and yet your feelings for guns skew your own ability to reason through this situation logically.
    As for Chicago, A single city ban is pointless when anyone who wants to buy one can go outside the city limits and get one with no background check at a gun show or through a private sale. Just shows that this situation needs to be addressed on a national level. BTW wasn't the ban deemed unconstitutional back in 2010?

  11. On the CDC report, this is from that report
    "The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) "
    Finding insufficient evidence is NOT a "euphemism for 'they had no discernible effect.'”
    Their report counters the author's spin
    Then the high capacity mags comment. The study showed that increased use of large capacity mags (LCMs) increased and counter the reduction of assault weapons used in gun violence. In other words the ban wasn't long enough to remove LCMs.
    "Nonetheless, reducing criminal use of AWs and especially LCMs could have nontrivial effects on gunshot victimizations. The few available studies suggest that attacks with semiautomatics – including AWs and other semiautomatics equipped with LCMs – result in more shots fired, more persons hit, and more wounds inflicted per victim than do attacks with other firearms."

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