I saw an interesting article over at Daily Wire about a study on guns and crime produced by the CDC. It’s very interesting to see what a study from the secular left has to say about gun-ownership by law-abiding Americans, and the effect of self-defense on crime rates.
A key federal agency worked with gun control advocates to bury a study that showed law-abiding firearms owners use them to protect themselves millions of times per year, according to a report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deleted a reference to the study, which it had commissioned, after gun-control advocates said it made passing new gun laws more difficult. The pro-Second Amendment site The Reload reported that the White House and powerful Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin helped arrange a series of meetings at which the gun control advocates convinced the agency to hide the study.
“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant, head of the Gun Violence Archive, wrote to CDC officials after a meeting. “It is highly misleading, is used out of context and I honestly believe it has zero value – even as an outlier point in honest DGU discussions.”
When there’s a conflict between gun ban advocates, who are driven by feelings, and law-abiding gun owners, who are driven by facts, who wins?
Bryant’s email was one of a handful obtained by The Reload which illustrate how gun control lobbyists were triggered by the study by Florida State University Criminology Professor Gary Kleck.
[…]Bryant complained that Kleck’s estimate was “misinformation” and should be eliminated from the CDC’s website because gun-rights advocates were using it as ammunition for their Second Amendment arguments.
The CDC initially stood by the study and listed it in the “Fast Facts: Firearm Violence Prevention” portion of its website. But after a September 15, 2021, virtual meeting with gun control advocates, the agency assured them it would revise the section in 2022, according to a December 10, 2021, email obtained by The Reload.
When science facts conflict with secular left left feelings, then government policy adapts to the feelings and ignores the facts.
The peer-reviewed research
Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.
- The Lott book was published by the University of Chicago Press (now in its 3rd edition)
- The Malcolm book was published by Harvard University Press
Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.
Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).
And the result of the 1997 gun ban:
The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.
[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.
I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above, compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.