Third Party & Independents Archives

More Guns, Less Crime

It’s a war zone here in Florida, that is, if you read the Brady Campaign press releases. We’re an “F+” state because we hate our children and want to kill them all with handguns, but the statistics tell a different story.

Today's selection from the Palm Beach Post:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's crime rate dropped for the 14th straight year in 2005 to its lowest mark since 1971 because of tougher laws, increased financial support from the Legislature and law-abiding citizens with guns, Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday.

"This report shows that staying tough on crime works," said Bush. "Law abiding citizens that have guns for protection actually probably are part of the reason we have a lower crime rate."

The crime rate, compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, decreased 3.7 percent from 4,855 crimes per 100,000 people in 2004 to 4,677 crimes per 100,000 people last year.

Last year Bush signed a bill that allows people who feel threatened on the street, in a bar, at a ball game - or just about anywhere - to "meet force with force" to defend themselves without fear of being prosecuted.

"You send a real powerful signal when you know the citizen has a good potential of being armed and doesn't have to back off anymore," said John Birch, president of the Illinois-based Concealed Carry, Inc.

Opponents, however, have said the idea would legalize shootouts in the streets.

A telephone message left for comment after hours with the The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. was not immediately returned (Go figure; emphasis mine).

"The people that commit the majority of the crimes are habitual offenders," Bush said. "They're the ones that commit a crime after crime after crime."

Which is why we need tougher sentences for habitual offenders. Too often you hear about a young girl taken from this world by a depraved sex offender. And every time we ask why their exhaustive criminal history hasn't kept them behind bars.

Why is John Couey currently on trial for the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl when he never should have been out of prison in the first place? If it wasn't enough that he broke into the home of a sleeping 12-year-old to cup her mouth and kiss her, maybe the last straw should have been the time he masturbated in front of a 5-year-old girl and had her touch his genitals. Forget the fact he was convicted for burglary and illegally concealing a handgun, that's the small stuff on his rap sheet. After committing unspeakable acts to two young girls on two separate occasions, why was he allowed to be around a third - a third who was raped, murdered and buried alive?

But I digress. We know Florida has a long way to go, but making it easier for law-abiding citizens (you know, those of us who don't expose ourselves to young girls) to possess firearms is a giant step in the right direction.

Posted by Scottie at July 11, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #166711

I think you’re right, Scottie. I think all felonies should be death penalty cases. Let’s really get tough on crime.

If we kill all the criminals it’ll be a perfect world.

Posted by: gergle at July 12, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #166713

Scottie, I believe law abiding citizens should be allowed to bear arms if trained in their defensive use. However, Jeb Bush’s statement that armed citizenry is reducing crime is just not born out by the stats. As the quote states, crime in Fla. has dropped for 14 years running, but folks have been carrying arms legally only a year.

Hence, logically, there is no evidence whatsoever, from what is said, that this year’s drop is not just a continuation of the 14 year trend, and has nothing to do with citizen’s bearing arms.

This is the kind of playing fast and loose with figures and logic so typical of the Bush youngsters. I don’t recal daddy Bush playing fast and loose with logic and stats like that. He just flip flopped outright, but he was forthright in doing so - (“Read my Lips, no New Taxes” and then raised taxes.)

Now there is statistical evidence of drops in certain kinds of crime in Texas, like street robberies and assaults as a result of citizens packing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #166714

Also, there is no evidence of more guns reducing crime. Only that carrying them in public reduces certain kinds of crime in Texas. Nothing in your statements or Jeb’s indicate that there has even been an increase in gun ownership in Fla. Perhaps the people carrying them in public already owned them in the first place, hence, there aren’t more guns. Just more visible guns.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #166724

David is right, the stats don’t really prove that the new gun law has reduced crime. In the book Freakonomics, Steven Levitt statistically shows that less gun control doesn’t really reduce crime. There has simply been a downtrend in crime over the past decade and a half. Most of the trend can be attributed simply to a shift in the makeup of the population.

The law that Governor Bush signed is a good one, however. Hopefully it will help to prevent the heart-breaking cases that you hear about with people being prosecuted for self-defense.

Posted by: A Member of the Faithful Lads at July 12, 2006 2:12 AM
Comment #166744

The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right (not the privilege) to bear arms. It isn’t for the government to allow. The supreme law of the land already does that.

“As the quote states, crime in Fla. has dropped for 14 years running, but folks have been carrying arms legally only a year.”

People have been carrying guns legally in Florida since 1987. Violent crime started dropping immediately.
There is a great deal of evidence that more guns reduce crime. Everywhere that concealed carry has been legalized has seen a drop in crime. While not the only factor in crime reduction, concealed carry is significant.
Criminals are inherently cowards, picking on those they perceive as weak. If they think a potential victim is capable of fighting back they will leave them alone. Concealed carry laws make the criminal’s job much more dangerous, which is a good thing.

Leavitt also goes after gun control laws, proving that they don’t work to reduce crime. He uses the same statistics to prove , or rather disprove, both sides of the argument.
I recommend you read “More Guns, Less Crime” by John Lott.

Posted by: traveller at July 12, 2006 7:56 AM
Comment #166752

Suggest someone pass along the following to Gov. Bush:

2005 ratio of Violent Crimes per Thousand Inhabitants:

Miami - 15.7
Tampa - 14.2
Orlando - 17.4

Not bad, but how about the two cities with the toughest gun laws in the country?

New York - 6.7
San Francisco - 8.1

Maybe if Florida passed banned the possession of handguns completely, it would become as safe as NYC and SF

Posted by: Chuch H at July 12, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #166754

2nd Amendment violations are all based on one thing, fear.
I thought giving up rights in order to “feel” safer was wrong?

The lefts fear has allowed this issue to become a thorn in their side and cost them elections. It need not be that way either.
A better understanding of this issue and a good PR campaign would probably help even things out.

Posted by: kctim at July 12, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #166802

the Traveller, the 2nd Amemndment does not preclude the government from indicating in what manner, location, and useage of firearms the militia may exercise. They have the right to bear them, but, the government and Supreme Court upheld the right of government to determine how, where, and for what purpose.

That’s the tough nut the NRA has been spending 100’s of millions trying to surmount.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #166803

the Traveller said: “People have been carrying guns legally in Florida since 1987. Violent crime started dropping immediately.”

Mind providing some evidence or link to support that statement? It was my understanding Texas was the first state to legalize citizen concealed weapon licensing. And I don’t remember that having taken place back in the 80’s, but in the late 90’s.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #166816

Georgia has permitted concealed carry for almost forever. So have other states. Maybe Texas was the first state where the liberals managed to out law concealed carry to legalize it again.
Again, there are two towns that in the early 90s pass gun ordinances. Downers Grove, IL passed an ordinance that no one in the city limits could have a gun. Kennesaw, GA passed an ordinance that everyone in the city limits had to have a gun. A third neutral party, can’t remember who, kept track of the crime in the two towns for the year that Kennesaw’s ordinance was enforce.
Kennesaw saw a 20% drop in crime. Downers Grove saw a 50% increase.
Gun regulation of any kind is unconstitutional. The Second Amendment gives the right to keep AND bare arms.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 12, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #166848

2nd Amendment rights are a “wedge” issue my friend.
Dems need “wedge” issues which hurt them to be ignored. They need the voters to forget WHY they did not vote for them.
Rights they don’t agree with be damned, Bush lied!

Thank you for trying to remind people that there are still other important issues we must deal with.
Good piece.

Posted by: kctim at July 12, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #166852

Florida was the first state to pass “shall issue” along with a preemption law.
This means the state shall issue a ccw permit to anyone who applies and is not forbidden to possess a gun. Preemption forbids counties and cities to pass gun control ordinances.
This ended the arbitrary practice of sheriffs issuing permits only to the politically well-heeled.
Florida’s passed in 1987. It is the model for shall issue across the country.

Texas didn’t pass theirs until 1995. Prior to 1995 concealed carry was absolutely forbidden in Texas.

Concealed carry has been a success everywhere it has been implemented.

Posted by: traveller at July 12, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #166902


“the Traveller, the 2nd Amemndment does not preclude the government from indicating in what manner, location, and useage of firearms the militia may exercise. They have the right to bear them, but, the government and Supreme Court upheld the right of government to determine how, where, and for what purpose.”

The right to possess firearms is not dependent on membership in the militia. If it did it would extend only to able bodied males between the ages of 17 and 45 and female members of the National Guard. [U.S.Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part 1, Chapter 13, Section 311]

The 2nd Amendment clearly states that the right shall not be infringed. Restricting the right is infringement.

There have been 6 SC decisions mentioning the 2nd Amendmant. None have dealt with the issue of federal regulation of firearms possession directly. All have upheld the individual right of the people to own firearms. Other decisions, while not mentioning the 2nd Amendment specifically, have also upheld the individual right.
The decision that comes closest to the issue of firearms possession is {Miller vs. United States, 1939}. Though badly flawed on several grounds, it held that a sawed off shotgun could be regulated under the 1934 National Firearms Act (a tax law) on the grounds that a short barreled shotgun has no utility as a military weapon.

source-“The Second Amendment Primer” by Les Adams

Posted by: traveller at July 12, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #166913

Chuch H,
Citing the crime rate in a vacuum as you have, the context is lost. Looking at the actual number of crimes committed in a year tells a different story.
You compared three Fl. cities with two cities with much higher populations, which, statistically, makes crime seem less severe in the larger cities.

According to the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available)
Miami, Tampa and Orlando combined had 116 murders. (69, 17, 30, respectively)
New York had 570, SF had 88.

M, T, O had 102, 174, 181 rapes for a total of 457.
NY had 1428, SF had 152.

M, T, O had 2367, 962, 1413 robberies for a total of 4742.
NY had 24,373, SF had 3,041.

“Maybe if Florida passed banned the possession of handguns completely, it would become as safe as NYC and SF”

You’re probably right.

Posted by: traveller at July 12, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #167148

You could take the debate to a global level. the countries with highest crime rate.
Iceland 14,726.95
Sweden 13,455.08
New Zealand 12,586.64
Grenada 10,177.89
Norway 10,086.72
England & Wales 9,823.38
Denmark 9,460.38
Finland 8,697.37
Scotland 8,428.97
Canada 4,123.97
Check the gun laws. Nearly all have very stringent gun laws on the populace

Posted by: Anthony at July 13, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #167176

You know, it has been shown that cracking down on gun ownership does nothing to stop people from getting guns. it is an unfortunate fact that there is no, pardon the pun, silver bullet for gun related crime. However, there is also no evidence that gun ownership reduces crime. There was a study which made this claim years ago, but it has not stood up to further study, every group of scientists attempting to replicate it have failed to do so, meaning it is not scientifically significant.

Posted by: iandanger at July 13, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #167203

Read Dr. John Lott’s work. He proved it and it stands up to peer review.

Posted by: traveller at July 13, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #167249


Lott’s work does not stand up to peer reveiew, his results have not been replicated. The problem with most of these statistics is that there are many other mitigating factors having to do with reductions in the crime rate. You have to have a lot of information in order to do a regression analysis of the data, in order to find a corelation, and none of the information we have here is enough. Lott’s work is dated and hasn’t shown to be reliably truthful. Gun ownership doesn’t reduce crime, gun control doesn’t reduce crime, having more police reduces crime.

Posted by: iandanger at July 13, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #167335

Actually, Lott’s work has been peer reviewed and replicated, Steven Levitt’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding.
Lott is currently suing Levitt for defamation for his attack on Lott’s integrity in “Freakonomics”.
Lott’s work in “More Guns, Less Crime” was replicated and peer reviewed in a series of articles delivered at an academic conference co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Economics and Public Policy at Yale Law School and the American Enterprise Institute, and published in a special issue of The Journal of Law and Economics (Oct. ‘01). Lott’s work is far from dated. It’s the definitive data set for the current debate.
There are many factors that affect the crime rate, with gun ownership being one significant factor.
I agree that gun ownership doesn’t reduce crime. It’s having a gun in your possession when you need it that reduces crime. I own 14 guns. They wouldn’t have done me any good when I needed one to prevent my own murder if I didn’t keep at least 1 with me at all times. I couldn’t have saved a woman from being raped if they were all locked up in my safe.
People taking responsibility for their own safety is what reduces crime. To have enough police to protect everyone would require the establishment of a police state.

Posted by: traveller at July 13, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #167473

Check out these journal articles:

John J. Donohue, The Impact of Concealed-Carry Laws, in EVALUATING GUN POLICY: EFFECTS
ON CRIME AND VIOLENCE 287 (Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig eds., 2003). Ian Ayres & John J.
Donohue III, Shooting Down the “More Guns, Less Crime” Hypothesis, 55 STAN. L. REV. 1193 (2003).

Ian Ayres & John J. Donohue III, Nondiscretionary Concealed Weapons Laws: A Case Study of Statistics,
Standards of Proof, and Public Policy, 1 AM. L. & ECON. REV. 436 (1999).

These two studies deal directly with Lott’s data. His analysis was not wrong outright, he simply did not address caveats in his data, which made his conclusions invalid. The fact of the mater is, his correlation does not stand up to scrutiny.

Posted by: iandanger at July 14, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #180702

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 12, 2006 12:59 PM…………

“Again, there are two towns that in the early 90s pass gun ordinances. Downers Grove, IL passed an ordinance that no one in the city limits could have a gun.”

Comment; Not true. I’ved live there for 20 years.

Posted by: andy at September 12, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #180703

To Ron Brown………
Please refrain from your disinformation campaign about Downers Grove gun laws.

Here’s the ordinance………..
Article I. In General

15-1. Brandishing of explosives, firearms, etc.

No person shall brandish, expose, throw or carelessly handle any explosive contrivance or firearms, anywhere in the Village in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. (R.O. 1925, § 179; Ord. No. 2877, § 1.)

And here’s where you can buy your gun in DG if you wish……….

Midwest Sporting Goods
Where Price & Knowledge is Everything
The pricing viewed on this site is only available for online purchases!

We are located in the Chicago land area. We have two locations Downers Grove(630)971-0101 and Lyons (708)447-4848. We have an indoor pistol range(Lyons store only), gun rentals (test fire before you buy), offer firearms training and have a gunsmith in the Lyons store. We have been in the firearms business for over 38 years. Store Hours: Mon-Fri 10 AM - 9PM
Sat 10 AM - 6 PM
Sun 10 AM - 4Pm

And while you’re at it, go get educated about our crime rate……….

Posted by: andy at September 12, 2006 7:34 AM
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