Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"An armed society..."

"is a polite society." So sayeth Robert A. Heinlein. And today in the National Review Online, John Lott gives us the scientific numbers to back up that (for me, at least) cherished assertion.

We know there have been a number of high profile mass shootings recently. But the Legacy Media, as usual, spins the story along the typical "Guns are bad! Guns are e-e-e-vil! We must ban guns!" For the children, of course.

But what they don't tell you, won't tell you, can't tell you least they have to admit that all of the anti-gun crappola that has spewed forth from them for years is just that, are the actual statistics:

Bill Landes and I have examined all the multiple-victim public shootings with two or more victims in the United States from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

...

...more than two million times each year that Americans use guns defensively are never discussed — even though this is five times as often as the 450,000 times that guns are used to commit crimes over the last couple of years.

...

...a quarter of the public-school shootings were stopped by citizens with guns before uniformed police could arrive.
(Oh my! Vigilante justice! How horrible! We must ban their guns! For the children!)

Of course, Mr. Lott makes the point that all law-abiding (while grumbling all the time about the idiocy of it) gun owners are not the problem. It's an excellent point that any of us can use when talking to the antis:

A three-year prison term for violating a gun-free zone represents a real penalty for a law-abiding citizen. Adding three years to a criminal’s sentence when he is probably already going to face multiple death penalties or life sentences for a murderous rampage is probably not going to be the penalty that stops the criminal from committing his crime.

None of what he says is really new; I've seen most of it on the various gun boards scattered across the Internet. But the service he does us by bringing it all together in a nice, neat package is incalculable. Read it, and be well prepared the next time an anti wants to lecture you on the evils of private firearm ownership.

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