Rodrigo Guerrero talks to the Cali cops (courtesy npr.org)

According to npr.org‘s A Doctor Turned Mayor Solves A Murder Mystery In Colombia, Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero came up with a successful prescription for “gun violence.” “With the army’s OK, he implemented a ban on carrying weapons on weekends and holidays. Stop-and-frisk checkpoints, which would become so unpopular two decades later in New York City, confiscated weapons from the most dangerous parts of the city. The measures worked. Murders dropped from 2,239 in 1994 to 1,695 in 1998 — a 30 percent decline. A decade later, Cali’s murder rate per 100,000 people had been cut in half. Meanwhile . . .

other cities have copied DESEPAZ’s [Development, Security and Peace Program] approach; in Bogota, homicides dropped by two-thirds.”

Down to 56 per 100 in Cali, roughly the same as Chicago. [Note: the overall U.S. homicide rate is 4.7 per 100k]

Gun violence as a social disease? The antis are gonna love this. Yes, but – the report completely ignores human rights abuses in Colombia, including terrorist groups and paramilitary death squads. More to the point, are you buying this? Does gun control reduce “gun violence”? [h/t SS]

50 Responses to Question of the Day: Does Gun Control Work?

    • Actually it cant even do that right. It doesn’t work at all. Cant speak for the other countries but here in the US the dramatic drop in the crime rate over the past 20 years has had nothing to do with gun control, but better policing, better crime solving, better youth influence, and the “get tough on crime” mentality that the government took in the 1990s that increased incarceration time for violent offenders

    • But when the STATE is attacked (by another armed state that doesn’t give half a wet tick-turd whether or not you’re ready) then the few armed citizens will repel them (since it must be assumed that anyone seeking to do so has developed an end-around around the nations normal bulwarks of defense like closed borders, a National Military and National Guard, State Trooper’s, Law Enforcement, Code Enforcement, Mall Cops, The sub-machined-FDA, etc.)

      Then, the survivors who have repelled the attack [handily, and with gutsball and gumption] will give those who pushed to disarm the rest of the populace a long and well-deserved wet-flip-flop beating in the town square.

    • Answer to the drop in US crime rate since 1994: No, gun control doesn’t work. It had no effect. Can’t speak for the other counties but here in the US the dramatic drop in crime was due to better policing, ( the effectiveness of community oriented policing) better youth influence, and the get tough on crime mentality of the 1990s that increased incarceration time and imposed harsher punnishments on offenders that committed violent felonies.

  1. More to the point of the article, one must not forget the principal of ceteris parabis.

    For the numbers above to mean anything, you would have to assume that all other social factors remained the same over the period. My (vague, disinterested, and web based) understanding is that in the 90’s and 00’s Columbia’s war against the cartels and FARC underwent many changes during this same period.

    • My somewhat hazy recollection is similar. Today’s Colombia is very different from that of the 90s, in regard to control by the cartels and FARC. Colombia today is a stable and reliable US ally.

      Plus, the US’s murder rate dropped by half at the same time, and that was with MORE people carrying guns.

      • In Columbia gun ownership is sharply controlled by the state. This would make the kind of stop and frisk confiscation talked about in the article more effective. Less so, when gun ownership is not subject to such state control. If you create a police-state crime, gun deaths, will certainly go down, but individual freedom won’t exist.

        • Right “If you create a police-state. . .” then f-it so will I and you beotches will be mine. If we are all going to just chuck the Constitution and do anything goes, were going to do my version, and I promise everything will be fine.

          Decide now, you have 10 seconds. ;P

        • And you have to ask, will it really go down, or will the incidents of violence by police increase due to lack of accountability to nullify a lot of that reduction?

          Case in point, Mexico… The more power you give a control mechanism over a populace, the more that power gets abused.

      • Not to mention that there are now 50 million more people in the US since 1994. Yet, the total number of all crime is more than 40% lower than they were in 1994. Though, you wouldn’t know it from the main bleed media.

  2. Gee, are we counting people killed by villains who grew up smart enough to know the best place to be a sociopath was in the government death squads?

    • I pray that I fall victim to a gov’t death squad, that is, before I fall victim to a U.N. rape and death squad. I’m not a fan of rape, but the thought of having a sky-blue-helmeted-love-warrior-of-death-here-to-protect-me sweating on my back is unbearable.

    • Or ask the residents of the USSR under Joe Stalin (60 million dead), or the Chinese under Mao and his successors (70 million dead), or the Cambodians under Pol Pot (3 million dead), or the Armenians under the Ottomans (1.8 million dead) or any of the total of 262 million people murdered by THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS from 1900 to 1999. Yep, gun control might or might not cut down on free-lance murder by individuals, but it sure makes it easier for your own government to kill you. (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM)

      “But that could never happen here. We live in a civilized country.” -Jewish citizen of Germany, 1933.

  3. No I do not buy into this story.

    If someone shoots at me, attacks me or mine, or tries to take my property, then I need to shoot them, period.

    Unlike gun-grabbers who want to disarm the VICTIMS, I want to use the Darwinistic principle and stop them forever.

    Gun-grabbers are the real killers. Women, blacks, and gays take note, and arm yourselves. You are at risk!

  4. let’s publicly disarm Bloomy’s and Shannon’s guards first. . . . on camera . . . before they make an appearance. at night. in Chicago on the South Side. . . . . For the Children(TM)

  5. It doesn’t matter whether “gun control” works or doesn’t, for whatever values of “works” you choose. The simple fact of the matter was laid out by L. Neil Smith almost 2 decades ago now: the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.

    Period.

  6. Communists/marxists/socialists/liberal progressives believe that the end justifies the means; lying, cheating, stealing up to and including mass murder.

    So what’s a little fudging of the numbers; such as the present prime minster(for life) getting 95% of the “popular” vote or that murders by gun, but not by other means; have been cut in half.

  7. “We noticed that nearly two-thirds of the homicides took place on weekends,” says Guerrero.

    Most of the incidents occurred after Friday paydays.

    Um… duh? A bunch of wage-slaves out and about blowing off steam in the typical drunken/drugged fashion with a smattering of thieves, con-men, pimps and pushers and crime jumps? You don’t say.

    What really irks me about the article is the lumping of the firearms prohibitions in with the curfew’s and booze restrictions. So they send everyone to bed on time, cut back their drunkenness and it’s of course the firearms prohibitions that made all the difference in the murders. Had nothing to do with emptying the bars and stopping the flow of alcohol. Nope. It’s the guns.

    • That and focusing the government’s efforts on “…the most dangerous parts of the city.”

      Yep, must’a been the crackdown on ‘guns’; that was it. Couldn’t have been the focus on bad actors and wilful victims had anything to do with it. It was keeping those impulsive violent guns from jumping up and robbing and murdering people that did the trick.

  8. So let me get this straight… they made it illegal to carry a firearm and then backed that up with an incredibly invasive, civil rights violating sidestepping of due process and the number of illegal guns decreased? Color me surprised!… except wait, I don’t think anyone is arguing that this approach doesn’t work. In fact, it is pretty much the only approach that will work short of going house to house and confiscating, and these gross violations of civil liberty are precisely what we are fighting against and its precisely what the Anti’s, through clever mincing of words, are trying to convince everyone isn’t what they are trying to do. For all that we hate him Bloomberg’s stop frisk policies worked. No one hates that program because it was unsuccessful, They hate it (or at least they should hate it) because stop frisk was a flagrant violation of people’s constitutional rights and a betrayal of the public trust in law enforcement.

    • Bloomberg’s stop frisk policies worked.

      No they didn’t. Stop and frisk is now illegal in New York and y-t-y crime is down over the period when Stop and Frisk was ongoing (over 600,000 stops in 2012 alone). What S&F accomplished is to enrage minority groups who were targeted. 88% of them had done nothing wrong and most of the rest had committed minor offenses.

      Bloomberg is a fascist, and a goddamn rich one at that. He went after black and Hispanic people, and now he’s going after us.

      • Right on. The argument for stop and frisk is that it is effective. Well, so is Japan’s law allowing police to randomly search any house they want any time. Yet we’d never put up with such police state tactics. Stop and Frisk is Unconstitutional. Period. And any short term gains it might produce are offset by the long term problem it causes between police and the citizens.

  9. I have a proposal: let’s give the NPR staff the choice of three places to live, and see which one they choose: Cali, Colombia; the south side of Chicago, IL; or Prescott, AZ.

    They’ll tell us whether they believe gun control works.

    • Honestly, I’ve met a lot elitists who think violence is a myth because they’ve never experienced such a thing. Some would probably be daft enough to live there, get assaulted, then blame the guns instead of the individuals committing the crimes.

  10. I think most people commenting here seem to have it right…there is a big difference between these tactics mentioned and the “gun control” we are against. The antis want to ban most guns and restrict the guns we are allowed to purchase, which is not what produced the lower crime rates in these examples. What they are talking about are police state measures like random searches, detaining people without cause, profiling, etc.

    We could institute those kinds of policies and at the same time have full gun control or zero gun control because these are two entirely different things. I think most people out there probably are against BOTH gun control and heavy handed security tactics.

    On the other hand, there may be some gun owners out there who see themselves as always law-abiding, always have positive experiences dealing with law enforcement, and they probably have their CCW so they figure if they ever get checked and frisked by the police they will be OK.

  11. No. Cant speak for the other countries but here in the US the dramatic drop in the crime rate over the past 20 years has had nothing to do with gun control, but better policing, better crime solving, better youth influence, and the “get tough on crime” mentality that the government took in the 1990s that increased incarceration time for violent offenders.

  12. Two questions.

    1 – Who are the guns being taken from? Are they known criminals or the average Joe? Obviously if you disarm known criminals you are bound to see some benefits.

    2 – Are the people who the guns are taken from jailed or imprisoned? If yes, criminal off the street = less crime. If no, criminal not in prison to learn more bad ways and become more wicked = less crime (maybe?). I think it is win win either way there.

  13. Sure, tyranny can produce safety. For a while.

    Meanwhile, here in the US, the murder rate and accidental shootings are nearly half what they were in the early 1990s, and we have more guns and gun owners than ever before. And Colombia’s reduced murder rate is still higher than ours.

    Freedom works, too.

  14. We could probably eliminate most crime if we had a national 9:00 PM curfew. The curfew would probably reduce drunk driving deaths as well.

    There is no activity in a free society that is without risk. If the price of freedom is the small risk of crime – I gladly accept and pay that price.

  15. Reminds me of a guy I asked about his visit to Yugoslavia in ’72.
    “It’s a nice place, if you don’t mid three cops on every street corner with machine guns.”
    I don’ think I want the “security” that comes with a totalitarian state.

    • Yes they do.

      But, the people who want it either A) think they will be ordering the men behind the machine guns or B) be part of the “sacred party” ordering the men behind the guns.

  16. I believe the phrase you’re looking for is post hoc, ergo propter hoc . Assume that the change observed was caused by a particular event that preceded it.

    If you have an agenda to push, the lesson is to continuously enact initiatives in line with that agenda, no matter the prior results. Sooner or later, the statistics have to trend in your favor, then you declare your latest initiative was the cause, ignoring any failures before or since.

  17. The only way that “gun control” could possibly reduce the rate at which violent criminals use firearms for violent crime is if the cost of firearms increases significantly after gun control activates. The more expensive firearms are, the smaller the pool of violent criminals who can afford to purchase them.

    And the “cost of firearms” has to include black market prices. The trouble is, no one will ever be able to determine the average price of all available firearms including black market firearms. Thus, it is impossible to determine.

    In the end it doesn’t matter. We could probably reduce deaths in our society if government banned hydrogenated fats, sugar, and carbohydrates as well. That is not government’s responsibility. It is each person’s responsibility to make wise choices and pay the piper if they make foolish choices.

  18. You can’t change 2 variables at a time and call it an experiment. Stop and frisk checkpoints reduce crime. NY and Bogata already had gun control, stop and frisk is what makes the difference, not gun control. Wasn’t it the NRA that keeps saying something about enforcing the laws you have.

    • Except Stop-and-Frisk doesn’t reduce crime and it didn’t in NYC. As a matter of fact, Stop-and-Frisk is now illegal there because it was declared Unconstitutional — and rightly so. Crime there was already going down, and there is zero empirical evidence showing that Stop-and-Frisk actually contributed to that decline at all.

      All that Stop-and-Frisk had ever accomplished was to violate the civil rights of those targeted — the vast majority of them being minorities most of whom did nothing to even arouse suspicion in the first place — and create such a public outcry that it was quickly challenged and the rightly defeated in court a the travesty it was. Not to mention all the wasted police resources and tax-payer dollars, when REAL criminals were taking advantage of the necessarily reduce police presence in the REAL trouble spots in that REgressive liberal cesspool.

  19. Do not care.

    I live in the U.S. and I have my rights. Why I bet if every U.S. citizen were locked in individual cells 24 hours from the day of their birth to their death we would have a really low crime rate then.

  20. I was born in this city. As of today, it has become the fourth most dangerous city in the world.
    It is a common occurrence to be mugged at an intersection. Disarming the good guys only gives freedom to the thieves.
    Unfortunately there is nothing close to a 2A in Colombia’s constitution, therefore the population didn’t grow with this idea of owning a gun and defending your life.

  21. I can’t really say whether or not gun control reduces gun violence because I don’t really know for sure. I have not conducted my own research, and all the research available to me seems to be contradictory.

  22. Asked a teacher the other day, what she would do to protect the kids, if a machete wielding psychopath started beheading them? She said call 911 cause she didn’t have anything in her class that could stop him.

    Gun-control laws and gun free zones put our kids in more danger than the alternatives! Laws kill, Politicians kill, their liberal voters kill, and gun control is a political illusion. They can’t control them, they can and do control the VICTIMS.

    Again, when seconds count …

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