Washington Post Makes the Case Against More Gun Control Laws

Reader Porkchop writes:

There’s some unintended irony in a recent Washington Post ‘Fact Checker’ article regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ comments about the nation’s crime rate:

Since becoming attorney general in February, Sessions routinely has warned of a violent crime wave sweeping the nation — spurred primarily by increased violence in major cities.

Sessions uses the alleged crime wave as evidence for the need to return to “law and order,” which President Trump has vowed to make a top priority during his presidency. As attorney general, Sessions has advocated for several policies aimed at preventing violent crime from continuing to rise, including tougher policing practices, reinstating mandatory minimum sentences for drug users, providing surplus military equipment to police departments, and a dismantling of “sanctuary cities.”

In debunking Sessions’ position that crime rates are on the increase, the article accuses him (accurately) of cherry-picking statistics. They say he’s using stats from short periods of time and highlighting certain high crime cities such as Chicago to justify his claims that violent crime is “’back with a vengeance,’ and that it is ‘surging.’”

“Crime is at historically low levels,” said Nick Petersen, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Miami. “There may be small increases month to month and year to year, but there is a little random noise in the fluctuations.”

The Post ultimately doesn’t think much of Sessions’ argument.

Yet Sessions claims violent crime is “back with a vengeance,” and that it is “surging,” which is the result of a “staggering increase,” in crime in urban areas. With every dramatic assertion, Session is stoking American’s fears about crime and safety to advance a political agenda of “law and order.” Sessions earns Four Pinocchios.

Fair enough. Except that Sessions’ claims mirror the same arguments used by “gun safety” advocates to justify their calls for more regulation of and restrictions on firearms ownership — something the Post institutionally, through its editorial staff favors enthusiastically. (To be fair they also publish pro-2A opinions by people like John Lott and provides a platform for Volokh Conspiracy writers such as David Kopel.)

What’s good for the goose is good for the anti-gun gander. So the next time The Post, Gabby Giffords, Shannon Watts or one of your hoplophobic friends claims that, because of increased crime, something must be done to reduce Americans’ access to firearms, you can point to out that no less an authority than the Washington Post has demonstrated that it just ain’t so.

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Lance says:

    Gun ownership almost doubled during that span, and crime dropped in half, just the facts !!!

    1. avatar little horn says:

      gun ownership for that city or nation wide? big difference

      1. avatar Pat1991 says:

        Gun ownership likely has increased from about 40% of Americans to 58% to 63% of Americans the past 30 years.

        Sure surveys like GSS, which comes to your home, where a stranger asks you in a face to face interview record on a form with your name and address, if you have a gun at home show it at 33%. But every peer reviewed social science study shows that asking questions on confidential matters garner increasing undercounts. So slightly more anonymous (gallup) show US gun ownership is 43% and most anonymous show it is up around 60%.

        The most accurate numbers for this type of question are veiled or indirect questions. Half a dozen questions that constitute indirect questions all indicate very large increases in gun ownership nationally. EG:
        http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer.png

        This is an increasing affect given that non confidential reasons for gun ownership, like hunting, are decreasing, whereas for firearms for self or home defense, safety raining course, often mandated by gun control groups themselves, reinforce repeatedly to never tell a stranger a firearm is in the home. Given 80% of firearms are now owned solely for self and home defense, the number of people who do own a firearm telling a stranger they have no firearm is increasing and will continue to do so.

  2. avatar million says:

    the latest argument advanced by the WaPo is Donohue’s use of synthetic control groups to “show” that the crime rate would be even lower without guns.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    WaPo writers excel at speaking out of both sides of their mouths. They are nothing more than con men with word processors.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      I’ve often wondered over the last few months why it is that the left has such hatred and paranoia for this administration, while the right has exhibited disgust and distrust. Reading this article has enlightened me.

      The right wing factions of government have been playing by the rules and losing for years because the left doesn’t play by the same set of rules. The Trump administration plays by the same code as the left. (Never let the truth get in the way of a good narrative, the ends justify the means, etc.)

      This is what terrifies the left and disgusts the right.

  4. avatar cjstl says:

    Saying that the crime rate can’t be rising because it is lower than it was 45 years ago is disingenuous. It is higher than it was two years ago. There’s a slight uptick at the end of that graph, hence the rise in violent crime. Is it still way lower than it was in the last few decades? Yes. But don’t say it isn’t on the rise.

    1. avatar twency says:

      If there were a murder 1 minute ago preceded by 50000 minutes with no murders we could say that “murder is on the rise”, but it wouldn’t necessarily be a meaningful statement.

    2. avatar Pat1991 says:

      Gun murder rate is down about 63% he past 25 years.

      The last couple of years we saw a slight national uptick, all derived from a sharp increase in less than 30 Us cities; all of them Democrat run — and every one of them with significant and outlying reduction in incarceration rates. Incarceration rate changes are important because US violent crime trends nationally, and more tellingly by state, track exactly with them. And hat inverse correlation it is not merely “correlation” but demonstrably causal as we know about 90% of murder perps and murder victims are prior criminals, in most cities, 80% with ten or more arrests. even sightly increasing sentences reduced murder, and slightly reducing sentences increases murder for that reason

  5. avatar Joe R. says:

    “What’s good for the goose is good for the anti-gun gander.”

    What’s good for the evil POS (D) and rino tyrants, is good for their funders, supporters, media sucklings, etc.

  6. avatar Brandan says:

    Gun control is the liberal version of “law and order” politics and has been since the late 1960s. Expect such doublethink to continue.

  7. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “Crime is at historically low levels,” said Nick Petersen, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Miami. “There may be small increases month to month and year to year, but there is a little random noise in the fluctuations.”

    ‘Gun crime’ dropping lower and lower, year after year, while at the same time literally *millions* of new guns flood onto the streets of America.

    If ‘Guns cause crime”, why didn’t crime rates rise as well?

  8. avatar Ogre says:

    I wonder if Pravda-on-the-Potomac even knows what it has done. They can be clueless like that more often than not.

  9. avatar g says:

    What the Left likes to do is use Percentage to claim gun ownership is down, yet the raw numbers say it has doubled since 1960.
    Data from Gallup and Statista on gun ownership on household numbers
    1960 Households-53,276,000 49% with guns=26,105,240
    2014 Households-116,827,000 42% with guns=49,067,340
    2015 Households-124,590,000 41% with guns=51,081,900
    This shows gun ownership has approximately DOUBLED or exceeded the Left’s lie.

    1. avatar Pat1991 says:

      NO NO NO, even the per capita has increased.
      Gun ownership likely has increased from about 40% of Americans to 58% to 63% of Americans the past 30 years.

      Sure surveys like GSS, which comes to your home, where a stranger asks you in a face to face interview record on a form with your name and address, if you have a gun at home show it at 33%. But every peer reviewed social science study shows that asking questions on confidential matters garner increasing undercounts. So slightly more anonymous (gallup) show US gun ownership is 40-43% and most anonymous show it is up around 60%.

      The most accurate numbers for this type of question are veiled or indirect questions. Half a dozen questions that constitute indirect questions all indicate very large increases in gun ownership nationally. EG:
      http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer.png

      This is an increasing affect given that non confidential reasons for gun ownership, like hunting, are decreasing, whereas for firearms for self or home defense, safety raining course, often mandated by gun control groups themselves, reinforce repeatedly to never tell a stranger a firearm is in the home. Given 80% of firearms are now owned solely for self and home defense, the number of people who do own a firearm telling a stranger they have no firearm is increasing and will continue to do so.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    A couple of things happened the last 20 years.
    Technology gave us cell phones and video so crimes are reported and recorded more.
    We locked more bad people up for longer time. The left hates this.
    The economy grew. Some people got jobs.
    People tooled up and refused to be victims. Bad guys either took a hike or took some lead.
    Some suggest abortion reduced the pool of bad guys. Maybe so but increased immigration and large numbers of children in single parent/one roof households offset the abortion effect.

    It’s not so cut and dried. But firearms ownership does deter crime and now is not the time to cut back on gun ownership.

    1. avatar Pat1991 says:

      We locked more bad people up for longer time. The left hates this.

      1) US ealry 1990’s: murder at all time highs.
      US increases incarceration rate over by about 250% over next 20 years and US murder rate plummets, down about 63%. It also reduces gun control on carry, and sees number of firearms increase 25% and capability average of firearms in terms of proportion that is semi auto, DOUBLE

      2) Australia mid 1990’s. Murder at all time highs
      Australia increases incarceration rate 240% over the next 20 years and Australia murder rate plummets, down about 52%. It also increases gun control effectively banning and confiscating practically all semi auto firearms.

      3) WaPost, NYTimes, CNN, and every gun control lobby Bloomberg can astroturf and their paid “academic researchers” write hundred of articles attributing Australia decline in murder to gun control, without EVER noting that the US had a larger decline despite a very different policy and trend on guns — nor the actual constant in both countries: a huge increase in incarceration rates of violent repeat criminals that are are 90% of murder.

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