Gun Control’s Biggest Enemy: Facts

Janalee Tobias

Courtesy KUER

To the civilian disarmament industrial complex, the most dangerous thing in the world is someone who thinks for herself.

Ten years later, I was married with two young daughters. Gun control was the number one political issue in Utah and in the nation. On a local, state and national stage, female ringleaders like Sarah Brady, Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi were claiming that passing more gun laws would protect us and keep our children safe. I believed them. I was going to join with them.

But first, I decided to do research on my own. The first statistic I found was from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI report of 1991 showed that the states and district with the most amount of restrictions against firearms ownership had the highest murder rates. For example: In a population of 100,000, Idaho had a murder rate of 1.8. The District of Columbia had a murder rate of 80.6.

Study after study from unbiased research companies showed that increasing gun laws did not decrease crime. In fact, studies showed that during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the shop owners who had firearms were able to protect their businesses from being looted.

One overlooked statistic is that most shootings take place in gun-free zones.

Since research proves that gun control does not control crime, I guess you could say, Ron Molen, that I have become a “gun zealot.” Just like you have become an “anti-gun zealot.” And I respect your courage for your convictions in pro-gun Utah.

– Janalee Tobias in How a reasonable person became a pro-gun zealot

comments

  1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    You know facts have no room in a good narrative!

    1. avatar Forward Assist says:

      Comparing Idaho with Washington DC is not facts. Gee why not compare Boise and Baghdad. They both begin with B. Or Syria and South Dakota.

      Whether data mining or cherry picking, credibility is lost. And the loss is only amplified when the word “facts” is in the headline.

      Do right by gun owners and spread the truth, not mindless drivel from some newbie self-proclaimed stay-at-home mom with a bachelor’s degree.

      1. avatar Napresto says:

        I wonder why you think the comparison is meaningless? The two areas are governed very differently and are culturally different too, but those differences underscore some important aspects of the ongoing gun debate in the US. We’re not exactly talking about a controlled experiment here…

        Also, why denigrate someone for their degree and their status as a mother? If you feel your side of the debate stands on its own merits, personal attacks like that shouldn’t be needed, right?

        1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

          The comparison is meaningless because she’s treating it as though fewer restrictions lead to fewer crimes. The reason that areas with fewer restrictions have fewer crimes is because they had few crimes to begin with and never saw a need for any restrictions. Bumfuck Idaho probably isn’t going to have too much street crime when the people are outnumbered by sheep 7:1. Shortly before I moved to Montana, it became illegal to ride a horse drunk. Guess why.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          “The comparison is meaningless because she’s treating it as though fewer restrictions lead to fewer crimes. ”
          And…, you missed what she actually said.
          Instead of what you read, what she said is that more anti-gun laws do not lead to fewer crimes. That’s very different from what you told us she said.

        3. avatar Sheepish_In_Atl says:

          VerendusAudeo, unless you’re claiming that sheep cause less crime? If you want to cherry pick stats as the Democrats usually do you could claim that losing sheep causes terrorism. NZ is about 6 to 1 sheep to people down from the peak of 22 to 1 in about 1980 and they have had a huge increase in terrorism. Using this logic all we need to do to fix the terrorist problem in Paris is flood it with sheep, because making it difficult to legally own a gun sure didn’t work.

          Math is not the strong suit of the garden variety leftist!

        4. avatar Forward Assist says:

          The average in our family is six guns per person. And we have no crime in the house. Therefore there would be zero crimes in America if each American had six guns. But if each American was given seven guns, then many of the crimes in the past would turn out to really be accidents.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        You’re making a huge mistake here. Huge.

        Now, before you get all puffed up and start slinging stats and math at me, I’ll point out that I’m a retired EE and I’ve been force-fed lots of math that would allow me to construct and prove statistically valid studies of this issue. I’ve taken probability and stats, used them in signal processing classes. At one time, I even used to subscribe to the IEEE’s Transactions on Information Theory. So I know what you’re saying, I know why you’re PO’ed, OK?

        I used that training/education to do just what you want with gun control refutation pieces I’d write to newspapers in the 90’s, back when the data was far less available than now. Editors liked the pieces I submitted, because I would give references and such, but they hated the math. Journalists aren’t good at math – I think most of them went into journalism because they were promised “there would be no math.” This is why journalists and editors write such nonsense as “there was a 241% decline in XYZ…” (I called that editor to ask “OK, once you got the first 100% reduction, how did you accomplish the next 141%?” He could not see my point.)

        Two editors pointed out that my opponents were using emotional appeals, and if I wanted to address just those emotional appeals in an op-ed or letter piece in their paper, that would be enough to get published.

        Most people don’t have high levels of education in mathematics. Most people cannot even read a scientific paper with a use of statistics and tests for statistical significance. They simply lack the math education. And while you’re trying to explain your high-falutin’ math results to them, you’ve lost them – because their lack of math background is making them feel dumb, and no one wants to feel or look dumb.

        So I listened to the one paper editor who really told me (pounded on the table, even) to respond to the emotional appeals of the gun controllers. I found that I could be most effective if I attacked the central core propaganda point of the anti-gunners: “Guns cause crime.”

        The core claim of the anti-gun hysterics since the 1970’s and the formation of NCBH is that the mere presence of guns causes crime – regardless of population density, race, income levels, whatever other factor – which is statistical twaddle as well. This is why they want a national ban and confiscation. The fastest way to attack their premise is to compare places with lots of guns and few laws/regulations vs. their gun control paradise cities, the places they rate “A” for their gun laws. In the 90’s, I would compare Vermont vs. Washington DC. This was a slam-dunk comparison back then.

        If guns caused crime, then bumwipe Vermont, Idaho, Wyoming, or Dakotas should be awash in crime. The streets should run with blood. But this isn’t true. It isn’t true for a whole host of reasons (starting most with population density), but let’s put those other reasons aside for the moment, and take the opportunity to attack the core premise of the gun-banners: “Guns cause crime.”

        The fastest way I refute the central premise of gun control mythology today in a debate of the issue with someone who has little to no math background: I point out that in Wyoming, we can buy a gun, buy the ammo, conceal it on our person and walk out of the store onto the street. We can do that with no waiting periods, no CCW license, no nothing. Literally cash-n-carry. Done deal.

        If the anti-gunners’ premise were true, then we should be awash with crime and death. I find this most effective with people who are ignorant of Wyoming’s gun laws (or Vermont’s, or a dozen other places). Tell them what the laws are in these places, and you destroy the gun banners’ credibility. Once you break the gun-banners’ appeal to emotion, and you get someone to see that their emotions are leading their rational thinking astray, then you pivot and point out that the gun-banners are deliberately using appeals to emotion and illogic to sucker people into giving up their rights…

        This gets many people mad. Now you’re accomplished two things: First, you opened their minds – you’ve removed the emotional block against them hearing your argument (and when people are reacting emotionally, they will not hear math and stats). Second, you’ve informed a person that they’re being deliberately manipulated – that the gun-banners thought these people stupid and easily mislead. People don’t like that.

        It is only at this point, if they still have the time to listen to me, that I start going into statistics about what happens to crime rates, and what happened in the past with crime rates when CCW was largely banned in the US, etc, etc.

        You must defeat the emotional manipulation first. Once you’ve done that, now you have a fertile field in which to start planting statistically relevant studies. Do not overlook or pooh-pooh efforts to defeat the emotional appeals of the gun-banners. These efforts are every bit as necessary as statistically valid studies of what actually are contributing factors to crime/homicide/suicide/etc.

        1. avatar Napresto says:

          Excellent, and very well said!

        2. avatar Binder says:

          Chicago has had CCW for the past 5 years, how is that working out?

        3. avatar Gliderguy says:

          Binder, it is working out exactly as well as herd immunity does when the vaccinated portion of the population is way less than 1% . What, do even 1000 people in Chicago have a carry license yet?

        4. avatar Ves1 says:

          Well said sir.

        5. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

          Very good. Not being a math major myself, your appeal to emotion is spot-on. When I’m confronted with statistics my eyes glaze over. (To the other commentator, Chicago violence is mostly gang shootings. The CC license holders are home in bed when that stuff goes on.)

        6. avatar Pete says:

          Does Dyspeptic Gunsmith have a patreon (or the 2A friendly version if patreon isn’t)? If not that’ll be my next reader submitted article competition topic.

      3. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        You F/A are a perfect example of why the entire gun community is a total clusterfuck. How about keeping your mouth shut and smiling after seeing that another potential antigunner was led to promised land of reason and common sense?

        People like you are why I don’t believe there is any hope at the ballot box any more, because it’s not just the insane left trying to defeat us, it’s the friendly fire from within.

    2. avatar Jerome Roach says:

      Yes. The comparison is relatively meaningless. Idaho and DC are significantly different in population and, to a degree, in culture.

      However, you and your fellow gun-banning and property-seizing everyone-must-now-to-the-central-government types don’t actually believe that. If you didn’t, you would not be trying to halt people in Idaho or ND or SC from purchasing and owning the guns they use to hunt or participate in shooting sports. You’d be saying “Let is regulate as we need to here.” Instead, you want to ram your culture and desires and fears down the throats of the law abiding who might never set foot in your cities just because something they own scares you.

      Because of that, the comparison IS NOT meaningless, not as long as you will settle for nothing less than total control and one size fits all rules.

      1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

        Jerome, you know that was sarcasm, right?

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    “Shall not be infringed”…that’s a fact. HE IS RISEN! Another fact…Happy Easter!

    1. avatar SurfGW says:

      Happy Easter!

    2. avatar Napresto says:

      Happy Easter, all!

  3. avatar Leighton says:

    Libs/dems have never let facts get in the way before… why would they start now?

  4. avatar LifeSavor says:

    I was at a charity dinner. As always, I had my firearm on my right hip in a Sneaky Pete holster. I was speaking with the mother of two young children who take violin lessons at the same studio as my daughter. They have known my daughter, my wife, and me for years. The husband entered the room. He smiled and said ‘hello’, but his expression changed when he noticed my holster. It seemed like he suddenly realized what it was. He whispered something to his wife and then they made their excuse and whisked their children away. Since then, they have avoided me at all of the events run by the studio.

    Even though they have known me for years, when they realized I carry a gun, they saw me as a different person, dangerous, threatening. Clearly, this was irrational. In this case, the fact was that we were casual friends, seeing each other occasionally, and complimenting each other’s children on their performances. Another fact is that fear trumped our relationship and their experience of me as a friend.

    To protect our rights, we have to win in the legislatures and the courts. But to reduce the support behind the ANTI-2A movement, we need to address people’s fears, because fear is at least as powerful as facts.

    1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

      Their fears are based on life long diets of anti gun horror stories and outright slander, you’re never gonna sway em. Best you can hope for is they never try to ” red flag” you.

      1. avatar Jay in Florida says:

        People like that you don’t need even as an acquaintances. Id say good riddance to anyone like that couple.
        I wouldn’t waste my time even discussing if it were possible what an irrational fear they may have is. Everyone says when the times right one should try to engage people like that couple. I wouldn’t waste my time with any such as them. I do however feel bad if your daughter was developing a possible friendship though.
        On a side note. A Sneaky Pete aint fooling anyone. Its so obvious it is what it is from size alone. With an untucked shirt or t-shirt yes a very comfortable way to carry a smallish gun. On a belt with a tucked shirt. Its not fooling anyone who actually sees it.
        Ive been picked out of a crowd just based on belt loops from any one of my IWB holsters. When having a shirt tucked in. Some folks are a lot more observant then one might think. Most people just wont ask or say anything. Just my 2 cents worth.

        1. avatar LifeSavor says:

          You are absolutely correct, Jay: the Sneaky Pete is not full concealment. I like it for comfort and the fast draw. Also, I think it is OK for the general public to recognize that it is a gun holster; they get the idea without actually seeing the firearm. Some may actually realize that CC people are peaceful, law-abiding citizens. I did have one person say to me: “At first, I was alarmed, but then I started to think it may actually make me safer.”

          Of course, I worry that some hateful person might call 911 and make false accusations about brandishing. It is a risk, and it is one of the scenarios for which I count on my CC insurance. We live in a beautiful but dangerous world.

    2. avatar Punch-a-Nazi says:

      Your right does not trump my freedom from fear.

      1. avatar Johnny Bullets says:

        Yes, it does.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Since you could be a person with irrational, paranoid and even hallucinogenic fears, there is no way you have a freedom from fear.

        And since you’re about 70 years too late to punch an actual Nazi, I’d say that you have some issues with apprehending reality.

      3. avatar GS650G says:

        My right is my freedom from fear. Grow a pair.

      4. avatar EnDangerEd says:

        Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real…. the devils playground for cowards.

    3. avatar SurfGW says:

      That couple’s attitude is very common even among Republicans. At a Republican signature gatherering event, my neighbor told me he saw a man in the bathroom with a holster and asked: “does that guy not trust security here or is he a coward that cannot leave home unarmed?”
      OCC / OCCA = Only Cowards Carry / Only Criminals Carry Arms is a British advertising campaign but their attitude is common in this country.

      1. avatar M1Lou says:

        I know people that think the second amendment kind of stops at WW2. Any guns made after that are too dangerous for the great unwashed to own. It’s a weird mentality I don’t understand as modern guns are fantastic for defending yourself with. Fair fights are for losers and I want the best tool for the problem.

      2. avatar LifeSavor says:

        SURFGW, what strikes me about your story is this person’s trust in institutions. That blind trust is how our freedoms are slowly, steadily, eroded, taken over by regulators, legislators, and justices doing the bidding of corporate entities with cash to spread around.

    4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      LifeSavor,

      I commend your desire to reach-out to your acquaintances who shunned you for carrying a self-defense handgun. It shows that you are a quality person. By all means, extend an olive branch and try to win them over.

      We also have to recognize reality: they may be so carried away in their irrational fear that you cannot win them over no matter what you say or do. That being the case, I encourage you to greatly limit your efforts to win them over. If they are not receptive to your initial good-faith effort, write them off and move on.

      In the event that your acquaintances reject your efforts, note that moving on peacefully is a powerful witness. Even though they shun you (and may even sneer at you), you leave them in peace. That alone will shatter their mindset that armed people are seething cauldrons of rage that will explode at the slightest provocation.

    5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      LifeSavor,

      On a different vein, all of us would be wise to learn from your first-hand experience. Even though your acquaintances have known you for years and KNOW that you are a balanced and peaceable person, they have decided that you are a dangerous person, a likely adversary, an existential threat to the utopia that they yearn to achieve. In other words: facts and experience do not matter, honor does not matter, and peaceable behavior does not matter. Perhaps most importantly, peaceable dialogue does not matter.

      Such people are almost universally happy to pay others to squash you. Therefore, we would be wise to be prepared to defend ourselves from anyone’s efforts to squash us, whether those perpetrators are two-bit thugs, violent rapists, or government agents.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Uncommon Sense, you have it exactly! The sad truth of this story is that fear overpowered these people’s experience. Everything they knew about me became meaningless once they recognized that I carry a firearm. I get that I have lost some casual friends, but now I am on high-alert regarding the work needed to protect our 2A rights. I talk openly about going to the range, CC, 2A rights with my family and even at work. Some people have been shocked that I own and carry: “I did not think you would do something like that, afterall you are a vegetarian”. But it gives them the opportunity to see past the stereotypes: to realize that peace-loving, non-violent people can responsibly, legally, and safely own, carry, and practice with firearms. That it makes all of us safer. Even better, that they might enjoy learning about, practicing with, and owning a gun. One person at a time.

      2. avatar Hush says:

        Perhaps carrying in a fully concealed manner would be the answer. What they don’t know won’t hurt them!

        1. avatar LifeSavor says:

          Hush, you have a point. I just purchased some tactical pants to give pocket-carry a try. Have never felt comfortable with IWB. Thank you!

  5. avatar Robert Adams says:

    Unfortunately the people who want to disarm us all do not give one crap about facts. However people like this story is about, well some people do care about the Truth. Truth is not enough the other side is playing as dirty as it can be. Take more people to the range, plenty of women and some younger people would go if someone merely asked them. Just be safe about it and don’t hand new shooters a 12 gauge or a .44 magnum etc the first couple times they go out, because you will scare them away.

    do not sit back and let others fight for our rights alone! If you want to keep them then Help!!

  6. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Gun Control’s Biggest Enemy: Facts”

    BUT, the GC folks don’t believe in facts, at least not the true facts…They like to cherry pick and make inferences based on incomplete, or even completely made up statistics…

  7. avatar Karl says:

    A unicorn! Cool!

  8. avatar James J. White says:

    Get real people. The democrat party is the face of gun control and it follows that with few exceptions the republican party is your only hope. The NRA is the reason you have what’s left of the 2nd Amendment today.

    1. avatar Docduracoat says:

      The establishment Republicans are anti-gun as well
      RINOs pay lip service to the second amendment, yet when they get into office they are all for a Bumpstock bans,red flag laws, magazine limits etc.
      Our former Florida governor, Rick Scott, was only too quick to sign the anti-gun bill with its red flag laws, no buying guns under 18, and bump stock ban.

  9. avatar SurfGW says:

    The Dems are definitely anti-gun but Republicans are NOT pro-gun. Like the stance opposing illegal immigration, pro-gun speeches keep a small but loyal camp paying into Republican campaigns. When it comes time for the actual election or time to pass a bill in Washington, Republicans do everything possible to keep swing voters on their side.
    Swing voters are not very pro-gun, so Republicans can never pass any decisive pro-gun legislation.
    Democrats would go for the jugular and outlaw guns if they had the votes; Republican aim to minimize any gun legislation which results in maintaining the status quo or not challenging State laws.

  10. avatar Craig says:

    Idaho, 3 white people per square mile vs DC 20,000 black peoe per square mile… good comparison.

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      .. but … but ..
      We’re not supposed to talk about urbanization, minority crime, or cultural and economic disparities as major statistical contributors to gun violence. Such talk is “racist” and will brand you a prejudiced extremist as defined by the contemporary PC moral codes of the day.
      While we’re at it it just isn’t DC, it’s PG County in Maryland, Baltimore, Chicago, NY, Newark, Philly, and Miami-Dade. Gee, I wonder what most urban areas all have in common?
      All you have to do is look at a 2016 blue-red “heat map” of the last Presidential election to figure it out. You don’t need an engineering degree for that.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Exactly. The gun-grabbers don’t want to discuss those issues. And if you discuss those issues, the liberals will come unglued.

        So don’t discuss those issues.

        Ask the question: “Why aren’t states with low restrictions awash in crime and gun violence?” Ask “Why do we never hear of shootings in Vermont?”

        They have no answer – because they don’t want to discuss ‘those’ issues.

        1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

          Correction, we never HAD shootings in Vt. You heard that the violent crime rate in NYC went down? The reason is they all came up here, quite literally. Your point is well taken, in a small well armed area, people are quite different than the ones in the shitholes you mentioned. Dirty little secret!

  11. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Controllers are never logical especially with their “gun free” zones and that having guns around to shoot the lunatics intend on mayhem somehow makes things “more dangerous”. The number of mall shootings and stabbings that could be stopped by an armed person would really surprise them. If I ran a large mall I’d have a couple of uniformed armed security and some plain clothes armed guys trolling the place.

  12. avatar Binder says:

    “But first, I decided to do research on my own. The first statistic I found was from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI report of 1991 showed that the states and district with the most amount of restrictions against firearms ownership had the highest murder rates. For example: In a population of 100,000, Idaho had a murder rate of 1.8. The District of Columbia had a murder rate of 80.6.”

    Has way more to do with rural VS urban than anything else

    Chicago vs the rest of Illinois, same basic gun laws (Chicago has more restrictions on long guns, but everyone here knows that long guns are not really used in crimes)

    But can someone please explain to me why NY CITY has a lower murder rate AND suicide rate the Texas State. (Personally i think Texans on average are just a little crazier than most)

    1. avatar C.S. says:

      Anyone with common sense knows it’s the person not the gun that commits the crime. Laws prevent nothing if (bad) people aren’t inclined to follow them and if they aren’t enforced. As for Texas, it’s a fact that every state which borders Mexico has a significantly higher crime rate than the next state over. That’s about as simple as I can make it for you.

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      You seem to be using outdated data. 2017 was low, but mid-2018 showed an increase in homicide of 8%, and 55% so far in 2019. NYC still has falling rates of robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto. The last 3 aren’t violent crimes. Do you have any evidence that gun control has reduced the number if guns possessed by felons, gangs, and other prohibited persons? What’s your explanation?
      As for Texas, it has undergone 2 demographic shifts with legal immigration from New Orleans (high crime city) and illegal immigration from South and Latin America.

  13. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    The author needs to remind Mr. Molen that people like him obviously are not interested, nor have they taken the time, in actually studying the founder’s writings on the Bill of Rights. In point of fact our rights are “God give”. Period. They exist separate and distinct from the Constitution. His attitude is one of treason.

  14. avatar SurfGW says:

    12 of the 33 safest cities in the US are located in California, either in the Bay Area or greater Los Angeles.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/safest-cities-america-us-2017-8

    These places are very anti-gun and yet have very low crime rates. They are all high income suburban communities with private security at work, malls, and at the HOA at home. Clearly, more than gun control is at work…. this lady needs to run multiple regressions or enlarge her data pool.

    1. avatar Rick says:

      I think you may have missed her point, which is that she realized that guns do not cause crime.

  15. avatar Cory says:

    Facts do not matter to these people. It’s all about brain-washing and propaganda.

    Americans need to wake up and realize that there’s a certain ethnic group in this country that is vastly overrepresented in using their power to promote gun control, anti-white/anti-Christian bigotry, socialism/communism and open borders to push demographic replacement and the destruction of American values.

  16. avatar Paul Lazzaretti says:

    Gun control is about controlling the population. As politics have become more corrupt and infested with bottom feeding politicians the people are still naive in believing that they care about doing the right thing. A person can choose not to exercise their 2nd amendment right. Well, I have a right to exercise my 2nd amendment to protect myself and my family. To hell with the rest of the anti 2A community. Bad guys love gun free zones. Go live there.

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