Previous Post
Next Post

Reader Gideon Joubert writes:

Earlier this week a Bernie Sanders supporter shot and wounded several people at a GOP baseball team practice. In response, a number of politicians have since called for more restrictive gun laws, as they usually do in the wake of any high-profile shooting. Considering that the rest of the world loves bashing the United States’ so-called “out-of-control gun violence,” perhaps it is time to unpack the statistics on this issue.

This is not going to be a particularly scientific or rigorous investigation. The purpose of this little exercise is simply to see if there is any meaningful link between the murder rate in a particular state and the nature of their gun laws. To ensure we compare apples with apples, all data used is from 2015.

As our benchmark number we will use the US national murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate in 2015, which was 4.9 per 100 000 people.

According to Guns & Ammo the 10 worst states for owning a gun in 2015, along with their respective murder rates per 100 000, were:

  1. District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) – 24.1
  2. New York – 3.1
  3. New Jersey – 4.1
  4. Massachusetts – 1.9
  5. Hawaii – 1.3
  6. California – 4.8
  7. Connecticut – 3.3
  8. Maryland – 8.6
  9. Illinois – 5.8
  10. Rhode Island – 2.7

According to the same publication, the 10 best states for owning a gun in 2015 and their respective murder rates per 100 000 were:

  1. Arizona – 4.5
  2. Vermont – 1.6
  3. Alaska – 8.0
  4. Utah – 1.8
  5. Kentucky – 4.7
  6. Wyoming – 2.7
  7. Alabama – 7.2
  8. Kansas – 4.4
  9. Missouri – 8.3
  10. New Hampshire – 1.1

From the above it is obvious that there is no relationship between how restrictive or permissive an individual state is with regards to gun laws and its murder rate. If there were, we would expect to see prohibitionist jurisdictions like D.C. have much lower murder rates. We would also expect to see Vermont with a much higher rate. Interestingly in both the top and bottom 10 states, there are three which have murder rates higher than the national average.

Another noteworthy observation is that Texas (ranked as the 15th best state for gun ownership) had exactly the same murder rate as California (among the most restrictive states in the US) in 2015 – 4.8 murders per 100 000 people. Clearly something else is at play here.

The fact that crime and violence has multifactorial causes isn’t really a new revelation. It’s something that has been known to policymakers for decades. The fact that the United States is currently experiencing a homicide rate which is at a 51-year low, while the number of new guns manufactured and imported over a 20-year period increased by 141%, is further proof that no correlation exists between gun laws and murder rates.

Yet whenever a high-profile shooting incident occurs, the knee-jerk reaction of so many politicians for more restrictive gun laws.

This is, simply put, bad policy. It may look and sound great on CNN (except when it doesn’t), but it ignores all the (overwhelming) evidence to the contrary. It’s nothing more than a cheap play on voters’ emotions in order for the official to appear to be “doing something.”

If we’re going to force a connection between variables that clearly aren’t related, then Californians are obviously worse people than Texans since they commit the same amount of murder without the easy access to guns. The answer is clearly that we need to ban Californians.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. This analysis skillfully avoids the elephant in the room.

    I shall do the same. But I think we all know.

  2. “The answer is clearly that we need to ban Californians. Right?”

    *Close*, but no cigar.

    The solution is to ban California from the United States.

    Get the fuck out of *my* country, California…

  3. been saying this same thing for years, Californians moving into colorado are driving this state liberal, full retard liberal in fact. If they like California so much, well, go back and stay there! let us natives have our state as it should be, and oh, take governor chickenpooper with you!

    • Hey, we’re not ALL like that. Moved here with my family from CA in ’09 specifically to avoid the liberalism, and have voted R ever since. However, I do agree that FAR too many CA transplants to CO bring their own (failed) politics with them, the bastards

      • If you dont fight the californians in california, they will spread to your state and corrupt it….. in the near future TTAG will scream, “ban Colorado from the US!” Followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, and so on until its just Alaska that constitues “America” in the sense expressed in this opinion piece. California isn’t going anywhere. Neither is New York, DC, Connecticut, Hawaii, etc….. if you are a gun owner and live here, then stay here, fight here, have children here, and brainwash your children, in-laws, and friends to pro-2a thinking. If you go someplace where there is no fight to be had then you are a voice, a vote, and gun that is out of the fight.

      • Thats just the way it is.
        Kalifornia ,San Francisco and south and their ilk should secede and leave our country .
        Libitards in Colorado, mostly transplants from Kaliifornia. have ruined it the last 15 years for normal folks.
        Tri county area here in So East Florida. Libitarde North Easterners mostly New Yorkers from NYC and Lung Island.
        Wreaking Palm Beach and Broward slowly. Dade killed off years ago.
        Orlando area, same but not as bad…………yet.
        Libitards think their way is the only way to live…… we all should be as they are……………….BS.

      • Here’s the problem with Californians.
        “Gawd I gotta get out of this state, too many stupid laws.”
        *votes for smoking ban*
        “Well that was a GOOD law.”
        *votes for higher emissions standards*
        “Well THAT was a good law too.”
        *votes for higher taxes on “rich”*

        They vote for a bunch of crap laws they liked in California, and start ruining the freedom of the state they moved to.

    • Pot being legal has had a way of drawing the dopes and vagrants here. I can’t wait to leave.

      • And just in case Cal Rich gets upset, I’m in a particular federal job field that must go if sent somewhere. If you can’t figure that one out, I’m sorry.

    • Why would they go back to a over taxed, illegal immigrant permissive, near bankrupt state? Colorado is a great place to migrate and try the leftist utopia thing again until they fuck it up again.

    • One wonders if migrating lefties will spawn conservative flight from then placed they go, resulting in an every shifting balance between the states.

  4. Living (if one call it living) in commie kalifornia simply sucks. The entire state is run by San Francisco and coastal elites. We have a voter block that are low informed, work only with a brain stem and want free stuff. This state and most of its overlords are total fail. But remember folks, Kalifornia is much like an STD, infectious and spreads. Look at Colorado, Washington ST, Oregon,etc.

    Warning: The next Governor (likely Newsom) will make it much worse.

    • Newsom has already decided to make single payer healthcare his topic. Prepare for more taxes. Since he is a likely Presidential or VP candidate, prepare for his single payer healthcare nationwide

      • I’m now fully convinced that Obamacare was never intended to succeed.
        Its real purpose was to screw up the health insurance market so badly that We The People would accept governmentcare as an alternative to it.
        And renaming Obamacare as TrumpCare or Ryancare won’t change anything in the long run.

        We put the Republican Party in charge of all three Houses (House of Representatives, Senate, Whte House) because they promised to REPEAL Obamacare, not to remake it in their own image.

        • “Its real purpose was to screw up the health insurance market so badly that We The People would accept governmentcare as an alternative to it.”

          Yep. You nailed it…

    • WOW, sounds almost like NY, who caters to the ILLEGALS also & the HASIDIM for their votes, so they can keep their teat jobs & Golden Healthcare & Pensions after 1 term.

        • Yessssssssss!!!!
          “Some say a comet will fall from the sky
          Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
          Followed by fault lines that cannot sit still
          Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits”

          Can’t say enough about Tool.

    • Yeah, that’s not inflammatory rhetoric at all. And you think it’s wrong that a Republican Congressman got shot.

    • You can dump everything west of the San Andreas into the ocean, but leave the rest of us alone. Most of us own guns and hate Sacramento.

  5. I Sure know what I’m gonna do if someone walks up to me and asks if I’m a republican or a democrat now though.

    • Because NH is actually a very libertarian state. You do your thing and don’t bother me doing my thing and we’ll get along, m’kay?

    • 2015 data, so back when a license was still required to legally carry concealed (including “concealed” in a vehicle).

  6. Two of the most dangerous cities in the country are in New Jersey: Newark, & Camden. New Jersey’s restrictive and Draconian firearms laws have done nothing to mitigate crime in those 2 cities.

  7. There are many Californians like myself who are conservative and left California to the Libertarian pot heads to create their utopia. The 7 to 9 million gun owners in California can’t get their act together. They have chosen legal marijuana intoxication over guns. To them it was an equal trade. The leadership supporting pot legalization never supported the second amendment. And they still don’t.

    And they have chosen to let millions of aliens into the state who don’t support the Bill of Rights. But they do support getting lots of free stuff from the Golden State. There is no utopia.
    There is only the Matrix that Californians have chosen to live in. They will have all the legal intoxicants they can choose from. No guns for you.

    • So being a Libertarian is a bad thing? Believing the Constitution is a document that says what the government can’t do vs what it can do is bad? Believing in personal freedom, and responsibility, is a bad thing?

      Just like being a grunt, always improve your fighting position until you have to leave it. Make your situation, and others, better. Fight until you have to, or are ordered, to move.

      I think you may be confusing libertarian with liberal. The less government the better is where I stand.

      • As a CA Libertarian myself, you have to let the majority of this site who do NOT live in California and are NOT Libertarians blow off some steam. Don’t take it too personally when some comment negatively against Libertarians as the reason for marijuana gaining more ground here than guns. Guns will not provide the TAX revenues that marijuana will, which is what the states interest should be. For those who voted for it, it is finding ways to improve our lives, and to tell the Fed gubmnt to stay the hell out of our lives; a sentiment that SHOULD be recognizable to the gun community. Guns owners are made to fund our own subjugation as the MANY steps we must take legally to own guns is a burden that gets worse everyday; designed that way to negatively reinforce ownership. A priming technique to acclimate a new generation away from the Constitution and its tacit mandate for an armed populace as a check against state tyranny.

        While I see the humor in noise about how bad California and by extension Californians is, I must say that as fun as it is, it is ALSO one of the largest gun markets in the nation; even WITH our crap politicians and laws. Many here still fight the good fight, perhaps I am not one of them because I’ve had enough, but our brothers and sisters are HERE gun community members. Vent as much as you like but NEVER forget that if you shun this state’s PEOPLE because of the hegemonic control of Democrats in big cities, you run the risk of excluding people who you should embrace; fellow Americans. But I understand it is all in good fun, mostly. Just remember, some here are still good people, we aren’t all rabid Hodgkinson’s.

        • Amen brother. Keep fighting the good fight! If more people understood that that government DOESN’T have the right to restrict personal rights we wouldn’t have to have these discussions. There are 30, or 35 depending how you count, things that the federal government CAN do, that’s it. Everything else is up to “We the people…” to elect and hold our state and local government to the same standards.

        • IYearn4nARnCali, I have to agree with you on the weed thing. It is and has been California’s #1 cash crop since back in the 70’s. It is only now that the politicians have figured out that it can also be a cash cow with billions to be collected in taxes. (Thanks Wash. and Colo.) Also, I have to agree with this;

          “Vent as much as you like but NEVER forget that if you shun this state’s PEOPLE because of the hegemonic control of Democrats in big cities, you run the risk of excluding people who you should embrace; fellow Americans.”

          Because you never know when you will need allies behind enemy lines.

        • Libertarians are clueless and this proves my point “Guns will not provide the TAX revenues that marijuana will, which is what the states interest should be”

          Go ahead “feed the Beast” (massive government regulatory agencies & high taxes), instead of demanding fiscal responsibility you just look for more ways to raise funds for pie-in-the-sky projects and welfare/healthcare/legal fees for illegal aliens. YOU and the rest of YOUR ilk burden the taxpayers as much as Democrats and sellouts in the GOP. You are responsible for the plight you and your state is in, take a bow, job well done.

          Tell me just what will you tax next? “Water” it’s been done already through high rates for usage, I tell you what, you will go after “air” because everyone needs to breathe but ONLY the middle class will shoulder THAT burden because as usual the elites will have unlimited funds or find a way to avoid paying and lower class will get it for free just like everything else they receive.

        • “allies behind enemy lines” you dumbasses don’t even know how many real leftists you have on your side, libertarian manchildren aren’t the only ones who want small government

      • It’s not just the growingvor importation and sale issues, and those are huge, and you can hide behind “the war on drugs” but drug users will kill for drugs more than they’d kill for a job that allows them to afford them.

        Stack all of society up and you’ll forever find that more of society’s problems come from drug use and users than anything else.

    • Thank you for acknowledging the interest in getting tax money from marijuana sales. The legalization crowd made getting tax revenue as the number two reason for legalization. The other was reducing the number of people in jail.

      But since California is run by socialist progressives they dont believe in low business taxes. I know many of these pot companies have left the state for Colorado or other places who are more business friendly. The lower class, black, white, etc, are still going to jail. But now CNBC does programs on the new rich white pot dealers.

      It’s funny how black pot dealers always had guns. And the new white pot dealers never thought they would need guns. I think the blacks are the capitalist. They believe in having guns to protect their property.
      The whites are the socialist who support legal pot, but don’t believe they or anyone needs guns. Go figure.

      As you spend piles of money on law sutes, do you really believe the pot loving socialist you elected will follow a court decision telling them they have to follow the constitution???

      The latest battles in Berkeley have proven that local government will openly refuse to protect your civil rights. But you can smoke legal marijuana.

      I suggest people read some history on the use of force in the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s.
      It was federal military force, fixed bayonets in Little Rock Arkansas that enforced a court order. The local government had refused to help.
      I have said before I have no problems with people who smoke pot inside their home. But I won’t trade legal marijuana intoxication for my guns.
      So yes I will continue to vote for pro gun candidates. Who by the way also support less welfare, less interference in families lives. Like Trump.
      But the pro weed candidates are anti gun and pro welfare spending.
      How about that!

  8. The only reason Missouri is so high is because of Saint Louis. I’d be interested to see the numbers for the rest of the state- I know of only one murder in my county of 40,000 over the past three or four years.

      • And don’t forget East St Louis, put there by the state of Illinois to make St Louis look good by comparison.

    • Same could be said of CA if you removed LA and SF metro areas. The inland areas totally different countries.Some pockets of liberals focused on college towns, but overall decent. That said, I left 30+ years ago before things went from bad to worse.

      • There is a pretty big pocket of gang activity, mostly Hispanic, in and around Sacramento, extending south to Fresno and Stockton too. The FBI estimates there are more than 6500 gang members in the state.

  9. Well, we may not have to kick them out or boycott them since California may vote to secede next year.

    • Ain’t never gonna happen. For one, California can vote all it wants, but after the civil War, it takes consent of the united States to effectuate secession. The US will never agree to it, if for no other reason than that Californians pay much more in federal taxes than they receive in federal benefits. Then of course there are all the federal military facilities here, not the least of which is Edwards AFB, plus the naval harbor facilities, and the skunk works in SoCal.

  10. I’m perfectly fine with banning Californians from Utah. Maybe to visit for no more than one week, but keep your liberal bs in your own state a$$hats! Pisses me off to see Nevada and Utah going full retard because a bunch of Commiefornia libs decided to leave the bed they help make just to try and screw up someone else’s bed.

    Libs and marxists are the most dangerous people. Why? Because their ideology cannot by put into action without violence or force and they generally seem to be unable to concede a point without being infuriated. That’s what happens when you feel your “facts” I suppose. Oh and did I mention they also seem to be the most envious animals in the world? That can’t help the mental stability either.

  11. Obviously I don’t seriously suggest to ban Californians 🙂 It is merely a hyperbolic argument in order to illustrate the ridiculousness of hyperbolic arguments.

  12. Perhaps southwest Kalifornia should secede from the union to be absorbed my Mexico.

    Beware of what you want because you might get it.

  13. Guys… come on. Don’t be as laughable as the other side in coming up with ridiculous arguments. You can’t look at states by gun ownership and violence and draw any useful conclusions. Confounding variables abound. For example, the states that are most urbanized and ethnically diverse tend to be more violent. Those same places tend to be more left-leaning and therefore pass more gun control bills. But this is not causation. In fact, you could force those places to adopt more pro-2nd laws and the homicide rate would not drop. An example of this is Chicago; because of court rulings, citizens can much more easily get carry permits in Chicago and have been doing so a great deal. The violence, however, has been going up and up.

    Nothing except an extreme on either end of the spectrum would shift homicides. The truth is that there is no discernable effect because other variables are demonstrably more strong.

  14. Before you blame California, understand that it’s politics are a function of its demographics and the same demographic trends are at work nationwide. The rest of the country will mirror California’s politics today in 30 years.
    Focus instead on reviving the Republican Party so that it actually appeals to minorities, not just angry white males. Focus on SCOTUS to make decisions for freedom. Focus on replacing 9th Circuit judges with more conservative appointments. Focus on our educational system so we can grow conservative people… etc. Otherwise, the rest of the country will mirror California

  15. F all of you who attack Californians as if we are all the same. We are not. Most of the state is rural and in rural areas, even liberals like their guns. Rural areas have totally different environments from major metropolitan zones where the Democrat votes are consolidated. In rural areas, finding a rattlesnake, mountain lion, bear, etc, on a school playground, in a residential area, etc. In rural areas, it might take hours for law enforcement to arrive on scene.

    The legislation is controlled by Democrats who migrated here. Many of us in rural areas have been here for generations. My own family is 5 generations of conservatives. My father resides on property which has been in the family for that period of time. Our family has defended this nation in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and the middle east just like millions of other families from California and the rest of the nation. Yet or inputs regarding the use of firearms and the Constitution are ignored. Practically all the law enforcement associations, from cities, to county, to Fish and Game, etc, all have decried these gun controls and attacks on our rights while Democrat members of the legislature, like Yee, have been nailed for political corruption, gun running, etc.

    There are a lot of good Americans here who resent the vile rhetoric directed our way. The same kind of vile rhetoric which is used by the progressives against Trump and all conservatives and those who believe in and support the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Many of us are fighting for and financing the fight for our 2A rights against great odds. so, how about a little respect? I don’t hear us attacking all of you.

    Standing together we are stronger than fighting one another.

    • DaveW, Some of us appreciate the effort, but the fact is the battle has been lost for decades in Cali. There simply aren’t enough people in the hills or Central Valley to overcome the nuttery of LA and SF, not to mention their money, or the fact that SF’ers can steer the interwebs at will.

      As to why people can’t stand Cali ex-pats, the problem is the that the ones everyone sees in other states are the liberal vectors, attempting to infect other locales with California crazy.

      Sorry, but I’m afraid until it all collapses, the inertia of the magical thinking has been unstoppable since RINO Reagan was restricting guns as Gov. Thinking it could get better is quixotic at best. When was the last time our side won anything that mattered in Sacto? “Duh feelz” are in charge of the political process, and it ain’t going away.

      Again, I do appreciate that you’re fighting on some level, but there are 20 rapists outside your cell and you only have the one shiv. Best of luck, but we all know how this movie ends.

  16. Don’t you mean Massachusetts is the 10th worst state for Gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment….? If President Trump was supposed to bring 2nd amendment reforms to all state for all lawful US citizens to exercise…It seams to have missed its mark in MA. ….It’s still being infringed upon….

  17. Better idea…
    “BAN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY/ DNC !!!! Outlaw it as a Seditious crime infused group of EU NWO /Globalist deviants !!! Its the party of crazy !!! “

  18. Why is Indiana not in the top ten gun friendly? We’re not number one, but not eleven either.

  19. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the UNITED States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just follow this pledge?

    • I feel the need to point of that the current Pledge is one of several official versions from over the years (, and also that it was written by a radical socialist who thought the Constitution was a problem, keeping the federal government from creating a worker’s paradise by nationalizing everything (, so it may not be the best choice for the purposes of criticizing people for putting politics first and the nation second.

      Regardless, the problem here is people who vote for politicians who openly campaign on violating the Constitution, and therefore openly intend to take their oaths of office in bad faith. Those voters tend to be in states like California, and thus the entire state draws the ire of the rest of the country. If gun grabbers wanted to campaign on repealing the Second (and/or the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and/or adding amendments repealing and reversing the Ninth and Tenth, as many statist politicians seem to want), they would be welcome to do so. They’d lose in a landslide every time, of course, but as the Constitution provides a means by which to amend itself, they would not be preemptively betraying their oaths in doing so. But they don’t, because they wouldn’t win. So here we are with open enemies of the Constitution seeking public office, and Americans in places like California voting for them.

  20. Dear Mark Kelly’s Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist’s Dummy, You asked a question and so what follows is my answer.

    As a courtesy afforded you as a fellow gun owner, understand if you wish, that owning a gun here in California besets you with an increasing financial burden as a soft means of banning the exercise of the 2nd Amendment. TAXES are raised on guns through Democrat anti gun legislation that places burdens on the only group of people who are NOT responsible for “gun violence”. But guess what bud, NONE OF US HAVE A SAY IN THOSE TAXES, and we dam sure have no choice but to “feed the beast”; but it is a necessary evil, and so is Marijuana taxes.

    Marijuana isn’t about YOUR OPINION, it is about providing the people of this state with a natural plant that has incredible gifts that aren’t filled with pharmaceutical poisons. If the only way to get it into the hands of the people is by swinging taxes in front of the states nose than, who cares what you think pal. This stuff isn’t 1960’s drug culture, it saves lives. My life is INFINITELY better because a marijuana based oil that has no THC stops my nerve damage in my hands and wrists WITHOUT SIDE EFFECTS. That trumps your opinions. It is medicine, so blow it out your….. Take your Never Trump self and go watch Hillary speeches you angry little beaver, go chew some trees.

  21. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, there were 516 homicides in Maryland in 2015, the last year I could find for a UCR from them. Of those homicides, 342 occurred in the City of Baltimore. I think I know where out problem lies.

Comments are closed.