Anyone remember the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat? Aside from the title, Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ tome was virtually unreadable, suffused as it was with enough medical terminology to pad seven seasons of ER. And only a fraction as interesting. And yet TMWMHWFAH became a best-seller. Same deal for More Guns, Less Crime. I mean, I have every reason to read John Lott’s seminal work on why gun control doesn’t prevent or reduce crime, while carrying guns does. But Lott’s exhaustively researched, statistic-laden text is as impenetrable to a math-aversive blogger as a White House soiree to a couple of invitation-less social climbers. Oh wait. Anyway, the preface to MGLC is a whole ‘nother matter (and an excellent stopping point for those of us who equate statistics with water boarding). As is Lott’s most recent anti anti-gun opus, published by the left-leaning liberals bastards at Fox News. In case you don’t want to hit MORE for some choice excerpts, here’s the 411. Lott’s got a Nikita Khrushchev-like message for judicial activists who think gun control is a good thing: we will bury you. With logic, reason and, if you really piss us off, MORE STATISTICS.
Last September, a Washington Post reporter, Christian Davenport, found out just how difficult it still is to get a handgun in D.C. even after the Supreme Court struck down the city’s handgun ban. Excluding the price of the gun, the reporter spent $558.69 in various fees to get through the approval process. But that was only part of the cost. It took him “a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam.”
So when do these types of regulations constitute just as much of a ban on handguns as an outright ban?
Uh, now? That’s how Lott rolls: facts > facts > more facts > inescapable conclusion. Here’s an example from the Fox op-ed for our Massachusetts reader:
Gunlocks — The Supreme Court was right in the Heller decision. It ruled that a locked, unloaded gun “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.” Empirical work shows that gunlock laws have failed to reduce accidental gun deaths for children. Instead, they have cost innocent lives as law-abiding citizens have become more vulnerable to criminal attack. Just as higher arrest or conviction rates or longer prison sentences can deter criminals, so can more self-defense. Gunlock laws not only embolden criminals to attack people in their homes. These laws also increase the probability that the criminal will be successful.
Go on. Click on that link. I DARE you.
Lott blesses us with another episode of The Empiricist Strikes Back, hitting gun law-loving Judge Urbina with the Death Star’s full fury. And yet, as we all know, even Lord Vader is susceptible to over-reaching.
What is worse is that these laws divert money from law enforcement activities that work. The thousands of hours spent by police to register guns are time that police could have put to solving crimes. That diversion of resources is the real threat to public safety.
Stuff and nonsense John. The assertion that the government would be more efficient if we re-focused its resources on “important” jobs shows that behind every fact-slinging academic there’s a babe in the woods. Statistically speaking.