You know the drill. After the Heller decision that established the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right, followed by the McDonald decision which established that the 2nd Amendment applies to the individual states, the usual suspects freaked out. I am not deaf to the gun-control crowd’s arguments. Within a city, I think the police have ably demonstrated the dangers of defensive gun use as innocent bystanders are struck by a volley of ill-placed bullets. In a chorus of catastrophic proclamations, mayors across the land leapt upon their chairs, hiked up their skirts and petticoats and shrieked “wild west” at the notion that private citizens might be able to use a handgun to defend themselves.
John Lott posts an editorial:
But Armageddon never happened. Newly released data for Chicago shows that, as in Washington, murder and gun crime rates didn’t rise after the bans were eliminated — they plummeted. They have fallen much more than the national crime rate.
Not surprisingly, the national media have been completely silent about this news.
One can only imagine the coverage if crime rates had risen. In the first six months of this year, there were 14% fewer murders in Chicago compared to the first six months of last year – back when owning handguns was illegal. It was the largest drop in Chicago’s murder rate since the handgun ban went into effect in 1982.
Meanwhile, the other four most populous cities saw a total drop at the same time of only 6 percent.
It is important not to allow conclusions to get too far ahead of our data. Still, Lott’s point is important – if murders had remained the same, or ticked up even slightly then it would have meant weeks of national news.
Corollary is not causation – a hypothetical factoid “nearly 80% of people involved in fatal traffic accidents have had a hamburger in the last 6 months” does not prove that hamburgers cause traffic fatalities. That said, the body of corollary is becoming enormous. Even if it’s not being shared by our media elites.