Questioning Academic Authority on Guns

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Maybe it’s time we revived that phrase “question authority.”

The Right To Bare Arms

“The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of ‘common-sense gun safety laws,’ is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook,” Brian Doherty writes in the latest issue of Reason magazine.

Doherty actually examined that premise, and found it wanting. “Still, we have reason to believe gun prevalence likely surpassed the one-gun-per-adult mark early in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to a 2012 Congressional Research Service report that relied on sales and import data,” Doherty writes. “Yet during that same period, per-capita gun murders have been cut almost in half.”

Specifically: “The gun murder rate in 1993 was 7.0 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (Those reports rely on death certificate reporting, and they tend to show higher numbers than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, though both trend the same.) In 2000 the gun murder rate per 100,000 was 3.8. By 2013, the rate was even lower, at 3.5, though there was a slight upswing in the mid-00s.”