(Thomas Mitchell) – Obama on Oregon shooting:
We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence.
He was probably basing this on National Journal analysis.
Even the Washington Post fact checkers gave this statement Two Pinocchios, because when you remove suicides from gun deaths there is little correlation between tough laws and gun deaths. The president was talking about mass murder, not suicides.
“This is a classic situation in which a politician bases a statement on a study, but then exaggerated the conclusions to justify a policy,” the Post concluded. “It also lacks context because the results change, sometimes dramatically, when suicides are removed from the gun deaths. (Alaska moving from 50th to 25th, Utah going from 31st to 8th and Maryland falling from 15th to 45th are rather dramatic swings.)”
Reason magazine reached a similar conclusion: “To get a clearer idea of what’s going on, you would at least want to see whether the adoption of certain gun controls is associated with reductions in gun death rates, as compared to pre-existing trends in the states that adopt them and ongoing trends in the rest of the country. In any case, it clearly is not true that permissive gun laws are inevitably accompanied by higher gun death rates, especially if you focus on homicides, which is the main threat cited by proponents of new gun controls.”
Then, what about the mere presence of guns per capita versus gun violence?
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.
The column was originally published in Mr. Mitchell’s blog.