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Do gun laws save lives? Hard to tell from the data
When the United States started requiring background checks in 1994 for people buying handguns from dealers, it was a rare chance to see whether a gun-control measure really worked.
Some states already required background checks, so researchers could conduct a real-life experiment: comparing homicide rates in those states with rates in ones where the requirement was new.
The result? No difference. Homicides went down by a similar amount in both groups during the ensuing four years, suggesting that other factors - not the background checks - were at work.
The background checks did appear to reduce the rate of gun suicides in men over 55, though the data suggested some men were able to substitute another method when a gun was unavailable.
The findings, reported in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reflect a messy truth about most of the measures designed to reduce gun violence: There is little direct evidence they save lives.
Another is under way in Philadelphia, where the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has removed trash and planted grass in thousands of vacant lots. Branas, the Penn researcher, led a team that found the greened lots appeared to act as a deterrent for gun crimes when compared with lots that were not cleaned up.
In a paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the team proposed several explanations for that phenomenon. Among them: when a lot is cleared of trash and rubble, there is nowhere to hide a gun.
The man accused of killing the three bought the gun that he allegedly used just hours earlier and only one day after he and one of the victims had a court hearing in a dispute over custody of their son.
Originally posted by spearcarrier
Never would have thought that a cleaned up lot could deter crime but then again... it only makes sense. Cleaned up neighborhoods: less places to hide a gun. But maybe also subconscious message of "we are a nice neighborhood and we will do something about you"? Because a cleaned up neighborhood also tends to have lower knife crime rates, car thefts, etc. Which I've seen that at work in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.
The broken windows theory is a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime.
Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Had this guy had a few days (or better yet, a couple weeks) to mull over his decisions, he most likely wouldn't have "snapped" and shot these people dead.
Stidham passed the required NICS background check and the owner, Mr. Woods, said he did not look “strangely.