posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 08:10 AM
One of the most commonly agreed upon gun control measures put forth by Obama yesterday has been the expansion of background checks for all gun
purchases. Many, even in the NRA, think this is a "common sense" measure to keep guns out of the hands of bad people.
After the Brady gun law was passed in 1994, it created the opportunity to find out just how effective this gun control measure would be.
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.
It seems that closing the gun show and private sale "loopholes" probably won't do much to save lives and will just make it more difficult for
private sellers. Probably the real motivation for this provision is to ensure that each and every gun sale in the US is tracked and, more importantly,
taxed by our ever more greedy government. They can't tax what they don't see and making sure everyone who sells a gun, even to a friend or relative
has to go through the government to do it is a good way to ensure those taxes are collected.
This would also be a boon for the gun shops who would probably have to act as a middleman in all gun transactions from now on, after charging a
reasonable fee of course
It seems to me that the interests being served here is to collect more revenues for the government and the gun sellers with a measure that has been
proven to do little for public safety. The bottom line is; if a bad person wants to get a gun to commit a crime, there is nothing to stop them from
using illegal means to get their guns and, like all laws, background checks will only make life more complicated for law abiding citizens while doing
little to protect the public.
Interestingly enough, the article does point out one gun control measure at the very end that has proven very effective and probably could get even
the endorsement of the NRA and the most hard-core consrvatives.
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.
Its funny how cleaning up empty lots seems to have a more tangible effect on reducing gun crime than one of the most popular provisions being advanced
by the gun grabbers.