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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Using Gun Rights Haters Own Research Against Them

Easy to do with Robert Muggah, among many things the coauthor of “We Need Better Data for a Serious Gun Control Debate”, an article in which he advocates gun control despite the fact that he claims there isn't enough good data on the subject to even have a debate about it. A tad bias, wouldn't you agree? Could that be why gun rights advocates don't want such people doing research on crime and violence? But I digress, on October 8, 2014 he gave a talk at TEDGlobal 2014: South! in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil titled “How To Protect Fast-Growing Cities From Failing”:

In his talk he says a number of things that make clear that guns aren't the drivers of a high murder rate. Most importantly, he directly contradicts that major gun rights haters' argument when Dr. Muggah says that, “...when it comes to cities, the conversation is dominated by the North, that is, North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan, where violence is actually at historic lows.”. He then drives home the point with:

What's more, we're seeing a dramatic reduction in homicide. Manuel Eisner and others have shown that for centuries, we've seen this incredible drop in murder, especially in the West. Most Northern cities today are 100 times safer than they were just 100 years ago.

These two facts -- the decline in armed conflict and the decline in murder -- are amongst the most extraordinary, if unheralded, accomplishments of human history, and we should be really excited, right?
That drop in murder rates includes the United States with all its guns. The slide from his presentation below clearly shows the US to be in the same low murder rate category as western Europe. So much for the lie that the US is a very dangerous place!

Dr. Muggah goes on to talk about social and demographic factors that that drive violence, all the while making the gun rights advocates' case for us. Not once does he say that the availability of guns is the cause of the violence. He ends his talk with this:

There is nothing inevitable about lethal violence, and we can make our cities safer. Folks, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to drop homicidal violence in half within our lifetime. So I have just one question: What are we waiting for?
Yes, gun rights haters, what are you waiting for to stop worshiping the false god of gun control and start facing the real causes of the violence problem?


  1. Good article. Good approach. It's one I use all the time.

    Re: "So much for the lie that the US is a very dangerous place!"

    It is increasingly dangerous in one respect.

    Vastly increased danger from the very "law enforcement officers" who ostensibly "protect and serve" us!

  2. Gun control is not the control of guns. It is the control of people. It is the control of people who surrendered their guns, by the people who collected their guns.
    — Quotations from Chairman Zhu

  3. there is need to educate people, so that gun crime can be reduced.

    1. There is crime with other weapons too, you know? We need to put the proper social dynamics in place to make society more harmonious:

      "Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation."
      --Frederick Bastiat, "The Law"