Canada — Facts do not Matter to Gun Grabbers

Saturday, August 20th, 2005 10:28 am by Neal

This essay by John Lott, Canada Blames Us, demonstrates, once again, how irrelevant facts are to politically-motivated Gun Grabbers. In this instance, it is Canada that is grappling with an increase in violent crime after Canadian gun control laws went into effect. But this is nothing new: just look at what happened in England and Australia after they banned handguns outright.

The experiences in the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers some pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned. Yet, since 1996 the serious-violent-crime rate has soared by 69 percent; robbery is up 45 percent, and murders up 54 percent. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost to its 1993 level.

The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey completed, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate of that in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out later this year, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35 percent, while those in the U.S. have declined 6 percent.

Australia has also seen its violent-crime rates soar immediately after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32-percent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1995. The same comparisons for armed-robbery rates showed increases of 74 percent.

Compare these results with what has happened in the United States during the same time period:

During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals’ abilities to carry firearms. Thirty seven of the fifty states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns after passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes.

With Canada’s reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.’s (which is 475), Canada’s politicians are understandably nervous.

What is going on here? For one, gun control laws only disarm law-abiding citizens. Criminals, by definition, aren’t affected by such laws. Lott points out that there are other dynamics at play — such as drug-gang violence — that vary from country to country, but countless studies have demonstrated that gun control laws cause an increase in violent crimes because they create a class of legally-disarmed victims.

A great resource of objective, scientific data on gun control is Lott’s magnum opus (pun intended), More Guns, Less Crime. Also, check out his more recent work, The Bias Against Guns.

One Response to “Canada — Facts do not Matter to Gun Grabbers”

  1. tom Says:

    It is interesting that Canada blaming the US for smuggled-in weapons is the same excuse given by Washington, DC, New York, and other gun-banning cities for increases in crime after violent crime increases. It is the liberal-left concept of the evil guns rather than evil people who use handguns against those not able to defend themselves.

    I noticed while glancing at 2 different television shows this week the horrored look on characters faces when they noticed concealed guns (1 holstered, 1 in the belt.) The gun-toting characters were presented as good people who were misguided by the power of the gun. Such leftist-gun-hating- crap!