When you’ve lost Rupert Murdoch ….
We have to do something about gun controls. Police license okay for hunting rifle or pistol for anyone without crim or pscho record. No more
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) July 22, 2012
Hmm. Ezra Klein’s “Six Facts About Guns, Violence & Gun Control” is an interesting read, especially for those of us in the South, who seem to be the living embodiment of everything gun control advocates have been saying. For example:
2. The South is the most violent region in the United States.
In a subsequent post, Healy drilled further into the numbers and looked at deaths due to assault in different regions of the country. Just as the United States is a clear outlier in the international context, the South is a clear outlier in the national context…
5. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths. The disclaimer here is that correlation is not causation. But correlations can be suggestive…
Klein’s sixth fact is, “gun control is not politically popular,” citing Gallup statistics. While I’ve also seen Pew research suggesting the same thing, I also tend to think this is more perception than reality, a reflection of the shouting and bullying by gun nuts and NRA loons which sucks all the oxygen out of the room, preventing any reasonable debate (is feature, not bug!). With every mass shooting followed by zero policy change, the non-crazy majority gets increasingly frustrated and more vocal.
Much has been discussed about the NRA really being a gun manufacturers’ lobby, not a gun owners’ lobby. Klein’s third fact, “gun ownership in the United States is declining overall,” is very interesting, indeed. If, as these studies suggest, America’s gun culture is on the decline, the illogical rantings of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre — which border on the unhinged — make more sense. The crazy fearmongering by the NRA is playing to an increasingly shrinking audience, and by necessity must become ever more shrill to keep their attention. That’s how these things play out, isn’t it? It’s the last gasp of a dying culture.