Even the mere mention of gun regulations, no matter how sensible they might be, is enough to send most gun fanatics into a fit of rage and irrational hysteria. In my dealings with topics of any kind, gun fanatics are easily some of the most ridiculous people I encounter. These are people who, despite the overwhelming evidence showing that countries with fewer guns have a fraction of our gun violence, still insist that the “solution” to the U.S. leading the modern world in gun violence is more guns.
These are also the same people who often like to say that a gun is no more dangerous than a spoon because a gun can’t shoot itself. Using that logic, a rocket-propelled grenade isn’t dangerous either. Of course, no sane person in this country would think that having over 300 million RPG’s floating around society would be a good thing.
Well, a new study from Johns Hopkins University debunks the commonly regurgitated gun fanatic propaganda that gun regulations won’t have any impact on gun violence.
According to this study, which looked at the 10 year period following the implementation of a handgun permit-to-purchase law in October 1995 in Connecticut, the state saw a 40 percent reduction in gun-related homicides:
Results. We estimated that the law was associated with a 40% reduction in Connecticut’s firearm homicide rates during the first 10 years that the law was in place. By contrast, there was no evidence for a reduction in nonfirearm homicides.
Conclusions. Consistent with prior research, this study demonstrated that Connecticut’s handgun permit-to-purchase law was associated with a subsequent reduction in homicide rates. As would be expected if the law drove the reduction, the policy’s effects were only evident for homicides committed with firearms. (Source)
The law mandated that state residents personally apply for a permit from the police before buying a handgun from any licensed dealer or private seller. It also raised the minimum handgun purchasing age from 18 to 21 and included mandatory safety training classes.
Now, I’m sure any gun fanatic who comes across this will try to find some way to dismiss this study. They’ll come up with some sarcastic comment about Sandy Hook happening in Connecticut (which has nothing to do with this) or they’ll use gun laws in Chicago, a city with an extremely high gun-related homicide rate, to “prove” that this study means nothing.
One big difference between this law and Chicago’s gun laws is that it’s a city vs. a state issue. To get around Chicago’s laws all someone has to do is leave the city limits. In Connecticut, you would have to leave the state to escape their laws, and that’s an entirely different situation.
But when you look at the findings, they’re hard to dispute. The state saw an obvious reduction in gun-related homicide rates following the passage of this gun law, whereas homicides committed in other ways remained the same. If the law had nothing to do with that reduction then homicide rates as a whole would have seen the same sort of reduction, not just those committed with guns.
Unfortunately, this study will have no impact on how gun fanatics feel about gun regulations. Because the fact is, it doesn’t matter how rational the information might be when you’re dealing with people who don’t have the ability to think rationally.
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