Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Heller: The Analysis of Crime Statistics

This is eighth in a series of reviews of the briefs filed with the Supreme Court supporting the Second Amendment in the historic case District of Columbia vs. Heller.

The Heller team tasked a group of 22 distinguished professors–of law, economics, political science, history and physics–to examine the statistics used by the District and its allies to support their contention that homicides fell substantially and abruptly after implementation of the 1977 ban on handguns within the District.

This team, their amici brief is here, looked at D.C.'s murder numbers compared to those of three other areas: the city of Baltimore, the neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland, and the entire United States.

They found, perhaps surprising no one but those who depend on legacy media for their information, that in the years prior to the ban, D.C. ranked 15th for murder among American cities. In the 30 years since, the city has captured the title "Murder Capital" 15 times and ranked in the top 4 at least 20 times. In only one of the 30 years has the murder rate been as low as it was before the law.

Thus, whether looking at the period from 1968 to 1987, or including the later period, there is no evidence that the District handgun ban reduced the District’s murder rate.
Not exactly a success story.

One wonders how the politicians, or the lawyers supporting them, can look anyone in the eye.

Given the conservative nature of the authors of this brief, I have to believe that thought long and hard before adding the second sentence, emphasis added:

Whether one examines the District’s murder rates relative to other large US cities, the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia, or relative to the US as a whole there is no evidence that the ban reduced the District’s relative murder rate. Indeed, if anything, the evidence points to the opposite conclusion.
Again, the commonsensical:
Everyone wants to disarm criminals. However, the problem with bans is who is most likely to obey them. If the ban primarily disarms lawabiding citizens and not criminals, the ban can have the opposite effect of what was intended.
This brief devastates any argument supporting the argument that the D. C. gun ban has worked. It hasn't, and the proof is here, where it will be available to reference for years to come.

Heller Has More Friends
Heller's Friends: The Doctors' Prescription
Heller's Friends in Congress, And One More
Heller’s Friends: Claremont Institute and the Scholars
The Heller Posse: A Roundup of Briefs: The NRA
Heller: The Good Guys Shoot Back, With Effect
On Heller: Shot in the Back by the Bush DOJ

For even more on the case and the subject, click here.

One could build a heck of a University out of this faculty. It's great to see them step up.

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