by Rod D. Martin
January 11, 2016

The editorial board of the New York Times says that “The Hear-Nothing Gun Crowd” is engaging in “a howling storm of misrepresentation” against what they seem to portray as truth, justice and the American way.

But I’m not so sure that it’s the side the Times opposes that “hears nothing.”

For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Congressional Research Service, the number of guns in America is up 50% over the past 25 years, and yet the number of gun crimes is down 50%. Now that’s a pretty big problem for the entire gun control argument, since it is based upon the unproved assumption that more guns necessitate more crime: how can there be more guns in more hands and yet not only is there not more crime, there’s actually dramatically less? We are actually at 100-year lows!

Gun Ownership Rate vs Gun Murder Rate

Crickets. I have yet to hear a liberal either acknowledge these facts or interact with them in any meaningful way.

Percent Changes - Number of Firearms vs Gun Murder Rate

Similarly, year after year, we see gun crime drop in states that pass concealed carry or open carry laws. We continue to see high rates in cities like Chicago with strict gun laws. Again, crickets.

And likewise, in the aftermath of San Bernardino, the President called for a host of “sensible gun control measures,” all of which were in fact the law in California already, and thus obviously failed to prevent anything. I have constantly been told by liberal friends that we “need to do more” things that have already been the law for years. They tend to show very little interest in facts like those in the charts above, regardless of the source (our government).

The President’s Town Hall “discussion” with Anderson Cooper was especially telling in this regard. Two highlights:

1. When asked a question by a woman who had been raped, who said it was important to her to have a gun to protect herself and her family, the President barely acknowledged her attack or said he was sorry for her trauma before talking down to her. He jumped right into explaining why, if she had a gun, she’d probably just shoot herself, or have her gun taken from her by the rapist. So first, he has the compassion of a rock, and arguably is a sexist; and second, the tiny chance of a “you’ll shoot your eye out” moment is certainly better than actually getting raped. And at the very least, if listening is the issue, it would make sense to listen to someone who’s actually been raped when you yourself have not been. But the President — to use the New York Times‘ words — “heard nothing.”

2. When Anderson Cooper asked a question about many Americans’ concerns — and when I say “many Americans” I include 100% of the Founding Fathers — that moves toward greater gun control would result in a greater risk of tyranny at some point, the President all-but shouted Cooper down: he got hostile, his body language got aggressive, he even called Cooper “Cooper,” not “Mr. Cooper” or “Anderson,” which was greatly out of character with his demeanor in the rest of the interview. He dismissed everyone who felt differently as a “conspiracy nut” and demanded that “Cooper” dismiss their concerns too. Key words: “demanded” and “dismiss.”

So forgive me if I think the New York Times is being (highly) disingenuous. There is no “listening” by the left regarding any of this. And there is particularly none regarding the chart I’m posting below, which calls into question virtually 100% of the basis for this debate. If a better armed populace empirically results in dramatically less crime over a 25 year period, and if in fact the periods of increased gun control and fewer guns saw much more gun crime in a much smaller population, then gun control is not about keeping people safe, but rather about enacting certain people’s personal preferences without regard to the actual results.

And I don’t see anyone on the left willing to listen to even the possibility of that.

Gun Control Laws vs. Homicide Rate