Richard Verstegan 5 a.m., March 12
- Community Blog
Do we need more knife control?
On the same day that 26 people were massacred in Newtown, Connecticut by a deranged sociopath, another news article came in under the radar:
Man slashes 22 children near China school
Interestingly, nobody in China is demanding the government place more stringent controls on knives, whereas there is a long congo-line of politicians and liberal talking heads weaving through the media demanding more gun control in the United States in the wake of 20-year-old Adam Lanza's outrage. Their basic argument is guns kill, so fewer guns means fewer people will be killed. But, does that argument hold water?
No. It does not.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is all about saving lives and protecting people from harm, by not letting guns and explosives fall into the wrong hands. It also ensures the timely transfer of firearms to eligible gun buyers. The NICS system was implemented in late 1998. Before anyone can purchase a gun in the United States, they have to pass the NICS background check, managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The number of NICS background checks is a fairly good indicator of how many guns are being purchased each year.
In what turns out to be a counter-intuitive result, as the number of guns purchased has increased, the murder rate in the United States has decreased. In fact the two statistics - gun purchases and murders - have a negative correlation of -.91 over the 12-year period from 1999 to 2011! For the statistically challanged, that means more guns equals fewer homicides.
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings. Not one bullet was fired. It was all done with less than $5,000 worth of fertilizer in a rented truck.
The point of all this is that the United States really doesn't need more gun control any more than it needs more knife control or fertilizer control. We need more sociopath control.
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