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Twenty-One Reasons Why Gun Control Increases Violent Crime, by Michael D. Robbins

Twenty-One Reasons Why Gun Control Increases Violent Crime

July 20, 2012

By Michael D. Robbins, Director
Public Safety Project
P.O. Box 2193
El Segundo, CA 90245

Info (at) PublicSafetyProject.org

Copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Robbins



In this Statement:

Gun Control Increases Violent Crime
Widespread Private Firearms Ownership Reduces Violence
The Worst Mass-Murders Did Not Involve Firearms
Twenty-One Mechanisms by which Gun Control Increases Violent Crime


Firearm prohibitionists have relied on proven false arguments to deceive and mislead law-abiding citizens into giving up their Natural Right to self-defense and to own firearms, as recognized by and enumerated in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Defense with a firearm is significantly safer and more effective than any other method, including non-resistance. Furthermore, the primary purpose of the Second Amendment is to deter and protect against government tyranny. Its independent and operative clause states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The language “shall not be infringed” is the strongest language used in the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment is the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that uses that language. More analysis on the Second Amendment will be provided in a separate article.

The same “usual suspect” advocacy researchers, with funding form the same “usual suspect” leftist foundations (e.g., Joyce Foundation and others) have produced biased, unscientific studies to convince ordinary non-violent Americans that they will be safer without their own personal self-defense firearms, and that they will be safer if all other law-abiding citizens are denied their innate right to own firearms for self-defense. Both of these claims have been proven false, and the opposite has been proven to be true – that law-abiding citizens are safer if they and other law-abiding citizens own self-defense firearms.

Most “gun control” laws do not even recognize the right of non-violent, law-abiding citizens to own firearms for self-defense and family-defense purposes. For example, the Gun Control Act of 1968 bans the importation of firearms based on their “suitability for sporting purposes”, without regard for or recognition of their suitability for self-defense, collecting, or investment purposes. Even worse, the determination of “suitability for sporting purposes” is arbitrary, subjective, irrational, and contrary to real world everyday usage.

A firearm is banned if it is one millimeter shorter than the arbitrary minimum length. A particular Beretta pistol with a standard rear sight and grip was banned from importation into the U.S. under the 1968 GCA, but the same pistol with the rear sight changed to a simple adjustable target sight and the grip changed to one with a “target” thumb rest was legal for importation. A flat standard grip that makes the pistol more suitable for carrying for self-defense, either in a concealed or exposed holster, or in a pocket or purse, could be purchased separately and installed in a few minutes with a screwdriver.

As another example, California Penal Code sections 26150 and 26155 require that “When a person applies for a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person”, the county sheriff or city police chief “may issue a license to that person upon proof” that “good cause exists for issuance of the license.” Other requirements include “good moral character” and residency or having a principal place of employment or business in the county or a city in the county.

“Good moral character” is proven with a clean criminal records check and perhaps some character references. However, The definition of “good cause” is subjective and is defined at the whim of the county sheriff and city police chief. The word “may” rather than “shall” makes California a “may issue” state rather than a “shall issue” state. However, in actual practice, the word “may” combined with the subjective “good cause” requirement makes California a “will not issue” state. Exceptions may be made for well-connected famous celebrities or very wealthy people, including contributors to the sheriff’s campaign fund.

In actual practice, self-defense to protect one’s own life or the lives of family members is not deemed to be sufficient good cause to carry a concealed handgun in public in California, a state dominated by Democrat politicians who are anti-self-defense. But carrying large sums of money or expensive jewelry as part of one’s business may be considered “good cause”.

Former San Jose, California Police Chief Joseph D. McNamara wrote in his book “Safe and Sane”, on pages 71-72, “As much as I oppose the average person having a gun, I recognize that some people have a legitimate need to own one. A wealthy corporate executive who fears his family might get kidnapped is one such person. A Hollywood celebrity who has to protect himself from kooks is another. If Sharon Tate had had access to a gun during the Manson murders, some innocent lives might have been saved.” That is, the elitist firearm prohibitionists believe your life is not worth protecting and saving unless you are rich and famous. Perhaps McNamara’s book should have been titled “Unsafe and Insane”.

McNamara is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was appointed police chief for the city of San Jose, California in 1976. He posed in his police uniform for a photo featured prominently on the front cover of a Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) pamphlet promoting firearms prohibition. HCI was renamed to the “Brady Campaign” to conceal the firearm ban and confiscation agenda that was the basis for its founding, as explained by HCI founder Pete Shields in the July 27, 1976 issue of the New Yorker magazine.

In 1989, McNamara forbid the police officers in his department from exercising their First Amendment right to speak as private citizens in plain clothes before the California Legislature in opposition to firearms prohibition – SB 292 and AB 357 authored by State Senator David Roberti and Assemblyman Mike Roos – both leftist Democrats. As an example, McNamara ruined the career of San Jose police officer Leroy Pyle for speaking against SB 292 and AB 357 as a private citizen in plain clothes before the legislature, assigning him to desk work and harassing him to force him out of the department.

“Also in 1989, another police expert, the chief firearms training officer for the San Jose, California, police department, Leroy Pyle, produced a videotape in which he explained and detailed both visually and audibly, the difference between a full auto and a semi-auto.[29] This brief technical video by a police expert was also suppressed or ignored by anti-gun officials and the national media. For his efforts to shed light on the issue, Officer Pyle was suspended, given a punishment assignment and driven from his 25-year police career by his anti-gun chief Joseph McNamara. One of the charges McNamara leveled at Pyle was that he wore a San Jose police uniform during part of his public educational effort, something the chief himself was doing in paid advertising for Handgun Control, Inc. and in other public appearances to influence legislative decisions.[30]

“[29] This video was later circulated to lawmakers and the public by the National Rine Association.

“[30] In 1989, Chief McNamara wrote fund-raising letters for Handgun Control, Inc. on San Jose Police Department letterhead. He also appeared in Handgun Control, Inc. national advertising.”


University of Dayton Law Review
Symposium, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
vol. 20, no. 2, 1995: 557.
Posted for Educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical. For citational use please visit the local law library or obtain a back issue.


Joseph P. Tartaro*

Click on the following link to go the the full law review article on the Second Amendment Foundation web site (SAF.org):

Gun Control Increases Violent Crime (GCIVC)

The last thirty-five years of the most complete and accurate scientific criminological research shows that often, gun control increases violent crime, and it never reduces crime. Gun control laws cost thousands of lives each year, and endanger everyone, including those who choose not to own firearms.

This includes research by professors James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, professor Gary Kleck, professor John Lott, Jr., and others.

(Reference the Federal Wright-Rossi Report, 1981, commercially published as “Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America” by Kathleen Daly, Peter H. Rossi and James D. Wright, January 1983; the Federal Wright-Rossi Felon Survey, commercially published as “Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms” by James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi; “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America” by Gary Kleck, 1991, 2005; and “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws”, Third Edition by John R. Lott, 2010.)

At least half of all American homes possess firearms, and it is mathematically certain that nearly all of them are used for lawful purposes and are not used in crimes.

There are about 2.5 million defensive uses of firearms in the U.S. each year, almost always without shooting the attacker. Mere possession and display is almost always an adequate defense.

Gun control shifts the balance of power to favor criminals over ordinary citizens. This is especially evident in mass murder shooting rampages, which are facilitated by the imbalance of power created by gun control laws and business policies that prevent self-defense with firearms. Shooting rampages may last from several minutes to more than a half hour, due to the imbalance of power an armed attacker has over unarmed citizens.

Gun control destroys the multiple crime control and deterrent effects of armed citizens. The crime control and deterrent effects of armed citizens equal or exceed those of the entire criminal justice system, including police, courts, and prisons, according to research by Professor Gary Kleck at Florida State University.

Gun control laws waste, squander, and misdirect limited criminal justice resources, including police, court, and prison resources, by targeting the wrong people. Gun control diverts attention away from real and effective crime control methods that have worked in the past and will work in the future.

And gun control is used as a smokescreen by liberal, soft-on-crime politicians, celebrities, and other public figures, to cover up their soft-on-crime records, and to divert attention away from their failure to support real and effective crime control laws. Most news organizations are willing and eager accomplices. All a liberal politician must do to instantly get lots of free positive national news publicity, that cannot be bought at any price, is publicly call for more restrictive gun control laws.

A more detailed list of twenty-one distinct mechanisms by which Gun Control Increases Violent Crime is provided at the end of this statement.

Widespread Private Firearms Ownership Reduces Violence

Firearms are used at least five times more often for self-defense by ordinary citizens than they are misused in all crimes, suicides, and accidents combined.

Therefore, a complete and accurate cost-versus-benefits analysis, rather than a one-sided analysis, shows that widespread firearms ownership by ordinary nonviolent citizens provides a great net benefit to society, and greatly reduces the overall violence rate. Private firearms ownership should be strongly encouraged rather than discouraged or prohibited.

Scientific research by Professor Gary Kleck found that defense with a firearm is significantly safer and more effective than any other method, including non-resistance.

Gun control laws that target, restrict, punish, and harass ordinary law-abiding citizens, who have no criminal intent, are both counter-productive and immoral. The right to self-defense, which necessarily includes the right to own firearms, the safest and most effective means of self-defense, is a basic Natural right of free people that is recognized by the Constitution.

The Worst Mass-Murders Did Not Involve Firearms

The worst mass-murders committed by civilians (rather than governments) did not involve firearms. That is why liberal, anti-gun politicians, lobbyists, and news reporters restrict their discussion to the worst shooting rampages. Far worse mass-murders are possible and have been committed without firearms in the U.S. and in other countries.

For example, Julio Gonzalez quickly murdered 87 people using one dollar worth of gasoline and two matches, when he set fire to the Happy Land Social Club nightclub in the Bronx, New York City, on March 25, 1990. He set the nightclub ablaze after he had an argument with his former girlfriend who worked there, and was ejected by the bouncer.

Gonzalez was found guilty of 87 counts of arson and 87 counts of murder on August 19, 1991. He was sentenced to the maximum of 25 years to life for each count (a total of 4,350 years). It was the most substantial prison term ever imposed in the state of New York. However, he will be eligible for parole after only 25 years, in March 2015, because New York law states that multiple murders occurring during one act will be served concurrently, rather than consecutively. (Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Land_fire)

Thus, Gonzalez did not get a death penalty, and will be eligible for parole after serving less than 3.5 months for each of the 87 murders. That places an extremely small value on human life.

There are many worse mass-murder examples than the Happy Land Social Club fire. This example was used to illustrate how simple and easy it is to commit mass-murder without any special skills or equipment.

Recommendations for News Reporters Covering This and Other Mass Murders

Here are our recommendations for more responsible and ethical conduct by news reporters and editors in the aftermath of this horrific mass murder. These recommendations are also useful to news consumers to recognize media incompetence and bias.

We recommend that news reporters avoid sensationalizing the mass murder and making the murderer famous, to advance their careers or promote a “gun control” agenda. Making the murderer famous will encourage more mass murders in the future. This happened in the case of Patrick Purdy, who murdered school children on January 17, 1989 at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, as described above.

We recommend that news reporters refrain from including the murderer(s) in the “victim count” or “death toll” if the murderer(s) are killed or kill themselves. Including the murderer(s) in the “victim count” or “death toll” is misleading and disrespectful to the murder victims, because it asserts a moral equivalence between the murderer(s) and the murder victims. State the number of murder victims, and then state separately that the murderer(s) were killed (not murdered) or killed themselves.

We recommend that if news reporters compare the Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass murder to other mass murders, they provide a more complete and competent comparison that includes all types of mass murders, as described above, rather than artificially narrowing the focus to “shooting rampages” to promote dangerous and counter-productive gun control laws.

We recommend that news reporters refrain from focusing attention on firearm and accessory technical details, which news reporters usually misunderstand and get wrong, and which are usually irrelevant to the factors that enabled the mass-murderer to commit the crime.

We recommend that news reporters refrain from insensitive and thoughtless lines of questioning, including questions such as “How do you feel now that your son is dead?” and “Do you forgive the killer?”

These are actual questions asked by TV news reporters when interviewing murder victims’ family members. The latter question about forgiveness demonstrates extreme ignorance, and it trivializes the murder. Murder is an unforgiveable crime, because only the murder victim can forgive the murderer, which is impossible once the murder victim is dead.

We recommend that news reporters and editors use the more accurate word “murderer” instead of “killer”, “shooter”, and “gunman”, which diminish the illegality and immorality of the murders. Likewise, we recommend use of the word “murders” instead of “killings” and “shootings”, and “murder” instead of “kill”, “shoot”, and “gun down.”

Too many misguided reporters and editors avoid using words such as “murder” to avoid being “judgmental.” That is sheer idiocy, and it is disrespectful to the murder victims.

Twenty-One Mechanisms by which Gun Control Increases Violent Crime (GCIVC)

July 20, 2012

By Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project
Info (at) PublicSafetyProject.org

Copyright © 2012 by Michael D. Robbins

The last thirty-five years of the most complete and accurate scientific criminological research shows that often, gun control increases violent crime, and it never reduces crime. Gun control laws cost thousands of lives each year, and endanger everyone, including those who choose not to own firearms.

There are many mechanisms by which gun control increases violent crime, including the following twenty-one mechanisms. These mechanisms include both general and specific effects. Although some of these mechanisms may appear to be similar or to overlap, I believe they are reasonably distinct mechanisms that merit individual entries in this list. Feel free to contact me with any additions or suggestions.

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