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Your Views: Crime statistics don’t support tough gun laws

POSTED: April 7, 2014 1:00 a.m.

In his Thursday response to Jerry Callahan concerning right-to-carry laws, Michael Parker presented a comparison of Atlanta and Chicago while decrying the availability of guns. I would like to counter his argument with a comparison, albeit brief, of Chicago and Houston.

As of 2012, Chicago, with its strict gun control laws, witnessed 10.08 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, and 41.84 property crimes per 1,000 residents. These numbers are figured in light of a population of 2.7 million people.

Mr. Parker’s numbers for Atlanta reveal a city less than 20 percent the size of Chicago (Atlanta’s population is measured at just over 437,000). Houston, by comparison, holds a population of 2.1 million. Houston’s crime record reveals 9.97 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 50.35 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

Houston’s gun laws are much more lax than Chicago’s gun laws, yet Houston has less violent crime. Statistics from 2012 show 500 murders in Chicago compared to 217 in Houston. Atlanta had 84 murders in the same time span.

Perhaps Atlanta is just not a safe city. Those numbers equate to 0.10 murders per 1,000 residents in Houston; 0.18 per 1,000 in Chicago; and 0.19 per 1,000 in Atlanta.

To quote John Adams, facts are stubborn things. Other people say that numbers never lie. This is true. A number, or statistic, cannot lie. However, the person relating that statistic to others can twist words to make the numbers reflect whatever they want.

Blaming a gun for crime is like blaming a car for a drunk driver, or blaming a fork for obesity. Mr. Parker may feel safer with fewer guns around. He may prefer gun-free zones, for all we know. However, a high number of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones, because the shooter knows they will be met with very little resistance.

Technically, a gun-free zone has even tighter gun laws than Chicago. That does not stop gun crime from happening. Gun laws only affect those people who seek to be law-abiding members of society. Taking away guns or restricting access to guns, from law-abiding citizens, merely creates easier opportunity for the criminal element to perpetrate gun crimes. That is certainly far safer than allowing law-abiding, trained citizens to have the right to carry their legally obtained firearms.

Blake Duncan
Flowery Branch


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