- Mar 14, 2011
Harvard study concludes that gun control does not prevent murders, other violent crime
The study, which was conducted by Don B. Kates, an American criminologist and constitutional lawyer, and Gary Mauser, a Canadian criminologist and university professor, offered a stark truth: More guns does not equal more deaths and less guns does not equal less deaths.
Kates and Mauser claim in the study that while some international comparisons have been viewed as evidence that more guns equals more deaths and therefore to reduce guns will reduce deaths, they indicate that some of these studies use inaccurate or misleading information to obtain the results.
According to the study, the so-called fact that the reason the murder rate is so high in the United States compared with other modern developed countries is due to the U.S. having uniquely easy access to guns, is simply not true. The study indicates those homicide rates are not an accurate representation and moreover, that those rates have nothing to do with the number of firearms in the country.
Yet, according to the study, what fails to be acknowledged is that first, England was already experiencing an all-time low in violence before gun control measures were introduced. Secondly, in the late 1990s England started to initiate stricter gun control policies, resulting in a complete ban of handguns as well as many long guns. Hundreds of thousands of firearms were confiscated from law-abiding citizens. By the year 2000, violent crime in England had increased so much that it had one of the highest violent crime rates in all of Europe, evening higher than that of the U.S.
In addition, England’s most recent crime statistics have been grossly misrepresented. In 2006 the criminal justice system, in an attempt to conserve resources, initiated a policy in which the police would no longer investigate “minor” crimes, such as burglary and minor assault. If a mugger, robber, burglar or others engaged in minor criminal activities are caught, the police simply give them a warning – a virtual slap on the wrist – then send them on their way, without filing charges, arresting or prosecuting them. In other words, crime has not gone down in England, but rather “minor” crimes are simply no longer counted as crime.
And as states adopted statutes to allow the carrying of firearms, the U.S. saw a dramatic drop in violent crime, particularly homicides. Additionally, states that approved residents to carry firearms saw a greater decrease in crime than those who did not.
The study then skims the surface of the societal problems of violent crime, citing that most violent criminals – and especially murders – almost always have a long history of criminal behavior. “So it would not appreciably raise violence if all law‐abiding, responsible people had firearms because they are not the ones who rape, rob, or murder. By the same token, violent crime would not fall if guns were totally banned to civilians.”
a CDC study released earlier this year showed that even with the U.S. owning half the guns on earth, those guns are more often used in self-defense than for violent crimes.
Moreover, in addition to the Harvard study, at least two other studies have come up with similar conclusions. In 2003 the U.S. Center for Disease Control and again in 2004 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences both concluded that they “failed to identify any gun control that had reduced violent crime, suicides, or gun accidents.”