*In the wake of the horrific mass shooting that took place in Sacramento, California, over the last week, politicians and media pundits have rushed to their soapboxes to proclaim, once again, that guns are the root of all evil and the cause of the recent violent crime wave that has gripped our nation.
They share with whoever will listen, their prognosis for ending crime as we know it. “We need more ‘common sense’ gun laws,” they say.
But there are a number of underlying truths that they will dare not share with the public. Because if they do, it will become clear that they and their policies are not the solutions.
They are, in fact, the root of the problem. Here are just a few of those truths they will not dare share: We do not have a Gun Violence problem.
We have a Violence problem Guns have been a part of the American lexicon since the very beginning.
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For generations, society had a healthy relationship with the second amendment. Firearms were given their proper respect as tools to be used to feed one’s family, defend one’s home or fight for one’s liberty.
It is only recent generations that have concluded that violence is an acceptable way to address the myriad of issues confronting them.
The firearm is not the cause of this. In fact, it is not even the weapon of choice. While it is true that 77% of homicides in 2020 were committed with firearms, 92% of all violent crimes do not involve firearms. The overwhelming majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes, and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.
And there is no doubt that the number of instances of all these offenses is increasing. Guns are no more the cause of this violence than cars are the cause of drunk driving.
Gun control does nothing to reduce crime in general, let alone violent crime There is a popular saying amongst statisticians, “There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.”
Politicians and the media have been using all three to push their false narratives about gun control laws. They would have you believe that studies support the idea that the best way to reduce violent crime is to pass more gun laws. But nothing could be further from the truth.
A 2020 study done as a part of the RAND Corporation’s Gun Policy in America initiative, revealed that of the 27,900 research publications on the effectiveness of gun control laws, only 123 (0.4%) were found to meet a base level of academic rigor.
They also noted that the only reliable conclusion one could get from those 123 studies was that there is zero evidence that gun control laws have any effect of violence in general or gun violence specifically.
The recent increase in violent crime is directly linked to “Smart on Crime” (read soft-on-crime) policies Violent crime was at an all-time high in the early 1990s fueled by gangs and the drug trade.
This led to federal, state and local initiatives aimed at stemming the tide. Tough-on-crime initiatives were enacted that included, among other things, increased policing and mandatory minimums for a number of crimes. Crime (especially violent crime) would go on the decline for the next 20-plus years.
Then in the 2010s, several states began instituting “Smart on Crime” policies that decriminalized a number of criminal offenses and let violent criminals out of prison.
That wasn’t the intention of those who supported these policies. But that is, in fact, what happened. Case in point: Back in 2018 Smiley Martin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for punching a girlfriend, dragging her from her home by her hair and whipping her with a belt.
But, sadly, under California law, these are considered non-violent offenses, making Mr. Martin eligible for a reduced sentence under Proposition 57.
So, instead of sitting in a jail cell serving the fifth year of a 10-year sentence, he was walking the streets of Sacramento with a modified automatic pistol.