Washington Post Busts Chris Murphy's Gun Control Claims

Gun control advocates routinely claim that the laws they favor would have this major impact on gun crime. They brush off any claims or evidence to the contrary, parroting words like “biased” and even dismissing the evidence as lies without ever really delving into the meat of the data. It’s also easy for them to ignore anything we publish at Bearing Arms.

With the current national debate on guns, Rep. Chris Murphy has made a lot of anti-gun claims. Enough that even the Washington Post decided to take a look.

The results were probably not what Murphy would have liked.

The evidence to support Murphy’s claim is thin, at best. A 10-year ban on assault weapons such as AR-15s didn’t do much to reduce gun violence. Many of the studies that show gun control reduces gun deaths include suicides, which distorts the results. And single-state studies may show improvements in gun violence, but the results can’t be readily generalized to other states. (The Fact Checker once documented how proposed gun laws would not have prevented any mass shootings that took place between 2012 and 2015.)

After each mass shooting, politicians argue over gun-control policy, with one side focused on how to prevent the next shooting, and the other asserting that gun ownership is a constitutional right and that most gun laws don’t work. The best evidence available doesn’t lend much support for either side of the debate. Nevertheless, politicians can only work with the information they have available. And the reality is, as Kleck points out: “We make policy on the basis of incomplete and imperfect information.”

The best data available show gun permits and restricted sales slightly reduce homicides and robberies. Still, there is no evidence that tough laws “dramatically reduce gun violence as Murphy claims. He exaggerates the little evidence that lends just a hint of support for his side of the gun debate. For this we award him Three Pinocchios — yet again.

Obviously, almost everyone reading this will reject the notion that permits and restricted sales do anything to actually reduce crime since criminals aren’t buying their guns legally. We know this as an absolute fact.

It’s too much to ask for the Washington Post to put aside their own implicit bias for all that long. There’s a lot of inconsistencies here that need to be unpacked, but the overall point is that gun control doesn’t seem to do a whole lot to reduce much of anything except the rights of the law-abiding. This is something that most of us can agree with completely, and ultimately, so does the Washington Post.

If people like Chris Murphy were serious about reducing violence, they’d spend a little bit more time trying to look for the causes of violence rather than simply blaming the tool. There’s none of that.

Instead, gun control zealots continue their march against an object with no agenda of its own, something used by hero and villain alike. More evidence they don’t actually care about people, only opportunities to grandstand politically.