The state of Texas has long had a reputation as one of the most pro-gun states in the nation. Recently, they started acting like it and did away with some of their more inane gun control measures.
Meanwhile, places like Illinois and California have been illustrating just how little those gun control measures actually do.
However, a recent op-ed tried to paint a different picture.
“Gun violence is not our normal, and it never will be.” – Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton of Illinois
Last July 4th, a crazed gunman used a semi-automatic rifle to murder seven people and injure another 48 in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. I have been there many times. It’s a safe, upper-income suburb north of Chicago.
If you have any friends who are National Rifle Association members, they have likely told you something along the lines of: “Gun control does not work, just look at Chicago!”
But they are wrong. The facts are not on their side. For example, a state like Texas has loose gun laws but more gun deaths per capita versus the U.S. as a whole.
Now, first, let’s remember that Texas has several major cities. As a result, they have several major metropolitan areas, which means they have several major inner cities.
That’s where a lot of the violence comes from. As such, one might expect to see a fairly high homicide rate. (More on that in a second.)
However, it seems the writer isn’t talking about homicides, just “gun deaths.” That’s clear with some actual statistics he provides in the next paragraph.
North Carolina’s age-adjusted death rate is 16 per 100,000 vs. Illinois — where Chicago is the largest city — at 14.1 per 100,000. In other words, there are slightly more gun deaths per capita in NC vs. Illinois.
Except North Carolina’s homicide rate per capita is 8.0 while Illinois has a 9.1 homicide rate per 100,000 people.
That means he’s statistics that include suicides, and just those committed with a gun. This is a common tactic and one way people like to try and paint a picture that states like Texas and North Carolina are so dangerous. (The Texas homicide rate per that source? 6.6, which is significantly lower than in Illinois.)
What many of these folks try to do is argue that lose gun laws, as they phrase it, leads to these suicides.
The problem is that they’re mistaking the chicken for the egg.
What’s really happening here is that states with loser gun laws tend to have them because there are more gun owners in the state. They lobby for and support pro-gun laws, which are the measures people like this term as “lose.”
Because of those high gun ownership rates, though, people who decide to claim their own lives are more likely to have a firearm around. That means they’re more likely to use that method of taking their life than any other.
A lack of gun laws simply exists in parallel with less restrictive gun laws, both spawning from the same point of origin, the high gun ownership rate.
Homicides, however, should be a different matter if we are to believe the gun control crowd. Except, both North Carolina and Texas have significantly lower homicide rates than Illinois. The same can be said for Georgia, Montana, Utah, and Kentucky, just to name a few.