Op-ed pushing for more gun control in Mass. misses mark

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Violent crime spurs calls for gun control. We’ve seen it happen repeatedly throughout the years; so much so that we can almost map out the route it will take.


It’s nothing new.

Yet there’s an interesting fact we must all think about to some degree or another, and that’s how it’s just never going to be enough for the anti-gun crowd.

I say this because Massachusetts is debating still more gun control.

Part of that conversation was this op-ed:

Gun violence in the United States is an unrelenting crisis.

But this does not have to be our reality — overwhelming evidence clearly shows that strong gun laws can and do prevent gun violence.

In fact, the strength of Massachusetts’ gun laws, and the rate of gun violence that we experience, is a perfect example of that causal relationship: Massachusetts ranks among the states with the strongest gun laws, while experiencing the least amount of gun violence per capita in the entire country.

Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence.

The link is to Everytown and it’s just a list of state rankings. It does not show clear and convincing evidence that gun control does anything at all. At best, it shows a correlation, but it doesn’t even really show a convincing one there. For example, it shows New Mexico as “making progress” with the strength of its gun laws, yet its violent crime rate is higher than many states they term as “national failures.”


So yeah, I’m unconvinced.

What these comparisons don’t do–in fact, what they cannot do–is eliminate any other potentially contributing factors such as economics or even the heat. I’m pretty sure the people who write crap like this know it, too.

Especially due to the way the authors try to frame the issue.

Because of Massachusetts’ relatively low rates of gun violence per capita, some folks may ask why we, and many others, believe that there is an urgent need for additional, substantial reforms to our gun safety laws.

The answer to that question is simple: Relative success is not cause for complacency.

Despite having some of the lowest rates of gun deaths in the country, Massachusetts — consistent with a trend that has plagued the U.S. as a whole — has experienced a substantial increase in gun deaths since 2010. Since July 1 of this year alone, there have been 86 shootings in Massachusetts, resulting in 36 deaths and more than 80 injuries.

That’s actually interesting to me. The reason it’s interesting is that we know the homicide rate was going down for the most part, at least until 2020. Was Massachusetts seeing an uptick in murders that the rest of the nation wasn’t?


Not really.

Note how they use “gun deaths” instead of homicides. Gun deaths have been going up nationwide since before 2010, so Massachusetts isn’t unique.

The problem is that “gun deaths” include things like suicides, which gun control isn’t really equipped to stop and can actively work against, as I touched on earlier today.

Again, these guys probably know this. They’re just hoping you don’t.

See, no amount of gun control is ever enough and they’ll manipulate the data in any way they can to push for it. They’re not interested in anything but restricting guns far more than they already are, even as they claim the laws they have in place are working great.


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