Gun Regulations are big news right now. Of course, no one wants a repeat of Newtown. Bust, as always when it comes to guns, passions reign. The NRA shouts“Guns make you safer. Because the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” And the Left shouts back, “We need more gun regulations. That's the only way to keep our streets safe.”
Being a skeptic by nature, I wanted to find some data to analyze. I wanted the data to be relatively clean, coming from a reliable, unbiased source. Finding violent crime data was easy. The US Census Bureau provided some very clean data on violent crime rates by state.
I was a bit more pressed when it came to data on Gun regulations. The only place I could find online that provided a clean, easy-to-use “gun law scorecard” was the Brady Campaign. But Brady tends to be advocates for gun control. And, thus, potentially unreliable. But they did seem to do a decent job of quantifying the laws that a state had on the books. So, instead of raw scores here, I took a state’s rank in the gun violence score card.
The completed data table is posted at the bottom of this page.
- There appears to be no correlation between gun regulations and overall violent crime rates.
- A state’s Brady Gun Law rank accounted for less than 1% of the observed variation on violent crime rates (to be exact, .0.67%).
The results throw into dispute claims by both sides in the gun regulation environment...
- NRA’s claim -- “Looser gun regulations decrease violent crime rates.” BUNK. If it were true, we'd see a steadier relationship, with laxer gun policies leading to lower violent crime rates.
- The Left’s claim -- “Better gun regulations lower crime rates.” BUNK. If it were true, we'd see a stronger correlation between strong gun regulations and less violence