Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One-Gun-A-Month in Massachusetts reports on the trends in unsolved murders in Massachusetts.

The recent string of senseless gun killings of innocent children and young adults by gunfire is more than just a short-term spike. Anyone who questions the role of guns in homicides by strangers or undentified assailants (the type that tend to be committed by street criminals as opposed to those involving family members or acquaintances) needs only to glance at the recent trends distinguished by weapon category. As shown in the figure below, gun homicides by strangers or unidentified perpetrators have doubled statewide since 2000, while those carried out with all other weapons have hardly changed.

The solution is twofold: First, pass House Bill 4102, which includes a series of measures designed to reduce illegal gun trafficking without violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Most importantly, the bill would make Massachusetts the fifth state (joining Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and California) to implement a one-gun-a-month limit on purchasers, although with reasonable exemptions such as for law enforcement, military and security personnel. Second, encourage Maine and New Hampshire to do the same.

Of course, H. 4102 bill would only curtail shady transactions from Massachusetts gun dealers, and do nothing to stop the flood of illegal weapons from other states. Based on 2009 ATF trace data, 60% of guns associated with criminal activities within Massachusetts come from other states, most commonly New Hampshire and Maine. Years ago, Virginia was a major source of guns trafficked throughout the East Coast, including the Bay State; yet, according to an analysis of ATF trace reports, that stream largely dried up in 1993 when Virginia passed its one-a-month law.
Waht's your opinion? Does the one-gun-a-month law have benefits after all?

Please leave a comment.


  1. "although with reasonable exemptions such as for law enforcement, military and security personnel."

    If this is such a good law then why do these people need an exemption? Are they higher class citizens that would mean that they are above the law or is it because they have magic talismans that make them superior gun handlers and they would never, ever break the law?

  2. FWM, we've already established that our gracious host believes in a multi-tiered interpretation of the First Amendment--why should any other Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right be any different?

  3. When I look at stats like this it stinks of desperation to find a specific stat that shows murders going up. Yes, we all know that murders are at a 30 year low in this country- but unsolved murders by strangers in one particular state is a call for more gun control.

  4. Just watched the DVD of the new release "Edge of Darkness."

    Cop gives gun to daughter's boyfriend, saying: "Here, you may need this."

    Daughter's boyfriend: "Isn't this illegal in Massachusetts?"

    Cop: "Everything is illegal in Massachusetts."

  5. Kurt, We haven't established any such thing about me. You said it, that's all.

    TS, I agree, those are some cherry-picked stats if ever there were any. But, they count too. You guys use them all the time.

  6. Committee’s tie vote derails gun control bill

    By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff June 10, 2010

    A legislative committee has rejected on a tie vote a bill by Governor Deval Patrick to limit the purchase of firearms, angering supporters who say the measure would be a crucial step in stemming gun violence in Boston.

    The Joint Committee on the Judiciary’s 4-to-4 vote does not kill the bill. But the prospects for another vote in the near future seem far from certain.

    The vote came as the state and the city of Boston grapple with the shooting deaths of two 14-year-old boys in the same month.


    1) A classic response. Were the two victims shot with guns that were part of a multiple purchase? Don't know and don't care? There were shootings, so pass any gun control! Is it relevant? Will it work? Don't know and don't care!

    2) I am starting to wonder if the gun bloggers are right: If they are having trouble passing gun control in MASSACHUSETTS, maybe there really has been a change in America's view of gun control.

  7. FishyJay, Thanks. I saw that bad news this morning.