Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mass Shootings and Lax Gun States

(click to make bigger)

The Arizona Daily Star adds their voice.

But don't expect Arizona to tighten regulations in the wake of the shootings. On the contrary, numerous bills in the Legislature this year, many introduced since the Jan. 8 shootings, would loosen regulations on the possession and use of firearms.

One proposed law, introduced a month after the apparently mentally ill Jared Lee Loughner was charged in connection with the shootings, would have made it easier for people previously judged mentally ill to win back their right to own firearms. Another proposed law would make Arizona the second state to let people with concealed-carry permits take guns onto college campuses.
That little map up there shows a very interesting thing, one which I'm sure the pro-gun crowd is well aware of. Most mass shootings take place in states with lax gun laws. That's the real connection, not the fact that they usually take place in "gun-free zones," like the gun rights crowd keeps saying. The first important connection is to the poor gun laws or lack thereof that make it too easy for bad guys to get guns.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. It's "too easy" for dangerous people to get guns ANYWHERE. The only way to keep them from getting guns and hurting innocent people is to keep them behind bars. Otherwise, if they're free to walk the streets, the black market "on the street" will always meet their demand for guns.

    The map is a good example of "cherry picking." The shootings shown on the map were chosen for a specific time range to try and prove that weak gun laws (as the Brady Campaign defines them) contributed to the shootings. MOST STATES on the map are shown with "weak gun laws," so of COURSE most shootings will match up with "weak gun law" states!

    They may have deliberately stopped at 1999 because in years prior to that there were some mass shootings in their "golden boy" state of California, and other "tough gun law" states.

    This doesn't prove anything, except that the "Brady Campaign" has their own ideas of what "tough" and "weak" gun laws are.


  2. Indeed this map suffers from severe "cherry picking". However, just using this map at its face it is interesting to note that, as it points out, 10 of the "picked" shootings did indeed occur in states that were considered "lenient". That means that 24% of lenient states had mass shootings. However, 4 of them occurred in the 9 states that they consider not lenient. That means that 44% of non lenient states had mass shootings.

    Therefore you are almost twice as likely to be a victim of a mass shooting in the non-lenient states. I would rather take my chances living in a gun lenient state as they are much safer.

  3. Fat White Man and Orgunner covered what I wanted to say, that this picture shows the exact opposite of what they are trying to claim. Of course anything that is measuring 14 accounts over 12 years is pretty pointless for making any correlation to begin with.

  4. Regulating gun ownership has no impact on the criminal's use of weapons; only on the citizen's ability to defend themselves.

    Let's see the per capita number of home invasions overlaid here ... (hint) they wouldn't fit on the small, pale-colored states.

    The two single strongest advocates for gun control were Stalin and Hitler.

    GLAD to live in a state considered 'lenient', and sorry for anyone behind their deadbolts in the 'strong' control states.

  5. NOTfrom UK said, in the spirit of Orygunner, "Regulating gun ownership has no impact on the criminal's use of weapons; only on the citizen's ability to defend themselves."

    You can't really mean NO impact. There would be some, the only question is would it be enough to justify the effort.

    About the "citizen's ability to protect themselves," I'd say your totally wrong there. Gun control, even as strict as I envision it myself, would not make much difference to law abiding folks. They'd have to jump through a few additional hoops, but by and large they'd continue to enjoy their beloved guns as before.

    You see, the problem is criminals are getting their guns from the law abiding, either through straw purchasing, unregulated private sales or theft. Proper laws can help you gun owners to hang on to your guns. And god knows, you need help.

  6. But wait, Mike: you always bemoan Florida's & Tennessee's "lax" gun laws, but they're shown here to have strong gun laws. You anti-rights folks can't have it both ways.

  7. TB, I think you've gone cross-eyed from trying to spin this story in your favor.

    Look again at the color scheme.

  8. I am more Libertarian then anything. First off, I have noticed more mass shootings occurring in Democratic and Competitive States then Republican, by a landslide. Second, while those states had "laxer" gun laws, the people are burdened more by other factors (laws, etc.). I believe a stronger correlation could be made that the more strict something becomes the more people will act out with anger release or in an effort to vent frustrations. The human can only be controlled so much before it retaliates. Think of it as beating a dog all the time and then one day it bites back! I strongly believe this is more of the problem that causes these acts. Firearms don't alter the mind like alcohol or drugs (prescription or illegal). The second we start thinking we can control human nature is the second nature slaps us in the face with a cold dose of reality.