One would think

One would think

Once again, a change in gun policy, relaxing regulations rather than restricting them, has a positive benefit on gun violence. And they’re not handing them out free with the purchase of breakfast cereal. An individual permit costs about $600 and requires at least 16 hours of classes. You have to know what you’re doing.

And this is in Chicago, where they could use some relief from gun violence.

Ever wonder why the “IRS targeting conservatives” investigation has taken so long? Well, more stonewalling by the administration has been discovered. Remember the Lois Lerner e-mails that were lost in a hard drive failure? And there were no backup copies? Yeah, well, you’ve been lied to.

Mentioned links:

Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge

American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015

DOJ Attorneys: Lerner’s Emails Exist, But Here’s Why We Aren’t Turning Them Over

Obama says his is ‘most transparent administration’ ever

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Show transcript

I’ve talked before on this podcast about the idea that more guns, or even just the idea that there may be more guns, mean less crime. Criminals want easy targets, not ones that will defend themselves. In an episode from January of 2013, I talked about a town here in metro Atlanta passed a law that required heads of households to own a firearm. They don’t really enforce it, and there are a load of exemptions built into the law, but just having that law on the books was enough to make crime steadily drop for years afterwards, and stay there.

One might say, “Well, there might have been some other factor as well”, and one could have a point. But the more we come across these kinds of stories, the more you need to seriously consider the cause and effect going on here. Take Chicago. An article in the Washington Times recounts what has been going on this year.

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”

Once again, a change in gun policy, relaxing regulations rather than restricting them, has a positive benefit on gun violence. And they’re not handing them out free with the purchase of breakfast cereal. An individual permit costs about $600 and requires at least 16 hours of classes. You have to know what you’re doing.

And consider this: Gun-related deaths in Chicago were on track to exceed traffic fatalities by next year. Based on Centers for Disease Control numbers, gun deaths would hit almost 33,000 where traffic deaths would be down to about 32,000. And get this: between 2005 and 2010, traffic deaths dropped by 20% due to a combination of fewer miles driven and safer cars. But passing concealed carry in Illinois dropped the homicide rate to that 56-year low in one year!

The emotions are satisfied when we pass more restrictive gun laws in the wake of a shooting. But allowing concealed carry in Chicago – that is, allowing more guns on the street in the hands of responsible citizens – has made a marked improvement in the reality that restrictive gun control laws could not. One would hope that advocates for restrictions would see this and take notice.

One would hope. Hold not thy breath.

Remember Lois Lerner and the lost e-mails? Now hang on, don’t skip this. I know this whole IRS targeting of conservatives thing is so 2013, but stick with me for a minute. The question we need to ask is, why has this been taking so long? All this questioning, and very little has come out of it. Why is that?

Well, we found out this week exactly why. The committee investigating this has been stonewalled by the administration. Turns out that, even though Lerner’s hard drive crashed, as did, coincidentally, a number of other IRS staff, the requirement to make backup copies of them was indeed followed. They’ve been available all along!

But here’s the kicker; they complain that it would be too hard to get them. Now, I work in the computer biz, and let me tell you, a backup solution that you can’t restore things from is the same as not having a backup solution. But that’s not what we have here. It’s not that they can’t, it’s that it’s too much of a hassle, and so they won’t.

How many months has it been since we heard Lerner plead the 5th, and since we were told that her e-mails were unrecoverable? We were lied to; the committee, the courts, and the American people. So the next time you get upset over how long this process has taken, don’t blame Darrell Issa. Blame what President Obama called “the most transparent administration in history”.

I understand the need that people who have lost loved ones to gun violence will have, wanting to try what appears to be the simplest and common sense route to prevent it from happening again; get rid of guns. That would work if it was the gun doing the shooting and having the intent. If guns had wills of their own, removing them removes the threat. But the threat is actually the person wielding the gun, and we have seen time and time again what deters the person with the gun; another person with a gun. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, bad guys with guns would rather not deal with good guys with guns. They want the easy way to their goal. Heck, that’s why they turned to crime!

Filed under: GovernmentGovernment CorruptionGun Control