Is that all you’ve got?

The Brady Campaign is proudly touting an interview they did with United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

Duncan is from Chicago, the nearly gun law utopia of the Brady Campaign. While he praises the Brady Campaign for “all their hard work” he avoids any indication that he is aligning himself or the administration with their agenda.

If you attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference and listen to the politicians there they will be very direct in their support of the right to keep and bear arms. That an administration official who came from Chicago is avoiding support of the Brady Campaign agenda is exceedingly noteworthy.

It’s also noteworthy that the Brady campaign has disabled comments for their video. Reasoned Discourse is a requirement for their agenda.


5 thoughts on “Is that all you’ve got?

  1. He went to too many funerals of students in Chicago– the area with the strictest gun control laws around? How can that be?

    I am always amazed that these people can talk with a straight face about the levels of violence in various cities when those cities with the most gun control laws are often the most violent.

    How can they not see the correlation?
    Or do they see it and are simply using the violence, the deaths of innocents for their own agenda — on that is more centered on control then guns.

  2. Dennis Henigan has a new blog post at and the comments just beat him to a pulp.
    A leftist organization like Brady should know they’ve jumped the shark when they can’t even get support from the HuffyLefties.

    It’s a beautiful thing.


  3. “I am always amazed that these people can talk with a straight face about the levels of violence in various cities when those cities with the most gun control laws are often the most violent.”

    The real question is: Was Chicago even more violent when they had no gun control? I’ve never seen anyone come up with any numbers for that. If Chicago was the MOST violent city WITHOUT gun control, they’ve actually improved with gun control (since there are other cities that are more violent).

    Does anyone have any data to offer?

  4. You do not have to look far, UBU52.

    The second link from the above search gives us this graphic:

    Granted, that chart only examines murder rates, but we will run with that, since it is readily available (and since historical data seems hard to come by, and may be complicated by Chicago apparently not categorizing/reporting forcible rape as “violent crime”). Assuming it is accurate (and one would hope it is, given that it was based off a project from the Northwestern University School of Law), what does it tell us?

    Well, first off, we have to establish the frame of reference – the handgun ban in Chicago was enacted in 1982, and the city enacted an “assault weapon” ban in 1992.

    Is the murder rate in Chicago now lower than it was in 1982 and 1992? Unquestionably. However, you will note that after 1982, the murder rate stayed the same for a few years, and then precipitously climbed in the late 80s and early 90s. Likewise, the murder rate remained even for a few years after 1992, then dropped suddenly, only to start climbing up again recently.

    Could all of this be due to the firearm-related legislation? Possibly. Could all of this be exclusively due to the firearm-related legislation? Well, you are the one proposing that particular theory, so it is time for you to back it up, and I will be very surprised if you can control for all of the variables at play. For instance, from the article where I found this graphic:

    The war on drugs continued through the 1970s and 1980s. Especially prominent as a source of crime is the arrival of crack cocaine in the mid-1980s. Crack was an immediately and immensely popular drug, and its arrival in Chicago kicked off massive and bloody turf wars among rival drug-selling organizations (primarily street gangs) for control of retailing markets in the city.

    While crack consumption has not waned much since the 1980s, boundaries between rival sellers have largely been settled. Thus, the end of the “crack epidemic” coincided with big declines in Chicago’s murder rate. In the mid-1990s, the murder rate in Chicago (and nationwide) fell dramatically, declining below 50% of its 1992 peak by 2004. Besides the end of the crack epidemic, there are potentially several causes for this remarkable turnaround.


    Imprisonment rates also increased during this period, with Illinois holding 27,516 prisoners in 1990 and 45,281 in 2000. With more criminals behind bars, there are fewer on the street committing crime. In addition, an increased likelihood of a lengthy prison sentence likely deters some would-be criminals.

    Looking farther abroad, this series of four posts by Reputo ended with this conclusion:

    To end, I can’t make a firm conclusion of causation about the economy and crime. However the factors I looked at are better correlated than gun availability was (which showed no correlation at all). So from that I would conclude that if one was really serious about decreasing both crime in general, as well as gun deaths, then perhaps you should focus more on policies that would improve the economic situation of people rather than trying to control who has the guns. If you want to believe the article of faith that in order to control crime you have to control who has the guns, then keep on believing. The evidence isn’t there to support you.

    Simply put, the late 80’s and early 90’s were a period of somewhat significant economic unrest, and those kinds of situations tend to breed crime. When the unrest settles, the crime abates.

    So there is your data – it is now incumbent upon you to prove how the handgun and “assault weapon” bans adopted by Chicago are responsible for the precipitous drop in homicides… though the convolutions you would have to engage in to do that, but not demonstrate a connection to the almost-as-large rise in murders would be amusing. And, really, those numbers were not all that hard to find…

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