Quote of the day—C.D. Michel

A regression analysis shows a strong correlation between handgun sales and falling crime (with statistically small odds that the covariance was based on random chance) positively certifies that California is safer when its people exercise their right to own the most effective tool available to defend themselves or their families.

Guns deter criminals and guns save lives.

C.D. Michel
March 27, 2015
More Guns = Less Crime; California Style
[As with the rest of the country gun sales in California have increased rather dramatically in the last few years. Read the post for the details.

This sort of evidence will, over the long run, make it more difficult to get repressive gun laws passed and to defend them in court. If we can get strict scrutiny at the SCOTUS level then it should just be a “mopping up” exercise.—Joe]

20 thoughts on “Quote of the day—C.D. Michel

  1. I don’t agree with part of the first sentence in your last paragraph. Laws against our rights tend to be passed in response to single incidents, the so-called “knee-jerk reaction,” or passed based on nothing more than emotion and delusion. Trends and statistics have helped fight those laws in court (as you stated) but I think they’ve done little to prevent those laws being passed in the first place. Look at Australia, they lost their rights overnight from one act of violence.

    Using trends and statistics in the first place to justify rights is a difficult thing for me. It’s always nice that we have them on our side, but I wouldn’t surrender my rights regardless of what trends and statistics indicate. If we continue to use that as evidence for our cause, the other side will be justified in using trends and statistics to support their cause. We can’t let that happen, even in the off chance that their statistics AREN’T lies. My rights don’t need justification by statistics.

    • I agree with you about rights not being subject to public opinion. But the legal reality is we have to show the laws and regulations fail judicial scrutiny. We can probably count on intermediate scrutiny in essential all cases and strict scrutiny in many cases.

      Intermediate scrutiny is:

      the law or policy being challenged furthers an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest.

      If the law is ineffective or counterproductive, as the statistics show, then the law can be struck down because it doesn’t further the government interest of increasing public safety. If not then we are at risk of having the law or regulation standing and being enforced.

      • What’s really silly is that with the handgun buying spree of 1981, violent crime actually increased. That doesn’t tell the tale you would like it to tell.

        • This is why I generally dislike using statistics in an argument where the real issues are of a higher order, that higher order being basic principles, or what I’ve come to understand as “First Principles”.

          Statistics can and do change, but the basic principles do not, e.g. capitalism leads to prosperity. There will be times of recession and even depression, yes, but neither the prosperity nor the depressions are the driving issue. Human liberty is the driving issue, or principle.

          Libertry is one of those First Principles, and if we lose that, nothing that preceeded the loss, or follows the loss, can justify the loss.

          Statistics can at times help your argument, or even win it big time, but if you live by statistics you can also die by them. Statistics are among what I’ve come to understand as “Second Principles”. They are important, or can be, but they pale by comparison to First Principles. Get the First Principles down pat, and everything else (Second Principles) will fall into place. Such was the “American experiment” though it was abandoned many years ago with the birth of Marxism and its illigitimate sister, Progressivism.

          We could put this into religious parlance by paraphrasing Jesus, who said something like, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all other things will be added” though of course few pay much attention to that anymore. That of course means the same thing as, “Get your basic principles in order, live nby them and stand up for them, and the rest will come as a natural result” which is, again, the same thing as “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” or “Don’t skip over dollar bills to pick up pennies”, et al.

  2. Wonder why he didn’t figure population into the mix? My rough calculation shows that there was one handgun sold for every 70 people back in 1993 versus one for every 75 in 2014. That’s not more handguns, that’s less.

      • He’s talking about the handgun sales “rate.” The number of guns sold has increased, but so has the population. Wouldn’t you figure out the ” handgun sales rate” the same way you figure out the “violent crime rate”?

        • Rhetorical question: Is your grasp of statistics and criminology really that shaky?
          Hint: handgun ownership is cumulative, crime isn’t.

          • Snarky counter-question: What part of the word “sales” don’t you understand? “Handgun sales,” not “handgun ownership.” I feel like all of you are jumping on me without even looking at the link.

          • In other words, yes, your grasp of them really is that shaky.
            Only the first gun purchase moves a person from “unarmed” to “armed.” One gun or five after that, doesn’t. So even if the rate per 100 residents falls, because they are not really expendable, ownership rates are climbing. Armed people are less likely to be victimized.
            An example (population, number buying guns, percent buying guns, Number with guns, Armed percent of population)
            1000 30 3.0% 30 3.0%
            1030 30 2.9% 60 5.8%
            1061 30 2.8% 90 8.5%
            1093 30 2.7% 120 11.0%
            1126 30 2.7% 150 13.3%
            1159 30 2.6% 180 15.5%
            1194 30 2.5% 210 17.6%
            1230 30 2.4% 240 19.5%
            1267 30 2.4% 270 21.3%
            1305 30 2.3% 300 23.0%
            Note: each year 30 people buy guns, the population grows by 3%, so the gun buy rate FALLS, but the armed population rate INCREASES. As the % of the population that is armed RISES, the crime rate FALLS because the chance of meeting an armed victim rises. In a mere ten years, it goes from nobody to 23% armed.
            Gun ownership is not closely tracked in all places, but gun sales are, so that’s an easy metric to report.

          • Rolf,

            Great answer but it has nothing to do with the article at the link and nothing to do with my question.

            I’m asking why he didn’t show “#of guns sold/population” instead of just “#of guns sold.” And then he could have compared that number to the crime rate in his charts. That way, you would have the sales rate versus the crime rate.

            Per the article: ” Despite all of the legislative and regulatory obstacles placed in the way of handgun sellers and buyers, Californians have nonetheless shown an unrelenting appetite to buy more and more and more handguns. Last year Californians bought an average of 1,400 handguns … every single day. They have been on a handgun buying spree!”

            Is it really a handgun buying spree when they are buying at a rate of one per 75 people (versus some previous time when they bought at a higher rate?)

            Also, since this relates to California — you (Rolf) can’t prove that the people who bought handguns in California in 1993 or 2003 even live in California anymore — so how would you know if the people are more or less armed?

          • Since UBU is, as usual, too lazy to answer her own questions, I went ahead and did it for her.

            (For reference, UBU, this took about 15 minutes, and can be done with any copy of Excel, Google Docs, or anything similar. Doing your own homework is always the better alternative to berating people over not doing it for you.)

            (In case IMG tags don’t work in comments here [I can’t recall], here is the direct link to the image: http://i.imgur.com/SVdKTwo.jpg .)

            As anyone with a marginally functional brain can see, yes, 2014 does constitute a “buying spree” of handguns, just as 1993 did.

            Furthermore, the gist of the charts on CalGunLaws’ page do not appreciably change once one factors in population – from 2008 to present, violent crime rates dropped by ~40% and firearm-related homicide rates dropped by ~30%, while handgun sale rates nearly tripled.

            That’s what’s commonly referred to as a “negative correlation”, and a remarkably strong one at that.

            No, correlation does not equal causation, and I won’t endeavor to do the same regression analysis CalGunLaws did – you aren’t -worth it. But causation requires correlation, ergo, neither firearms as a whole nor handguns in specific can be the “cause” crime.

            Which, again, is something anyone with a marginally functional brain should be able to grasp right off. Fetishism is dead.

          • Another point UBU misses is that there’s a SECONDARY market where people buy guns from other people. There’s (almost) no tracking of that.

            But that’s probably too scary for an anti-civil rights person to conceive of in their philosophy.

          • Right Joe, I did use the word ‘almost’, meaning (perhaps not too precisely) places where all sales are supposed to go through a FFL.

        • Because handguns aren’t a one-time instance, like violent crimes are.

          Seriously. This isn’t rocket science, as Rolf has already patiently explained to you.

        • Thanks for the chart Linoge!

          Interesting that the handguns don’t quite hit the bar they hit in 1993 — but 1993 was right after the Rodney King riots and I think a lot of people felt vulnerable. Plus, I think, the homicide rate peaked somewhere around that time.

          You know, the only thing your chart is missing is the crime rate. Could you plug that in too? (I don’t have a spreadsheet program and I haven’t done a chart since, oh, the 1980s. 🙂 )

  3. I use a mop daily in my job. “Mopping up” is a thankless task wherein one uses valuable time and expensive resources to return to a mere status quo ante position, without any perceptible improvements in one’s situation.

    “Mopping up” is taking time that should be spent making things better, instead simply recovering from a mess. And while it may take only a moment to make that mess (think the NY SAFE Act, the CO magazine restrictions), it takes a much longer time and much more expense to clean up after the mess is made. There is a lost opportunity cost to “mopping up” that is significant.

    I say let the other side try to clean up the messes WE hand THEM. They haven’t had a hell of a lot of success repealing concealed handgun laws or the two examples of Constitutional Carry or the guns in cars at work laws or Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws passed in the last 35 years. Lets see how they do with national reciprocity, SCOTUS rulings on carry outside the home under strict scrutiny, and 10,000 gun control repeal efforts every year in state and local jurisdictions.

    Let them carry the mop and bucket. Mopping up is not success.

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