Which brings me to the Gotham Gazette, a web site focusing on NYC law and policy, funded by the liberal Citizens Union Foundation. On May 18th, it featured David King's long article titled New York's Gun Battle, which included this (para 8):
Bloomberg's push to rid New York City of illegal guns has seen results. The number of guns recovered from crime scenes in the city dropped by 13 percent from last year. The number of people shot to death dropped from 347 in 2007 to 292 in 2008. Overall, murders increased from 2007 to 2008, but only due to an increase in crimes committed with knives.I agree with Kurt Hoffman in the Examiner:
The implication is that Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun jihad has been successful, despite an increase in murders, simply because fewer of those murders were committed with guns. Somehow, we are to believe that murders committed with knives are less tragic than those committed with guns. That's something in which to take comfort in your last seconds of consciousness, as you bleed out from your slashed carotid artery.My point: the contention that gun control makes us safer is--at best--unproven. As the liberal Gotham Gazette confirmed--albeit unintentionally, and only by overlooking the logic of its own language.
So as not to appear to be picking on the Gotham Gazette, I should point out that the above paragraph is merely a particularly illustrative example of my point. Another example can be found in the fact that in an average year, approximately half of the deaths by gunshot in the U.S. are suicides. These deaths are very often lumped in with the "gun violence" statistics, despite the rather questionable characterization of suicide as "violence." One does not, for instance, generally hear of a person who washes down a fistful of valium with a fifth of vodka as having committed "pharmaceutical violence," or of a swan dive off a penthouse balcony described as "gravitational violence."
But I digress. Let us not quibble with the notion of classifying the deliberate shooting of oneself to death as "gun violence," despite the fact that other methods of suicide are rarely, if ever, thought of as being "violent" acts. Instead, let us consider the fact that in Japan, where private ownership of firearms is regulated to an extent that even extremist anti-gun organizations like the Violence Policy Center only dream of, suicide rates are significantly higher than in the U.S. At least, though, very few of those suicides are committed with firearms. Apparently that is something from which the Japanese should take comfort.
BTW, the GG article didn't mention DC Attorney General Peter Nickles's March 15th Washington Post op-ed on law enforcement since the Heller decision overturned the District's gun ban:
The D.C. police department's aggressive gun recovery efforts and the office of the attorney general's coordinated emphasis on prosecuting gun-related crimes are showing strong results: In the past year, robberies with guns have decreased 12 percent; assaults with guns have decreased 14 percent; and overall violent crime has decreased by 5 percent in the District.(via Maggie's Farm, Never Yet Melted, SayUncle)