Harvard University Study Reveals Astonishing Link Between Firearms, Crime and Gun Control

According to a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which cites the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations International Study on Firearms Regulation, the more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.

BY: Rob Kerby

 

According to a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which cites the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations International Study on Firearms Regulation, the more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.

In other words, more firearms, less crime, concludes the virtually unpublicized research report by attorney Don B. Kates and Dr. Gary Mauser. But the key is firearms in the hands of private citizens.

“The study was overlooked when it first came out in 2007,” writes Michael Snyder, “but it was recently re-discovered and while the findings may not surprise some, the place where the study was undertaken is a bit surprising. The study came from the Harvard Journal of Law, that bastion of extreme, Ivy League liberalism. Titled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?, the report “found some surprising things.”

The popular assertion that the United States has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate, says the Harvard study, is a throwback to the Cold War when Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates. In a strategic disinformation campaign, the U.S. was painted worldwide as a gunslinging nightmare of street violence – far worse than what was going on in Russia. The line was repeated so many times that many believed it to be true. Now, many still do.

Today violence continues in Russia – far worse than in the U.S. – although the Russian people remain virtually disarmed. “Similar murder rates also characterize the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various other now-independent European nations of the former U.S.S.R.,” note Kates and Mauser . Kates is a Yale-educated criminologist and constitutional lawyer. Dr. Mauser is a Canadian criminologist at Simon Fraser University with a Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine. “International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error.”

By the early 1990s, Russia's murder rate was three times higher than that of the United States. Thus, “in the United States and the former Soviet Union transitioning into current-day Russia,” say Kates and Mauser, “homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce, other weapons are substituted in killings.”

“There is a compound assertion that guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why the United States has by far the highest murder rate,” report Kates and Mauser. “Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated," the statement “is, in fact, false.”

Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark, which have high rates of gun ownership, have low murder rates. On the other hand, in Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, the murder rate is nine times higher than Germany. Their source of information? The United Nations' International Study on Firearms Regulation, published by the UN's Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Commission on Crime-Prevention and Criminal Justice.

When Kates and Mauser compared England with the United States, they found “’a negative correlation,’ that is, ‘where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense, violent crime rates are highest.’ There is no consistent significant positive association between gun ownership levels and violence rates.”

In 2004, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released an evaluation from its review of existing research. After reviewing 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications and its own original empirical research, it failed to identify any gun control that had reduced violent crime, suicide, or gun accidents, note Kates and Mauser.

“The same conclusion was reached in 2003 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” write Kates and Mauser. “Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now become one. Handguns are banned but the Kingdom has millions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the decade after 1957, the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold. In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law-abiding enough to turn them in to authorities.” But crime increased instead of decreasing.

Ignoring these realities, gun control advocates have cited England, as the cradle of our liberties, as “a nation made so peaceful by strict gun control that its police did not even need to carry guns,” write Kates and Mauser. “The United States, it was argued, could attain such a desirable situation by radically reducing gun ownership, preferably by banning and confiscating handguns.”

Somehow, it goes unreported that “despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence,” write Kates and Mauser. “On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was ever-more drastic gun control. Nevertheless, criminal violence rampantly increased so that by 2000 England surpassed the United States to become one of the developed world’s most violence-ridden nations.

“Gun owners across America reading this right now will say: ‘Well, duh!’” writes Michael Snyder. Even so, the California state legislature recently approved $24 million to expedite the confiscation of 40,000 handguns and assault weapons purchased legally, according to the Huffington Post. Gun registration records are being used to seize those California guns from owners who legally purchased and registered the guns – but who the state of California has now decided pose a risk to public safety.

“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” said Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

Continued on page 2: Senator Leno's measure... »

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