First off, I want to relate this article relating to gun control laws to my Lord of Columbia Series, where the free and independent Libertarian society of North Columbia exercises and encourages open carry while occupied South Columbia has enforced strict gun control laws on its subjects while imperial soldiers and police stand on every street corner asking residents for name and papers.
Yes, it’s a bleak society with strong, central-planning versus a society of lassiez faire in Lord of Columbia.
But today, I want to debunk pro-gun control arguments that state stricter laws will lead to lower rates of homicide far and wide as it pertains to the United States and its gun laws as opposed to the strict laws seen in many other developed countries, and why it won’t work.
This article is going to look at factors such as the Theory of Legitimacy, a history of banned substances and activities in the United States and failures of law enforcement to prevent such activities from happening and substances from being consumed, and why it’s a faulty argument to compare the US to smaller countries with stricter gun laws, namely in Western and Central Europe.
I’m also going to take a deep dive into cultural differences, as well as more accurate comparisons between the US and other nations in terms of homicide rates, many of which will reveal shocking information the mainstream media on both the Right and Left doesn’t want you to know.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times in past posts, every single one of my sources are verifiable and many of these will be coming from actual statistics where I’ll share the backlink so you can view them yourself.
Finally, I’m not looking to shove any one viewpoint down anyone’s throat. This is simply a compilation and summary of what I have discovered via my research over the years, as well as something I learned today.
It’s also safe to say that at one time in my life, I was about as anti-Second Amendment as one could get, once advocating for a nationwide ban of all types of guns and ammunition, as well as a repealing of the Second Amendment. Therefore, I have extensively studied both sides of the debate here.
So, I hope this article brings you new information that will shed light on what is becoming one of the most hotly debated issues in America today, especially in the wake of tragic mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
Uncomfortable Truths Versus Comforting Lies
There is no better verifiable outlet to turn to than the independent Mises Institute, where writer Ryan McMaken is out to correct the barrage of endless memes and faulty research studies that run rampant today.
Unfortunately, most of us won’t look past the surface area.
And why would we?
We’ve been conditioned from a young age that truth comes from authority, most of which authority are in high regard, treated either as experts in their given field. Questioning such status quos, and this goes far beyond the gun control debate, some of which I covered in my Debunking False Flags Series a few months back, is frowned upon, to where the one challenging such status quos is berated and ridiculed to the point they often have to make a public (or social media announcement).
One case involved Neil DeGrasse Tyson after he Tweeted facts regarding deaths in America in regard to gun-related deaths. Tyson was brutalized by the Left, including bands like Smash Mouth; however in reading the comments, and the comments were beyond brutal and full of hate (probably the reason mass shootings in America take place in the first place) by the Left, many of whom claim the moral high ground in terms of gun control and socialism (for the kids, for the poor).
The hatred was brutal, and it shows to me that the American populace, because conservatives are guilty of this, too, doesn’t give a damn about real statistics and truths, especially if such truths contradict their own viewpoints; they only care about being right all the time and anything, even cold, hard facts, contradicting their beliefs system are the root of evil and those spreading such facts should be publicly shamed and humiliated.
Well, here I am, as a former Socialist and hardcore gun control advocate, telling you how very wrong I’ve been proven time and again. The difference? I had two Libertarian-minded teachers in college (mind blown!) who were able to point to facts that I couldn’t argue with.
Plus having an open mind helped.
And if you can’t beat them, join them, so I joined them. I researched a man named Ron Paul, and started reading the Mises Wire, where almost every cited piece of evidence comes to you today.
So, let’s get started on some facts.
More Gun Ownership Does Not Necessarily Lead to More Homicides
The first article from McMaken and the Mises Institute I’d like to share with you is entitled ‘Why Gun Ownership Rates Tell Us Little About Homicide Trends in America.’
In the article, McMaken cites a book written by Randolph Roth entitled ‘American Homicide.’
Rather than citing the ‘higher gun ownership, higher crime’ argument, Roth instead points to government legitimacy, claiming that views of government legitimacy, or lack thereof, have contributed over time to higher rates of homicide than in the rest of the world.
Using the data derived from Roth’s book, it’s easy to conclude the US has seen lower confidence in their legal and government institutions in modern times than in other parts of the world. Given what we see in today’s political atmosphere and the increasing divide between Conservative and Liberal America, it’s easy to see Roth’s point.
Other contributing factors is the fact those in the US are far more mobile than their European counterparts as well as much more ethnically diverse, the latter of which is never addressed in the mainstream media, but plays a prominent role in homicide rates not just in the US, but in worldwide.
Another key point made here is the fact Latin America, which has the highest homicide rate of any region in the world. Pointing to nations like Mexico, whose homicide rate is four times the size of that in the US at 20.5 per 100,000 residents, has the following laws:
1. A gun license is required to own any firearm.
2. Mandatory background check regarding criminal history, mental and physical health, and any drug addictions.
In fact, when compared to Latin American nations, only Chile possesses a lower rate of homicides at 3.5 per 100,000 residents as opposed to America’s 5.3 per 100,000 per 2015 numbers.
More Information: Borderland Homicides Show Mexico’s Gun Control has Failed, by Ryan McMaken.
But like the US, Latin American countries are ethnically diverse, have a history of slavery, and also suffer from lower levels of confidence in their government institutions.
You might be thinking why we don’t hear more about the correlation of the Legitimacy Theory of Crime and homicides.
The answer, per McMaken, states that the Left’s unwavering political agenda of gun control being the number one important factor in reducing homicide rates. The Left is also committed to reducing feelings of solidarity between racial and ethnic groups, and bringing such information to the table will put a dagger into what is called identity politics.
Now, I’ve also said this article is not intended to attack the Left, but instead, attack both sides of the argument, especially as President Donald Trump is already looking into red flag gun laws as well as banning bump stocks and is looking to go as far as banning violent video games. The Right Wing side of America is hardly pro-gun, especially when it comes to justification of militarizing the police and their consistent warrantless searches on private property.
For this, the Legitimacy Theory also doesn’t fit Right Wing narratives, since the Right would never be for any claim that would suggest the police and judiciary system administers justice in an unfair manner. Very few Conservatives wish to acknowledge that harsh policing and sentencing (many of which involves victimless acts) has failed to reduce homicide rates.
Now for the kicker: Even Libertarians such as I would be reluctant to back such a theory, since it debunks our own ‘more guns lead to less crime’ mantra, since the Legitimacy Theory suggests more homicides have nothing to do with more—in the case of the US—or less—in the case of Mexico—gun ownership or presence of gun laws.
A History of Failed Substance and Activity Control: The Prohibition Era
I don’t know how many of you are international and how many are domestic, but there was once a national ban on the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the United States—yes, alcohol. In other words if you were caught manufacturing or selling alcohol you were arrested and thrown in jail between the years 1920 to 1933.
It was called the Temperance Movement, which initially called for moderation as drinking was on the rise, but later called for an all-out ban, blaming alcohol on all of society’s ill-factors, such as crime and murder. Saloons were viewed by Prohibitionists as places of evil that bred violence.
Prohibitionists also stated that by banning the manufacture and sale of alcohol, men wouldn’t spend their hard-earned money on the substance and at the same time, would decrease the number of work-related accidents and deaths.
Finally, in 1919, Prohibitionists got their wish, and the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, known by many as the Prohibition Amendment, was passed. This was further clarified by the Volstead Act, that stated owning any item designed to manufacture alcohol was illegal, also setting standards for fines and jail time.
There were some loopholes, however, as neither the Amendment nor the Act prohibited actual drinking of alcohol, so before the Amendment came into effect a year later, people stockpiled alcohol in their homes. Also, if drinking alcohol was prescribed by a doctor, it too was legal for purchase, so you can only guess what happened.
As for those who didn’t purchase alcohol before the ban or weren’t able to get their hands on prescriptions, there were no worries, as speakeasies and the rise of the black market took care of it.
Of course, with the black market came profits for American gangsters, who hired rumrunners to smuggle rum from the Caribbean or steal whiskey from Canada and smuggle it to the US. With the supply of alcohol available in the black market and demand at an all-time high, gangs opened speakeasies, or secret bars, making a killing (no pun intended) in profits.
Of course, law enforcement responded to the black market, hiring Prohibition agents to raid such secret bars and arrest perpetrators, but low pay plus bribery from gangs proved such raids as ineffective.
What ended up happening?
Well, the lower rates of crime and violence promised by the Temperance Movement ultimately failed, turning many against them and their government, joining in the fight to repeal the 18th Amendment.
Upon the crash of the Stock Market in October 1929, such calls to reinstate the manufacture and sale of liquor could no longer be ignored leading to the ratification of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th.
We can learn a few things and see a nice correlation between Prohibition as it relates to what will happen if the US enacts gun control laws seen in many other developed Western countries.
You will see a boom in the black market; gangs will be getting their hands on and selling illegal firearms. Possessing firearms will lead to imprisonment, people will stockpile firearms, and only the prison-industrial complex, which is already full of those who’ve done nothing but possess illegal substances, will see a nice little uptick. In other words, the number of illegal firearms owned would skyrocket, and simply possessing such firearms would be considered a felony.
I’ve always stated that those of us who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there’s a lot we can learn about the outright failure of the Prohibition Era in America. We also need to remember that in America at the time, the total population was roughly 106,021, 530, per the 1920 census.
Here in 2019, it’s over 327,000,000, a 307% increase. A national ban on assault rifles, given the data seen here in the Prohibition Era, will simply not work.
Flawed Comparisons of US Homicide Rates to Developed Nations
There are many flawed comparisons regarding US homicide rates to other developed nations. The first and foremost flaw is the comparison of a nation of 327,167,434 as of 2018 to other (mainly European) developed nations, none of which possess a population over 85,000,000. The largest nations of England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, Europe’s Big Five, have a combined population of 323,770,978 as of 2018.
Other nations the US is routinely compared to are the Nordic Nations, with only Sweden possessing more people in its population than all of New York City, and none of which possess more people than my home state of Ohio. In fact, four of the five Nordic nations possess half the population as Ohio.
So, I wanted to even things out a bit by combining the population of the Big Five (see above) and compare homicide rates to that in the US.
Here are the facts, where the link appears under this section:
Looking at the Intentional Homicides per 100,000 people in 2018, the US sat at 4.7 homicides per 100,000. The Big Five European Countries ranked as follows:
UK: 1 per 100,000
France: 1 per 100,000
Germany: 0.8 per 100,000
Italy: 0.9 per 100,000
Spain: 0.8 per 100,000.
Total Population in 2018 numbers: 323,770,978.
Number of homicides per 100,000: 4.5 per 100,000.
US population in 2018: 327,167,4434.
Number of homicides per 100,000: 4.7 per 100,000.
Again, these are 2018 numbers we’re working with, but it shows me something: When you take the entire population of a nation, especially one with the size and scope of America, the number is eerily similar to the five most populous countries in Western Europe.
Looking at my source from World Atlas, I can combine any country from Western Europe and get similar, if not higher, rates of homicide per 100,000.
Source: Murder Rates by Country.
But let’s compare the US to the most populous country in Europe, that country being Russia, with a population over 145,000,000. Per the source listed above, homicide rates in Russia sit at 9.2 per 100,000, almost doubling the US’s rate of 4.7 per 100,000.
Let’s investigate gun laws in Russia.
To possess a firearm in Russia, one must be:
1) Over the age of 18, and
2) Pass a series of extensive background checks, and those possessing a history of mental illness or substance abuse are disqualified.
3) Also, one must state their intended purpose, which is then kept on record, along with the type of firearm purchased, which is capped at a capacity of no more than ten rounds.
Numbers of actual firearm ownership in Russia as of April 2017 showed that 4.5 million Russians legally owned firearms, over 3% of the population.
Finally, I’d like to study another article by McMaken, entitled ‘The Mistake of Comparing US Murder Rates to “Developed” Countries, first published at the Mises Institute in October 2015.
McMaken begins the article by stating the flaw in comparing the US murder rates to the low rates seen in many Western and Central European nations, which is often reinforced in our minds after every single mass shooting takes place here in the States.
He notes the differences between such countries and the United States as well, again showing the courage to face a sensitive topic many (especially the Left) wishes to turn their back to.
Factors in such carefully picked countries include:
1) Countries that are not ethnic diverse with one dominant ethnic group present.
2) Small countries with small populations, such as Norway, whose population I mentioned earlier was half of the entire State of Ohio and about 3 million less than New York City.
3) Such nations have very, very local democracies, again unlike the US.
What it shows, and it’s what I implied in my Legitimacy Theory earlier in the article, is that both culturally and demographically the US has almost nothing in common with Western Europe, despite its Western European origins in recorded history.
It’s a Leftist tactic that involves much hypocrisy on the Left, namely carefully selecting (thereby discriminating) nations not only to fit their mantra and calls for gun control, but holding a xenophobic and bigoted viewpoint that those in supposed non-developed nations are too war-torn and brutish to be compared to the high-income, thriving developed world.
It’s merely a discriminatory tactic used to offer a biased viewpoint that the US is a high-crime-ridden hellhole, while at the same time flat out ignoring the high levels of violence in many developing nations, most of which involve highly collectivist societies.
Why can’t we compare the US to places like Russia and Mexico, as I did, despite the two countries’ strict gun laws?
Because it would completely debunk their own agenda and show that strict gun control doesn’t always equate to a safe haven; in fact, when looking at numbers from World Atlas, it rarely does.
This is also often done without any reason as to why the US should be compared to developed countries.
US States Compared to Canadian Provinces
We’re told, that if the US government were to adopt stricter gun control measurements seen in Europe, Canada, or Australia, we would see much lower homicide rates here in the States.
However, far too often in states that boast higher rates of gun ownership, homicide rates are low and remain low. Take, for instance, the curious case of Minnesota. In an article published in 2018 by Ryan McMaken, entitled ‘More Minnesotans Own Guns, Violent Crime Remains Low,’ he points out two facts.
a) Homicides in Minnesota sit at just 1.8 per 100,000 people, lower than the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territory. It’s also lower than states in the US that have strict gun laws such as Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and California.
b) Nationwide, homicide rates have not increased with gun ownership. In fact, they’ve been cut almost in half from 9.8 per 100,000 in 1994, to just 5.3 per 100,000 in 2016, to 4.7 in 2018.
Now, some will obviously point to the fact that Minnesota conducts background checks prior to gun purchases, and they do. Again, I’m not sweeping any facts under the table. However, Maine and New Hampshire have the lowest rates of any state in the US of homicide rates at just 1.5 and 1.3 per 100,000, respectively, two states that as of the writing of this article do not conduct background checks.
The Deadly Scene in Northern Knights
Now, don’t think for a second I didn’t want to leave a mass shooting out of my first book ‘Northern Knights,’ because a voice continually told me to put one in the work.
Where did such a shooting take place?
Libertarian North Columbia, where gun ownership isn’t just rampant, it’s as encouraged as it is in Kennesaw, Georgia, where it’s actually illegal not to own a firearm.
But, there’s a definite catch in this mass shooting, and it’s a catch that many on the Left (and those on the Right if Trump’s doing the banning—hypocrites!) fall right into. The question I would have to all my readers, who know the answer, and my potential readers, is this:
Were North Columbia’s nonexistent gun laws the reason behind the mass shooting, or was something else the cause of such a shooting?
The only real way to find out is to actually read Northern Knights, which if you want a more Libertarian-minded viewpoint or simply just a good old read of an action-packed novel, you might just want to give this book a good look.
Judging from cultural differences, it’s preposterous to compare the US to other developed countries in Europe (and sometimes Japan and South Korea) in terms of homicides and mass shootings, believing the notion that only these numbers will curtail violence in the US.
It’s also inaccurate to believe that more gun ownership will lead to more of a homicide deterrence, as I actually believed prior to writing this article and initially set out to prove this point, so I’m learning something new along with you guys. Again, every single political view I possess is rooted in fact, so if I’m wrong on something, I admit it and continue on.
It’s also premature to believe that high rates of gun ownership leads to more homicides in crime, as shown in states like Minnesota and New Hampshire, as well as the presence of background checks leading to higher rates of homicides, since New Hampshire lacks such checks.
As I stated in the article, trying to compare the US to such smaller countries that lack ethnic diversity such as our European friends (and by the way, I freaking love Europe and wouldn’t mind living in the Nordic nations for a few years someday) doesn’t add up, and when we do add up the population of other European nations to that of the US, numbers are eerily similar.
But it’s also invalid to think that low rates of gun ownership and strict gun laws leads to lower rates of homicides, since both Mexico and Russia completely debunk that theory, with Russia’s tiny rate of gun ownership still contributing to almost double the homicide rates per 100,000 residents in 2018 numbers.
As for the violence issue in the US, it comes down to several factors, including trust of government, which if you’re international the political divide is so bad here I’m actually surprised murder rates haven’t been higher and that a second civil war hasn’t been declared, because if things keep going the way they are, it’s an unfortunate fate that awaits the US. Lack of trust in government institutions, lack of tolerance in an ethnic sphere, and even lack of trust in others as well as perpetual labeling has contributed to violence in the US.
If say, guns are banned and gun-related deaths do decline, the problem regarding mental health and violence, as well as political ideology and violence, still wouldn’t be solved. Lack of tolerance in others and their beliefs hasn’t been solved.
In other words, stricter gun laws will fail, and I fear that these madmen will one day find another way to harm others, as those who intend to harm, or have an intention to invoke ill-will unto others, will find a way to do so. An option will have been taken away, but the cause of the effect has not been addressed.
Only until such a cause is addressed will such rates of violence continue.