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NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
The Dishonest Gun-Control Debate
Indiana is not to blame for Chicago crime.
By Kevin D. Williamson

The gun-control debate is one of the most dishonest arguments we have in American politics. It is dishonest in its particulars, of course, but it is in an important sense dishonest in general: The United States does not suffer from an inflated rate of homicides perpetrated with guns; it suffers from an inflated rate of homicides. The argument about gun control is at its root a way to put conservatives on the defensive about liberal failures, from schools that do not teach to police departments that do not police and criminal-justice systems that do not bring criminals to justice. The gun-control debate is an exercise in changing the subject.

First, the broad factual context: The United States has a homicide rate of 4.8 per 100,000, which is much higher than that of most Western European or Anglosphere countries (1.1 for France, 1.0 for Australia). Within European countries, the relationship between gun regulation and homicide is by no means straightforward: Gun-loving Switzerland has a lower rate of homicide than do more tightly regulated countries such as the United Kingdom and Sweden. Cuba, being a police state, has very strict gun laws, but it has a higher homicide rate than does the United States (5.0). Other than the truly shocking position of the United States, the list of countries ranked by homicide rates contains few if any surprises.

Link: National Review Online | Print
 
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