Deacon wrote:Sorry, but what are you talking about? The anti-gun folks took the opportunity to squawk their alarm. The NRA doesn't really have much responsibility on their shoulders to react every time someone shoots someone else. But they've definitely implemented harsh gun control laws before, and it's only now that they've finally been loosening. When they have decided freedom is too dangerous, they've at least grandfathered existing items. That's what drives people to acquire additional arms when Obama or Hillary or whoever start going on about "common-sense" rights violations.
There's a lot of unnecessary rhetoric on both sides, and all it does is get a few riled up and turn away those who want to have an intelligent discussion. The NRA's tactic, and what I think The Cid was trying to get at, was to essentially blame the victims for not allowing guns into the church. It doesn't seem to have crossed their minds that several people would likely have died anyway even if there had been a concealed carry.
I'm a supporter of the Second Amendment, and a strong supporter of concealed carry, but it's not a panacea. The NRA's tendency to metaphorically come out shooting is the main reason why I'm not a member.
So it's a lot easier to ignore that violent crime has been falling consistently since loosening restrictions on the Second Amendment, that these widely publicized instances happen always (or nearly) in areas where self-defense is criminalized, and the numerous stories of people defending themselves and their families successfully when otherwise they would simply be another victim statistic. When guns, their abundance, or their concentrations are claimed to be the cause of problems, it's super simple to refute.
Restrictions tightened throughout the 1980s and 1990s and didn't start to seriously loosen until halfway through the Bush Administration. However, murders peaked in 1993, and the rate has largely been dropping since then. There's an interesting correlation to the phasing in and out of lead in gasoline, and it's been found in numerous countries and even individual states in the US. Roughly 20 years after leaded gasoline was introduced in each, crime rates began to rise, and roughly 20 years after phase-outs began, crime began to fall. There are, of course, many factors to crime that include socioeconomic status and family life, but there's a compelling case that lead is a very strong factor. Youth violence has been declining faster and crime among older people (especially older males) has either been declining more slowly or has actually increased, which could be caused by healthier brains in younger generations and older generations accumulating lead-based neural damage.
There's a lot more study that can be done. Lead often still exists in the soil near major highways, places that the poor (and thus more likely to turn to crime) are more likely to live because the cost of living is lower. Analyzing lead content and comparing it to crime rates could turn up some interesting things. Analyzing the prison population's lead levels could be similarly interesting. I fear that these would be difficult studies to perform technically, but also because there would be a partisan backlash from those fearing that it wouldn't match their worldview.
Incidentally, I don't feel that validating such hypotheses is a reason on its own to cut anyone loose or to restrict access to firearms. People made their decisions at the time of their offense, and a declining murder rate in spite of growing firearm sales (though declining overall ownership rates) does not mean that a guaranteed right should be curtailed. But it could result in actions that could have positive results for future generations as the lead is cleaned out, with lower crime and economic costs.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.