Sunday, December 15, 2013

Examining The States With The "Weakest" Gun Laws - Why Brady's Ratings Don't Add Up

One of the nation's leading gun control advocacy group, the Brady Campaign, rates every state's gun laws.  Until recently, you could view the state rankings (1-50) on their website.  They have now taken them down, for reasons that will become apparent in this article.

If gun control advocates are correct, than states with the most stringent gun laws should have the lowest murder rates and those with the "worst" or "weakest" gun laws should have the highest murder rates.  The chart below compares the 10 worst states, according to Brady, ranked from 50th down to 41st place - with their ranking in 2012 FBI homicide statistics (1 being lowest, 50 being highest).

If "weak gun laws" are a significant factor in homicides, than the worst homicide rates should be in the states with these so called "weak" laws.  In the above chart, this would result in the colored bars being close together.  In fact, this is not the case.  In fact, only one of Brady's "worst 10 states" has a homicide rate in the top ten: Louisiana.

Here are the state by state figures:

State                           Brady Rating                     FBI Homicide Rating (Low is worse)

Utah                                50th                                   28th

Alaska                             49th                                   26th

Arizona                            48th                                   15th

Oklahoma                        47th                                   12th

North Dakota                    46th                                   30th

Montana                           45th                                   39th

Louisiana                          44th                                   1st

Kentucky                          43rd                                   22nd

Idaho                               42nd                                   46th

Wisconsin                         41st                                   35th

Additionally, only three of Brady's so-called worse states are even in the 20 worst states.  If Brady's ratings are meaningful, than most of their "10 worst states" should be in the 20 worst states for homicides.  It's clear that Brady's ratings have no meaningful relationship to crime, or as they are falsely saying nowadays - gun safety.

If so called weak gun laws do in fact result in more crimes, as Brady claims, than we would expect to see several of the above states listed among the 10 worst homicide rates.  In fact, we see only one state listed in both Brady's "10 worst" and the FBI's 10 worst homicide states.  Even more significant is the average.  The average ranking of Brady's 10 "worst" states?  25.4  If gun control advocates are correct, these "weak gun law" states should average well above the average of all states.  Again, this is not the case.  They average slightly below the average ranking of all states.

In reality, gun laws seem to have little effects upon the criminal use of firearms.  In fact, in places like Chicago and Washington DC, the most restrictive gun laws in the nation have done nothing to reduce the worst gun violence in the nation.  Brady's ratings simply do not add up.  Remember that the next time some "talking head" on the news cites them as reliable.

Brady's ratings:

FBI homicide rankings: 

No comments:

Post a Comment