A study on the effects of Gun Laws. 1993-2011

aGunLaw8

My “Pro-gun”, or as it appears NOT so “Pro-gun” views.

I generally hold my Gun Rights close to my chest and oppose many laws regarding the (Anti-Gun) agenda. Whether carry conceal, the amount of fire arms I can purchase, the amount of ammo I can purchase, the amount of ammo my gun can carry or the ability to own and operate Assault Weapons (With proper training of said Assault Weapon), I generally fight to keep those freedoms that were handed down to me by our fore fathers and I also believe in the purpose of why the law was written in the first place. But I also felt a need for change when it comes to crime involving guns. After a conversation with a fellow pro-gun enthusiast in regards to CT citizens having to register weapons (where I feel registration is necessary to begin to pick away at the problem of irresponsible gun ownership in this country) I found that my ideas regarding issues that can help gun violence had some how infringed upon his rights as an American… There is no registration law in Maryland but all of my guns are registered. As the conversation progressed I somehow ended up DEFENDING the anti-gun agenda and the results I began digging up were somewhat startling and the effects of gun laws, were a lot more successful in their effects than is often portrayed by NRA, NGRA and many other forums I read.

Image

1993-2011.. The years where “everything” was “changing”

Many studies presented by my friend regarding these years were biased and led by “Pro Gun” individuals.   They tried to portray the decline in gun crimes, and general crime for that matter, as some kind of “Hands across America” ideal rather than a result of harsher gun laws..  Let’s break down this belief.. First, lets look at these “National” GENERAL crime rates and where the decline actually took place.

In 1993) *14 Million crimes were committed among a nation of 260 Million people. In 2011) *11 Million crimes were committed among a nation of 311 Million people.  In 1993 California accounted for *2.1 MILLION of those crimes and in 2011 it only accounted for *1 Million.. That is a 52% decrease (that the state completely attributes to its harsher gun laws) NOT TO MENTION represents 33% of the “NATIONAL” crime rate drop (1 Million of the 3 Million actual crime decline) Let’s look at Michigan, in 1993 Michigan accounted for *517,000 of those crimes and in 2011 had dropped to *290,000, that is a 44% decrease across the board and again, the state thanks harsher gun laws as a major contribution for it’s decline in crime. On to Illinois where in 1993 it accounted for *670,000 of those crimes and in 2011 it had dropped to *385,000. Again, another 43% drop across the board and again, the city thanks harsher gun and drug laws. All together these 3 states ALONE, that all enacted harsher gun laws, represent more than 50% of the “national” crime decline and in all honesty, these stats basically come from 4 cities. You throw in Houston (a city that initiated some of the harshest gun laws in spite of its pro-gun policy state of Texas) and you basically have 70% of your “national” decline in just 5 cities, all of which took on much stricter gun laws.  To diminish the effects that stricter gun laws had in these few areas by including them in with some “national” average when they basically ARE the national average is irresponsible.

Image

It was only getting worse, something had to give.

Between 1985-1990 Gun Homicide rates went through the roof due to lackadaisical fire arm protections. Even though some cities like Chicago and D.C had “gun bans” with no real actual follow through, surrounding cities had little to no change in theirs which made it easy for those looking for a gun to simply travel outside of the city and get what they need (a problem that STILL persists to this day in many cities including Chicago) Not to mention between 1980-1990 there were little to no trafficking laws, another “privilege” that effects gun crime to this day; straw buyers made a fortune during this decade. Moving on, from 1985-1990, gun homicide rates went from **11,135 to **15,058, a 35% increase in 5 years and showed no signs of stopping.  So from 1989-1994 America began taking a very harsh stand as a whole to fight the escalating gun death rates. With laws like The Crime Control Act of 1990, The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 and The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, these states and cities listed above as well as many others were able to enact and amend gun laws to suit their specific needs and meet the violent rise in gun homicides in their areas and in turn, create a massive reduction in gun deaths over the next 20 years.

Image

Direct impact of harsh gun laws from 1993-2011

With these national laws in place, states like California were able to enact laws and amendments to start fighting the problem. On September 13, 1994, Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (known as the Crime Control Act of 1994) took effect, Subtitle “A” banned the possession, transfer and manufacture of certain popular semiautomatic weapons deemed as “assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Also, the adjustments made to its 15 day waiting period law that happened concurrently with all gun transactions needing to go through an FFL or no paper-free PPT.. These laws DIRECTLY effected the gun homicide rates in California bringing them down from **3,008 in 1993 to **1,221 in 2011 (60% drop over 18 years). In 1994 the District of Columbia had more Gun homicides than it had car accident victims. After these national laws, amendments to the gun bans already in place and the Metropolitan Police Department conducting Operation Ceasefire and many other gun trade initiatives, 1,000’s of guns were immediately taken off the streets and 1,000’s more were denied purchase due to harsher and more in-depth background checks. After these amendments and very aggressive gun removal campaigns, the next 15 years they managed to bring down what WAS an AVERAGE of *252 homicides a year for OVER 40 years down to just **88… That is a 65% DECREASE over a **FORTY YEAR AVERAGE. This all due to a cultural change that took place in D.C involving very strict gun and drug laws and removal of 10,000’s of guns and the denial of 10,000’s more from 1995-Today. To list a few more cities that had similar gun culture changes Illinois (Chicago) **951 Gun Homicides in 1993 to **600 in 2011 (36% Decrease) Texas (Houston) dropped from **1,538 Gun Homicides to **728 in 2011 (53% decrease) There are many many more that have been effected by a nation and citywide initiative to fight gun violence.

Image

Setbacks when certain areas don’t follow suit.

The general consensus among pro-gun activists is that “gun control doesn’t work” and in my opinion we have no base to stand on.. I am pro-gun advocate and I didn’t have to look in to all of this to realize that it does indeed work, but let’s address these claims. Let’s first cite Florida, a state with some of the most lax gun laws in the country.  The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting investigation published in April found that murders by firearms in Florida have increased dramatically since 2000, when there were 499 gun murders. Gun murders have climbed 38% with 691 murders committed with guns in 2011, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement data. 75% of all homicides in Florida are now committed by guns, up from 56 percent in 2000. There’s a direct correlation between the increase in Florida gun murders and the state’s lax gun regulations. Texas is another example, a state often used in debates as a “Pro-Gun state and shows the same gun death decline as these other states without the laws” but this is simply not true.  This is the same train of thought displayed by those who would agree with the “National” crime decline being reason for drops in gun deaths..  Don’t get me wrong, Texas did have a drop in gun deaths from **1,538 in 1993 to **728 in 2011. (53% drop) but this was not in correlation in regards to the STATES view on gun policy, this took place because the murder capital of the world (Houston) decided to take a harsher initiative and just like D.C won their OWN war on Gun and Drug crime through aggressive action. But because of weak laws in connecting counties/cities, that crime has found a new home in Dallas and it seems Texas will soon be home to yet another murder capital. There is only so much a city can do (like West Palm, Chicago and Houston to name a few) before connecting towns, counties, cities, states and weak federal gun policies effect their area again. Since illegal guns can travel across state boundaries, we need federal legislation TARGETING these crooked dealers, traffickers, straw purchasers that initiate private sales without background checks along with a unified STATEWIDE and NATIONWIDE gun initiative.

Image

Conclusion

I see motto’s used by both sides of the agenda like “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “Take the gun out of violence”, can we just meet in the middle and say “Guns don’t kill people, but having one makes it a lot easier”?? Can we at least ALL agree that people die to other people that use guns sometimes, is this so hard to admit?  Would taking on a nationwide agency that instructed gun responsibility be that bad of an idea? ^19,766 people died to self infliction with a fire arm in 2011. Someone, somewhere along the line failed in a responsibility that allowed these people to take their own lives.  In 2011 over ^32,000 people died to Guns, that is a rate of almost 4 every hour (or 1 every 15 minutes) After overturning many gun laws in many states over the last 2 years, gun deaths are rising again in some of these areas.  There will be no doubt a direct correlation between these gun death rises and the lifts on the cities laws and lifts in surrounding areas. I will be doing a study on this when there is sufficient data. Until then GL America, be careful what you wish for!!!!

*National Crime stats pulled from http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/   **Homicide Rates stats pulled from the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports  ^Overall Stats provided by GunPolicy.Org.

Advertisements

America is trying to add more sanctions to “Iran” bill.

As if the initial sanctions on Iran through the Johnson-Shelby bill were not conflict oriented enough, some senate leaders are trying to push for even more sanctions.  http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/27/reid_tries_to_push_through_iran_sanctions_bill  I question why we are even pursuing Iran in this matter in the first place. Because they want to build nuclear facilities that harbor weapons of mass destruction?  The country of Iran is SURROUNDED by countries with nuclear weaponry. It is their RIGHT to build whatever weapons they deem necessary to protect themselves from possible threats, as the saying goes “to fight fire with fire.”.  The US deals with Pakistan in all kinds of aid and foreign policy even though it is DOCUMENTED that Pakistan has dealt NUCLEAR technology to N. Korea! Yet there are no sanctions on Pakistan. Do you think Iran need sanctions because of the way their government operates with its citizens? Let me inform you, there are no real complaints from Iranians. and in all honesty, it is none of our governments business. What is our governments business though, is OIL, that being our top export and money earner and all.

If you think that these newly added sanctions that call for punishment to countries that deal with Iran in regards to: (weapons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and other riot control equipment — as well as jamming, monitoring, and surveillance equipment) has anything to do with “protecting” Iranian citizens, you are sadly mistaken.  Our country has an ABUNDANCE of that equipment and makes quite good use of it. What?  Iran shouldnt have that right to protect government as well?  It’s not only their right but it is their duty to do as such. They are also trying to cut off their refined oil imports, not that they need that being the 5th ranked producer of OIL in the world.  These sanctions are simply a “bullying” tactic used by the US government to try to entice and engage in war. Do you think the US would sit idly by while a country tried to stop riot management supplies and oil from coming to our country? NO, they wouldn’t but I hope Iran does.  Ron says it best here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZFD3Oscoog&fb_source=message

War is never the answer, it is only a result.  I believe in war but I also believe that it should be used as a last defense or in cases where “we have no other choice.” It should never be used as a strong-arm from congress to seize control of or “occupy” other countries. That’s not war, that’s invasion.  Unfortunately that is where we are heading with Iran and these sanctions make OUR governments motives that much more clear.  A good read. http://csis.org/blog/time-more-creative-negotiating-strategy-iran  Gl America, be careful what you wish for.

“Path to Prosperity”. The proposed conservative budget supported by Mitt Romney.

There is a ton of hoop-la about this “Ryan budget” that is being supported by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, so I decided to read it and see exactly what all the fuss was about. You can read it yourself here http://budget.house.gov/UploadedFiles/PathToProsperityFY2012.pdf  It is a conservative publishing so it is a little “biased”. While “Ryans” budget is full of flaws, it DOES offer some bright spots. I will start with the good. Many times you hear outcries of “They’re going to give such and such oil corporation a 4 trillion dollar tax break!!!!” Where I see the irony in this, I also see the other side of the spectrum. They “WOULD” get these tax breaks because of an across the board flat corporate tax break, why is this good for America you might ask? Many of these companies that US citizens complain about every day about outsourcing all their jobs, do so because they simply CANNOT afford to keep their companies working in the US.  Our corporate tax is the HIGHEST in the WORLD! If we could give our home grown companies such tax breaks it would open up TONS of jobs in the US. It also could attract MANY over seas companies/corporations to possibly open up factories and locations in the US creating that many more jobs and that much more cash flow. Just because the 10% decrease in corporate tax would benefit oil companies more because of their ridiculous earnings does not mean that it is a bad thing for the US or that you would have to feel bad supporting it.  It would benefit ALL corporations in the US.  With that said though there was NO mention of keeping the pressure off of lower and middle class with this loss of incoming tax payments this would cause. I also like that they plan to cut out alot of spending to double dipping organizations that have been plaguing our economy for quite some time and also reducing personal government spending.

The Bad. THERE IS NOT ONE THING ABOUT EDUCATION! IT IS NOT EVEN SHOWN IN GRAPHS! WAKE UP! EDUCATION IS OUR FUTURE! I was astounded to not find ONE thing referring to education. There is still WAY to much of our GDP going into defense. There is still WAY to much of our GDP going into PENSIONS (most of which goes to retirees and retirees families of senators, congressman and presidents). Their salaries and pensions need to be reduced.  There was no mention of what to do with the Federal Reserve/Central banking regulations. Their projections of the “future” are pure fantasy in regards to the current democratic plan and are completely blown out of proportion. I am not even going to comment on the 2 health care plans because it is all SPECULATORY. NO one knows what will become of Obamas or Ryans health care plans or how it will effect the current employment/cost/economic situation. I will say this though, if Ryan thinks that giving ALL retirees the type of medicare that congressman get is a good idea…we will surely be broke sooner than later unless he plans on sticking the retirees with the cost of the medicare.

In the end, the Ryan Budget obviously takes aim at 3 major issues that seem to always come up around election time, health care, taxes and spending. Its almost as if they said we don’t need to worry about education, government wage reform, regulations or anything else for that matter.  I wish I could see the 2 political parties working together for a COMMON goal. BOTH budgets have their positives and negatives. Infact, if you meshed certain things from each side it would be a brilliant budget with a bright future. But this IS america and god forbid if Democrats and Republicans work together toward OUR future.  Of course its politics as usual but I myself am tired of that “norm”. Gl America and be careful what you wish for.

2012 Election, what you should really be worried about.

With this years presidential election looming, I hope people have more than gas prices on their minds. Throughout 2012, the most common grievance I hear from the masses is about gas prices or about our economy.  I ask myself, do the people of this country even know what they are complaining about when it comes to our economy? Or do they just look at our job situations, housing market and gas prices and say hey…there is a problem OR even worse, just take the side of their political view and agree without any kind of knowledge.

I feel there are MORE pressing issues that voters should concern themselves with this year. I never hear political arguments anymore about EDUCATION or TECHNOLOGY. Do you know that only 3% of our GDP/Budget goes to Education? Do you know that most countries invest close to HALF (50%) of their GDP/Budget to Education? Why? Because education is the lifeline of your country. Without properly educated kids in this country, where are we heading? You think because 4% of our country is properly educated we will be ok??? NO. We wont. This is not just an inner city thing either, a poll among American Universities in 2011 showed that almost 60% of first year college students in 2007 had to take remedial courses, (in other words, do another year of high school classes). Of those 60%, only 40% decided to pursue a college education past that first remedial year. Of those 40% most barely graduated with minimal GPA’s and did not pursue further education past an AA degree. (bachelors, masters, PHD) But they still left in debt :D. This is one of the main reasons why we are ranked near the bottom in Math, Physics and Science in the WORLD. Higher learning is the least of the problems with how our gov’t deals with Education, it is the K-12 program that is really in shambles. We are amongst the HIGHEST in the WORLD in drop out rates and amongst the LOWEST in the WORLD when it comes to NATIONAL GPA’s. There is a great documentary you should watch that covers everything from inner city to suburban education in America called “Waiting for Superman.” Another great write-up and ALL fact is http://news.yahoo.com/education-woes-linked-national-security-053915876.html   You really should do your own research before voting.

Technology, something the world used to look to us for, now they look and laugh. There is a reason why during the mid to late 90’s there was a huge push for students to begin going to Tech schools, to create, run or work for companies like Apple and Microsoft. The sad fact is, they employ more people from over seas than any other company in the USofA. Our exporting is a JOKE. Our top export is, believe it or not, FUEL. Our other exports are not even worth mentioning. Countries rely on us for NOTHING. They can get fuel elsewhere if they really have to and it is only a matter of time before other countries are turning to alternative fuels that are based off of a huge domestic product they have in abundance such as sugar, corn, hydrogen, electric etc. We in the mean time will continue to use gas, because it is the only thing we have of ANY value to ourselves (as consumers) and other nations that have not yet moved on to alternative fuels. We are currently 5th place in the world in global information technology and world-renowned engineers and scholars have claimed that the investigators were being VERY generous. They go on to mention that the way our education and economy is in decline they would not be surprised if we were to drop to the bottom of the worlds list in the next 10 years. Again you can do your own research on this and you should before you vote!

As far as our economy. I would like to educate you as to what the problem is with our economy and why unfortunately no matter who you vote for, it wont change anything. Our economy is run by ONE  PRIVATE central bank, the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is about as federal as McDonalds. Our government has NO control over The Federal Reserve and in fact, it’s quite the other way around. Why it wont change: It’s very simple, every single dollar that is produced by the Central Bank, is loaned to the United States AT interest. This means every single dollar produced is actually a dollar PLUS a certain amount of debt based on that dollar (Basically the Federal Reserve loans OUR government a trillion dollars, with interest attached to it that we have to eventually pay back). Since the Central Bank has a monopoly over the production of our dollar and they loan each dollar out with debt attached to it, where do you think the money comes from to pay this debt back later? It comes from the Central Bank again! Which means the FED has to keep increasing the money supply to temporarily cover the debt created (Inflation YAY), and guess what, that money has immediate interest attached to it as well. What does this mean…PERPETUAL DEBT. This has been going on for 70 years now and we are starting to really feel the effects. Our economy is doomed because of this method and most university economist will tell you we will be completely broke (meaning our dollar will be worth ZERO) by 2045. No matter who you vote for in this election, they will not NOR can they change this. You can believe what you want on this subject but this is a hard cold fact. Ron Paul is the only person I have seen in congress fight the Fed and Central banking and because of this, he will NEVER be president. This btw is NOT a Ron Paul campaign, even though he IS/WAS the best candidate out there. (depending on when you are reading this) There is plenty of info and it is ALL fact at http://www.bis.org/index.htm  or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmPchuXIXQ and watch vids 1-5 on the Federal Reserve. It’s ALL FACT. You should do your own research before voting.

Health care reform is another issue that looms over this country and both Candidates offer a very similar (yet different) way to addressing it. With all the hoopla surrounding “ObamaCare” keep in mind that ObamaCare and what Romney is doing in the state of Massachusetts are generally the same thing.  The only real difference is that Romney has harsher penalties for those uninsured.  ($1,200 compared to Obama’s $600) The real fuss of course regards Obama’s ACA or “The Affordable Care Act” but looking at projections, I can’t help but see a bright future for Healthcare in America. Health Care spending is expected to grow on average by 6% over the next 10 years, 1% greater than projected GDP growth.  This will mean new jobs in the private and public sectors and economic growth.  In 2011 the nation spent $2.7 Trillion dollars on health care growing at the same rate it did in 2010 (3.9%)  As our economy becomes more stable, we can expect to see the actual growth level out around 3.5% by 2014.  By comparison, without the ACA, health expenditures could rise to as much as 7.2% (or 2% faster) By 2014, under the ACA, it is projected that as many as 22 Million People would be insured that would not have been insured without it. Out-of-pocket expenses to Americans by 2014 could be cut by as much as 2% across the board due the majority of the 22 Million influx being younger and healthier. Furthermore, projected spending on prescription drugs is expected to increase twice as fast by 2014 (9%) without reform. Medicare cost has grown 1% over the year but is 100% related to upgrading Nursing Facilities and an influx in Medicare Advantage Payment Rates. Under the ACA, Medicare spending will slow to 1.3% in 2014 from the 5.9% this year primarily due to the Sustainable Rate Growth Formula and the Budget Control Act of last year.  This means by 2014, under the ACA and ObamaCare, we could see the inflation of Health Costs drop by 1% across the board annually as well as give the American people 2% back in their pockets. By 2020 the ACA and ObamaCare plan could save this country close to $800 Billion Dollars in health care costs.

Now, as for gas prices, you can do PLENTY of research on the web regarding why the prices are so high and why they will NEVER go down. There are plenty of world wide reports out there on exactly why the gas is priced the way it is and why the US HAS to do it. Regardless of what FOX and MSNBC show you with graphs, the price of gas has steadily increased since 2000 and shows no sign of stopping. IT IS AMERICAS WELFARE. If it wasn’t for our gas consumption, this country would ALREADY be bankrupt and don’t think for a second they would drop gas prices just to make you happy (even if they could). No matter what….where… or when we drill…this will NEVER change, EVER! but our ideas about what kind of fuel we use could. Great write up here and ALL fact http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/03/25/oil-politics-and-the-truth-about-gas-prices.aspx also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil

At the end of the day I ask myself, which if ANY of the politicians are TRULY fighting for us and has OUR best interest in mind. They all talk a big game but 99.9% of the time its complete garbage they spew to try to win us over.  I’ve only seen a couple “true” politicians in the 15 years I have been able to vote and only one was RUNNING for president. I guess what I am trying to say is, I don’t trust any of the presidential candidates, or ANY politicians for that matter.  There is a great phrase in the Declaration of Independence “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations (taking of our liberties and freedoms), pursuing invariably the same Object (OIL&Money) evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security” I am a firm believer in what our forefathers believed in and fought for. This country is a complete 180 from their vision and I only hope we can get back there some day. My question is, when will people finally stand up and recognize the injustice in our political system and fight for whats right. Until then, GL America and be careful what you wish for.