The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [2ndAmendment]

In the mainstream media?  Who woke up this morning?

OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.

That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.

In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.

The problem is that this isn't a 2012 statistic.  It's an "always has been that way" statistic.  Big, black scary rifles and shotguns are used in almost no murders, statistically.  And as I have repeatedly pointed out the DOJ's own statistics tell a much more-somber tale but one we refuse to talk about: About 5,000 black men are murdered with guns annually, nearly all by other black men -- roughly half of all murders -- but the percentage of the population they represent is six percent, give or take one or two.

In other words that particular group of people is eight times more likely to be murdered than their share of the population would suggest.

It's worse - the public was sold on this ban originally because yes, these weapons are used in one particular sort of gun violence event more than anything else -- mass-shootings.

But your odds of being shot in one are vanishingly small -- there are only about 100 victims of such crime annually, or about 1% of all firearm homicides.

If we got rid of all the other shootings the mass-shooting homicides would still shock and horrify, but we'd have eliminated virtually all firearm murders.

If you want to be serious about putting a dent in homicides you need to look at who's dying on an outsized representation compared against their population share and why.  The "who's dying" is young black men.  The "why" is mostly related to violent gangs, and those are mostly related to the illegal drug trade.

That trade is a wholesale creation of our political process that has criminalized people wanting to get high on something the government disapproves of -- while leaving other things (e.g. alcohol) legal and taxed.

If you legalize and regulate drugs -- all of them with the exception of those that really have no "high" purpose (such as krokodyl) and sell them over the counter with ID checks the outcome would be profound.

The funding source for these gangs would be eliminated as would the reason for them to engage in violence; beefs they cannot take to a courtroom because their activity is illegal.  Yes, people would get high, but people get high now.  We'd dramatically shrink the prison population, eliminate all the "civil forfeiture" games that often catch innocent people and steal their property without recourse, and with all the money that was being spent on that enforcement and incarceration we could fund addiction treatment for those who want and seek it.

But that would mean pulling our head out of our ass and admitting that we have too many cops, too many jails, and we have built an entire industry centered around caging people who have done no violence to another, along with fostering and endorsing homicide as a means of settling beefs rather than imprisoning only those who are a true menace to others -- while we intentionally let out of prison those who are dangerous predators.

Don't expect that much common sense to break out any time soon.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access
Get Adobe Flash player
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.