We have to act, even if it makes things much worse
A little bit less than three weeks ago, Vice President Biden was talking about how “American people will not understand — and I know that everyone in that caucus understands — they won’t understand if we don’t act.”
As I have become more educated over the years, it has been impressed on me over and over by history just how badly government manages to screw up almost everything it touches. It comes as no surprise then, that gun control is no exception:
The 1998 legislation did cut down, quite sharply, on the legal use of guns in Massachusetts. Within four years, the number of active gun licenses in the state had plummeted. “There were nearly 1.5 million active gun licenses in Massachusetts in 1998,” the AP reported. “In June , that number was down to just 200,000.” The author of the law, state Senator Cheryl Jacques, was pleased that the Bay State’s stiff new restrictions had made it possible to “weed out the clutter.”
But the law that was so tough on law-abiding gun owners had quite a different impact on criminals.
Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. Instead of “lead[ing] the way in cracking down on gun violence,” the state has seen gun violence shoot up. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Boston Globe reported this month – “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.
This always seems to happen:
Big Tim’s practical knowledge of criminology proved deficient. “It didn’t take long for those hopes to be dashed: within twelve months of the passage of the Sullivan Law, New York City’s murder rate increased 18 percent.”
In 1912, presidents of fourteen burglary insurance companies called for repeal of the Act, arguing that burglaries and robberies had increased by 40%.