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States with Stricter Gun Control Laws Are Less Safe

The Brady Campaign persists with its rhetoric that “reasonable restrictions” of the Second Amendment make society safer.

Howard Nemerov


July 19, 2010 - 12:00 am
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The Brady Campaign “opposes state laws or a national law” legalizing shall-issue concealed carry laws — or “right-to-carry” laws (RTC) — where law enforcement must issue a license unless there’s evidence that the applicant is a criminal or a danger to himself or others.

According to Brady rhetoric, RTC states should be more dangerous. But actual FBI and CDC data prove otherwise.

  • RTC states: more guns at home and in public; less violent crime and murder.
Right-to-Carry vs. Brady, Pct Gun Ownership, FBI Violent Crime, Murder
2001 2002


PGO FBI Rates Ave.


Violence Murder Violence Murder
RTC D 43.0% 404.4 5.0 D 44.7% 398.7 4.8
Non-RTC B- 26.8% 509.4 6.1 B- 27.8% 503.5 6.6
  • RTC states have lower firearms and non-firearms homicide rates.
Right-to-Carry vs. Brady, Pct Gun Ownership, CDC Homicide
2001 2002


PGO CDC Homicide Ave.


PGO CDC Homicide
Firearm Non-FA Firearm Non-FA
RTC D 43.0% 3.60 2.15 D 44.7% 3.59 1.91
Non-RTC B- 26.8% 4.00 3.40 B- 27.8% 4.48 2.25

Brady’s McDonald brief claimed that “an increase in gun prevalence causes an intensification of criminal violence — a shift toward greater lethality, and hence, greater harm to the community.”

Brady argued for “reasonable” Second Amendment restrictions that should be addressed “in the political arena, without courts second-guessing reasoned legislative judgments.”

Curiously, this same argument was one of the motives for the Fourteenth Amendment: to protect against legislative attempts to curtail citizens’ basic rights. Since American gun control includes a history of legislative attempts to oppress American citizens of African descent, Brady’s “reasonable” argument merits further attention.

When Brady’s grades were collated with CDC firearm and non-firearm homicide rates for Americans of African descent:

  • Brady’s favorite states experienced the highest rates of homicide.
  • The general trend indicates that as Brady grades decline, so do homicide rates.
  • Brady’s “worst” states experienced the lowest rates of firearms and non-firearms homicide.
Brady Grades Versus CDC African American Homicide Rates
Grade 2001 2002
Total Firearm Non-FA Total Firearm Non-FA
A 22.62 17.26 5.37 23.35 17.78 5.56
B 20.39 12.73 7.66 21.88 16.54 5.34
C 19.66 14.23 5.42 18.45 13.93 4.52
D 16.83 12.60 4.23 17.24 11.99 5.25
F 11.96 9.94 2.02 11.43 8.75 2.67

These data show that law-abiding Americans are safest where they have the easiest access to firearms, rendering Henigan’s premise invalid.

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Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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