I surrender. The last thing I wanted to talk about today was anything that could be remotely related to the Tucson tragedy. I went to all my usual sources, both conservative and liberal, looking for the inspiration that I can normally find with only a little effort for a subject to write about in my blog. Apparently, the only subject anyone is talking about is the Tucson tragedy. So who am I to buck the trend.
Surely as night follows day, there will be renewed calls for more gun controls. It always happens after “news worthy” murders. Very briefly then I want to talk to you about my views on the relationship (or the lack there of) between murder and gun control.
First, a disclaimer. I have zero expertise in this area. I am, however, a reasonably good observer and what I have observed is that there is no relationship between gun control and murder rates. i should also tell you that I have never owned a gun. I was raised in an industrial city in Michigan and because my father wasn’t into hunting, I was never introduced to guns. But I’ve lived the last eighteen years in Venezuela and for the last eight years I, for the first time in my life, wish I could own and carry a gun.
Prior to Chavez, it was difficult but possible to get a permit to own a gun. For the last twelve years under Chavez, there is no legal way to purchase a gun of any kind.
Let me share some information about Venezuela. In area, it is a little bigger than Texas and has a population of around 28 million or about 9% of that of the United States. Before Chavez, the annual homicide rate varied between 3,000 and 4,000. Along comes Chavez spewing his divisiveness of hate between the haves and the have-nots and between the races. The direct result, according to this non-expert, is that in 2009 Venezuela had 20,000 homicides. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that number, isn’t it? And this in a country where it is illegal to buy or own a gun. This compares to 15,000 in the United States which has more than ten times the population and where it is legal to own guns.
So, did strict gun control in Venezuela reduce the murder rate? Not hardly. The cause of the horrendous murder rate in Venezuela obviously has to do with other factors; most likely cultural and not whether guns are legal or illegal.
Well, there you have it; my unscientific analysis of the value of gun controls. What do you think?