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Truth about Gun Control   Leave a comment

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are both under fire currently for “not being willing to talk about gun control” in connection with the Parkland Florida high school shooting. Good for them.

The Left’s incessant attempts to find new ways to take guns from law-abiding American citizens in the name of reducing gun crime .is completely misplaced because the facts clearly show that gun control only exacerbates violent crime. Here are seven facts proving this.

1. Washington, D.C.’s gun ban worsened the city’s homicide rate. In 1976, D.C. implemented a law that banned citizens from owning guns, meaning only police officers were allowed to carry firearms. Those who already owned guns were allowed to keep them only if they were disassembled or trigger-locked and the trigger locks could be removed only if the owner received permission from the DC police, which pretty much never happened.

The results weren’t good. Annual homicides rose from 188 (1976) to 364 (1988) and by 1993 it was 454. The District of Columbia gun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court  in 2008 and by 2012 the DC murder rate had dropped to 88. Yes, there were no doubt other factors involved in the decline in homocides, but lifting the gun bad clearly didn’t result in an increase in murders.

Washington DC still has strictest gun laws in the country and one of the most dangerous places in the country to live. The salient facts are that homicides in D.C. rose after the ban was implemented and subsequently declined after the Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.

2. The gun bans in Australia and Britain also didn’t work. Australia and Britain are both hailed by the Left as evidence that gun control works. The facts, even collected within those countries, tell a different story.

A 2007 study published in the British Journal of Criminology determined “The gun buy-back and restrictive changes had no influence on firearm homicides in Australia.” The gun homicide rate had actually been low in Australia and falling prior to the Port Arthur shooting. After the gun ban, firearm suicides and accidental firearm deaths did decrease, but researchers noted there was an initial spike in non-firearm suicides for the next couple of years, followed by a decline. Thus, researchers concluded that “suicide rates in Australia were highly influenced by other societal changes, confounding the ability to discern any effect on firearm suicides” after the buyback program.

After Australia’s gun buyback, the gun ownership levels in Australia rose to the point where by 2010, there were as many guns in circulation as there were before the gun buyback. You would have thought to see gun deaths decrease at first and the increase as guns came back into circulation, but that’s not what happened. The rate of firearm suicides was falling about the same rate after the buyback as they were beforehand. After the buyback, there was no sudden drop and then an increase, but that sudden drop in firearms-related suicides coincided with a sudden drop in non-firearm suicides fell by virtually the same percentage as firearm suicides. The fits what I know about suicide from my 15 years of working in the mental health fields. People who want to kill themselves will kill themselves whether a gun is available or not.

The same appears to be true with gun homicides.

According to the study (see the link), prior to 1996, there was already a clear downward trend in firearm homicides, a pattern that continued after the buyback. As with suicides, both non-firearm and firearm homicides fell by similar amounts, though the trend in non-firearms homicides shows a much larger decline between the pre- and post-buyback periods. That suggests crime had been falling for other reasons. Significantly, there was no increase in homicides as gun ownership gradually increased.



In Britain’s case, the Crime Research Prevention Center found that after the gun ban was implemented, there was initially a severe increase in the homicide rate, followed by a gradual decline once Britain beefed up their police force. However, there has only been one year where the homicide rate was lower than it was pre-ban:

There was an 87 percent spike in gun crime from 1998/1999 to 2008/2009, all of which occurred after the gun ban.

A closer look at the actual facts shows that the Left’s favorite examples of Britain and Australia are actually examples of how gun control DOES NOT work.

3. The vast majority of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. Since 1950, 98 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. The terror attack in Orlando, FL all the school, mall, and movie theater shootings all took place in gun-free zones. There’s an obvious reason for that. Deranged murderers want to be in a position to murder as many people as possible, so they target areas where they’re least likely to find armed resistance, which happen to be gun-free zones.

There are 330 million people in America but only 628,000 police officers. Cops can’t protect everybody and the Supreme Court has ruled that they have no obligation to do so. That’s why it’s prudent for citizens to arm themselves.

4. There is a clear correlation between higher firearm ownership and reducing police killings. There is a 3.6 percent DECREASE in police killings for every percentage point INCREASE in those owning a firearm. Naturally, the inverse was also true. From 2013 to 2015, the six states (plus the District of Columbia) that banned open carry actually experienced higher rates of police death (20.2 versus 17.3 per 100,000 officers).”

A 2016 National Association of Chiefs of Police survey found that 86.4 percent of 20,000 police chiefs and sheriffs support concealed carry and are overwhelmingly against further gun control. In light of the recent murders of cops, it has become even more important to have an armed citizenry.

5. There is also a correlation between fewer mass public shootings and higher gun ownership. According to John Lott and the University of Chicago’s Bill Landes, between 1977 and 1999 “right-to-carry laws reduced both the frequency and the severity of mass public shootings; and to the extent to which mass shootings still occurred, they took place in those tiny areas in the states where permitted concealed handguns were not allowed.”

6. As the number of guns per person has increased, gun violence has declined. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that between 1993 and 2003, gun ownership in the US increased by 56 percent, and yet gun violence declined by almost 50 percent in the time period. If the premise of gun control zealots were correct, then wouldn’t gun violence have INCREASED during that period of time?

7. The number of defensive gun uses are higher than the number of criminal firearm uses. There was a range of 500,000 to over 3 million defensive gun uses in 2013, according to research from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council published by the CDC. That same year, there were 11,208 firearm homicides and 414,562 nonfatal illegal gun uses, according to the CDC and National Justice Institute, respectively. Even when taking the low end of the defensive gun uses, it’s clear that there are more defensive gun uses than criminal gun uses by Americans.

Examining the Cubbies   2 comments

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So, when this topic came up, I had to think long and hard about it, because I wasn’t sure what was meant by “niche”. What particular niche are we talking about?

IImage result for image of author in genre silos‘m a member of several niches. I’m a multi-genre author, for example. I’m cubbied with born-again Christians (though I don’t write expressly “Christian” literature”. I’m a libertarian. I’m an Alaskan. This is probably just my dislike of categories that is rearing its head.

So bookish stats –

Print books are back (though you can’t tell it by my paperback sales). Apparently 571 million print books were sold in 2015, which is 17 million more than the year before. E-books are hovering around 25% of the book market, which actually makes me feel pretty good about my sales, which are growing but not setting any records. Adult non-fiction remains the largest print category. Hard cover books saw sales increases in 2015, but sale of mass market paperbacks saw a double digit decline.

Ebooks have proven they’re not just a fad. They’re here to stay. According to K-Lytics, 75,000 new books are added to the Kindle store every month so it looks like e-books have stabilized and they are selling. Part of the problem is that, in the US (the largest e-book market) over 1/3 of all ebooks don’t have trackable ISBNs, which makes it hard to monitor the market. (For the record, I own my ISBNs, I don’t get them “free” from Amazon).

Traditional publishers discourage the purchase of ebooks by pricing an ebook (that can’t be loaned or resold) the same, or even higher, than paperbacks, which means traditional publishers don’t see a lot of sales from ebooks. I’ve seen many of my traditionally published author friends struggle to make any sales at inflated prices, but you do want to price an ebook in such a way that people feel they are receiving quality.

According to Mark Corker (of Smashwords), ebooks priced at $2.99 to $3.99 sell, but books priced at $1.99 don’t. I find that interesting and a good reason to increase my book prices. Another niche I’m a member of is capitalistic entrepreneur.

Meanwhile, here are some cool statistics

  • 1/5 to 1/4 of ebooks are by indie authors.
  • Nearly 1/3 of ebook earnings goes to indie authors, who receive a higher royalty than traditionally published authors.

I’m a multi-genre author because when I look at my back catalog, I see I’ve always been a multi-genre writer. That can be a business decision. Not all genres sell equally well. Readers have preferences. The most popular genre is ….

Romance. Okay. Moving on … no, seriously … I couldn’t easily write a romance because that’s just not me. I walk in the woods with grizzly bears and I carry a gun. Just not all that sentimental. I could only do romance if it was mixed in with something else. But … but … it’s the biggest genre. Maybe I need to free myself to think differently in order to dip my toe into the genre that makes up 50% of the ebook market.

The good news is that other genres are gaining a substantial foothold with readers in the ebook market.

Science fiction and fantasy are the next most popular genre(s) in ebooks. I think of them as separate genres, but the industry mostly doesn’t. I’ve got a fantasy series underway and an apocalyptic series too. Technically, apocalyptic is science fiction even if it is set in a world we all recognize. I’m happily nested amid this combined genre that makes up about 12% of the ebook market.

The National Book Awards’ young writers prize, 5 Under 35, announced that the margins are in today. For the first time in its 10-year history, three of the five honorees were published by independent presses: the Dorothy Project, Ig Publishing and Hawthorne Books. With smaller print runs and often an intimate relationship with readers, these smaller houses are able to take bigger risks than their larger counterparts and are finding truly excellent writers outside the mainstream.

There are 5 large publishers (Penguin-Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette), plus between 300-500 medium sized publishers and 86,000 small press/self-publishers. That’s me. Because I’m an independent author who publishes through an author cooperative, I am technically a small-press publisher. Self-publishing rose slightly in 2015, with more self-publishers reporting that they use consultants for editing and formatitng support. That will be an interesting research project in a year … to see if e-book quality by self-publishers has increased any over the last 12 months. We can only hope so.

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Today, I noted that this blog is (for today) more popular with UK readers than with US readers.  Thanks for visiting —



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