Brady grades and crime rates
Here's a paper by Denton Bramwell, studying the relationship between the Brady Campaign's grading of state gun laws, and the homicide rates and total violent crime rates, of those states. (pdf file, but small).
If Brady's report cards made any sense (that is, if the legal measures it wants enacted, the type of thing that earns an A grade), then there should be some correlation between grades and violent crime and murder rates. The paper concludes that there is no such correlation at all. At each grade level, states' homicide/violence rates range from low to high, and there is no evidence of any correlation between grades and homicide rates at all. A regression analysis indicated that the relation between Brady grade and crime rate was no better than you would get by running random pairs of data, plucking grades and crime rates out of the air.
Logical conclusion: Enactment or failure to enact Brady's legislative priorities had no correlation to murder rates. If a state were to go from F to A, from virtually no gun control to everything on Brady's agenda, the only result would be a joyful press release from Brady.
It is quite interesting to see an advocacy group impeached by its own grading system.
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Another interesting result is the grade the Bradys have assigned to Washington DC. The last time I checked the Brady Campaign web site on this issue( www.stategunlaws.org), the District was graded only a B+. According to the Brady Bunch, DC doesn't do better because
"Congress has authority to repeal DC's gun laws." and "The Police Chief has discretion" about issuing concealed carry permits.
Does anyone know of anyone who has a DC concealed carry permit?
For most of us on the pro-self-defense side, the District should get an A+ from the Brady Camapaign, based on its restrictive gun laws.
Or is it possible that the Bradys simply cooking their grading system to account for the fact that the District, where the law-abiding are defenseless against criminals, is one of the most violent places in the US?
Posted by: Andrew Frechtling at October 27, 2006 09:19 AM
I go with the cooking - it's clear their policies amount to nothing, but the intended results are legal, social-controls.
Posted by: DirtCrashr at October 27, 2006 11:38 AM
I love the graphics on that PDF...
Looks like a poor shotgun patterning board :)
Posted by: chris at October 27, 2006 03:51 PM
That comparison of the six New England states is kind of silly. Not only is the sample too small to tell anything, but it's basically comparing urban vs. rural states. It leaves one with the impression that more gun control correlates with more violent crime, when in fact Bramwell has it right: more or less gun control doesn't have a significant effect on violent crime rates. However, the size and density of metro areas most definitely does correlate with violent crime (MA has the largest, densest cities in New England; ME and VT don't really have cities, and NH only kinda does).
Posted by: Cos at October 27, 2006 07:18 PM
I beg to differ with your assertion that "comparison of the six New England states is kind of silly" The statistics clearly say that they account for variations in population. The numbers showed violent crime per 100,000 in population.
It is apples to apples. To say density makes all the difference is not borne out by comparing all metropolitan areas with high population density.
In my view it is reasonable to compare MA to neighboring NH; even more so that it would be to compare Boston to San Diego for example.
Posted by: 1894C at October 30, 2006 12:31 PM