Mayor's group's report on "gun trafficking"
MAIG's report is here. It's grabbing headlines on a theme of "49% of crime guns trace to only ten States."
First problem: those ten States have about 52% of the US population, so it'd not be surprising that they account for 49% of traces. According to the 2000 Census, the US population was then 281 million, and the population of the ten States was 149.6 million (CA 39.6, TX 24.7, GA 9.8, FL 18.5, VA 7.8, IN 6.4, OH 11.5, PA 12.6, NC 9.4, AZ 6.6).
Second problem: the report constantly refers to "crime guns," then buries on p. 32 the concession that it is talking about traced guns, which are not the same as guns used in crime. (Its concession is misleadingly worded -- not all crime guns are traced. The real problem is that not all traces, in fact a majority of them, are of crime guns).
Third problem: its attempt to tie liberal gun regulations to interstate trafficking at times is almost humorous. For example, it argues that States with "shall issue" CCW licensing have a higher trafficking rates. That's licensing to carry, not to purchase. What could it possibly have to do with trafficking after purchase?
Hat tip to reader Ted Louis Glenn, who not only gave me the lead but also ran the State population data...
Another key problem with the report is that it calculates each States' "Crime Gun Export Rate" as the the total number of "Crime Guns" sold in each state that then cross state lines per 100,000 of population.
It does not measure the number of exported "Crime Guns" as a proportion of the total number of gun sales per state.
I suspect that there is a strong correlation between the total number of exported "crime guns" and the total number of gun sales, because the more guns that are sold, the more likely they are to cross state lines and become the subject of a police trace.
There is likely to be a strong negative correlation between the enactment of certain gun control measures -- such as a state's requirement that the police provide a permit for each gun sale -- and a reduction in the total number of gun sales.
There would be nothing particularly remarkable about a finding that reducing the total number of gun sales in a state would reduce the total number of guns exported by and then traced to that state: But such a finding doesn't serve MAIG's purposes.
Posted by: The Donkey at September 28, 2010 03:03 PM