By: José Niño
Gun controllers are constantly searching for ways to make gun owners’ lives miserable.
One way they’re doing so is by trying to collect data on firearms, which is usually done to create misleading narratives and dubious assertions in regard to gun violence.
For the gun control crowd, reporting the truth is not on the menu. Four states, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut are now moving forward with an effort to share gun violence data with one another as part of an effort to supposedly battle gun violence.
According to a report by Joey Fox at the New Jersey Globe, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy teamed up with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on October 7, 2021 to announce their gun data sharing program.
“As we’ve noted before, when we work together as regional partners to enact regional solutions, we’re far better off than if we all go on our own,” Murphy said in a livestream announcement that covered this program. “And a critical piece of this is sharing information so we can put smart policies to work.”
Instead of acknowledging that New Jersey’s strict gun control laws might have contributed to some of the state’s alarming levels of violence, Murphy blamed other states with looser gun control laws for allowing firearms to flow into the Garden State. The same logic was applied to other states like New York Connecticut. The data sharing program will supposedly address this issue.
Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York are very anti-gun states. They are ranked in 45th, 48th, and 51st place for Guns & Ammo magazine’s Best States for Gun Owners rankings, respectively. Pennsylvania, while not a pro-Second Amendment bastion, is still a place where gun owners can nominally exercise their Second Amendment rights. It’s ranked in 31st place in the Guns & Ammo rankings.
Undoubtedly, the gun controllers will play up the out-of-state firearms angle and use data to paint a picture of more pro-gun states are making other states more violent. Pro-Second Amendment advocates, however, can use data to their advantage as well. Gun researchers like John Lott have compiled studies over the past three decades that emphatically demonstrate how increased gun ownership and relaxed firearms carry laws have not led to apocalyptic scenarios, and have, in fact, made states safer.
The key here is that Second Amendment supporters convincingly make their case and demonstrate how their opponents are using flawed data, or are blatantly misrepresenting their data points, with the aim of justifying a broader anti-gun agenda. Data analysis works both ways. Second Amendment advocates can use it to their advantage to demonstrate the mistruths their enemies are peddling.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.