Regarding the recent discussion in these pages following the atrocity in Aurora, Colo., here are a few matters we all might consider:
1. Taken in aggregate, the states with the most restrictive policies for the concealed carry of pistols have a per capita rate of violent crime 4 to 6 percent higher than the states with the most liberalized concealed carry policies in the years that I did the numbers based on the FBI Uniform Crime Report: 2004-2006.
2. Vermont, with no restrictions on access to firearms, has the third lowest rate of violent crime in the U.S.
3. Washington, D.C., with perhaps the most stringent restrictions on firearms, has had a rate of violent crime nearly four-times that of Colorado and three-times that of Arizona.
4. Before the early 1960s a teenager could buy a shotgun in most any hardware store and there were no gun rampages in schools or in workplaces.
So, what accounts for Aurora and the like? It is effect on children of the rise of pathological violence in TV, movies and video games and the rise of inappropriately tolerant parenting.
Highly recommended reading: “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill,” by Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano.