Monday, January 09, 2006

Selling The Snake Oil

Let's say you have a product for sale, that serves no actual purpose other than to turn a profit for you and the product's manufacturer. If you can't convince the public to buy it, you're out of luck. So how do you convince the gullible to part with their hard-earned dollars for a bottle of the snake oil you're pitching from the back of your buckboard in the town square?

Let's find out.

I'll use this recent anti-gun op-ed piece from the Boston Globe (I know, I forgot to wave the Redundancy Alert Flag - my apologies) from local gun grabber extraordinaire John Rosenthal. Note: you all can stop sending me links to this article now (though I do appreciate the heads-up on items such as this, seeing as I do miss them on occasion).

Step 1 - Pull some numbers out of your ass, throw them against the wall, and see if they stick.

GIVEN THE huge number of easily accessible and virtually unregulated guns in the United States, it is surprising there aren't more than 30,000 gun deaths and 100,000 gun injuries each year. Most US cities have experienced an increase in gun violence, and this deadly trend is likely to continue until we enact uniform national gun laws that address easy access to guns by criminals and confront race, poverty, and the lack of economic opportunity in our poorest neighborhoods.

Good God! That's horrible! It's a "deadly trend"!!!

Something must be done at once! FTCTM!!!

Let's take a closer look at this "trend", shall we?

Violent crime rates declined since 1994,
reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2004.

To recap - over the last 10 years or so, Boston's murder rate has seen a return to a 10-year high, while the national rates for homicide, non-fatal firearm-related crime, and other violent crimes have gone down. Also, during that timespan, the gun control laws in Massachusetts have become even more restrictive, while numerous other states have loosened their restrictions on gun ownership by NON-CRIMINALS and have actually made it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain permits for the carrying of concealed weapons for self-defense purposes.

So, on whose model exactly should we be basing any new federal law now, Mr. Rosenthal?

Rosenthal continues with the same tired arguments we've heard over and over again from his ilk - that somehow it's Vermont's fault for the illegal behavior of the gangbanger and crackhead populations in Boston, New York, Baltimore, etc. The so-called leaders in these cities (Menino, Bloomberg, et al) know full well that it's easier to talk tough and enact harsh measures against the peaceable, law-abiding citizens of Wyoming and Vermont than it is to actually take on the violent criminals in their own back yard.

And yes, I realize I neglected to hoist the Dead Horse Beating Alert banner. Again, please accept my apologies. I'm off for a much-needed refill on the coffee now.

Jeff at Alphecca has more with his response to Mr. Rosenthal's proposed "common sense" gun "safety" measures. Do give it a read.

And thanks to James at Hell in a Handbasket for the heads-up on the DOJ links.