Prominent Republicans defended gun rights at the National Rifle Association conference on Friday with some deceptive claims about the efficacy of gun restrictions, gun possession developments and college shootings.
Here’s a truth test.
What Was Said
“Gun bans do not work. Look at Chicago. If they worked, Chicago wouldn’t be the murder hellhole that it has been for far too long.” — Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas
This is deceptive. Opponents of firearm restrictions regularly cite Chicago as a case examine of why powerful gun legal guidelines do little to stop homicides. This argument, nevertheless, depends on defective assumptions about the metropolis’s gun legal guidelines and gun violence.
There had been extra gun murders in Chicago than in some other U.S. metropolis in 2020, fueling the notion that it’s the gun violence capital of the nation. But Chicago can be the third-largest metropolis in the nation. Adjusted by inhabitants, the gun murder price was 25.2 per 100,000, the twenty sixth highest in the nation in 2020, according to data compiled by the gun management advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.
The three cities with the highest gun murder charges — Jackson, Miss.; Gary, Ind.; and St. Louis — had charges double that of Chicago’s or extra. All are in states with extra permissive gun legal guidelines than Illinois.
Chicago’s status for having the strictest gun management measures in the nation is outdated. Mr. Cruz cited the metropolis’s handgun ban — with out noting that the Supreme Court nullified the ban in 2010. An appeals court docket additionally struck down a ban on carrying hid weapons in Illinois in 2012, and the state started permitting possession of hid weapons in 2013 as a part of the court docket determination.
Today, Illinois has more durable restrictions than most states, however it doesn’t lead the pack, rating No. 6 in Everytown’s assessment of the power of state gun management legal guidelines, and No. 8 in a report card launched by the Giffords Law Center, one other gun management group. Conversely, the state ranked No. 41 in an assessment on gun rights from the libertarian Cato Institute.
Gun management proponents have additionally argued that the patchwork nature of gun legal guidelines in the nation makes it tough for a state like Illinois with powerful restrictions on the books to implement them in follow. A 2017 examine commissioned by the metropolis of Chicago discovered, for instance, that 60 % of weapons utilized in crimes and recovered in Chicago came from out of state, with neighboring Indiana as the major supply.
What Was Said
“As for so-called assault rifles, which the left and the media love to demonize, these guns were banned for 10 years from 1994 to 2004. And the Department of Justice examined the effect of the ban and concluded it had zero statistically significant effect on violent crime.” — Mr. Cruz
This is exaggerated. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 banned the possession, switch or home manufacturing of some semiautomatic assault weapons for 10 years. The Justice Department commissioned a 2004 study on the impact of the 1994 assault weapons ban.
The examine discovered that, if renewed, “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement” as assault weapons had been not often utilized in the crimes.
“My work is often cited in misleading ways that don’t give the full picture,” Mr. Koper beforehand informed The New York Times. “These laws can modestly reduce shootings overall” and cut back the quantity and severity of mass shootings.
What Was Said
“We know that there are no more guns per capita in this nation today than there were 50 or 100 years ago. That’s worth underscoring. In 1972, the rate of per capita gun ownership in the United States was 43 percent. In 2021, the rate is 42 percent. The rate of gun ownership hasn’t changed. And yet acts of evil like we saw this week are on the rise.” — Mr. Cruz
This is deceptive. In arguing that cultural points, reasonably than the prevalence of weapons, are responsible for mass shootings, Mr. Cruz conflated and distorted metrics of gun possession.
The per capita variety of weapons in the United States roughly doubled from 1968 to 2012, according to the Congressional Research Service, from one gun for each two folks to 1 gun per individual. And it has continued to rise since, to about 1.2 weapons for each individual by 2018, in line with the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey.
Mr. Cruz was most probably referring to a Gallup survey of gun ownership. It isn’t a per capita measure however reasonably requested members if that they had a gun of their house, with 43 % responding sure in 1972 and 42 % in 2021. Historical surveys from the University of Chicago analysis heart NORC present, nevertheless, that the percentage of American households that personal weapons has decreased from about half in the Nineteen Seventies to a couple of third lately.
What Was Said
“Inner city schools rarely have these kinds of mass shootings. I didn’t know that until just recently. Think of that. They rarely have this problem despite being located in very tough neighborhoods, in many cases where there’s tremendous levels of high crime and violence. They’re much more dangerous outside the school than inside. The reason is that for decades inner city schools have had much stronger security measures in place in the school itself, including metal detectors and, yes, armed guards.” — former President Donald J. Trump
This is deceptive. Mr. Trump has a degree that high-fatality shootings perpetrated by a single individual have largely occurred in suburban and rural colleges, however the notion that colleges in cities have been spared from gun violence is inaccurate. Moreover, Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the presence of armed guards deters mass shootings isn’t borne out by the proof.
A 2020 report from the Government Accountability Office examined 318 shootings from the 2009-10 college 12 months to the 2018-19 college 12 months. Almost half, 47 %, of shootings occurred in city areas, and the report famous that “urban, poorer and high minority schools had more shootings overall.”
There is little proof that the presence of police or armed safety prevents or deters shootings in colleges. A 2019 review by the New York State School Boards Association discovered that analysis on the subject has been “inconclusive.” Researchers examined 133 college shootings from 1980 to 2019 in a paper last year and discovered “no association between having an armed officer and deterrence of violence in these cases.”
What Was Said
“It’s even reported that the Biden administration is considering putting U.N. bureaucrats in charge of your Second Amendment rights.” — Mr. Trump
False. This was a reference to studies that the Biden administration was contemplating re-entering a global arms treaty. But Mr. Trump is grossly exaggerating what that treaty would do.
The 2014 Arms Trade Treaty regulates worldwide gross sales of typical weapons (like tanks, fight autos, warships, missiles and firearms). It doesn’t put officers at the United Nations in control of gun legal guidelines in the United States.
The United States was a signatory to the treaty however didn’t ratify it as greater than 100 other nations have. Mr. Trump introduced he was withdrawing the United States’ signature throughout a speech to the N.R.A. in 2019.
The treaty goals to ascertain worldwide norms for regulating arms gross sales between international locations and addressing unlawful arms gross sales. It prohibits promoting weapons to nations which might be below arms embargoes or will use them to commit genocide, terrorism, conflict crimes or assaults in opposition to civilians.
In the preamble, the treaty explicitly reaffirms “the sovereign right of any state to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.” The Congressional Research Service noted that the treaty “does not affect sales or trade in weapons among private citizens within a country” and, even when ratified, “would likely require no significant changes to policy, regulations or law” since “the United States already has strong export control laws in place.”