Since its inception as the National Council to Control Handguns over 30 years ago, the Brady Campaign has premised its entire agenda on the notion that having more gun control laws and, therefore, fewer guns, means that crime must necessarily decrease.
History has not been kind to the group’s delusion, however. In recent decades, the severity of gun control laws has been diminished at the federal, state and local levels, the number of guns has increased by over four million a year on average, and today, the nation’s murder and total violent crime rates are at 45-year and 35-year lows, respectively.
If you’re a gun control group, this isn’t the kind of thing you want to put in your press releases to the Washington Post, of course. So, every year the Brady Campaign instead runs a little gimmick where it assigns arbitrary school-grade values to whatever gun control laws the group happens to be pushing at the moment. And since most states don’t have the laws Brady advocates, Brady gives most states very low grades. Naturally, gun control supporters plaster Brady’s school-grade nonsense on the pages of newspapers around the country, hoping people will take it seriously.
Brady came out with its 2010 “grades” this week, and once again we’ll take them as seriously as they deserve.
With the nation’s murder rate having been cut in half since 1991, as Brady’s agenda has been dismantled or rejected by Congress and one state legislature after another, and the numbers of guns, gun owners, Right-to-Carry states, and carry permit holders have risen to all-time highs with no end in sight, here are the “highlights” of Brady’s annual exercise in school-grade silliness:
* Out of a possible 100 points and four “stars,” if a state had all of the gun control laws Brady wants, our nation’s 50 states received an average score of only 17 points and only eight-tenths of a star.
* Brady gave only two states “passing” scores for having some of the gun laws it wants, California with a C+ and New Jersey with a C. There were no “Ds.” The other 48 states received “Fs.” Yes, we are talking about states with restrictive laws, such as Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Hawaii and Illinois--all of which got “Fs.”
* Brady gave California its best grade, for having the most gun control, even though California’s murder and total violent crime rates are 10 percent and 13 percent higher, respectively, than the rates for the rest of the country.
* Utah got Brady’s lowest grade because it has the fewest gun control laws, a fact lamented with all the feigned sorrow and indignation that gun control supporters in the Beehive State can muster. Fortunately, every cloud has a silver lining. Though certainly disillusioned with their low standing among the nation’s anti-gun fringe, the good people of Utah can take at least some comfort in the fact that their murder and violent crime rates are 76 percent and 56 percent lower, respectively, than California’s.
Is it our imagination, or are Brady’s state grades getting worse as the nation’s crime rates go down?