Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle over the Second Amendment

By Brian Doherty | Go to book overview

5. Guns by Numbers and Heller's Day
in Court

People passionate about gun culture—either for or against—are a minority. To most people, the most sensible policy toward guns— what rights to own, use, and sell weapons we should recognize— is best decided by examining empirical reality, not value judgments about violence, risk, and self-reliance.

Thus, the debate about guns and gun control has been fought not just in courts and not only with constitutional interpretation as a weapon. When D.C.'s Mayor Fenty defended his city's gun policies, and later lamented their death, he stressed over and over again that laws prohibiting ownership of guns made the people of D.C. safer.

Was Fenty right? On examining the record of D.C.'s violent crime and murder rates since 1976, in comparison with its own past and with the rest of America and similarly sized cities, it doesn't look like it. Indeed, in 2003, D.C.'s murder rate was worse than Baghdad's, as noted in a Heller amicus brief from “Criminologists, Social Scientists, Other Distinguished Scholars, and the Claremont Institute,” written by gun scholar Don Kates.

In their filings, Fenty and his amid relied almost entirely on one study for its claim that D.C.'s gun laws had saved lives. The study, by Colin Loftin, published in the 1991 New England Journal of Medicine, purported to show that D.C.'s gun ban had indeed lowered homicides in D.C. The study is not sturdy enough to support all the weight Fenty placed on it. In the first place, it stops at 1987. In the second place, it takes advantage of the District's huge drops in population and concomitant drop in whole numbers of murders and violent crimes (even though the rates per capita rose enormously) to claim that lives have been saved. A critique of Loftin's study in the aforementioned Heller amicus brief from criminologists and sociologists found that if you adjusted the spans of years he used for his comparison even one year in either direction, all his supposed benefits disappeared—a sign of cherry picking for the best possible results, not objective research.

-85-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Gun Control on Trial: Inside the Supreme Court Battle over the Second Amendment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction: Heller Makes History xiii
  • 1. the Roots of the Second Amendment 1
  • 2. the Genesis of Heller 23
  • 3. the Politics of Gun Control 43
  • 4. Gun Stories, Gun Culture, and Gun Prejudice 71
  • 5. Guns by Numbers and Heller's Day in Court 85
  • 6. the Heller Aftermath 109
  • Selected Bibliography 117
  • Table of Cases 119
  • Index 121
  • About the Author 127
  • Cato Institute 128
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 130

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.