Giffords Claims a Lack of Gun Control Has Made Texas More Violent

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We’ve heard it all before. Every time the gun rights ball is moved forward even a little bit, the anti-gun crowd makes the same hysterical arguments: Blood will run in the streets! Why? Because they think that gun control laws limits on where people can carry firearms are the only things keeping people from killing each other. Well, they want low-information types to think that.

The psychology of that aside (it actually sounds like an argument people who lack mental discipline project onto others), the bigger problem has always been that all of those shrieking claimed rivers of blood somehow never manage to materialize. In state after state, shall issue carry laws were passed…and the predicted a wave of violence every time. Then states began to drop permitting altogether (there are now 29 of them). Once again, despite the dire prognostications, people who choose to lawfully carry guns haven’t begun to shoot each other.

But a recent tweet (or post, or whatever Elon calls them now) from Giffords claims to have finally found some of those sweet, sweet rivulets of blood running red and deep in the Lone Star State . . .

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that there are some serious issues with the numbers Giffords is relying on to make that 60% increase claim.

First, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Giffords’ numbers are legitimate. According to the CDC (an agency we can all, trust, right?) the number of deaths by bullet in Texas went from 2848 in 2014 to 4630 in 2022. But, in a state with 30 million people (plus however many undocumented immigrants there are now), both of those numbers are a drop in the bucket. Giffords wants us to believe that your chance of death by gunshot went up 60% (or 63%), but it actually only went up by a tiny amount.

In other words, the risk of that happening to you or a loved one in Texas went from really extremely unlikely to…very extremely unlikely. Nothing has changed in Texas for anybody but the gang bangers and other people who were already misusing guns. Also, keep in mind that the period selected included the BLM insanity and the resulting defunding of police in cities like Dallas, Austin, and Houston

I’ll get to the per capita numbers in a bit, but first we need to also consider population growth. You see, Texas didn’t have 30 million people back in 2014, the beginning of the time period Giffords chose. From 2014 to 2022, Texas went from about 27 million people to 30 million, an increase of about 11%. So, that 63% rise in gun crime is a rounding error and your actual personal risk is even smaller than advertised. Perhaps more importantly, that 11% population increase doesn’t count the people who entered Texas illegally during that time period via Biden’s open border policy, which is even worse for Giffords’ case.

Using only census numbers (not counting the uncountable), the 2014 “gun death” rate in Texas was about 11 per 100,000, and the the 2022 death rate in Texas was about 15.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s a 40% increase, but it’s an increase from almost nothing to slightly more. That’s hardly the river of blood Giffords wants us to believe it is.

Another glaring issue with Giffords presentation of these numbers is that it’s divorced from the large national context.

First, they want to blame it on Governor Greg Abbott. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, as Texas didn’t pass constitutional carry until 2021 and it didn’t take effect until September of that year. The fact is that Texas didn’t meaningfully open up gun laws for most of his time he’s been in office.

You know what did happen from 2014-2022…particularly starting in 2021? Wave after wave of illegal immigration. Again, I’m not a conservative or a Republican, and I’m not someone who wants a wall with machine guns mounted on top to make hamburger out of anyone who tried to swim the Rio Grande. But, I’m also smart enough to know that poverty breeds crime, and when a bunch of people show up without money, crime is going to go increase. Then add that the fact that illegals frequently won’t report crime to cops (for fear of being deported), and you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for more crime.

Blaming an increase in crime on respect for gun rights is further belied by the fact that New Hampshire, another state with constitutional carry, has the lowest age-adjusted firearm homicide rate in the country. While I’m sure there are illegals who find their way to New Hampshire it’s a tiny fraction of what’s happened in Texas.

Even if illegal immigration wasn’t the cause of Texas’ increase in shooting deaths, it’s clear that gun rights aren’t the cause of increased crime. Context is everything…but Giffords doesn’t like context because it’s devastating to their case.


2 Responses

  1. Arguing over numbers of gun deaths, or percentages, means you’ve already lost the narrative. Also, harping on illegals entering the country is also losing the narrative, IMHO because it looks like you’re reaching for excuses.

    Show the numbers of known and/or projected DGUs.
    Did rapes and other violent crime go down?
    How many repeat offenders have there been?

    IE – change the narrative that guns save lives by reducing other violent crimes (including crimes against women), and that the revolving door of criminal justice bears some measure of responsibility. Show that responsible gun ownership is not the problem, it’s the other policies that are responsible.

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