Update: Sorry Farkers, my host doesn’t like you. Beyond my control. And for you folks criticizing the statistical methods, no one is saying Brady Causes Violence. Just that their gun control pipe dreams aren’t showing an decrease in violence. And, for shit’s sake, it’s not a study.
Now back to your original post:
It’s that time of year where The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership issues its grades. I like to call it a Freedom Index, only its grading system is backwards. Nemerov spanks their grading system pretty hard:
Brady comes out each year with their report card, which analyzes a set of gun-law criteria and arrives at a grade from “A” through “F.” As noted in a previous paper, there is a strong correlation between lower grades and right-to-carry (RTC) status, with shall-issue states regularly assigned “D” and “F” grades.2 Brady graded South Carolina “D+” in 2005, because guns are too freely available, as per Helmke’s statement above.
Since 2001, RTC states, where more people carry guns in public, consistently average a “D”. Brady continues to be unhappy with the country’s direction regarding gun control: between 2001 and 2005, RTC states increased from 32 to 38 and Brady downgrade the U.S. average from “C-” to a “D+.” Their response is curious, since the national violent crime rate fell 7.0% during this time frame.
Even worse for Brady, violent crime trends are not spread equally across all states. RTC states (average Brady grade “D”) saw an aggregate 7.8% drop in violent crime, while non-RTC states (average Brady grade “B”) saw a 5.2% decrease. Even when Brady grades synchronize with violent crime trends, it fails to give an accurate picture: Brady dropped the national average grade from “C-” to “D+” in 2005, the same year that the violent crime rate increased 1.3%. This would seem to make sense, as a lower grade is supposed to reflect less safety for citizens. Unfortunately for Brady, most of that increase occurred in non-RTC states, which saw an aggregate increase of 2.8%, while RTC states increased 0.6%. Using Brady’s criteria of grading each state as an equivalent entity, non-RTC states averaged a 5.6% increase in violent crime, while RTC states averaged a 0.6% increase. Since 2001, the violent crime differential between RTC and non-RTC states increased from 26.0% to 27.5%, meaning that RTC states are becoming relatively more law-abiding compared to non-RTC states.3