Paul Jacob

One of the more popular memes of our time has it that “the left” is “pro-science” while “the right” is hide-bound, troglodytically “anti-science.” You can imbibe the notion daily at The Huffington Post, The Daily Kos, and on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and pass the gospel on easily via Twitter and Facebook.

Argue about that as you may, or as we must, but one thing is clear: if criminology is a science, the gun-control-obsessed left is definitely anti, not pro.

Gun crime is going down, not up.

But you might not think this is the case, because today’s news stories are so dramatic, and we like stories . . . we live by stories. But the statistics regarding crime and violence in America are shockingly clear, and clearly at variance with the popular narrative of a rising tide of violence. Gun violence is half what it was 20 years ago; the murder rate is down generally. Only in pockets — chiefly, the inner cities, and almost exclusively amongst minority populations — does the culture of gun violence continue unabated.

Now, those subcultures (countercultures) of violence remain a huge problem. They demand some concerted response.

But widespread gun ownership is obviously not the problem per se. Millions of Americans own millions and millions of guns, and do not commit crimes. The gang warfare and drug-war related crimes of the inner cities likely have more to do with welfare state policies and the War on Drugs than they do “access to guns.”

Indeed, talk of gun control amounts to little more than wishing away the problem, with gun-confiscating governments serving as Fairy Godmothers who exist to do little else but grant liberal wishes. The thing is, just as Fairy Godmothers don’t exist, gun control won’t work. Government is not magic.

And there are no magic bullets.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.