In a rare moment of honesty on the left, a left-wing statistician went through the evidence scientifically and without bias and came to the conclusion that none of the left-wing’s favored policies would put a dent in gun deaths.
Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.
Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.
It’s like us Right-Wing Nut Jobs were saying all along. The policies of the left will fail, and may perhaps even be designed to fail so that their failure will make the case for ever increasing levels of gun control leading ultimately to what the left actually wants: to outlaw the private ownership of firearms.
There are actually two policies that would make a difference, but they are politically unpalatable to the Progressive Left.
The majority of gun deaths in the USA are suicides – about two-thirds of all of them, in fact. However, current left-wing Dogma is that people who want to commit suicide should not be only allowed to, but the State should actively assist them.
The great majority of the gun homicides in the USA are committed by young male criminals in urban areas. The Democrats who run these urban areas are loathe to crack down on this violence for fear of riling “community activists” who claim that stopping young urban males from committing crimes is a conspiracy to re-enact slavery via the “Prison Industrial Complex.”
So, for whatever reason, the only “politically palatable” solutions involve restricting the rights of non-criminal people to possess lawful means of self-defense. They don’t work, but they make leftists feel empowered.