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Nugent vs. Daley: the Great Gun Debate

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Nugent vs. Daley: the Great Gun Debate

Now, a guy from Detroit is lecturing Mayor Daley on how to prevent crime.

Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman, wrote a column in the right-wing Washington Times recycling the hoary and preposterous argument that gun bans cause gun deaths.

Unfortunately, as a pundit, Uncle Ted lacks the depth and subtlety he displayed as a lyricist on such hits as “Little Miss Dangerous,” “Lovejacker” and “If You Can’t Lick ‘Em … Lick ‘Em.”

Quoth the guitarist and firearms enthusiast

From the Nazi gun-banner's dream of herding 6 million defenseless Jews onto the death trains to the no-guns-or-gunpowder-allowed IRA bombings and shoot-'em-ups in Bono's Ireland to Idi Amin's unstoppable slaughter of unarmed victims in Uganda, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley still fails to grasp the self-evident truth that gun bans and preposterous buyback programs are just the stuff of gangbangers' dreams. Who doesn't get this stuff? Liberal, dopey denial cultists, that's who.

Nugent goes on to quote John Lott’s study More Guns, Less Crime. Lott is a former professor at the University of Chicago. His work is further proof that statistics and academic theories make a bigger impression on Hyde Parkers than anything that happens west of Cottage Grove Avenue.

Nugent and Lott have it backwards: gun laws don’t cause crime. Crime causes gun laws.

The Chicago law that was recently invalidated by the Supreme Court was passed in 1982, during a period when America’s murder rate was at its all-time peak. That year, Chicago’s murder rate was 22 per 100,000. Last year, after nearly three decades of banning guns, the murder rate was 16 per 100,000. Most likely, though, the gun law had no effect on that figure one way or another. What moves the murder rate? Poverty, unemployment, high numbers of juveniles, and battles over drug marketplaces. This being America, gangs who want weapons can acquire them in municipalities with looser gun laws.

Cities with high gun death rates are more likely than safe rural areas to enact anti-gun laws. Chicago’s gun ban was a natural reaction in an era when the streets of America’s cities ran red with blood. It really didn’t do anything to reduce the city’s murder rate. But banning the gun ban won’t, either. Nugent’s claim that allowing everyone to carry a concealed weapon will reduce shootings is the bleat of a gun fetishist who’s been told he can’t carry his favorite toy everywhere.

Just a warning for those who think the gun debate can be explained by a rock guitarist – or a malaprop-prone mayor.

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