Saturday, August 6, 2011

Almost The Perfect Gun Control Experiment

Wouldn't it be interesting to find a place where a population was split in half, and one half was subject to strict control while the other had free access to arms and could carry almost without limit (assuming they aren't actually in prison)?  Sort of like an East/West Berlin where a population and culture that were once one become split into two, so that many of the cultural differences would go away? That way, if the results show that gun control doesn't work, it would harder for anyone who cares about facts to dispute the data.

The closest to that description I know if is the divided cites of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.  Twin cities, similar population demographics, separated by a national border, which is about as good of a seal as screen door on a submarine.    For all this, hat tip to Michael Bane, PJ Tattler and Dave Kopel of the Second Amendment Project. 
Mexico has draconian gun control. Researcher Dave Kopel notes that possession of firearms above .22 caliber is practically prohibited, though there is a second set of rules for the wealthy. Mexico also requires registration for all civilian gun owners, and federal and state governments actively discourage firearms ownership.

More than 1,300 people have been killed in Juárez this year, and more than 8,600 have been killed since 2008 when a war began between the Juárez and Sinaloa drug cartels.

Meanwhile, here in Texas:

  • Law-abiding citizens can walk into a gun store, buy a gun, and walk out with your purchase.
  • Law-abiding citizens can carry concealed handguns in public.
  • Concealed carry licensees are exempt from the NICS background check, because a FBI background check is part of getting their carry license.

In 2011 to date, sister city El Paso has experienced 15 homicides.

Putting it another way, it would take El Paso criminals about 50 years to catch up to the Juárez death toll January – July 2011.
In my world, if you were to divide an American city, say Chicago, and set up these conditions, it would be unethical, because you'd be condemning so many of the people without guns to die. 


  1. Arguably, if you chose Chicago you could be ethical since you would be dramatically improving the lot of the half of the city for which gun ownership were liberalized.

  2. Cold, man. Funny, yeah; true, for sure; but cold...

  3. My best humor dark and cold. Perhaps not coincidentally, I don't have a lot of friends.

  4. "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."
    William Jefferson Clinton

  5. Xenocles; dark and cold humor is always welcome here. It's a natural for me.