I was pleased as punch to get this e-mail update from Gun Owners of Utah today, and I am very happy to now be enjoying Utah’s lax gun control laws instead of California’s. Man, it sucked being a gun owner trying procure and bear arms in California.
GOUtah! PROUD OF UTAH’S BRADY GRADE
Every year, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly known
as “Handgun Control, Inc.”) releases grades for all 50 states. Each
state’s grade is based on the Brady Campaign’s assessment of the
strength of that state’s gun-control laws. The Brady folks grade on a
scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being the lowest possible score (the weakest
state gun-control laws) and 100 being the highest possible score (the
strongest state gun-control laws). The Brady Campaign recently
released its scorecard for 2009. This year, Brady used a “star”
rating system in addition to a numerical score. States with a
numerical score from 0 to 10 get zero stars. 11-24 is one star.
25-49 is two stars. 50-74 is three stars. 75-100 is four stars.
You can read the latest Brady scorecard for all 50 states here: http://tinyurl.com/ygnsujx
You can read Brady’s scorecard for Utah here: http://tinyurl.com/yha43c6
It should be noted that the Brady scores don’t take into account
federal gun-control laws. Furthermore, many types of state gun laws
apparently don’t count in Brady’s formula. Utah, for example, has
pages and pages of state gun-control laws, but the Brady folks
apparently don’t count these laws in their scoring formula.
This year, 28 states received a score of zero stars (meaning that they
had numerical scores below 11 out of a possible 100), but only one
state received an actual numerical score of 0 from the “Brady Bunch”.
That state was Utah.
We at GOUtah! are pleased as punch that the Beehive State received the
lowest possible Brady score for 2009. The last time we checked, a
couple of years ago, Utah was tied for last place with another state.
We now proudly occupy that slot all by ourselves. Of course, despite
the big goose-egg score from Brady, Utah has lots of state gun-control
laws, and we hope to repeal or weaken some of these laws in the coming
years. Perhaps we can earn a negative numerical score from the Brady
Campaign at some point. We can at least dream, can’t we?
The state with the highest score (four stars and a numerical score of
79) is (drum roll, please)….. California. California was the only
state to receive a four-star rating from the Brady folks.
A curious person might want to compare the violent crime rates for the
state with the highest Brady score and the state with the lowest Brady
score, to see whether there’s a correlation between the crime rates
and gun laws of those two states. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find
this sort of information on the Brady Campaign’s website, so we looked
on the FBI’s website instead.
The FBI hasn’t yet released its state-by-state crime report for 2009,
but you can find the 2008 report here:
Here’s a comparison of the violent crime and murder rates in Utah and
California for 2008, derived from the FBI report:
California Violent Crime Rate: 504 per 100,000 population per year
Utah Violent Crime Rate: 222 per 100,000 population per year
Thus, in 2008, the average Californian was more than twice as likely
to be the victim of a violent crime as was the average Utahn.
California Murder Rate: 5.8 per 100,000 population per year
Utah Murder Rate: 1.4 per 100,000 population per year
Thus, in 2008, the average Californian was more than FOUR TIMES as
likely to be murdered as was the average Utahn.
Ergo, there is indeed a correlation between state gun laws and violent
crime rates. But it probably isn’t the kind of correlation the Brady
gang was hoping for. California has much stricter gun laws than Utah,
and it also has much higher rates of violent crime in general and
murder in particular.