Combating Gun Violence Without Gun Control

By Tom Knighton

Despite the constant prattling by gun control advocates, the key part of the phrase “gun violence” isn’t the word “gun” but the word “violence.” Without the violence, there would be no issue to exploit. Yet time and again, the anti-gun left maintains a laser-like focus on the guns rather than address anything else.

Now, the National Review offered up a handful of thoughts has on combatting gun violence without interfering with anyone’s constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Essentially, data can tell us with a reasonable degree of precision not only where crime is likelier to happen but who is likelier to be involved. There are violence-reduction strategies that follow from these findings and have been tested empirically. American police departments are not ignoring those strategies completely, but there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to funding and executing them.

One simple strategy is to police the hot spots. This has been tried and evaluated extensively, with some studies employing the scientific gold standard of randomly assigning different participating areas to be policed in different ways. (Other studies are “observational,” meaning that researchers look at crime trends in areas where certain methods are used but do not assign the methods at random. This leaves open the possibility that cities that introduce these methods also tend to make other changes that affect crime trends.) In a recent literature review, Harvard’s Thomas Abt and Christopher Winship suggested that hot-spot policing has reduced violence by up to a third in places where it’s been tried. Importantly, hot-spot policing does not appear merely to displace crime, as nearby areas do not experience crime increases.

The character of policing matters too. “Broken windows” methods — based on the concept of creating order by policing minor infractions — are effective, but they Click to see the original article