In 1998, the state of Massachusetts passed legislation with the intent to reduce violence and make the state safer. The lawmakers reasoned that a drop in violent crime could be achieved by reducing the amount of legal guns.
The 1998 gun legislation accomplished the goal of reducing the amount of gun owners in the state. In 1998 the number of gun licenses totaled 1.5 million, by 2002 that number was down to two hundred thousand. That is an 87% drop in legal gun ownership for those scoring at home. Unfortunately, criminals did not heed the new laws (shocking!), therefore the most important aspect of the equation failed.
The Boston Globe published an article in February of last year that summarized the ineffectiveness of the 1998 gun-control law. Writer Jeff Jacoby points out that violent crime committed with and without a firearm rose between 1998 and 2012.
Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent.
The politicians in Massachusetts are charting a course that will double down on these failed policies, yet they expect a different result.
This past week a panel that consisted wholly of gun-control advocates recommended a forty-four point plan to reduce gun violence in the state. Guns.com reported on the panel’s recommendations.
A panel of specialists in Massachusetts released a report this week laying out a 44-point plan to reduce gun violence in the state, which would include enhancing school safety, expanding background checks, submitting more records to the NICS database and better defining who is considered “unsuitable” to own a firearm, such as those who have been arrested, but not necessarily convicted of a crime.