Chris Kyle's Widow Takes on the President

It's a pretty amazing exchange, and one that speaks well of our country at this late date.

She says you 'can't outlaw murder,' which of course is misspoken somewhat: murder is outlawed in all fifty states. Still, when addressing someone as prominent as the President of the United States, it's not surprising if you get nervous and don't speak as clearly as you would at your dinner table. To his credit, the President did not pretend to misunderstand her for rhetorical advantage.

He does say something I think needs clarification:
"[W]hat you said about murder rates and violent crime generally is something we don’t celebrate enough,” he agreed. “The fact of the matter is that violent crime has been steadily declining across America for a pretty long time. And you wouldn’t always know it from watching television. Now, I challenge the notion that the reason for that is that there is more gun ownership. Because if you look at the where the areas are with the highest gun ownership, those are the places that the crime hasn’t dropped down that much."
I'm not sure if this statement is false, or if he's just thinking of 'the areas' at a specific level where it happens to hold true statistically. What I think is true is that gun ownership rates have declined somewhat in spite of a vast increase of real numbers of firearms, which is to say that somewhat fewer people own many more guns. These people are the sort of people who have wealth to invest in durable goods they don't require for survival. By that I mean that once you have about three guns, if you chose carefully, you've covered your bases: a rifle for distance shooting including hunting, a shotgun for small game or home defense, and a handgun to fight your way back to the longarms. If you buy more than that, it's because you like or collect the things, or participate in sports involving specialized arms, or something similar.

So, if 'the areas' means 'areas where middle to upper-middle class households with money to invest in guns,' I don't think it's true that the crime rate is especially high in those areas. If it hasn't declined much, it's only because those areas are small ball for violent crime in the first place.

Still, maybe he means something else. It'd be helpful if he would expand and clarify these remarks, because I'm not sure what he's getting at. The decline since 1993 or so is so sharp -- we're talking about a halving of violent crime -- that it would be really strange to find many places where crime 'hasn't dropped down that much.' The ones that come to mind are the poorer regions of cities like Chicago, which have robust gun control laws but also serious poverty, drugs, and gang problems. Those aren't the people who accounted for the vast increase in private firearms that these two are discussing.


Ymar Sakar said...

Technically, she is accurate, as putting murder outside the law would merely mean the guilty or accused are banished and or extra judicially executed without due process. Since they are outside the law now. The very process they are due, though, puts them inside the law, the Law, the infrastructure, the institution, so to speak. Technically it was only to judge them and then they are executed by putting them outside the Culture and Civic body of the law. Once the system has them under their power though, they don't tend to let go.

MikeD said...

Her point is valid. There has never once in history been a crime which has ceased because it was made illegal. Outlawing murder does not ever make murder stop happening. Nor will it ever. It will only allow for legal punishment for those who commit it.

Laws do not prevent crimes. They only punish them.

Grim said...

That's true. Her wording is a little strange, but we all understood what she meant. The President deserves credit for not pretending to misunderstand her, but for speaking to the point she was trying to make instead. It was a good moment for him -- his treatment of his opponents is not always so scrupulously fair and honest (indeed, in his speech-making, it is usually appallingly dishonest). I just wanted to note that it's the kind of exchange I wish we saw much more of in our politics.

ColoComment said...

He is very clever. But like a fox, not a statesman.

"Because if you look at the where the areas are with the highest gun ownership, those are the places that the crime hasn’t dropped down that much."

...means that it HAS dropped some measurable amount in those areas. But his words and tone convey a negative correlation rather than a positive one. And he deliberately fails to address an honest comparison between the areas with high and low gun ownership.

And I daresay that he deliberately chose the all-encompassing word "crime" a/o/t homicide rate, to make it easier for his people to tap dance around any challenge (like the MSM would ever do that....) to his statements.

And he completely ignores the reverse side of the coin: that in the areas with the most stringent gun control laws, e.g., Chicago, Baltimore, etc., the crime* rate has skyrocketed.

*esp. black on black homicide, which he will never attribute to black culture, home environment, role modeling, etc.

Ymar Sakar said...

Hussein Obola, the Left's God King, deserves nothing except what he does deserve.

These exchanges you think you see, Grim, are a result of propaganda and psychological warfare. Praising it, is again, a result of your flawed and mistaken paradigm.

Grim said...

Are you accusing Ms. Kyle of being an agent of psychological warfare against the traditional liberties of the United States? Or do you think she's just too stupid to be trusted to speak for herself without being twisted into support for her opponent's policies?

Anonymous said...

Because if you look at the where the areas are with the highest gun ownership, those are the places that the crime hasn’t dropped down that much."

Off the top of my head, I would put NYC as a place where crime has dropped a lot. NYC would also be,off the top of my head,a place where gun ownership has been lower than average. One factor driving the drop in crime in NYC, though more early on than in more recent years, has been stop and frisk policies leading to confiscating illegal guns. But stop and frisk is a bad thing, say the progressives.

Ymar Sakar said...

Grim, I'm the one referring to Hussein Obola's tricks of the trade. You're the one that wishes to think and talk about Kyle, as it happens to be.

Kyle and Hussein isn't here to speak for themselves, thus I am not communicating to them. That is not the point.

The President deserves credit for not pretending to misunderstand her

When you are focused on Kyle, try to think outside your emotions and consider that not everyone wants to focus on what you are focused on at any particular time.... like when you wrote all this.

It's not as if you're incapable of thinking the same things about Hussein. Recently you wrote something about how what he say doesn't matter, because his actions are so loud it drowns out his lies to you. Yet here, all you can do is to think of two options, both involving Kyle, to ask me about. Even though it's clear what the subject of my first line is about.