Many American students are crying for more gun control rules based on emotion.

However, Brown University student Andrew Powers uses facts to shoot holes into many popular gun control memes:

It seems to be almost a constant background fixture of national debate — periodically taking to center stage in the aftermath of horrific tragedy. Just last month, Nico Enriquez ’16 wrote a column calling for stronger firearms regulation (“The blind gun,” Sept. 20) in which he made many points that, to me, seemed at best misleading and at worst either factually inaccurate or logically fallacious.

Enriquez began with a purely emotional appeal derived from anecdotal evidence and supported by rhetoric…..

The one empirical argument in Enriquez’s column makes a comparision to driving fatalities. Decades ago, automobile-related deaths were more prevalent than they are today. Enriquez points out that automotive regulations were initially resisted by a “well-financed industry lobby,” and that when restrictions finally were passed, deaths declined. Similarly, organizations like the National Rifle Association resist proposed firearms regulations in today’s world.

I completely agree with these points as matters of fact, but I disagree that the conclusion is that we should more heavily regulate guns. Success through increasing regulation in one industry doesn’t lead me to believe that the same success will necessarily be had through increasing regulation in an altogether different industry. Moreover, the analogy is simply unnecessary. Why bother looking at driving fatality data with respect to automotive policy when we could just look at firearm fatality data with respect to firearms policy?

Media personalities relish pointing out that the United States has by far the highest gun death rate. Moore’s film features a montage of countries’ names with their respective statistics. Ironically, Moore essentially admitted the fallacious nature of making such comparisons by noting the inexplicable crime differences between Canada and the United States even though they have similar gun laws.

It is more instructive to examine the temporal changes in gun crime rates over a period during which firearms regulation changed. During the 1970s and 80s, both Washington, D.C. and Chicago instituted gun bans and saw massive increases in crime, both of which went away as soon as the bans were lifted. Island nations with strict border controls — such as Ireland and Jamaica — experienced similar effects. The intuition behind these findings is that banning guns disarms law-abiding citizens while having little effect upon criminals, encouraging crime. The empirical findings corroborate this understanding.