Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sex, Drugs, and Guns in the NY Times

Some interesting numbers in the NYT talking about a Justice Dept. funded Urban Institute (UI) study about the size and nature of the underground sex, drugs, and gun businesses:

The study itself is here:

It can be quite dense and mathematical, but the numbers reported in the NYT surprised me in that the size of the underground gun market is *huge*.  In some cities (not all) it is bigger than the drug or sex economy. (Click on graphic below to enlarge)

This raises some interesting questions.  Is there any point to gun laws at all when the illegal gun industry is so enormous?  One school of thought says since there has been no progress in suppressing the underground drug or sex industry, we should make them legal so as to regulate them and tax them, providing protection and help to those who are victims of drug addiction or forced prostitution.  What to do about the illegal gun industry?

Disclaimer:  I am most emphatically *NOT* in the gun fight on *EITHER* side - I think there are more important social issues, like the very high HS drop out rate.  People without a way to get a job often turn to crime.  I just thought the numbers from the UI study raised some interesting questions.

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