That latter point matters a great deal. Why? Well, because implicit in pretty much every criticism of the present “gun crime”-rate is the unsubstantiated assumption that Americans could easily rid themselves of the remaining violence if they were willing to implement whatever legislative proposals are currently en vogue . That assumption needs challenging — and hard. Sure, it is possible that a change in the laws might bring about a faster reduction in crime. But it is also possible that the recent reduction is itself the product of such changes. Over the last 25 years, we have seen a remarkable reduction in violent crime at the exact moment that the country has been flooded with firearms and has (generally) loosened the laws that govern their ownership and use. Did one cause the other? Frankly, I have no idea — and nor, in truth does anybody else . But I do know that things are improving and that we ought to be extremely careful before we conclude that the current regime has nothing at all to do with that improvement. “First do no harm,” says the Hippocratic Oath. We might live by that here, too. Things are getting better. Let’s be circumspect about tinkering and prodding at our success.