Friday, June 28, 2013

Some Research on Firearms and Crime

If this study had supported greater gun, it would have been splashed all over the media. Slate, of all places, reports on a government study which reaches conclusions supporting many of the arguments gun owners have been making for years:
1. "The United States has an indisputable gun violence problem," according to the article. Although, I would note that overall violent crimes rates in the United States are actually lower than most other countries with significant gun control, including Britain.
2. Crime rates are falling, overall. 
3. We have 300 million firearms, but only 100 million are handguns.
4.  “Handguns are used in more than 87 percent of violent crimes,” the report notes.  
5. Mass shootings are rare. “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.” “Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” However, the article indicates that there were 335,000 gun deaths between 2000 and 2010. 
6. "Gun suicide is a bigger killer than gun homicide." Again, however, I would note that Australia's gun ban, while successful in reducing suicide by gun, had no impact in the total number of suicides--people just found a different method of killing themselves. 
7.  “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year … in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”  
8. Drug dealers carry firearms for self-defense against thieves and competitors; common citizens feel safer owning firearms.  
9. Denying access to guns to people under restraining orders saves lives.  
10. Sales of firearms to criminals can't be blamed on criminal intent of gun dealers. 

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