When I started my research on this article I had some solid preconceived ideas of the information I would find when it comes to gun violence. What I had set out to do was to dig up data and present the argument that gun owners need to do a better job of securing their weapons. Based upon a number of personal experiences I had with certain gun owners, I felt that I may have had a first-hand understanding of how some many illegal guns make it to the street, and why gun control advocates felt they had legitimate issues with gun owners. When two of my associates ended up having their guns stolen from their home during a day time robbery that occurred while they were at work, I figured this was a major source of illegal guns. What I found instead was a world of political posturing, half-truths, and clear avoidance of the real issues. |
During my research I came across several articles discussing six points of concern about guns. I have them listed below in the order I address each one.
1) Guns are used in more than 70% of homicides (actual number is between 70% and 71% to be clear). 2) Guns are used in most suicides, about 52%. 3) Guns are typically used in mass killings. 4) Guns take only 5 days to buy (in some states, more in most) 5) Guns purchased at gun shows can be taken home immediately (In some states, but not for residence of states having waiting periods) 6) Guns take innocent lives.
I would like to start off with a bit of information from the horse’s mouth shall we say. Gun control advocates would have common folks believing that because we have legal gun ownership, hand guns are used to commit crimes. However, according to the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Fire Arms), only 10% to 15% of legal firearms are used in criminal activity. Let me say that again… 10% to 15% of LEGAL firearms are ever used in criminal activity. Another way of stating this is that 85% to 90% of firearms used in criminal activity are obtained ILLEGALLY. Wow, that number surprised me. See while I never really bought into the gun control advocates position that removing the guns from the hands of legal owners would stop gun violence and crime, I thought that the statistics would at least somewhat justify that claim. According to the ATF, lost or stolen legal weapons are at the bottom of the list of sources of fire arms used in criminal activity. Please note that the 85% to 90% of weapons obtained through illegal sources does not include the theft of legal weapons (an illegal or criminal act). It would seem that these statistics do justify a call for strong action, that action being to stop illegal gun trade, not private citizen gun ownership.
Bring this back to point number one of the six concerns of guns, 59.5% to 63% of homicides are committed by guns obtained through illegal trafficking. 30% of homicides are committed NOT using a gun, and the remaining 7% to 10.5% are committed using guns obtained legally.
In my second example my research turned up that most suicides (52%) in the US are carried out by guns. That is something to think about. However Gun Control proponents present the case that this data provides a valid reason to overturn the right of Americans to own guns. The logic being is if private citizens were not permitted to own guns, then the statistics would be different. The truth is, yes if we did remove the right of private citizens to own gun, then the number of suicides committed using guns would drop. Drop but not disappear since it stands to reason that some of that 52% is committed with illegal guns; guns that would still be present after removing the right of private ownership. So we while it is clear that the number of suicides committed by guns would be reduced, the really important question would be whether the NUMBER of suicides would be reduced.
Examining this question I did a search on suicides rates worldwide and found some interesting results. The Untied States rate of suicide is number 33 on the list, with Greenland as number 1 and with a rate per person nearly 10 times that of the United States. In Greenland the method of choice for suicide is hanging at a rate of 46%. The wise guy in me would like to recommend that in the US we ban guns and in Greenland they ban rope, that should save lives right? All sarcasm aside, looking at the 32 nations who demonstrate higher suicide rates than the US, many like Greenland use means other than guns to take their own lives. Even close to home, 48% of suicides are NOT committed by guns. So it is clear that the presences of guns MAY have an influence on the method a victims selects, but it appears not to have an influence on the actual number of victims. If one is REALLY concerned about saving lives, they should be focusing on ways to turn people away from suicide, not debating gun control.
In point number two we state that guns are used in 52% of suicides in the US, but I can find no evidence to support the idea that removal of legal gun ownership would reduce the loss of life due to suicides.
So it has been stated that guns are typically used in mass killings. Examination of this claim has found some truth to it. If we limit our data set to just the last century, AND we remove all mass killings performed by governments AND terrorist, we find that guns are involved in 52% of the cases. Studies show that the number of victims on average when a gun is used is 4.92, just a little better then knives, blunt objects and bare hands with an average of 4.52 victims per incident. Guns effectiveness pales in comparison to fire with average of 6.82 victims per incident, but nothing beats explosives that deliver an average of 20.82 victims per incident. Examination of mass killings in the US during the last century shows no relationship between availability of guns of any type with the frequency and devastation of mass killings. Social scientist believe that the rise of spectacular mass killings and terrorist activity both in America and worldwide is linked to availability to mass media. In both cases the motivation for the murder is not to kill the actual victims but to reach the larger audience available only via the media.
One of the most interesting observations I came across while researching this article was the way the same data was used by both sides on the issue to support their position. Truth is only true when all the data is presented, otherwise it is just deception. Read the complete story by clicking on the link to Gun Safe Reviews or visiting us at www.installingafloorsafe.info
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