The issue of gun control has become very politicized and people are entrenched on one side or the other of the debate. Whether the Biden Commission will overreach or come up with reasonable controls on guns remains to be seen.
Biden’s statement that there will be sweeping new regulations sounds ominous. Indications are that the measure which will be presented by Dianne Feinstein to the senate next week will be much stricter than the assault weapons ban of the 1990’s.
Regulating guns and destroying the Second Amendment are two different things. While we wait to see which it will be, check out some of the latest gun statistics.
The FBI crime statistics for 2011 show that while 323 murders were committed with a rifle, 496 murders were committed with hammers and clubs. Shall we ban hammers and clubs? They are more dangerous than rifles.
Nearly twice as many people are killed by hands and fists each year than are killed by murderers who use shotguns. People are 60 percent more likely to die from a knife or sharp instrument than rifles and shotguns combined.
It is also true that 67% of homicides are committed by guns, but these homicides are mostly caused by handguns as opposed to the “assault guns” Dianne Feinstein believes must be banned.
As homicides with guns have gone down, the data also shows that the amount of people killed by hammers, clubs and other blunt instruments continues to rise each year though not to the level of gun deaths yet.
As the threat of losing the right to gun ownership looms, people are racing to buy them. The FBI recorded 2.78 million background checks in December surpassing the 2.01 million checks in November by 39 percent. This is up 49 percent since December 2011 when 1.86 million checks were recorded by the FBI.
Prior to the latest call for gun bans, the share of U.S. households with a gun was falling and has been falling for decades, from 54 percent in 1977 to 32 percent in 2010, according to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey. There are currently 300 million legal guns in our country.
Gun dealers call the Obama administration’s calls for broad gun control measures a gun-buying stimulus.
From 2009 – 2011, the homicide rate declined to mid-1960’s levels. Gun deaths have been on a steady decline for more than a decade.
From 1980 – 2008, males were 77 percent of the homicide victims and 90% of the offenders. Men were also the victims over females by a 3 to 1 ratio. Men offend at a rate 9 times higher than females. Given this stat, men should be banned, not guns.
In 2010, the homicide rate nationally was at its lowest rate in forty years (4.8 homicides per 100,000) according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The decline was primarily in the nation’s largest cities which dropped from 35.5 homicides per 100,000 in 1991 to 11.9 per 100,000 in 2008.
Many of the homicides in cities are gang and drug related. From 1980 – 2008, the number of homicides involving gang violence had quadruped since 1980. During the same time period, gun involvement in gang-related homicides increased from 73 percent to 92 percent. It seems that a gun ban will not affect this since gangs generally use illegal guns. The illegal gun trade is alive and well.
Twenty-five percent of the gang-related homicides were under 18 years. Youth under 18 were also 19% of persons killed by family members and 18 percent of persons killed during a sex-related crime.
In 2008, 59% of young child homicide victims were killed by a parent, 10% were killed by some other family member and 30% were murdered by a friend or acquaintance. This points to a serious cultural problem and the choice of weapon seems almost irrelevant when the real issue is violent, perverse behavior resulting from mental defect or drug abuse.
For the most part, whites murder whites and blacks murder blacks.
From 1980 – 2008, blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide. This is related to poor education, poor parenting, poverty and gang involvement.
Would banning guns affect the violence in our society?
During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower. [just facts]
If we take too many gun rights away from legal gun owners, we will have succeeded in limiting the right of the people to protect themselves. We will not have addressed gangs, poverty, poor eduction and career training, child abuse, drugs, mental illness, or the illegal gun trade.
The Newtown tragedy was caused by a madman. If there is a way to keep a rifle that can fire hundreds of shots from a madman’s hands, we need to look at that. We cannot take away our own inherent rights to protect ourselves.