The Numbers That Support Arguments for More Gun Control Just Don’t Add Up

by Tommy Grant

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By Rob Morse

Gun Prohibitionists call for more gun control every time a criminal uses a firearm. Like a bunch of short attention span headline surfers, we pass more gun control laws every year without bothering to ask if they actually work. When you stand back and look, however, you can’t help but notice that the places with the strictest gun control laws include some of our most violent cities.

Are gun control laws making us safer, or are they putting us in greater danger?

We know a lot about the honest people who own guns. There are between 80 and 100 million gun owners in the US today. Between 40 to 50 percent of us live in a household with a gun, though one report said that number may actually be as high as 60 percent.

We know that gun owners defend themselves about 1.6 million times a year, and people who have access to a legally-owned firearm defend themselves as many as 2.8 million times a year. That is over 7,600 times a day. In other words, Americans protecting themselves and making our families safer is a regular, normal part of life.

We know a lot about individual gun owners, too. We know the identity of the particular individuals who applied for a license to carry a firearm in public. They obviously own a gun. About one in twelve adults legally carry a firearm in public. Because we know who they are and can track their history, we know that these concealed carriers are safer with their guns, less violent, and more law-abiding than even the police.

For the vast majority of us, firearms are used to prevent violent crime rather than to cause it. What does that say then about efforts to make guns harder and more expensive to get?

We also know a lot about criminals. Most violent criminals didn’t use a firearm in the commission of their crimes. Said another way, if we somehow disarmed all the criminals in this country, about 90 percent of violent crimes would continue unchanged since most of those criminals didn’t use guns in the first place.

Though informative, though, all fo that leaves out some vital information.

Most criminals don’t use a gun, but many honest citizens do use a firearm to stop crimes such as robberies, burglaries, assaults, rapes and murders. Also, many of the most violent crimes were committed by criminals with a firearm. If that was illegal — and it is — why didn’t our laws stop them?

The good news is that despite the best efforts of many politicians and “progressive” prosecutors, violent crime is relatively rare in this country. Murder is localized and extremely rare. Most counties won’t have a murder of any kind in a typical year, let alone one that involves a firearm.

Most of our murders happen in failed longtime Democrat-controlled cities. In those areas, most of the murders are committed by drug gangs. And in those drug gangs, most murders are committed by a few individual criminals. Two percent of our counties account for over half of the murders in America and most of those happen in just a few a few zip codes.

Those facts reveal some uncomfortable truths.

Most areas are relatively crime-free and it isn’t because of a law. It’s because of moms and a dads who are sober. It’s due to people with jobs and a future. It isn’t that you and I — average Americans — couldn’t kill, it’s that we choose not to. You couldn’t make us hurt an innocent person.

It isn’t laws on paper that keep us from committing murder, it’s the laws that were written onto our hearts while we were sitting around the dinner table. 

The truth is that we have more violent crime in our failed cities because of bad political decisions. Politicians need to appear relevant so they pass more laws. Those laws don’t even have to work beyond creating a media event and publicity for those who create them.

Ink on paper isn’t what stops you and me from killing, and ink on paper doesn’t stop the violent enforcers in drug gangs either. In fact, disarming honest people only makes it simpler for criminals to find easy victims. If gun control stopped violent crime then big blue cities would be law-abiding utopias.

Millions of honest citizens who live in blue states recently learned how hard it is to buy a firearm legally when they want one. Getting a gun to carry legally can take months while criminals can get their hand on guns in minutes on the street. Gun control laws don’t change criminal behavior. They never have. Gun control only makes it harder for honest people to defend themselves and their families

Criminals get their guns the same place they get their drugs…on the street.

The way I see it, gun control laws serve only one purpose. Politicians need gun control laws to mask their failures. They hold them up to show they’ve actually done something…no matter how ineffectual what they “done” actually is. No wonder we have thousands of gun regulations already on the books…and the list is growing every day.


Rob Morse blogs at Slow Facts. This article originally appeared there and is reprinted here with permission. 

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