One side has studies linking gun ownership with violent death. But correlation is not causation. The other side has research showing when people are allowed to carry concealed weapons, violent crimes slow down.
Yet newer studies cast doubt on that conclusion. But is it really hard to study the effects of guns on public health and safety? And is the debate merely between competing articles of faith? The pro-gun crowd sure wants you to think so, promoting studies over the years claiming guns are used defensively thousands of times per day and that broader gun ownership makes communities safer, and repeating anecdotes in which guns are reported to have thwarted crimes.
Researcher John Lott conducted another study favored by gun advocates, published in his book More Guns, Less Crime , which claimed that increasing numbers of concealed carry permits in a given area are associated with decreasing crime rates. Both studies have been convincingly challenged in the scientific community. For example, Kleck says guns were used to defend against , burglaries in , a year in which the National Crime Victimization Survey says there were fewer than 6 million burglaries.
Hemenway put together facts from the well-regarded NCVS—that someone was known to be home in just 22 percent of burglaries 1. Most self-reported self-defense gun uses may well be illegal and against the interests of society.
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Current NCVS estimates are in the , range. To assess the benefits and costs of pervasive gun ownership—there are currently million firearms in the U. Taken together with the heightened risk of suicide and accidental deaths posed by guns in the home, these numbers demolish the argument that guns enhance family protection. Much of the research on guns and public health dates back to the s, it should be noted, because of the near total ban that Congress imposed on public funding for studies of guns and public health in , singling out the Centers for Disease Control CDC.
In addition to underplaying the statistical case that guns are a destructive force in society, the media have largely ignored experts who can explain the practical reasons why guns are not necessarily a rational choice for self-defense. Then the producers recorded the students reacting to simulations in which an aggressive, active gunman entered a classroom.
In every simulation, the student failed to stop the aggressor and was badly or fatally wounded; in one instance, the student narrowly missed shooting a victim of the assault. The verdict has been in for years: Guns, as they are bought and sold and regulated in U. And if we had a media culture where public health actually mattered in discussions of guns, the argument that they are helpful for protection or self-defense would be relegated to the margins.
What about Vermont? Xanti, since you are a fan of statistics, Hawaii has the lowest murder rate of the 50 states. According to the U. Census Bureau, Vermont ranks 31st of the 50 states in population density, with Most firearm deaths occur in crowded urban areas, and in a Census Bureau ranking of communities with more than 10, people per square mile, Vermont is 31st. Congress and the media. The argument against Klecks numbers is bad science as it looks at two different reporting methods, phone surveys vs.
Step By Step: Here Is What Will Happen After A Defensive Shooting | The Daily Caller
The FBI and police experts all agree that well over half of all burglaries and assaults go unreported. Thus FBI stats are known to under-report actual crimes. Thus arguing that Klecks numbers are bad because his number is larger than the FBI number is just junk science. The only way to test is for another scientist to go out and conduct the same phone surveys as Kleck.
So far no one has been willing to do that. Are guns used to defend life and property every day in the U.
Using Guns for Self Defense: Laws, Consequences & What You Need to Know
Yes they are. As far as Citizens standing up to their government, abuse is far more likely at the local level rather than Federal. Look up the Battle of Athens for more recent history, this one the 20th Century. Or the LA Riots where business and homeowners defended life and property most of the time without ever firing a shot. The right of self defense is a long supported tenant of common law. It is a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and many states also guarantee that right in their state constitutions.
Legislating guns because they have a pistol grip or a 15 round magazine or look like military-only arms does nothing to solve violent crime. The DOJ funded study completed in showed the Clinton Assault weapons ban did nothing to reduce violent crime. Universal background checks only means legal gun owners get background checks. It does nothing to solve or reduce crime.
Every mass killer in the last 10 years had known mental health problems.
Problems known by extended family members, healthcare professionals, teachers and school administrators. The problem was and still is, no one could or would do anything about it and those problems festered until they exploded in a tragic event where people were killed or injured. Hawaii has the lowest murder rate, Hawaii also has universal healthcare including mental health services.
I love it when anti-gun types argue about one state or country having lower crime saying it is because they ban guns. Not true. If that was the case California, Chicago and D. However, what is true is any state or country that does have lower violent crime rates also has universal healthcare and mental care. I believe the solution to making significant reductions in all forms of violence is universal healthcare, not universal background checks and piling more laws on to already law-abiding citizens.
Apples and oranges. In cases like Afghanistan and Vietnam, the war just goes on and on until the foreign power decides its not worth it any more. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of the country gets destroyed and millions of lives are shattered. Nobody really wins.
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Stopping the overthrow of the US government would be very easy for our modern military. It might get bloody and nasty, but it would not succeed. Besides, why would anyone want that? Giving the government a monopoly on violence works pretty well. The threat of citizens revolting with small arms is not what is keeping us free.
Reluctantly, I have been prepared to accept that some persons — with a proven need for self-protection, a thorough background check, and rigorous training — should be able to defend their homes with firearms, while concomitantly every effort by the society was made to obviate that need.
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The odds of successfully defending oneself or others with a gun, versus the astronomically greater odds of tragedy occurring, has to lead any rational person to question whether there is any place for one, even under the most stringent conditions. In this case, it would appear their self interest would lie in promoting firearms training as effective and worth the investment. If you have evidence to the contrary, other experts who disagree, please provide that. Can you post links to the original data you cite, so that we can evaluate it for ourselves? I also would think that the NRA would be trotting out these folks at the drop of a hat, as it would be a salient reinforcement of their arguments.
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The NRA has been publishing stories about self defense for over 40 years in an on-going column called the Armed Citizen. Finally a good source of facts and original source data can be found here. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction -- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack.
To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively. The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. View all New York Times newsletters.
We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. To support preemptive options, we will:. The purpose of our actions will always be to eliminate a specific threat to the United States or our allies and friends. The reasons for our actions will be clear, the force measured, and the cause just.
When nations respect their people, open markets, invest in better health and education, every dollar of aid, every dollar of trade revenue and domestic capital is used more effectively.