Gun Violence Facts in New Report Contradict Anti-gun Narrative

Firearms

Following the massacre of school children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, the anti-gun lobby has been pushing hard to get tighter gun laws passed. Their talking points are always the same and have been largely discredited by actual events and statistics. In a fresh setback, a new report on gun violence reveals facts that contradict the anti-gun narrative.

The report, entitled Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence (2013), was commissioned by President Obama, who treats gun violence in the same manner that he treats terrorism; if we can only find the one magic clue that leads us to the reason behind it, we can make it all go away overnight. Unfortunately, the President would simply confiscate all firearms by force, if he thought he could actually do it. Gun violence, like terrorism, however, has no one single cause; firstly, one has to define “gun-violence”. Usually, the lists of gun-related fatalities produced by the anti-gun people – such as the now discredited list recently publicized by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – are extremely deceptive, in that they include criminals who have been shot by police, accidental shootings, suicides and law-abiding citizens using guns in self-defense or to  prevent the commission of a crime. None of those scenarios accurately warrant the “gun-violence” label.

Compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), this report was recently published and contains both good and bad news for gun-control advocates. The good news, for them, is that there are parts of the report they will be able to cite as showing a need for stricter gun laws. As an example; the report tells us that “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.” This will be music to the ears of those who want to disarm the American people. One interesting fact about this statistic, however, is that if one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington D.C., The homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country and – of course – the nation’s capital, along with these three states, have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The irony of this is not lost on gun-rights advocates.

Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and other sources to produce a map, which compared gun violence rates in the major metropolitan areas of the US to rates in entire foreign nations. Whilst it was a clever way to shock the uneducated into thinking that gun violence in the US was completely out of control, one glance at the map actually confirms the pointlessness of so-called “gun-control”; with the exception of New Orleans, Louisiana and Miami, Florida, the overwhelming majority of gun crime in the United States is concentrated in areas which have the strictest gun laws; The worst area being around Washington D.C., Baltimore, New Jersey and New York City; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois and California. Compared to the areas mentioned, the rest of the country has relatively little gun-crime.

Other gun violence facts in this new report, however, distinctly contradict the usual anti-gun narrative: Whilst we are constantly told that “military-style” or “assault” rifles are such a threat to the public safety, this report asserts that hand-guns are, by far, the firearm most used in incidents of gun violence: “Handguns,” the report states, “are used in more than 87 percent of violent crimes.”

Another well-known anti-gun refrain is that more guns lead to more crime. FBI statistics have been proving, for years, that this is simply not true and the CDC report backs that up, as follows: “Overall crime rates have declined in the past decade, and violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past five years.” Gun sales in the same period have increased dramatically.

The CDCP report also tells us that “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.” In addition, it  points out that “firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States.”

Possibly the most significant statement in the report refers to the defensive use of firearms by law-abiding citizens. In regards to this, the report states “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals.” This, of course, is something that is never reported in the mainstream media. Perhaps more importantly, this report reveals that armed civilians are more likely to survive an attack than those who do not have a firearm: “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used“ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

The Obama administration’s official interpretation of this report will be interesting. Parts of it could, without doubt, be spun to fit either side of the gun debate, but the salient points contained within these findings on gun violence unquestionably contradict the anti-gun narrative.

Graham J Noble

Source

34 Responses to Gun Violence Facts in New Report Contradict Anti-gun Narrative

  1. Kerry August 30, 2013 at 12:45 am

    When confronted with real facts, it’s the often used, but meaningless go to phrase, “that’s liberal sources.” As if all supposed liberal sources are biased and incorrect simply because they’re liberal. Or somehow, any sources, liberal or not (depending on whether they disagree or not of course) are magically discredited simply because they are referred to as “liberal.”Even the FBI can be lumped in there if it suits your purpose. Sorry, their facts ARE accurate. Clearly you’re right-wing biased and so is this article, so does the reverse suffice as a logical, meaningful argument? And when confronted with more real facts, it’s another, meaningless blanket statement such as, “the entire argument for gun ownership is overwhelmingly obvious.” It is when it’s backed by inaccurate fact-checking and then widely circulated like a viral video as the truth. Far too much cherry-picking, mischaracterizations, logical fallacies (see correlation/causation) and flat-out lying have been making the rounds on this subject and that’s not good for the majority. Of course, the real truth and the real solutions may not sit well with those that stand to gain from all the confusion and conflict, and maybe that’s why real progress eludes us and real problems continue to exist.

    Reply
    • Graham Noble August 30, 2013 at 7:28 am

      You yourself are guilty of the very thing of which you accuse me: You have simply dismissed all the evidence that supports gun-ownership as “inaccurate”. Inaccurate how? Because you say it is? Can you point to any place in this country where stricter gun laws have lead to less violence? Are you aware of how many people have been murdered with guns in Chicago this year….in the city that has the strictest gun laws of any in the nation? Is it just ‘inaccurate’ for me to point this out?

      Are you denying that the strict gun laws in places like New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington DC and Chicago have failed to prevent criminals from obtaining and using firearms?

      This is the bottom line: The Left pretends that they want to tighten gun laws to prevent gun violence. When gun laws are tightened and it DOESN’T prevent gun violence – which is clearly and undeniably the case in the places mentioned above – they accuse gun-rights supporters of “cherry-picking” the facts. This happens over and over again. To the Left, “cherry-picking” the facts is defined as pointing out any fact that is inconvenient for them.

      In truth, the Left is opposed to gun-ownership because they think we should all be slaves to the almighty State – and you can’t make slaves out of armed citizens. This discussion actually has nothing to do with public safety.You will not eliminate gun violence by simply passing laws that make it harder for law-abiding citizens to buy guns – otherwise, there would be NO gun-related deaths in Chicago or NJ or Maryland or The United Kingdom. You could argue that, at least, the number of gun-related deaths will be reduced. I still dispute this and point to Chicago as an example; gun violence has certainly not been ‘reduced’ in that city. Why? Because criminals do not obey gun laws.

      We can argue all day about the numbers, but the truth is in front of us; if the Liberal myth that gun-control eliminates gun violence were true, then Chicago would be the safest city in the country.

      Reply
      • Sparafucile September 7, 2013 at 9:56 am

        There’s nothing like a virtual guarantee of a disarmed victim the encourage the criminal use of a gun.

        Reply
  2. yoni August 29, 2013 at 8:22 am

    MIke Huckabee quoted from this article & Politifact just gave his remark a “pants-on-fire” rating. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/aug/29/mike-huckabee/mike-huckabee-says-if-you-cut-out-high-gun-homicid/

    Reply
    • Graham Noble August 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Unless the facts are so overwhelmingly obvious as to be undeniable, Politifact devotes almost all its time to “debunking” any statement of theory which is critical of the President, or the Democratic Party in general. Just because the site has positioned itself as the final arbiter of truth in politics does not mean that it actually is.

      Reply
      • Dale August 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        Have you read the Politifact post? The facts “are so overwhelmingly obvious as to be undeniable.”

        Reply
        • Graham Noble August 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          I believe that, regardless of how one chooses to play with the numbers, the entire argument in favor of gun ownership is overwhelmingly obvious!

          Reply
  3. Om DePlume August 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    “One interesting fact about this statistic, however, is that if one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington D.C., The homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country”

    Not true.

    US population – 311.6m – 2011
    14,612 murders & non-negligent manslaughters according to FBI UCR data.

    14612/3116 = 4.69 per 100k (4.07 if excluding non-negligent manslaughter)
    A total around 3-4x that of most western industrialised nations (most are within 0.7 – 1.4 per 100k)

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-6
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-5

    California
    Population – 36,836,745
    Murder & non-negligent manslaughter – 1,792

    Illinois
    Population – 11,192,664
    Murder & non-negligent manslaughter – 721

    New Jersey
    Population – 8,821,155
    Murder & non-negligent manslaughter – 380

    Washington D.C.
    Population – 617,996
    Murder & non-negligent manslaughter – 108

    Population once 4 areas deducted – 254,131,440
    Murders & non-negligent manslaughter – 11,611
    4.57 per 100k.

    The total number of murders would need to be around 10,000 less, per annum, to bring the US into line with any other country.

    Reply
    • Graham Noble August 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      I commend the effort you put into that, but you’re still using inappropriate stats.

      Reply
      • Om DePlume August 28, 2013 at 6:45 am

        I’d be very interested to see the data to back up your claim that the US would be in line with any other country without those four locations. If the FBI UCR data is inappropriate, what would be acceptable?

        Reply
        • Graham Noble August 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

          Someone once said “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”. The numbers from the report that this article references make my point for me.

          Now, are THOSE figures correct? Probably they are inaccurate in many ways. The point of the article was that the numbers from this report – which was produced to strengthen the argument for more gun control – do not, in fact, help the case for more gun control.

          Reply
          • Om DePlume August 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

            I’m sure you’ve read the report in full and understand that this is a starting point for research to take place over the next 3-5 years. For anyone reading this that hasn’t read it, but would like to – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319

            The, ‘Conclusion’ of the, ‘Summary’ on page 10 sums up its purpose nicely.

            Both sides of the argument have cherry-picked the odd sentence or paragraph from this report. In particular the section about Defensive Gun use (DGUs) has been cherry-picked and quoted repeatedly by the pro-gun lobby. If you read the section on DGUs in full on pg 15 & 16 (including the last paragraph) it’s clear it doesn’t draw any conclusions. It simply makes the case from both sides. This report is a starting point.

            The truth of it really is that it neither helps nor hinders the case either way, as it is just laying out what is to happen over the next 3-5 years.

            It’s an interesting read, but it’s the research that results from it that will really be worth discussing.

            All the best to you.

          • Graham Noble August 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

            It is completely fair to point out that both sides in this debate can use facts and figures in a way that supports their argument.

            I am a supporter of the right to keep and bear arms and I openly admit that.

            The bottom line for me is that gun ownership is a constitutional right that cannot be taken away without the Constitution being amended. I also believe that the right to defend oneself is a basic human right – perhaps the most basic human right.

            Whilst it is beyond dispute that, were all guns completely removed from society, there would be fewer homicides, it is also beyond dispute that those who wish to use guns for criminal purposes will find a way to acquire them. Places that have strict gun laws, such as Chicago, Washington DC and also the UK, where hundreds of thousands of illegal weapons are in circulation, according to the Metropolitan (London) Police, prove this fact.

            I personally am in favor of strict background checks and also compulsory firearms training for anyone wishing to own a gun. I am also in favor of very strict enforcement of border controls and holding legal gun owners personally responsible for the safe-keeping of their weapons.

            One cannot completely eradicate gun violence; it exists even in countries that do not allow the private ownership of firearms.

            The bottom line is this: The argument is between, on the one hand, those who would deprive law-abiding citizens of their human right to self-defense AND their constitutional right, in order to make us all “mostly” safe and, on the other hand, those who wish to exercise those rights and believe that trading freedom for security is never an option.

            Thank you for your comments.

            Graham

  4. Brian August 22, 2013 at 7:31 am

    If you use FBI crime data for only gun related homicides you get DC, Louisiana, Missouri, Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia as the top ten states. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state

    Reply

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