Additional statistical data
Additional statistical data
Worse than the above gun statistics are those never mentioned:
- The casualties of victim injury, pain and diminished quality of life long after the event occurred. In 2010, 73,505 non-fatal woundings were treated in hospital emergency rooms. An estimated 337,960 non-fatal violent crimes were committed. [i]
- “The likelihood that a woman will die a violent death increases 279% once a gun is present in the home.”[ii]
- Harvard Injury control Research Center and the International Crime Victim Survey found there is substantial evidence that higher household gun ownership correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings. [iii]
- Ten rounds seems to be the default legal restriction being considered. Yet a New Jersey study found that only in 4.7% of incidents were more than 10 rounds fired. This information provides reason for being realistic about the limitations of this particular a type of regulation.[iv]
- Similarly criminologist Christopher Koper’s study of the federal assault weapons ban showed that assault weapons accounted for only 6% of gun crimes in selected cities. However, assault weapons recovered from crimes dropped 70% between 1992 (just prior to the ban) and 2001-2002. Assaults with large capacity magazines (LCMs) used in 13% to 20% of gun crimes had no detectable change in criminal use following the ban in this study. In another study LCM use dropped sharply during the ban then rebounded after it expired. Statistical contradiction here was judged to be due to a wide availability of grandfathered LCMs, their low cost and high criminal demand.[v]
- The country has regulated numerous consumer products from child cribs and small high-powered magnets that prevent far fewer deaths than any ban on large capacity magazines would create. Yet guns are not treated in a similar fashion. “Opponents of such bans do not have a compelling reason why law-abiding citizens need to have firearms with unlimited ammunition capacity.”[vi]
- Another issue is the sale of so-called “junk” or Saturday night specials which are overrepresented in gun crimes. Concealability and a tendency to misfire or fire unintentionally are two characteristics of these cheap guns. Within a year of one gun dealer’s decision to stop selling such guns, the number of such guns linked to crime dropped by 70%. Maryland’s banning of these guns was associated with an estimated 8% to 11% reduction in gun homicides.[vii]
It is possible to gain a window of visibility into this cult of the gun when its supporters approach their congressmen and legislators. Their first argument is that any effort of gun control is a movement to take away the Second Amendment. When told by their senator in such a case, Sen. Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, that he sees no such effort, a banker’s retort was “We give up our rights one piece at a time.” What is this fear? From what does it derive? What is the actual “infringement?” It is useful here to consider the arguments put forth at Manchin’s meeting with gun owners especially because they were business leaders and to try and understand why gun control for them is so frightening.
Further replies reveal some of the background. Supporters told the senator “stronger background checks are about all the gun control they can stomach.” Curbing guns and ammunition capacity was compared to “banning box cutters after the Sept. 11 attacks or limiting whiskey and six-pack sales to cure alcoholism.” “It takes about a second and a half to change a clip” and gunmen of mass shootings are like suicide bombers: “they will always find a way.” Using a Beretta five-shot automatic with a cut-off barrel was said able to kill everyone in the room (about 15) in seconds and wouldn’t have to be aimed to do it. This apparently was an argument for increasing public ownership of guns. The usage here is obviously to divert and sidetrack any engagement with the actual mayhem involved so as not to be tinged by it in any way. It deflects personal responsibility from anything that has happened and from anything that might happen.
Others told the senator that Mexico had strict gun laws and they hadn’t helped at all. This businessman didn’t explain that a great many of the killings in Mexico are done with bundles of guns bought at gun shows across the border in the U.S. The same businessman claimed that a gun placed on the table can’t hurt anyone, “It’s the person pulling the trigger.” These men never contemplate and completely misunderstand that a gun placed on a table whether the trigger is pulled or not fractures everyone’s liberty and freedom by its visual presence. Everyone is placed under threat by its mere presence existence since no one knows what is meant by its being there or who will use it for what.
Again, since such guns can be so easily bought by anyone, how does anyone know what type of man the trigger finger belongs to even if he is visible? When will he use it? How will he use it? What might set him off? Toward whom would it be directed? There are no answers. In a crowd who is that person? Where is he? How can he be recognized? In most situations he can’t be. Liberty evaporates when life can be vaporized upon any whim.
Unfortunately, there are a number of Democratic senators who are up for election in 2014. The senators include Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Udall of Colorado who initially in support of a ban has been more “circumspect lately.” Al Franken is being careful saying he supports a ban in “principle.” Kay Hagan of North Carolina concerned about jobs is aware that Remington is in her state. Similarly, Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire where jobs are tied to Sturm, Ruger & Company and Sig Sauer.[viii] In Connecticut they are Colt, Mossberg, Stag Arms, Wildey Guns, and Danjou. Republicans especially are holding back from passing new gun restrictive legislation. Dennis Veillleux, the CEO of Colt has threatened to move his company out of state.
The cultural divide over guns include the mere mention of “assault rifle” which is taken to be pejorative and claimed to come from Hitler’s designation of a period weapon as Sturmgewehr, literally “storm rifle.” Some N.R.A. public relations rep spent a considerable amount of time digging up this one even if it’s true which it probably isn’t.
At a lunch Sen. Manchin had with V.P. Joe Biden Jr., the administration’s point person on gun control, Manchin told the vice president he didn’t “know how many people…truly believed Biden would fight to protect their rights.”[ix] Presumably, Manchin had assembled a cohort of West Virginia’s business leaders, supposedly their best and brightest. This was the best analysis of the situation they could offer? It reeked of Me, My, Mine, nothing of You, Yours, the Community, or the Country except insofar as they think they are the country.
[i] John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. The Case for Gun Policy Reforms in America. White Paper 102512_CGPR.pdf. October 2012, p. 2.
[ii] Jessica Valenti, ed. “Ten Things to End Rape Culture.” The Nation, February 4, 2013, p. 2
[iii] Tanveer A. Padder. “The rationale for urgent and serious gun control. “ The News-Times, (Danbury, CT) Jan. 10, 2013
[iv] John Hopkins Center…opus cit. p.10
[viii] Jeremy W. Peters. “Democrats in Senate Confront Doubts at Home on Gun Laws.” The New York Times, January 24, 2013