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Putting Gun Deaths in Context

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Liberal voices in politics and media react to well-publicized murders by blaming firearms and arguing that gun control could reduce rates of violence. But they never put gun deaths in context, or acknowledge that murder rates have been going down, not up—cut in half over 30 years.

Moreover, much of this improvement occurred together with rising gun ownership: Gallup says 34 percent of households owned firearms in 1999 and 42 percent in 2014. Second, liberals conceal the fact that most gun deaths in America are actually suicides, not murders or accidents. And the US has a relatively low rate of overall suicide—we rank 50th in the world, with nations like Japan, Russia, South Korea and Belgium showing much higher suicide rates despite much tougher gun laws.

In other words, there’s no reason at all to assume that increasing fire-arms regulation would do anything to reduce tragic instances of Americans taking their own lives.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Keith  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    “Putting Gun Deaths in Context” seems like a strange title when you are advocating for less gun control. Although I hate the way the left uses tragedies to advance them politically; putting forth legislation they know will never pass just so they can point at the right and say, “they don’t care” I do not see how any level-headed person can look at how many gun deaths we have in this country and be alright with it. We have over 33,000 gun deaths a year. It’s on par with the number of automobile deaths we have. That’s putting gun deaths in context.

    And for someone that begins he’s show saying that we are the greatest nation on God’s green earth to then say that it is okay that we rank in the 50 pestilential for suicides doesn’t make any sense. I’ve know to many families scarred by suicides.

    You end by saying that increasing fire-arm regulation will not decrease gun deaths. I agree that most of the proposals put forth by those on the left would not. But we have to change our attitudes toward guns in this country. Guns need to be viewed as a hobby; for target shooting or hunting. But that is not how we view guns in this country. Ask anyone with a concealed carry permit. They need their guns just in case. And our laws and our politicians perpetuate this brutal attitude and that is what needs to stop.

    • Scott  •  Aug 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      So now our constitution is about protecting ‘hobbies’? Rubbish!
      And you’ve just done it again, 33000 gun deaths? Yet more than half are suicides, so don’t blame the guns there. We have a violent society, taking the guns away won’t stop the violence.
      Most guns are used by criminals that are violating dozens of existing laws. So you propose another law? Is this the ‘one law’, that will bind them all? That will suddenly cause the criminals to love their fellow man and stop the violence?

      • rachel  •  Sep 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        Accidental shootings are not required to be reported.
        When somebody’s baby is killed during an accident by a family friend or member it does not have to be recorded and made public by the police. Some states so not follow this, some do.

    • American  •  Sep 1, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      That’s right, disarming non-criminals will only allow criminals to better victimize them. It’s so obvious but it might as well be rocket science to an ignorant deluded person like yourself.

      Guns are a desirable and constitutionally protected birth right in this country. Guns save lives from illegally armed criminals and criminal organizations (every felon is already prohibited from owning firearms dummy) that illegally arm themselves and operate anyways.

      All you’ll do is destroy the lives of countless innocents by placing them at the mercy of illegally armed criminals. Honestly, If you don’t like our constitution and it’s second amendment then get out of here and go somewhere more totalitarian and to your leftard way of thinking. Bye.

  2. Nani  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Keith, the biggest problem with any gun control law is that criminals don’t follow laws.

    • American  •  Sep 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Of course not. They can and do make fully automatic military spec rifles on 3D printers, they can and do make repeating shotguns from local hardware store items. They always have guns. The cartels even had clandestine firearm and ammunition factories they were operating.

      Obviously, disarming the non-criminals in your society results in their victimization and removes a much needed deterrent and control to criminal violence.

      The U.S. is an enormous land mass with 320 million people on it. It’s not an island which is easy to police or a snow covered sparsely populated country like Canada.

  3. Mike Clark  •  Sep 3, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Keith: “Ask anyone with a concealed carry permit. They need their guns just in case.”

    And what’s wrong with that? You have life insurance just in case, right? Car insurance? Auto insurance?

    Just ask anyone with a concealed carry permit who had to use that “just in case” firearm when it came down to “the case”. It happens. You hear of it periodically in the newspapers. It is not something that never happens. I myself had an instance where showing my pistol prevented a situation from escalating, something that never reached the newspaper.

    “Hobby” my foot.

  4. Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I am totally in favor of allowing non-criminals to own and carry firearms. But it does concern me that guns are used in 20,000 or so suicides each year. A large percentage of these are teenage boys, upset that their girl dumped them). One of the few things we have learned from behavioral economics (combining econ and psychology) is that if you make something a little easier to do, a lot more people will do it. Blowing ones brains out is pretty simple and easy if a gun and ammunition are handy. Finding enough poison (which women seem to prefer) would be a little more difficult and may run the risk of causing pain or other side effects. So I don’t think we can say that reducing gun ownership would not reduce the number of suicides.

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