Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Use of Guns

Myths About Guns Need Clarifying

Facts about guns can be slanted and fudged to make a political point. Here are some hard facts that the gun control addicts usually ignore quite deliberately.

The number of reported defensive uses of firearms to police in the US during 2009 was in an estimated range from 760,000 to 3,600,000. Sources: LA Times, Gallup, Peter Hart Research, John R. Lott, Richard Poe, author, “The Seven Myths of Gun Control”. Further, FBI crime statistics for 2009 show that:

Violent crimes Total: 1,318,198

Property Crimes Total: 9.320,971 (a ratio of about 1 to 10)

Using this ratio of Violent Crimes to Property Crimes of approximately 1 to 10, this strongly implies that the number of saves from violent crimes by victim firearm use ranges from about 76,000 to 300,000!

This is a sensational statistic that clearly shows the advantages of using firearms for defense.

The crime categories of murder, rape, armed robberies, and aggravated assault are where the most heinous crimes are found, around 15,000 per year for murders and rapes alone, thus given the chance to prevent or halt such crimes surely ranks gun use at the top of the possible immediate reactions. The police, of course, are 5 to 15 minutes away from the crime scene at best, and taking the time to call 911 immediately could mean the difference between life and death. Citizens should therefore be trained, ready and willing to cope with crime long before the police can arrive.

Given the ratio of murder and rape cases to armed robberies and aggravated assault cases to be again about 1 to 10 from the FBI statistics on these subsets of violence (not included here for economy), this implies that on the order of 10,000 murders or rapes would be prevented each year, and a potential for 130,000+ serious injuries to be avoided were all citizens to be armed and ready. (This number can only include those rapes that are reported, of course, so it is a very conservative estimate. )

Suicide accounts for roughly half of all gun deaths in the nation, or about 18,000 per year, out of about 30,000 gun-related deaths per year. The question here is whether the troubled person would resort to other means than a gun should guns be unavailable?

There are many other means to commit suicide, including: self-hanging; poisoning; overdose of drugs; bleeding to death from wrist cuts; jumping from a very high place; stepping in front of a speeding vehicle, crashing your car at 90 mph; and on and on. If the will to die is really strong, the person will find a way. I find it rather difficult to blame the possession and use of a gun for the purpose of suicide as the fault of the availability guns in general, as opposed to blaming the individual in trouble and possibly the lack of help for him. It is also true that banning handguns is not a fully satisfactory solution for the suicide statistic. A rifle or shotgun will serve just as well.

Given that the person is unalterably committed to taking his life, possibly the most efficient means is a gun, as the other methods are much more likely to result in non-fatal, but with terrible, life-debilitating injuries to be coped with by an already seriously troubled individual. This is hard for Christians and others to accept, including myself, but it is true.

I am not counting the property crimes at all here, but the halting of thefts does have a measurable and salutary effect on the quality of life of potential victims. While any deaths are to be greatly regretted, that only about 680 accidental firearm deaths occurred in 2009 out of the well over 200,000,000 firearms then in the nation, with about 60,000,000 registered gun owners (source: NRA), shows the extremely low risks of gun ownership and use for self-defense by citizens.



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