Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, April 5, 2014

More guns do not make people safer.

After the tragic shooting at Ft. Hood, the national conversation again turned to the relationship between guns and gun deaths.  It doesn't take a genius to see the correlation between the number of guns a country tolerates and the number of deaths that country sustains from those guns.

The United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world, researchers found. 

A study by two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people — more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied. 

Japan, on the other hand, had only .6 guns per 100 people and .06 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, making it the country with both the fewest guns per capita and the fewest gun-related deaths. 

Drs. Sripal Bangalore, who works at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Dr. Franz Messerli of St. Luke’s Medical Center studied the statistics of guns per capita and gun deaths. They used firearm injury data from the World Health Organization and guns per capita data from the Small Arms Survey to put together a list of 27 developed countries. 

They said they carried out their study because of what they said are seemingly baseless claims on either side of the gun control debate. “I think we need more of what I would call evidence-based discussion and not merely people pulling things out of their hats,” Bangalore said. 

“We hear time and time again about these shootings, especially in the last year or so. A lot of claims are made…so we wanted to look at the data and see if any of this holds water.” 

They concluded that more guns do not make people safer.


Even in countries where there are lots of firearms in circulation, the stats show the U.S.A. still leads those countries in gun deaths, suggesting that perhaps Americans don't know enough about gun safety or perhaps they're too dumb to be allowed to own those extremely dangerous weapons.  Almost every day we read somewhere that some irresponsible gun owner has left his loaded firearm where children can get hold of it and kill either themselves or others.  Almost every day we read of some irresponsible gun owner accidentally shooting himself or someone else as he cleans his gun or demonstrates its use to someone.  

Because of the widespread availability of firearms, this country has high rates of suicide by firearms as well.

US Child Gun Deaths Rose 60 Percent In 10 Years

 If there were a childhood disease that increased at that rate, parents would demand research into what was the cause of that increase.  The criminals who run the NRA and its lackeys in Congress were successful in getting legislation passed that would make it unlawful to study such statistics.  

Prior to 1996, the Center for Disease Control funded research into the causes of firearm-related deaths. After a series of articles finding that increased prevalence of guns lead to increased incidents of gun violence, Republicans sought to remove all federal funding for research into gun deaths. 

 In 1996, Republican Rep. Jay Dickey removed $2.6 million from the CDC budget — the precise amount the CDC spent on gun research in 1995 — at a time when the center was conducting more studies into gun-related deaths as a "public health phenomenon," according to The New York Times. 

The NRA and some pro-gun Congressmen perceived this as more of an attack. Here's an excerpt of a 1997 article in Reason about the fight to kill gun science: 

Since 1985 the CDC has funded scores of firearm studies, all reaching conclusions that favor stricter gun control. But CDC officials insist they are not pursuing an anti-gun agenda. In a 1996 interview with the Times-Picayune, CDC spokeswoman Mary Fenley adamantly denied that the agency is "trying to eliminate guns." 

 At the behest of the NRA, Congressional Republicans successfully removed all federal funding to the Center for Disease Control that would have gone into researching the effect of guns and the root causes of gun violence.

There's a very good reason the criminals who run the NRA used the US Congress to stop all funding into firearm studies.  The results would show that more guns  in ciruculation means more gun deaths.


Rational Nation USA said...

It is clear that the pro firearm anti firearm debate has become circular. Always starting with the report of death by firearm(s), followed by the scripted arguments by both sides in the debate including the emotional, factual, and the spin factors. Concluding with the support for "doing something" and for "doing nothing." Life then returns to normal. until... The next time.

What is puzzling is why, being a 'civilized' society and all we seem unable to see doing the same thing over and over again produces, wait for it... the same results.

Isn't it sensible, indeed time, that we actually take action that reduces the violence, insures the rights of responsible firearm owners to continue to hunt, target practice, and secure their property, and also makes the streets safer for all. Everywhere.

Perhaps we're just not smart enough.

Putting aside the occasional emotionalism
and obvious bias in the post the statistical data makes the case, and it is a strong one, that it is time to look at the issue of firearm violence and its impact on society intelligently and then make intellegent and balanced decisions.

Time to move beyond emotionalism, special interests (NRA/Firearms Manufacturers), and politics.

Well down Shaw...

Shaw Kenawe said...

After the Sandy Hook massacre, a majority of N.R.A. membership, the law enforcement people, and a majority of the American people wanted to see a background check law passed. The cowards in Congress (Dems. and Repubs.), sucking up to the powerful criminals in the N.R.A., defeated what the American people wanted.

That is NOT what a representative democracy is about.

And of course there will always be emotions involved in the discussions of gun deaths. The deaths of 26 people at Sandy Hook, including 20 children, just to mention one massacre, would certainly cause emotions to run high. That's a wholly human reaction, just as anger and fear was the human reaction to 9/11.

We're not Vulcans.

Dervish Sanders said...

Responsible gun owners have a right to Stand Their Ground? It's covered under the "Well Regulated Militia" clause of the 2nd amendment? Only "gun grabbers" argue that less guns equals less shootings?

IMO what we need to get smart about is that this debate is all about gun manufacturer profits and profits for their lobby/terrorist organization, the NRA.

Rational Nation USA said...

Unfortunately. There are times it would be better if we were. Emotions impair the ability to reason.

Yep, we're human. It is the way it is.

I stand completely with my comments and the data you cite in the post. I'll leave the emotionally charged rhetoric to others.

I repeat emotionally, good post.

Duckys here said...

There have been published statistics that the number of homes with firearms is declining.

However, the manufacturers are turning out more "product".
Now where is that "product" being consumed?
Some of it goes to gun owners who have to "collect them all" but a lot goes to the street because manufacturers and their lobbying arm, the NRA, wants to keep point of sale laws lax.

Nothing circular about this at all. Tighter point of sale laws can reduce gun deaths. Unfortunately that means reducing industry profits.

Nothing circular at all.

Jerry Critter said...

As is often stated, correlation does not mean causation. Thus, logically you cannot say that more guns result in more gun deaths.


You can definitely and logically say, more guns absolutely do not result in less gun deaths.

The lack of correlation proves there is NO causation, and there is no correlation between more guns and fewer gun deaths.

That's logic talking.

The Wank Files said...

Too bad the a**holes in the N.R.A. and the Congresscowards don't engage in a circular firing squad.

okjimm said...

'Too bad the a**holes in the N.R.A. and the Congresscowards don't engage in a circular firing squad.'

precisely the sentiment the debate does NOT need.

think about it...what you said.


BB-Idaho said...

Was it not Scalia who neuetered the 'well regulated militia cause?
My guess? Because the NRA realized there is a hell of a difference between a well regulated militia and some clownish cop wannabee lugging his boy toy everywhere.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"On gun control, which has been in the spotlight since the July 20 mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, Justice Scalia hinted that something could be done to control semi-automatic weapons.

“Yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed,” he said. “Obviously, the [Second Amendment] does not apply to arms that cannot be carried. It does not apply to cannons.”

Shaw Kenawe said...

Clearly The Wanker Files is not thinking clearly.