In my opinion, we need to increase the amount of gun control there is in our country- and fast. Thousands of kids, and even adults die from gun violence each year, and yes, although we do have a right to bear arms, I don’t think that the Founding Fathers would not have envisioned that gun violence and mass shootings would become such a big deal and cause so much devestation as they have, and are, in this day and age.
For one, the number of gun deaths would be significantly reduced if we did reform firearm laws. In fact, according to the American Journal of Public Health, simple gun reforms such as federal universal background checks could reduce gun deaths by up to 56.9%, gun identification requirements could reduce deaths by 82.5% and background checks for ammunition purchases could decrease deaths by 80.7%. Studies have also shown that that increases of firearm deaths were associated with places that had “right to carry and stand your ground” laws.
The rate of accidental shootings could also be prevented if gun laws were increased. Over 1.7 million children live with an unlocked gun in their home, 1300 of which suffer from an accidental gunshot, and 89% of accidental shootings occur at home. By restricting who has the ability to buy guns, we can make sure that less children get harmed and that more are able to be safe in their own home.
Additionally, legally owned guns are frequently stolen and used by criminals. In June 2013 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported that “almost all guns used in criminal acts enter circulation via illegal transaction”. It has also been proven that a yearly average if 232,400 firearms are stolen. By making sure that gun laws are reformed, we could clear the streets of gun violence and have less guns roaming about our country.
Overall, by making sure that gun control is increased, we can make sure to make our country just a little safer. The longer we wait, the more children and teens are stripped of their childhood.
The figures you quote are highly inaccurate, and most of your sources are unreliable and biased.
However, your argument falls apart on the one quote, “almost all guns used in criminal acts enter circulation via illegal transaction”. The fact is that we now have more than 22,000 gun control laws on the books in the U.S., and yet criminals can easily obtain guns and do so in violation of those laws. Laws restricting gun purchase and possession are ignored by criminals, because they are criminals. Any action that restricts general gun ownership of firearms will only work on law abiding citizens. It will increase the fraction of firearms that are the hands of criminals, and decrease the fraction in the hands of law abiding people.
Furthermore, it is clear from your comments that you do not have even a basic understanding of the reasons behind the second amendment. I urge you to Google the topic of weapons confiscation in colonial America by the British, and its role in triggering the American Revolution. The best weapon is knowledge.
Well i’m sorry Howard Bamber but I strongly disagree with you. Why would you want to take people’s rights away? Only one hunting rifle and one 9mm pistol? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME! I just wanted to state my opinion,… don’t take it personal.
Milking it? So that must mean the father’s and mothers also out there….who lost children in the shooting..must be milking it.
Thank God for those kids..Keep “milking it”
In science, the conclusion follows the research. Research done to justify a predetermined conclusion is not science, but propaganda. That was the kind of research banned by the Dickey Amendment. So why did the amount of ‘research’ decrease after that amendment ‘chilled’ research? Because the so-called researchers wanted to do that anti-science research! If they wanted to do *real*, scientific research, instead of goal-oriented phone research, the funds were there and there was *no* prohibition on it. That kind of crappy, phony research is still done today by people friendly to the gun control bigots. It is almost all one sees in the mainstream media, and factually, it counts for *nothing*. If this or any other author relies upon that type of research, he or she is an out and out liar and ought to be publicly shamed for it.
First, the benefits of people having guns used to avoid crimes must always be stated. Gun avoided crimes are at least 20 times the number of gun related deaths, from which, 2/3 are suicides.
Second, if you believe abortion is a right, so must be suicide. And with more reason, as it takes only the decision maker’s life, and not one of a child not able to help decide.
Third, all tyrannies start with disarming citizens before dominating them.
This should be enough to stop this gun control discussion and hystery.
But there is one more argument: guns don’t kill people by themselves. Someone, the killer, must use them. As London and Germany now prove, ban guns and criminals willo kll with knives. Ban knives and they will kill with cars, or hammers, or baseball bats, or…
There is so much factually incorrect in this piece, it’s hard to know where to start, so I won’t. It’s too bad a publication claiming to be pro science can publish such irrevocably biased assertions. Here’s a CDC study for you. The estimate that several hundred thousand defensive firearm uses occur each year, was pulled back after publication. It needed to be revised. Upwards. Those responsible for the study figured because of their sample size, the figure should have been upwards of 700,000 times a year. These go largely unreported as the only crime that ends up occurring is the would be criminals wounded pride. Simply displaying a firearm in many cases can be enough to prevent the crime from happening. Where are your data sets on that? Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath while waiting.
How many times do we have to remind everyone that there is no such thing as “gun violence” – violence is an act committed by a person (probably not a human being). It matters not what the instrument used is, well unless it is a gun, then it becomes the ‘evil’ instead of the evil person.
IOW – start with a faulty premise, reach a faulty conclusion.
Astrophysics & California moonbeams, this ‘truth’is so slanted ,it’s weight will pull it over,IF GRAVITY STILL SUCKS…Seems,Lenin was right (at least once): repeat a lie enough times & it becomes truth. “SCIENCE” , added to ‘REVISIONIST HISTORY’; I wish The clueless would stick to their areas of ‘expertise'( & HAND ME a blackhole, someday!)
When you write propaganda stories like this that obviously attempt to taint gun ownership with an intermingling of not really facts to try and make facts you completely lose all of your “science” credibility. You’re trying to turn suicides into gun violence. It’s not. You stated gun violence is up there with leading causes of death, it’s not. Take your number of gun related deaths, use a little “science” and compare it with gun ownership preventing deaths and you’ll find a negative component. The more you twist the truth to continue your lie, you look rediculous and sacrifice real science for political hackery. Articles like this set information backwards because it’s complete propaganda.
Well I see one side of the coin is written about, now how about the other side? How many thousands of times are guns in the hands of citizens able to stop a violent attack, robbery, looting, or killing?
Article states that cars kill as many or more, so why do we let everyone have a car? Why not institute mass transit for everyone to cut down those deaths? The supreme court has already ruled that driving is not a right.
I get that some people that are anti-gun live in a small town with hardly a chance of any shootings. But that shouldn’t be the standard for the whole country.
There are still people that can see thru the media’s attempt to whip people into a frenzy to push a anti gun agenda.
But this isn’t a gun issue, its a safety issue for our kids. Instead of doing something that would actually curb these attacks, anti-gun politicians use these kid’s deaths to push an agenda.
We make our government buildings safe, banks safe, I even went into the local Social Security office and saw a ARMED GUARD! WTH!?!
But for schools we use signs & posters!??
Get rid of the No Gun Zones and let CC bring their weapons of if they choose to. (Not an armed camp, just STOP advertising these places where the nuts can go to kill kids!)
Or they can go on blaming a organization that represents MILLIONS of gun owners, and try to strip people’s rights to defend themselves…and which they have done so thru the years.
Battle of Athens 1946 WWII vets break into a armory and attack corrupt government officials (they even made a movie about it.)
1965 Watts riots, 1980 Miami Riots, 1992 LA Riots (Store owners were on their roofs with rifles with large capacity magazines)
Or for the younger crowd we have hurricane Katrina, again looting & killing. But people were able to defend themselves, at least until the National Guard showed up and threatened to kill citizens unwilling to give up their guns. How many times has our National Guard been called out to kill their own citizens? (When Unions were being formed or when protests broke out…Kent State, Jackson University, & New Mexico University) They bayoneted the college kids at New Mexico.
Maybe people don’t think they need a ‘assault’ type weapon, but they don’t speak for me….maybe they think our Government could never turn on us…it could never happen in America….BUT IT ALREADY HAS!
Remember that before you give up this right so readily.
Suicide/self-determination is just as much a human right as self-defense. End the totalitarian infringements now!
Judging from the comments (and others around the web on gun issues), the hardcore pro-gun advocates are worried that public opinion is swinging the pendulum toward improving gun control which they seem to interpret as complete gun bans and confiscation. I.E.the slippery slope fallacy. I appreciate the findings and suggestions in this article. As a long time gun owner, I think that more research and data should be welcomed on gun violence in America.
“the legislation had a chilling effect: from 1996 to 2013, CDC funding in this area dropped by 96 percent.” – Well, if we can’t immediately arrive at the conclusion we want, why bother funding the “research”?
If we can all agree that:
1. Self defense against any unlawful attack is a basic human right.
2. That as a basic human right, self defense is and should always be considered a Civil Right of the People and thus the exercise of that right must be immune from restriction, infringement, licensing or taxation by Government at any level.
3. That the Civil Rights of the People are not subject to the approval of the Majority Opinion and belong to every Individual regardless of their social status.
4. That any infringement, restriction, licensing requirements or taxation levied on the free exercise of a Civil Right is a violation of that right.
5. That any law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages the free exercise of any Civil Right is an infringement on that right.
6. That if a law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages a Citizen from legally acquiring the tools, weapons or means to freely exercise their Civil Rights, then their rights have been infringed.
-Then it follows that those who advocate for the preservation of the right of the People to keep and bear arms are, in fact, Civil Rights advocates. It also follows that those who oppose the right of the People to keep and bear arms are against the People’s civil rights.
We have a word for people who advocate for or try to use the force of law to infringe on the civil rights of others: we call them Bigots. ￼🤠
Painkillers kill far more people than guns. Let’s ban those too.
If someone commits suicide, it should not affect my right to own a target pistol for recreation.
Tom, we both know that suicides are irrelevant to the conversation as suicidal fruitcakes will find a way to make the world a better place and kill themselves. That’s hardly a national health issue (and accounts for more than 2/3 of your numbers.) Accidental shootings are so rare as to be roundable to zero… as for homicides… You want to drop homicides? Stop letting drug dealers and gangbangers out of prison. 80% of homicides in the US are gang or drug related. Make gang membership and narcotics offences punishable by summary execution and the homicide rate will drop like a rock.
“Susan Sorenson, a professor of social policy and public health at the University of Pennsylvania” did she eat the monkey?
Hi, big fan of Undark articles. I am a very active Canadian target shooter. I have a really in depth (imho) perception on firearms in both Canada and the USA. I know most of the statistics for both countries. I start off saying this to show my own bias toward owning guns.
My opinion is that when it comes to overall societal harm, we tend to think about an “easy” fix. There is no easy fix to gun crime (in either country) I believe that for the USA, if there was more investment into: preventing for profit prisons, having low education funding, infrastructure all crumbling (schools, poison water,etc) Having more community centres for youth, having access to healthcare, mental healthcare among many other factors. My point is in Canada (and I assume the US) 90% of gun crime happens in “low income” areas. So the connection to poverty is undeniable. With poverty comes many of the things I listed as problematic. I truly believe that if those factors were fixed, gun crime would disappear.
But they are not easy problems to fix. So people want something fixed NOW, and much of “banning” guns is a result of this cry for change.
The USA does imo, need to have some controls on access to firearms. Canada has a very strong control system that in some ways is actually more relaxed than the US (like owning short barrel shotguns, or having guns delivered to your door from the store by mail) But Canada does NOT have the violence with firearms issue. (200ish murders by gun/yr) I think healthcare, education, social safety nets are all the reason why.
Fixing the “gun” problem is really just fixing peoples desperation enough to commit violence.
There are a multitude of factors and ways to accomplish societal harm reduction, without “banning guns”.
But they are hard fixes.
If anyone at Undark would like any Canadian firearm content, If I don’t know it, I can find out for you. This was a bit rambly but I hope my point was made. Thanks for the great content. I don’t usually respond like this but big fan and gun owner, thought I would.
You know what Howard? Most mass shootings are committed with handguns, not ARs. That one 9mm pistol is all that is needed for a mass shooting.
seriously. How are they milking this? They are advocating for gun control so that what happened to them and their friends won’t happen again. I’m sorry this makes you physically sick. I’m sure those kids are physically sick when they remember what they went through. What they have to say is more meaningful because of what they went through. They are listened to because they are teenagers and they were targeted and killed in a place they should be safe.
“More than 36,000 people are killed by gunshot in the U.S. every year, making it a leading cause of death in the country, comparable to that of motor vehicles incidents.” This statement is a flat lie. I stopped reading after this because if you are willing to lead with a lie this big, I don’t have time to research all the other facts and figures you are using to see if you are actually telling the truth about anything.
“Truth, Beauty, Science.”….or not.
Hi Chris – Just want to point you to the CDC report from which that figure was obtained, dated November, 2017. The number includes all homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings for 2015, which is the reference year. You can find the analysis at the link below. Search for “firearm mortality” within the document.
Tom Zeller Jr.
Editor in Chief, Undark Magazine
Knight Science Journalism @MIT
I would ban all guns except for 1 hunting rifle (traditional) and one 9mm pistol per person. But I’m sick of those kids milking what happend. They are in the press again today. Not the action of traumatised kids but kids cashing in on their dead friends. Sorry but that’s what I see. And I’m physically sick of them doing it.
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