# Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

1. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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28,152
This post sets out a few facts relevant to guns and gun control in the United States. Below are some facts summarised from the following two articles, published in The Age newspaper today.

Sources:

Will the Sandy Hook massacre be America's tipping point?
Talking gun violence: facts for a debate America has to have

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1. There have been 16 mass shootings in 2012 in the United States.
2. Most US states have no owner licensing or gun registration, no requirement to provide a good reason to own a gun, no ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, and no limit on the number of such guns a person can own.
3. Following the Port Arthur massacre of 35 people in Australia in 1996, strict gun laws were introduced. Since then, the annual number of gunshot deaths has dropped by half and there have been no mass shootings. Researchers at the Australian National University estimate that the laws have saved $500 million a year and 200 lives. The population of the US is about 10 times that of Australia, so scale this up by a factor of 10 to estimate possible benefits of strict gun control. 4. In the most recent US election, most of the candidates backed by the NRA did not win their seats. 5. The day after the latest shooting (Sandy Hook), more than 100,000 people signed dozens of petitions. Campaigners are calling for two basic measures: (a) All gun buyers pass a criminal background check, whether they are buying a new or second-hand weapon. At present most states only require background checks for buyers of new guns. Not surprisingly, a large proportion of gun sales - estimated at 40 per cent - are second-hand. (b) A ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons, the automatic or semi-automatic firearms designed for killing large numbers of people. Meanwhile, the gun lobby is circulating a petition that calls for a gun in every classroom, with every teacher to be armed. 6. Police data show that gun sales tend to increase after mass shootings like the one in Sandy Hook. 7. Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. In most cases, the killers obtained their weapons legally. 8. Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings in the past 50 years happened in the US. 9. Lots of guns don't necessarily mean lots of shootings, as can be seen from the examples of Israel and Switzerland. 10. Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the US, five have happened since 2006. That doesn't include the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. 11. America is an unusually violent country, but it's not as violent as it used to be. Kieran Healy, a sociologist at Duke University, in July made a graph of ''deaths due to assault'' in the US and other developed countries. The US is a clear outlier, with rates well above other countries. As Healy writes, ''The most striking features of the data are (1) how much more violent the US is than other OECD countries … and (2) the degree of change - and recently, decline - there has been in the US.'' 12. Gun ownership in the US is declining. ''For all the attention given to America's culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,'' political scientist Patrick Egan, of New York University, wrote in July. ''Long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the US.'' 13. More guns tend to mean more homicide, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Centre. This holds true whether you're looking at different countries or different states. 14. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence (source: economist Richard Florida). 15. Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants and more mental illness are not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. 16. Gun control, in general, has not been politically popular in the US. .... Gallup reported after a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, last year. ''In the most recent reading, Gallup in 2010 found 44 per cent in favour of stricter laws. In fact, in 2009 and again last year, the slight majority said gun laws should either remain the same or be made less strict.'' 17. But particular policies to control guns often are. An August CNN poll asked Americans whether they favour or oppose a number of specific policies to restrict gun ownership. And when you drill down to that level, many policies, including banning the manufacture and possession of semi-automatic rifles, are popular. About 90 per cent support background checks and no guns for felons or the mentally ill. 18. Shootings don't tend to substantially affect the views of Americans on gun control. 2. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 3. ### kwhilbornBannedBanned Messages: 2,092 I'm Canadian. I've never seen anybody with a gun/pistol. Think we should put up a fence to keep you Americans out. James R points a very bleak picture of you all (sorry "Y'all" is proper American spelling). Although it would not prevent you Americans from killing yourselves all the time, I really would support the idea of camera filming every square inch of the country. It would be nice to know if a crime does occur we can simply follow the suspect home via the camera trail. If people worry about the abuse of these cameras make a court order necessary to access their memories (which are always encoded and sent to various secure locations to avoid cameras being compromised). Guess that should be another topic though. The only way Canadians can get a pistol is if they know an American. Damn Foreigners. Keep your guns to yourselves. Emmana likes this. 4. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 5. ### AsguardKiss my dark sideValued Senior Member Messages: 23,052 In the other thread I posted a link that said up to the date (as of the school shooting, I herd something that said 2 more had happened SINCE but not sure If that was accurate) of that school shoting at least 88 people have been killed on mass shotings 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### spidergoatgive upValued Senior Member Messages: 48,747 It's too late to do anything about mass shootings. We already have millions of guns and the ammunition to go with them. It doesn't matter if mentally unstable people can't buy a gun, they can just steal one or two from someone who has them. 8. ### araucaBannedBanned Messages: 4,568 Do you have prayers in school and mentioning God in your constitution ? 9. ### kwhilbornBannedBanned Messages: 2,092 @ Arauca, I'm betting our Catholic Schools likely have prayers, but am too old to go check. There is a group called "Humanists" here that campaign to remove the word god from all documents and replace it with "Intellectual Freedom", but it has not yet happened. Unsure how that relates to the price of tea in China. as James R pointed out This should be the discussion, and nothing to do with God or Religion. I am thankful to be living in a pink zone that has banned handguns outright. Hunting firearms exist (no ak-47's though sorry). We like our deer less "Tenderized". 10. ### spidergoatgive upValued Senior Member Messages: 48,747 From all documents? What are you talking about? 11. ### spidergoatgive upValued Senior Member Messages: 48,747 I suppose you are with people like Mike Huckabee, who says that God is prevented from doing anything about killers, because we fail to kiss his ass enough. 12. ### GeoffPCaput gerat lupinumValued Senior Member Messages: 22,036 Hold on there. My father had several guns. He even kept one under his pillow for a while. Don't paint Canada in the universal colours of 905 sensibilities. It isn't that and, as the proud product of hicks, it won't be. 13. ### ThoreauOIF Veteran 2003-2011Valued Senior Member Messages: 3,366 I had a fleeting thought that I might actually jump in here and say a few things to counter James' post. However, between debating this in other threads, as well as on Facebook, I am mentally worn out. I will just say this: I love my firearms. I don't hunt because I don't believe in killing another living being unless my very survival depended on it (food or protection). I'm a military veteran who is well-trained in the use of firearms. My firearms serve two purposes... sport (I like to target shoot) and personal protection. And if I have it my way, I will always own firearms. I have a Constitutional right to do so, and I have a right to defend myself, if I ever need to AGAIN in the future. So, if anyone wants to ban or take away my rights to bear arms and to protect myself, you're going to have to pry them out of my cold, dead fingers. That'll be the only way you'll get them. I'd sooner move out of the country to a place that respects my rights than to sit here and have them taken away. Don't bother countering my post. I won't respond to any questions. 14. ### BalerionBannedBanned Messages: 8,600 I'm wishy-washy on this issue. I hate gun violence (obviously) but I also don't like the idea of telling citizens they can't own guns. Let me put this out there: would a ban on semi-automatic weapons not end any hope for a revolution? Not saying we need one, but we might in the future. 15. ### BalerionBannedBanned Messages: 8,600 Yeah, you guys are really peaceful. Unless the Canucks lose in the Stanley Cup finals. Then you clowns humiliate yourselves on the world stage. Climb down off that pedestal, hoser. 16. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member Messages: 28,152 More data (and some opinion), from here: Gun glamour: America's appetite for anarchy December 18, 2012 by Brian Masters Link to complete article ---- The truth is, America is a society obsessed with guns and addicted to their repulsive but effective use as instruments of death. They like them; they teach their children to shoot them, as Nancy Lanza did with her son, Adam, the young man responsible for the carnage in Connecticut; they store them; they harbour a fetish for them, and will never tolerate any attempt to deny them their toys. They rarely admit what their guns are designed to do, which is to kill.​ 1. There are about 300 million guns in the US. One-third are handguns. This is the highest concentration of private gun ownership in the world. 2. Every year, 17,000 people are killed in America, 70 per cent of them with guns, and nearly 20,000 people commit suicide by shooting themselves to death. Only Colombia has a worse record in the world. 3. The slaughter of children by gunfire in the United States is 25 times the rate of the 20 next largest industrial countries in the world combined. 4. About 80 people a day are shot to death in the US. 5. Studies have demonstrated, over and over again, that homes which do not have a gun in the drawer are safer than those which do. 6. The incidence of suicide in the home is far higher in US homes that contain guns than those that do not. 7. Murder in the pursuit of self-esteem, what the writer James Carroll called ''expressive violence'', is the perversion of an American value, the one which says no child should have his aspirations for self-expression thwarted; ally this with the value that nobody should be denied the right to own and use a gun, and you have the loudest expression of self imaginable. 8. In Virginia, laws have been enacted prohibiting the police from mounting so-called ''sting'' operations on shops that openly sell assault weapons to people without checking their histories. The police are thereby legally prevented from doing their job of keeping public order. Whenever they try, somebody will happily go before the camera to proclaim the right to carry and use a gun without any restriction, even that of lunacy. 9. The NRA has spent more than$35 million on its lobbying machine since 1997, and spends millions more on advertisements and publicity often devoted to the calumny and denigration of anyone who resists the appeal of its reckless morals. It is not above simply telling lies about its opponents to get its way.
10. Justice Stephen Breyer, with rare eloquence and clarity, has pointed out the differences between an ''18th-century, primarily rural America, where frontier life demanded guns, and the present, primarily urban America, where gun possession presents a greater risk of taking innocent lives''.

17. ### kwhilbornBannedBanned

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2,092
@ spidergoat,
IF you had noticed the @ ARAUCA at the top of my comment then you might have realized the documents mentioned were the documents ARAUCA was discussing such as The Constitution.

If you are going to partake in a discussion then perhaps follow it sequentially to avoid confusion in future.

@ GeoffP,
I am assuming your father was a Canadian then at least for a while. If your father had guns they likely came from America or he is/was a cop.

I don't need to paint Canada at all. Statistics work fine.

United states:
Over 110,645 children have been killed by a firearm since 1979, with over 280 million guns in civilian hands.
Whats a gun?

18. ### BellsStaff Member

Messages:
20,244
Do you stockpile food and water as well?

Have a bunker?

Because you might need those as well.

I mean sure, you are as likely to need a semi-automatic weapon in the event of an revolution as you would be to have a bunker that can withstand a zombie apocalypse that could be coming in the future.

And realistically, if there is ever a need for a revolution in the future, what chance do you think a semi-automatic weapon will have against a State that has nukes and an overly well equipped defence force? Sure, you had a chance when the Constitution was being drafted, but in today's society, it is hardly a realistic expectation to be holding onto.

19. ### ThoreauOIF Veteran 2003-2011Valued Senior Member

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3,366
States don't have nukes. Nukes are owned nationally.

20. ### BellsStaff Member

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20,244
"State" = Government in this instance..

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3,366
Gotcha.

22. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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8,600
No, but in that event, I'm sure there are places that can be appropriated and used as such. Either way, it's not the same as having weapons. You could theoretically get food. Where are you going to get semi-automatic weapons if they're banned?

Really? You think the odds of a revolution occurring--an event that was the foundation of this country and happening right this very minute in several places across the globe--are about the same as a zombie apocalypse?

Do I have that right? That an uprising against the American government is as likely as The Walking Dead coming true?

The state wouldn't nuke itself, but I do understand the long odds of a revolution being successful. It would be difficult without international aid...just as it was last time, and just as it is today in any country. I wouldn't call it impossible, of course. And I also understand that it's not likely in the near-future that a revolution occurs in this country. But can you say with certainty that there is no event, or series of events, that might necessitate such a thing? I can't. The spirit of the constitution allowing us to bear arms is for just such a possibility. (Among other, outdated scenarios)

I'm for gun control. I'm for background checks, waiting periods, even denials to convicted felons, or GPS tracking of every weapon sold. I agree the government should have a role in this. But I kind of disagree with the idea of completely taking those weapons out of our hands.

I also understand that certain freedoms come with certain risks, and you can't have it both ways. It comes down to what you value more, safety or a those particular liberties.

23. ### GeoffPCaput gerat lupinumValued Senior Member

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22,036
I was surprised to see that Canada's guns per capita is lower than than of France. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

Nonetheless, they're a part of rural culture. Not automatics, mind.

Afghanistan. Iraq. Somalia. Lots of places do have limited arms but an impressive ability to resist one well-equipped authority or another.

I won't beat around the bush: I don't trust the government of anything at all. Politicians and their servitors are, almost to a wo/man, self-serving expedientialists. I don't want weapons in the hands of madmen - but we're also being led by madmen, as I see it.

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