Pursuant to the massacre at Newtown and President Obama’s subsequent attempt to institute a stricter gun policy, there has been a tight focus on gun rights and an immense push to make our schools safer for our children. Needless to say, the result is that the divide between gun rights advocates and gun control advocates is widening.
I have always leaned towards agreeing with the right to own a gun and protect oneself and one’s family. That said, I believe the words gun control have gotten a bad rap. Somewhere along the way, the idea of moderation, of common sense, got lost to both sides and the words gun control became synonymous with “complete firearm ban.”
I do believe control is the issue. I think people who own firearms need to better secure them against theft and illicit use (even by members of their own families.) I think gun owners should be held to the strictest responsibility for their firearms. I do not feel there should be a total ban on firearms.
The aim of this article though is to give some food for thought to both sides by introducing a slightly different perspective on the gun rights issue. This is merely information…information backed by statistics and scientific inquiry.
I doubt there is anything worse than what happened at Sandy Hook in December, but this information shifts the focus of gun victimization. To women.
Abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser owns a firearm.(source)
This is women, killed by men who legally own their firearms. In short, it suggests a link between the availability of household firearms and female victimization rates.
Of course, the first argument against this concept is that a man who would beat on his wife should not be allowed to own weapons, and there are laws that prohibit the purchase of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order. But that is true only of known abusers. What about the women who have not reported their abuse?
Approximately 20% of the 1.5 million people who experience intimate partner violence annually obtain civil protection
As I said before, I’m not really trying to push a partisan view of the gun issue, I’m merely hoping to give both gun control advocates and gun rights advocates more information…
And perhaps help them to see we should all be working together towards a solution to end gun violence, rather than fighting against one another. Maybe if we try to view the problem collectively- and objectively- we can come up with a solution that protects everyone’s rights and safety.
[UPDATE: (4/18) I have no problem with gun ownership, in theory, but here’s what I think, as succinctly as I can put it: People keep spouting the whole “outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns.” But the problem is, “outlaws” aren’t the only people committing gun crimes. Regular, everyday people are using their own guns (or family or friend’s legally owned guns) in domestic crimes, and then people are saying “We never thought he/she was capable of this!” So, clearly, despite heavy lobbiest protestations, it is not just inner city gang bangers and drug dealers using guns to kill each other. I agree with responsible gun ownership, I just think the word “responsible” needs to be redefined (and reinforced!!!) ] [Update: 10/2015 A 2014 view of the demographics of gun ownership in America. And a 2013 NBC article FULL of gun and gun ownership stats.]
After yet another mass shooting, by a homegrown (that’s American) Islamic terrorist, using mostly “legally” purchased firearms…in a club with armed “good guys” (security guards)…
Analysis by the Violence Policy Center has found that at least 29 mass shootings since 2007 were carried out BY perpetrators with concealed carry permits. That’s more than three times the number of concealed permit holders who prevented mass shootings through their swift action. (source)
I am tired of banging my head against a wall arguing with people who let their emotions mold the “facts” to suit them. To be very clear, it doesn’t matter how you “feel” about it, or how much you support 2nd Amendment rights; it is a documented fact that increased gun ownership in a developed county leads to increased gun deaths in that country. Not only is it documented, it is common fucking sense…
The number of firearms injuries remains high in the United States, compared with most of the rest of the world. Firearm suicide rates are strongly impacted by the rate of gun ownership. (Kaplan and Geling, 1998) There is a positive correlation between firearm fatality rates and number of guns in developed nations. (Bangalore and Messerli, 2013) (source)
…and I know I am not the only one.
One thing remains certain, despite laws for or against gun control, a lack of care and concern regarding one’s fellow human beings, whether in war or through domestic violence, will continue to promote firearms injuries. (source)
- Gun Control Has Always Been A Part Of American History (personalliberty.com)
- Obama: Gun-control advocates have to listen more (sacbee.com)
- How They Got Their Guns (NY Times)