Does Gun Control = Death Control?

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tags: guns, gun control, violence, Ferguson

William Heuisler was a Marine demolitions Instructor, recruited in 1962 from Quantico by the CIA for “Operation Mongoose,” training Cuban refugees to invade Cuba. In the seventies, as a Tucson Police officer, he received a BS in Criminal Justice and was awarded two commendations for breaking a major Commercial Burglary Ring. After decades as Director of an Arizona Investigative Agency, Mr. Heuisler was appointed Chief Investigator for the Governor of Arizona.

According to a New York Times article, more guns mean more death.

“Scientific studies have consistently found that places with more guns have more violent deaths, both homicides and suicides. Women and children are more likely to die if there’s a gun in the house.”

David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said: “Generally, if you live in a civilized society, more guns mean more death. There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime - none at all.”

Charles Blow stated in his column in the New York Times: “America has the highest gun homicide rate, the highest number of guns per capita . . . .”

CNN’s Piers Morgan believes: “America has the worst incidents of gun murders of any of what they call the civilized world.”

These assertions are either incorrect on their face or they rely on the Small Arms Survey which is both flawed in the way it reports and counts - and in the crucial facts it excludes.

The United States does not have the highest firearm homicide rates of all countries, or of all developed countries. Among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, Mexico has the highest firearms homicide rate, with a rate about 3 times higher than the US rate. We should note that guns are banned for all civilians in Mexico. Furthermore, “civilized” countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.

According to the very same sources quoted above, Israel and Switzerland have very high gun possession rates, and their firearm homicide rates are extremely low. Switzerland had a firearms homicide rate of 0.77 per 100,000 people in 2012 and Israel has a rate of just 0.09 per 100,000.

Most important in answering the Guns = Death claim is that the data does not exist. There are many countries with higher gun homicide rates than the United States that simply do not make their complete firearm murder/suicide rates available. While 192 countries report total homicides, only 116 countries report firearm homicides. The average homicide rate for the countries that don’t report firearm homicides is 11.1 per 100,000. Among countries with higher homicide rates (Russia has a homicide rate of 11.6) countries missing firearm data are among the above listed worst homicide countries.

The murder statistics are not at issue: According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 467,321 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011. In the same year, data collected by the FBI show that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders. Most murders in the US are committed with firearms, especially handguns, and few of the guilty handguns were found to have been bought legally with background checks from licensed dealers.  Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, reaching a low of 10,117 in 1999. (It should be noted that increased Concealed Carry laws and decreased gun control laws in general occurred during these same years.) Gun-related homicides increased slightly after that, to a high of 11,547 in 2006, before falling again to 10,869 in 2008. Since 2000 the homicide rate declined to levels last seen in the mid-1960s. Based on data from 1980 to 2008, males were 77% of homicide victims and 90% of offenders.

Let’s narrow the focus. Most gun deaths are urban homicides - maybe four a week in Chicago. In fact, eleven American cities – Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, Jacksonville (Fla.), Miami, Orlando, Omaha, Atlanta, Aurora, IL, and Dallas, account for over 70% of all American gun homicides – with a weekly rate of nearly 30 shootings.

Narrowing further, according to the 2013 DOJ crime statistics, 53% of all US homicides are committed by black young men (15 to 30) in urban violence with handguns. Blacks are about 14% of US population; but young black men are about 13% of the total black population. So, 13 X 14 = 1.82, less than 2% of our population commits more than half of all American gun murders. Thus, a very small percent of the US population commits most gun homicides. There are no recorded comments about this circumstance from CNN or the New York Times however.

You may disagree with some of the sources used here, but look up the statistics in the FBI Crime Report for 2012-2013 and pay particular attention to Eric Holder's DOJ stats on all types of crime - including his statistics on juvenile blacks. Statistics prove that certain people in certain places commit most US murders ... and most US crimes against persons.  

American society must inflict its laws on all members equally, and cannot ignore or emphasize a peculiar problem because it is peculiar. So, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, Gun Control will treat all citizens as potential criminals and all guns as evil. Most murderers and their evil instruments are actually known as a specific and relatively small group of citizens, but these murderers and their weapons are also beyond the common control and influence of society and Government. Gun crimes are already prosecuted more stridently with stricter sentences, and the widely-wished-for background checks at sale have been used in most of the US for decades.

Criminals will not meekly turn in their guns, nor will they submit to intrusions of the law. The answer to this dilemma for a Gun Control Government is to pick the low-hanging fruit and treat all Americans with equal contempt and ruthless efficiency. By definition, efficient Gun Control will necessitate computer searches, actual physical searches and confiscations beyond anything ever attempted - except in Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and Hitler’s Germany. The United States will suffer a huge increase in the size and control of large segments of Government at all levels. And, we all know in our hearts, most of the actual murderers will avoid Big Brother’s detection.

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