Gun Control – The Debate of the Decade

Gun control. It’s the topic on everybody’s mind, some for, some against. We try to remain as impartial as we can while supplying the facts to let you decide what to take away from things. That is our goal here, I know this may be controversial but in all honesty people need to be informed of what is going on in our country.

Let’s start with a literal translation of the Second Amendment using the definitions of the words in bold.

“A well regulated military force of civilians to supplement a regular army in an emergency, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of people to have or retain possession of and carry weapons and ammunition or armaments, shall not be infringed”

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Now that is the 2nd Amendment using definitions if you want to take it exactly literal as pro-second amendmenters would want to do. In 1787 when the Bill of Rights was written we did have “assault weapons”, the main one being the Brown Bess or the British Land Pattern Musket which was built from the ground up for military use. The world has changed a lot since then and so has our weaponry, the “assault rifle” of today is the AR-15 platform, before that the M14, before that the M1-Garand, and before that the 1903 Springfield. The term “assault weapon” to gun owners is a relative term, to most gun owners an “assault weapon” could include a rock or pencil in the right circumstance.

Depending on where you stand on gun ownership your view might be guns are a privilege, a right, or a duty, no matter where you sit in the gun control issue you need to be education and have hard numbers to back your side. Emotion isn’t something that should be considered in gun control simply because, normally, high emotion leads to low intelligence in the heat of the moment.

Obviously citizens on both sides of the debate look to law enforcement for help in a bad situation, as they should, the problem with that is that police are off site and need to be called. In most violent situations with firearms you have just a couple options, act or become a victim; acting can include calling for help, incapacitating the threat, or escaping. That isn’t the only problem however, police can make a bad situation worse in some instances. Take the August 26th shooting in 2012 at the Empire State Building for example, a gunman fired a single shot and killed a former co-worker, police responded by firing 16 rounds into the shadow of the Empire State Building in which nine people were injured by the police officer’s negligent discharge.

In 2005 New York City officers fired 742 times which resulted in 82 hits, this converts to a 17.4% hit rate for a total of 9 people. This converts to 9.11 bullets per kill that actually hit and 82.44 bullets fired in total per suspect neutralized.
In 2011 German police fired a total of 85 shots, 49 were warning shots, 36 were aimed at criminals in which 15 people were injured and 6 killed, this means that out of 36 shots fired at suspects only 15 shots missed their mark. Those numbers speak volumes about our law enforcement and their ability to handle firearms and the fact that they also endanger public safety.

If you look at my home state of Michigan we are home to some of the most violent cities in the country, and with police numbers falling from 5,000 to 3,000 in the city of Detroit it is no wonder crime is up. The citizens of Detroit are no longer relying on police for self-defense because of the lack of police. Justifiable homicide numbers were up 79% in 2011 from the year before, this represents 2,200% of self-defense killings over the national average. There are numerous instances in which if people didn’t have the means to protect themselves the bad guys would control the city and those citizens are sick of it.

This brings me to my next bit of statistics, on average armed citizens were able to stop mass shootings with an average of 2.3 deaths while 911 response averaged 14.3 deaths, this represents an 84% reduction when circumstances include an armed citizen. This follows along with the fact that between 1989 and 1994 defensive gun use stopped between 764,036 and 1,621,377 crimes, which just seems like a staggering amount.

If you look at a few examples in recent years you can look at an Oklahoma City marine who was on leave and began to open fire into an apartment complex’s main office when another armed citizen pulled his concealed handgun and ordered the marine to drop his weapon without firing a shot, a similar instance happened just a few days ago at an Oregon mall.

Mass Shooting Graph“These can all be stopped by more gun control” you might say, well, yes, you would be right if it wasn’t for that fact that 100% of criminals are law breakers. In fact, in 1990 the Gun-Free Zone Act was put in place, during the 90s we saw a spike in mass shootings, 43 of them to be exact, up from 32 in the 1980s. If you want to look at gun control seriously you need to look at places in the United States that ban guns, let’s start with gun-free zones. With the exception of one shooting (the Gifford shooting) all major mass shootings appear in gun-free zones, including the Aurora movie theater, it was the only one of seven theaters in the area that banned guns.

Chicago, now known for its strict gun control is seeing the repercussions of the gun ban they have put in place. In November 2012 Chicago saw a 49% increase of shootings, 192 of them to be exact, this also represents a 21% increase from the year before that despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

I’m not saying that we need to get rid of all gun laws, in fact some of them need to be reworked, including the “Gun Show Loophole”. I was shocked to find that 46% of gun show investigations found that felons were associated with buying and selling guns at gun shows. Gun shows are the second leading source of crime guns in the United States and with 83% of gun owners favoring a background check it is surprising that this loophole hasn’t been closed.

It is important to look at things from a crime perspective as well, take 2007 for instance. We had 270,000,000 guns throughout the United States while the police force only had 897,400 in 2006. Looking at 2009 there were 9,146 gun homicides, that means 2.98 per 100,000 people. That seems rather high right? Well lets take a look at the total homicides which came in at 15,241, this indicates that 6,095 of those murderers didn’t use guns. Still homicides aren’t the major issue here in the United States, look at 2005 in which there were 32,559 suicides in which 17,002 were done with guns. If you want to compared 2005 we can see there were 10,158 gun homicides and there were 17,002 gun suicides. This tells me suicides is a larger problem than homicide.

Gun control is a delicate subject, one that shouldn’t be decided strictly on emotion. It is my personal belief that we need to look at our culture before looking at inanimate objects. Gun responsibility comes down to the individual owner, if you have children in your house, use a locking safe, if you have unstable people in your home use a locking safe or move them off site. Again, your gun, your responsibility.

This article was not meant to back either side, this article simply states the numbers I found in my research, if you have anything you’d like to see added please feel free to contact me at reader@badponchooutdoors.com.

Team Bad Poncho
A group dedicated to bringing outdoorsmen information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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