After the many fatal shootings that have happened recently, I began looking for more information on Guns in America — looking for real facts, not just supposition.
I found a website, justfacts.com, which contained an entire webpage on Gun Control. I’ve excerpted some of the information, and several of the provided graphs, below, for your information. There is a great deal more information on the actual page, https://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp, for those who are as interested as I am in separating gun fact from gun fiction.
I’ll be interested to see what you think of this, and if it falls in line with your beliefs — pro or con — regarding gun control
This research is based upon the most recent available data in 2010. Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by singling out specific years that are different from others. Likewise, data associated with the effects of gun control laws in various geographical areas represent random, demographically diverse places in which such data is available.
Many aspects of the gun control issue are best measured and sometimes can only be measured through surveys,but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating. Thus, Just Facts uses such data critically, citing the best-designed surveys we find, detailing their inner workings in our footnotes, and using the most cautious plausible interpretations of the results.
Particularly, when statistics are involved, the determination of what constitutes a credible fact (and what does not) can contain elements of personal subjectivity. It is our mission to minimize subjective information and to provide highly factual content. Therefore, we are taking the additional step of providing readers with four examples to illustrate the type of material that was excluded because it did not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility.
* Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are both considered “long guns.”
* A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, ejects the shell of the fired bullet, and automatically loads another bullet for the next pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm (sometimes called a “machine gun”) fires multiple bullets with the single pull of the trigger.
* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.
* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.
* Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010:
|Households With a Gun||Adults Owning a Gun||Adults Owning a Handgun|
|Number||47-53 million||70-80 million||40-45 million|
* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:
|Category|| Percentage Owning
* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:
|Protection Against Crime||67%|
|Crime and Self-Defense|
* Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.
* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”
* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.   Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.
* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun “for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”
* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.
* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:
- 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
- 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
- 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility: “In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns.”
|└ Vulnerability to Violent Crime|
* At the 2013 homicide rate, roughly one in every 285 Americans will be murdered in the course of their lives.
* A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974-1985 found:
- 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives.
- 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime.
- 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once.
* A 1997 survey of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that among those serving time for a violent crime, “30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime.”