Gun Control Facts


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

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

guncontrol_ad

 

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,[1]but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating.[2] 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.

 

General Facts

 

* Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns.[3] 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.[4]

 

Ownership

 

* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.[5]

 

* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers,[6] there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.[7]

 

* 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
Percentage  40-45%  30-34%  17-19%
Number  47-53 million  70-80 million  40-45 million

[8]

 

* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:

 

Category  Percentage Owning

a Firearm

Households  42%
Individuals  30%
Male  47%
Female  13%
White  33%
Nonwhite  18%
Republican  41%
Independent  27%
Democrat  23%

[9]

 

* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:

 

Protection Against Crime  67%
Target Shooting  66%
Hunting  58%

[10]

 

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.[11]

 

* 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.”[12]

 

* 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.[13] [14] [15] Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[16]

 

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]

 

* 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.”[19]

 

* 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.[20]

 

* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:[21]

 

  • 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”[22]

 

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.[23]

 

* 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.[24]

 

* 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.”[25]

 

 

accidents_fatal accidents_nonfatal chicago chicago_handguns dc england florida michigan texas

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

Remembering What America Could Be — A Guest Rant


Hello, Everyone.  It is I, The IdealisticRebel’s Sister, and I have taken over the keyboard today to share a few thoughts.

Okay, rants.

 

For those of you who are not aware, I turned fifty several months ago, so when I say I remember a different America, I mean that I grew up in a different America.

 

In the America I grew up in, anger resulted in shouting, fist-fights and, occasionally law suits.  It did not end up in bullet-ridden bodies on the street corner, in the living room or the movie theatre.

 

I grew up in an America where we played outside till the lights came on, and no one worried we were going to be grabbed and shoved into a van and sold into slavery.  Strange cars in the neighborhood were first waved at, then greeted by a crowd of teenagers watching closely if they seemed suspicious.  Because those teenagers might be picking on you, but you were somebody’s little sister or little brother or younger cousin, and nobody got to mess with you but them!

 

I grew up in an America where my Mom worked full-time, raising three kids.  I came home to an empty house after school, and called my Mom the SECOND I got through the door, or I got what-for when she had to call me.  I heated up the dinner Mom had pre-made for the two of us, after my siblings went to college, and Mom and I ate together and shared our days and our plans for the week or the weekend.  Weekends, my siblings (sometimes) came home and we all ate together and yelled together and played together and ignored each other.  There was no father in our house (ours was the first household in school to have that ugly seven-letter word:  D-I-V-O-R-C-E).  My father, in fact, moved to Canada and, if I was lucky, I saw him twice a year.  My siblings often saw him less.

And none of us ended up on drugs, or got in bar fights, or beat our partners, or bought a gun and shot some stranger who reminded us of our parents.  We actually ended up as reasonably well-adjusted adults.  Perfect?  Not even close!  Dysfunctional together?  You bet!  But, push comes to shove, loving and caring and compassionate people who, each in our own way, do our best for those around us and the world.

 

There is no one who needs to tell me what it’s like to come from a broken home; to come home to an empty house day after day; to not have friends to play with because my family was different (I did mention:  the FIRST divorce, didn’t I?)  I was there.  I lived it, I felt it.

 

I was (very minorly) bullied in school, picked on by the ‘cool kids’, made to eat my lunch alone (because the ‘cool kids’ would ostracize anyone who sat with me), but I learned to cope, and to be happy in my own company and it never occurred to me — nor to anyone else I knew — to walk into my school and blow all my classmates away.

 

When did we become a country whose knee-jerk response is to shoot first and not ask questions, ever?

 

I’m not saying that we need to back to the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.  Go back to the time when blacks sat in the back of the bus?  When it was legal to hit a woman?  No, thank you.

 

But there has to be something between that and THIS.  Something between “you’re different, so I’m going to force you to stay away from me” and “you’re different so I’m going to blow your head off.”

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said religion.  But now, in a world where religion is an excuse to blow up synagogues and mosques and churches; where churches teach that anyone who believes differently will go to hell; where church groups picket the funerals of people who, in life, did or were something these narrow-minded people feel is ‘evil’?   I can’t believe THAT kind of religion — any kind of extremist religion, and it seems that, increasingly, that’s the predominant mentality of religious groups these days — is the answer.

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said the law.  But the lawmakers are trying to overturn basic human rights, and fighting granting rights to anyone different from them.  So I don’t know that the law is the answer (although, it’s getting better:  Thank you, SCOTUS; Thank you, POTUS).

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  Now that I’m an adult, though, I think the answer is more simple than I imagined as a child:  I think the answer might — just might — be US.  Each one of us, putting aside our differences to look for the commonalities; checking our prejudices at the door and actually LISTENING to the other side, without anger or vitriol; without judgement or censure; with open minds and open hearts and a genuine desire to make the world and each other better.

 

I don’t know what the answer is.

 

Do you?

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870


Another year has come and gone, and in the last year, so many mothers have lost their sons in senseless violence.  Some of these losses have made the national news, and have become losses for the entire nation, as our cities are rocked with violence and unrest protesting the deaths, but this doesn’t help the mother who buries her son in the ground and faces what may be her first Mother’s Day without that card or flowers or just a hug from her baby.

Women — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts — have lost beloved women in their lives — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends too dear to be merely ‘friends’ — to breast cancer and other forms of cancer, and still no cures to be found.

Mothers  have lost brave sons and daughters in the military, heroes who have given their lives for their country.  And Mothers have sons and daughters who have blessedly returned alive from combat, but who are damaged in ways visible and invisible.  To these mothers, we send our love and thank you for the gift you have given to your country.  We don’t want you to feel as if you’ve been forgotten, for we know that it is not only your child who made a sacrifice, but you as well.

To all who have lost beloved women in their lives, I share a tradition I cherish when I think of those I have lost:  As long as one person lives who remembers their name, they are never truly gone nor forgotten.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world.  May your light shine everyday and may you always know how much are loved and respected by those around you.

bjwordpressdivider

Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 – Julia Ward Howe

“Arise, the women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly
“We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking of carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes with
our own, it says ‘disarm! disarm!’
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Ceasar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.”

bjwordpressdivider

Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio