I’m not sure how I missed this thread. You guys have been kicking it back and forth for two months now I must have been dozing.
I have a feeling they will still be debating this topic a hundred years from now in this country and nothing will have changed. Gun ownership or at least the right to own a gun if you want to is such a part of the American psyche that its unlikely we would ever be able to pass laws dramatically restricting an individuals right to own a gun.
I think you would have to be an ardent gun owner though to argue in good faith that the net effect would be to lose more lives if we banned guns. It really is difficult to get any irrefutable data on the subject but my gut feeling is that the number of innocent people who die from criminal or accidental gun use is probably significantly larger than the number who are saved because there was a gun in the home or on their person.
If what we really cared about was saving lives I don;t think there is a good argument against abolishing gun ownership but this isn’t about saving lives. Gun ownership is about paranoia, mistrust of the government, and an inability to properly assess risk in most cases. Those who use guns primarily for hunting have a different argument but a weak one I think. In this day and age hunting is little more than a hobby. Few people need to hunt to feed their families. Its difficult then to justify the support of a hobby that requires us to accept 10,000’s of thousands of innocent deaths every year as a price for the freedom of pursuing that hobby. Would we allow model airplane hobbyists to continue to operate if their radio controlled planes were accidentally or intentionally being used to kill dozens of people every day? I doubt it.
Often times this argument comes down to an apples and oranges comparison of US homicide rates to European homicide rates….....But there are a few problems when one examines the evidence…...
1) Overall violent crime rates in the UK, for example, are actually higher than in the US…....Rapes, Assaults, Robberies, Burglaries, all higher….....And very arguably a result of an unarmed populace…....A clear demonstrable inverse effect occurs in relations to burglaries and armed homes, for example.
2) Active shooter mass shootings, though statistical anamolies, are not remotely US only phenomenon…....In fact, Western Europe has them at approximately the same rate as in the US…....But they are not news here when they occur.
3) The US homicide rate, which is perceived as being a result of easy access to guns is actually far more strongly correlated to the drug trade….....In fact, most US homicides occur alongside hotly contested drug trafficking zones, such as inner-cities and the southwest along the US/Mexican border….......Illegal drugs and drug profits are the catalyst for as much as 60%+ of US homicides in any given year.
Further, the illegal drug trade accounts for well OVER 70% of Mexican homicides in any given year.
How does homicide correlate with lax gun laws and legal gun ownership rates? The highest concentration of legally owned weapons per population is in Wyoming, where nearly 60% of the entire population is armed…....If the theory of more guns equals more violence, the Wyoming would have the highest homicide rate in the US…....In reality it has a homicide rate identical to the UK’s.
Likewise the lowest homicide rates in the US are New Hampshire and Vermont, both of which have homicide rates 1/3 of the UK’s, and Vermont has never had a state law against anyone carrying a concealed weapon since the founding of the Republic.
Moreover, the US has become even more heavily armed over the last 20 years, with more guns in circulation now than ever before, more CCW laws, more people carrying guns on the street legally…...And a declining homicide and crime rate, a homicide rate that is now the lowest homicide rate seen since pre-1960.
Again, some serious reality problems exist for the argument that abolishing gun ownership, or even classes of guns, will make America safer…......The reality is that abolishing drug prohibition, which is the main engine of violence not just in the US, but in Mexico, Central and South America, would save thousands of American lives a year, and tens of thousands of Mexican lives…..........While greater gun control gun control would likely prevent few deaths, and likely result in greater numbers of assaults, rapes, burglaries and robberies.