This next fact surely has to convince even the staunchest gun fan that something isn’t quite right: In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty. That is absolutely unbelievable.
These facts all seem pretty damning, right? And you might wonder what sort of arguments a pro-gun plum might come back with as a defence. So I’ll give you a couple of their lines just so you know. One thing they regularly say is that the highest gun crime rates are in city centres where gun laws are the strictest. But that’s a pretty rubbish stat. Inner city regions are always more violent and poor. There’s more people in total for a start, and the rich and the poor are in closer proximity. So it doesn’t really count as a proper argument.
Another pro-gun lobbyist statement is that nearly all public mass shootings took place in states where there is strict gun laws in place. But that argument falls down too. As tragic as those incidents are, they are just a tiny proportion of the huge numbers of people who are killed individually and on a daily basis.
Rifle lovers also bring out the fact that the USA is #1 for ownership but only #28 for gun murders. Wikipedia says they are actually 12th rather than 28th, but either way it’s not a fair representation. The countries in the top of the gun slaughter charts are places like Honduras, Brazil and Mexico, places where there is a lot of trouble and poor infrastructure. America are #1 in the list of gun murderers if you only include wealthy western nations. Their nearest competitor in that new race would be Luxembourg (funnily enough) with almost six times less gun murders by firearm per capita.
Personally I think it’s a pretty clear case that if there’s more guns there will be more gun related injuries and deaths. I don’t think it’s really realistic to try to argue the other way. I also think it’s unlikely there will be any big changes for quite some time. If Columbine didn’t work, what will? And with the rise of the doomsday preppers we’re all in trouble…
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