Let’s Have a Real Discussion About Gun-Control Facts

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Let’s Have a Real Discussion About Gun-Control Facts

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I hate the standard talk-show shouting-match about guns.

Guns kill.
No, they don't.
Let's disarm everyone.
Second amendment.
Blah. Blah. Blah!

This is fake news pretending to inform us. This noise fills airtime. We see shows like this because it sells soap for the network. As long as the guests and the host yell loud enough.

The discussion about guns in America is too important to leave to the talking heads. For the average person like me, it is hard to separate real information about guns from the Hollywood stories I have floating around in my head. When you look at how you feel about guns and crime, are you responding to what you know, or to what you saw on the little screen during some cop drama?

I looked for honest answers about guns and violence, and I learned some things I didn’t know. These are the questions I asked myself. This is what convinced me that guns save lives.

It seems we have a lot of violence in the news. Is the United States a violent country?

I think we’ve confused about entertainment and reality. We can watch hours of cop-shows and violent dramas on TV every day. That isn’t real life. Also, if there is a murder anywhere in the USA, then it might show up on the news. If there are several victims, then the story might be on the TV for days. That doesn’t mean there was a murder in your city or anywhere near you.

I found something very different when I looked at the best facts we have. On average, one person in your family will be a victim of violent crime sometime in your lifetime (about one person in 3.8 people will be a victim.) That means the violent crime of any kind is relatively rare. Homicide rates are going down over time, not up. Murder rates with a gun are doing down too, even though gun ownership is increasing. That isn’t the impression you get from the news reports.

Aren’t guns just killing machines? Don’t people use weapons to kill every day?

Our imagination is right about a few things. Just as we imagined, some criminals do use guns to threaten their victims, and sometimes to kill them. These armed criminals get their guns illegally, the same way they get the drugs they sell. In contrast, honest gun owners use their guns in self-defense to stop the attacks from violent criminals. For honest gun owners, firearms are tools of self-rescue that keep them safe until the police arrive…and that happens a lot.

I don’t hear about those examples of armed self-defense. How do I know they happen?

You’re right that you don’t read about self-defense in the news very often. There are a couple of reasons. The biggest reason is that criminals react to armed citizens about the same way that criminals act to an armed policeman.

On average, a policeman may be in enough danger to touch his gun once a day. He might draw his gun once in a while. The policeman will probably never have to press the trigger during his entire career. Most criminals run away when they see an armed cop.

Criminals react the same way to an armed homeowner. Almost all the time, the criminal runs away before the armed homeowner has to fire his gun. The homeowner reports the break-in, but most police don’t even record that the homeowner used his gun in self-defense. If it makes the news at all, the event is reported as a home invasion/robbery in the local paper.

There is an exception to that rule. The police would keep track of the event if the defender had to fire his gun. Still, many states don’t keep track of how many times guns were used in self-defense. It is easier to find the news stories where the good guy was forced to shoot the bad guy, even though there were many more examples when no shots were fired because the bad guy ran away.

If violent crime and self-defense are so rare, doesn’t that mean we’d be safer if we all turned in our guns?

I understand your frustration. I hate it when good people are hurt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of lies in the gun-control debate. It isn’t true that most criminals get their guns from gun shows. It isn’t true that the US is awash with “assault weapons” and all we need to do is to gather them up and we’d be safe forever.

It is true that a few criminals buy their guns legally. These criminals usually can’t buy their guns at a gun store once they have a criminal record. That is why about 99 out of a hundred criminals get their guns illegally. That makes sense once you think about it. Criminals don’t obey the law, and they don’t obey our gun-laws either. That is why gun-prohibition laws only disarm honest people, but not the criminals. It would be nice if criminals followed our laws, but they don’t.

From the data we have, we see that law abiding US citizens use their legally owned firearms to defend themselves and their families about every thirty-one seconds. Honest gun owners in the United States use a firearm to stop a sexual assault about every 2.7 minutes. Lots of these honest defenders would become victims if we disarmed them the way the gun-controllers suggest. That would turn more of us into victims rather than make us safer. That is a big problem.

About a third or more of us have guns in our homes. Civilians shoot approximately 27 million firearms cartridges each day. We would know it if law-abiding gun owners were the problem, but they’re not. Licensed, concealed carry holders are among the most law-abiding and non-violent people we can find on the entire plant.

Disarming the good guys doesn’t stop the bad guys.

That sounds like bad news and that criminals are unstoppable. Can’t we do something to reduce violent crime?

You’re right in that criminals are much more violent than we are, and they don’t obey our laws. The great news is that violent criminals are rare. Each year, most of our armed murders are committed by about two thousand members of drug gangs.  The police know who these criminals. We’ve seen murder rates drop when the police focused their efforts on these bad guys.

Most of the rest of the armed attacks in the US are by people who use illegal drugs. That is a problem we can, and we should address. We’ve seen both homicide rates and crime rates drop when the police focus on drug gangs…if the community provides addiction treatment first. I think the long term solution is to end drug prohibition, but that is another discussion.

As I said, there are some bad arguments in the gun debate, and some downright lies. If you own a gun, or if you don’t own a gun, I want you to make good choices. I think guns save lives.


About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

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    tomcatm.Heed the Call-upJack MacTionico Recent comment authors
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    Jack Mac
    Guest
    Jack Mac

    A real discussion? About what and with whom? Discuss free speech with leftist and their media. They will speak and be heard and we will speak and not be heard. Discuss arms rights with financial powerful along with their politicos and their media. Again, they will speak and be heard and we will speak and not be heard. We can not have real discussions with these people. There is no reason to talk to or at these people as they do not listen and will never heed. There are very large portions of our population that are oblivious. These people… Read more »

    musicman44mag
    Guest
    musicman44mag

    Dear Francis. The numbers of violent threats stopped on a yearly basis do not matter. Im sure your logic is that if removing all the ARs could stop one more mass shooting it is all worth it. The answer to that is, if one gun can stop one crime, it’s worth it.

    Gdubb
    Guest
    Gdubb

    The libs must disarm us in order to get the ball rolling on their well-hidden pet project/vision for our beloved Nation: http://www.america2050.org/ This is real folks.

    Notice the 2050 population map. Notice the total population allowances. Notice the similarities between the nut job AOC’s rail transport maps. They are identical. This is not a joke. We cannot let them disarm us, or we will surely end up in this circumstance.

    Macofjack
    Guest
    Macofjack

    The left doesn’t want to talk or make ‘common sense’ gun laws! They want a disarmed bunch of sheep to shear! It’s time to take off the sheep’s clothing and show the wolf underneath!

    Will Flatt
    Guest
    Will Flatt

    What people need to take away from the gun control issue is that several million Jews might have lived to a ripe old age, had Germany not gone down the gun control road. This is in fact EXACTLY why Leftists in America want to disarm everyone – so they can systematically eliminate – KILL – everyone who stubbornly refuses to consent and approve of every part of their radical agenda. If you don’t believe me, search for “Larry Grathwohl 25 million” on youtube:

    And THAT is why we MUST retain the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    MBH
    Guest
    MBH

    The left wants to take over the country, install and enforce socialism at any and all cost. That cannot happen as long as we have the 2nd amendment, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Francis King
    Guest
    Francis King

    “I don’t hear about those examples of armed self-defense. How do I know they happen?” Seriously? They don’t. The original claim of ‘300,000 to 3 million defensive gun uses every year’ is a nonsense. It was done off the back of a telephone survey that was scaled up to the population of the USA. That itself is a nonsense. On a similar basis, 6% of US citizens claim to have been abducted by aliens. When it was pointed out that there is an order of magnitude range between the bottom value and the top value, a new and better estimate… Read more »

    J Gibbons
    Guest
    J Gibbons

    The number 2.5 million per year is an accurate estimate based on the research done by several parties, including criminologist Gary Kleck, John Lott and GunFacts.org. Google and read up, although most of Kleck’s work requires a research subscription. The vast majority will never be reported as such when no shots are fired.

    Army Master Gunner
    Guest
    Army Master Gunner

    Don’t forget, the CDC came to the same conclusion as Kleck and Lott.

    JoeUSooner
    Guest
    JoeUSooner

    That’s an outright lie. The original claim was NOT based on a “telephone survey.” The leftist claim that 40% of criminals get guns from a gunshow WAS based on a telephone survey. Your statement is a lying attempt to intentionally confuse the issue. Come back when you find a little credibility or at least a little credence… you have none so far.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    I can’t speak for anyone else but my two instances were on May 15, 2013 and January 19, 2018. And yes the police were involved in both instances. And no shots fired because as my firearm came into view they stopped their physical battery upon my person. Don’t hurt old people, they might just shoot you.

    Rightful Liberty
    Guest
    Rightful Liberty

    NIce try.
    https://reason.com/blog/2018/04/20/cdc-provides-more-evidence-that-plenty-o

    When you realize you’re being told what to think, come back and play.

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    Quote: “On a similar basis, 6% of US citizens claim to have been abducted by aliens.” I consider this statement to be on par with your equally ridiculous and unfounded claims about firearms and their usage. SIX percent of US citizens abducted by aliens? Man, you need to stop hanging out in those marihootchie-smoke-filled nightclubs. I’ve known a few thousand people over the years I’ve travelled about the sun, and I can only recall ONE who made such a claim. By your claim I should have encountered at least a few dozen. I’ve also met and worked with many hundreds… Read more »

    m.
    Guest
    m.

    fk, tell someone who gives a s**t – because i don’t

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    @ Francis King You must feel water logged after drinking that much of the kool aid. We all know your statistics are as full of holes as a sieve and you do to, more than likely. Take your lies someplace else.

    Green Mtn. Boy
    Guest
    Green Mtn. Boy

    Here is a conversation,not one of the lefts choosing. The Left is anti Constitution,anti American,as such they are free to leave,oh that’s correct they were going to leave after Trump was elected and as of yet haven’t. Perhaps the simple solution is rather than banning everything from grocery sacks,straws and arms,we just ban the Left.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    So, Rob Morse, in the fourth paragraph holds himself out as some who is average concerning the knowledge of firearms and their usage in the United States. At the bottom of the article we, and everyone else, find out that Rob is NOT that average person but a writer, blogger, podcast host about firearms and that he is a NRA pistol instructor and an action pistol competitor. I find the disingenuous nature of the article off putting. YMMV.

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    So who forced you to read the article?

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    I also watch CNN on occasion. No one forces me to do anything. I am, as they say, “Free at last.”

    Ron
    Guest
    Ron

    Roy D is correct. Read his post again. The way the article is written,one does not find out till ‘after’ it is read that Mr. Morse is NOT that average person. “Who forced you to read the article?” That was dumb.

    Newell Anderson
    Guest
    Newell Anderson

    Maybe some guy with a gun!! 🙂
    Sorry!! Just couldn’t resist!!

    Wes Bielinski
    Guest
    Wes Bielinski

    Actually he’s less than average, now if he competed in 3-gun – rifle, shotgun and pistol then he’d be average. Add trap & skeet and long distance shooting competition then you could consider him above average.

    T Thomas
    Guest
    T Thomas

    Roy, I went back and re-read that fourth paragraph with consideration to your complaints. All I can see, is that you wanted something negative to say about the article. The more “off putting” thing was that it would have benefited from having an editor proof read it. But content wise, you’ve lost me.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Roy D., why can’t he be an average person? Don’t we live in an egalitarian country, where all men are created equal? Based on your statement, you must believe him to be your superior. Based on your post, he probably is. However, his statement wasn’t meant to be literal, it is a figure of speech, a commonly used phrase to show one’s humble nature, a sign that one does not believe one to be better than another. As to your stating his being a firearm instructor, etc., and that makes him uncommon(?). I, too, am a certified NRA instructor, and… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    Rob Morris has been writing articles for Ammoland for a long time. We, regulars, all know who he is and I have never read an article of his that I disagree with. I think you are picking at straws for nothing.