Is the Gun Dangerous, or is it the Criminal?

Carjackers Stopped by Armed Driver - Armed Citizen Stories, iStock-595328708
Is the Gun Dangerous, or is it the Criminal?, iStock-595328708

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The world is fascinatingly complex yet important truths are often simple. We shouldn’t take that too far since most simple answers are also wrong or incomplete. That tension helps make life so interesting as we try to understand the world around us. For example, we saw violent crime increase in the last few years. Should we try to keep violent criminals away from guns, or should we try to keep violent criminals away from us? Is the tool dangerous or is the person dangerous? Let’s look at both ideas and see if there are any simple answers to be found.

When we look for simple solutions we see that criminals use guns to commit violence. That sounds like the case is closed but there is more evidence to uncover. If we keep looking then we find that innocent victims also use firearms to stop violence. That means the answers are not black and white but shades of gray.

When we look at all firearms we see that a vanishingly small fraction of the guns owned by civilians were used in violent crime each year (1 in 1400). Now we look deeper and find out that honest citizens used a firearm for self-defense over 1.6 million times a year. That is more people than live in New Hampshire or Hawaii. Each year, more people use a firearm for self-defense than the population of Wyoming and Vermont combined. Armed defense is common.

Proportions matter when we’re looking at shades of gray. We use a firearm for self-defense six times more often than a firearm is used in violent crime (5.98). Good guys with guns save lives. That is both simple and true.

Is safety that simple?

Despite the facts that guns overwhelmingly stop crime, New York State legislators passed a law to lets the public sue gun manufacturers because criminals used a “dangerous” gun that the manufacturers released into the public. That obviously misses the target of reducing crime. Either those New York lawmakers missed the facts or they didn’t care about honest citizens who defend themselves. Politics is obviously complex.

When we look at how criminals behaved, we see that most violent crimes (85%) didn’t involve a firearm at all. Said another way, if we would magically disarm everyone, that wouldn’t hamper the vast majority of violent criminals. Instead of reducing crime, disarming the innocent victims makes it easier for the criminals and would lead to more violence.

Young men commit most violent crimes. Young men are stronger than old men, and far stronger and faster than most women. Disarming women and the elderly makes them much more vulnerable to violent criminals.

Few of us want that. Disarming the good guys hurts honest citizens who want to protect their family. That isn’t an abstract theory, but common practice as we use a gun for self-defense over a million times a year.

Let’s step away from the soundbites. Look at human nature instead and think of the people you know. Some of the people you know are completely trustworthy while others are not. Some resist any temptation while others can’t be trusted with a penny. We are not all the same. When it comes to violence, some of us are a danger to others and most of us are not. It is the person who is a danger to others rather than the tools they use. Again, that is both simple and true.

Violent criminals are not like us. Most of us will never commit a violent crime, yet we know that a few people will victimize others. Most murders are committed by a few hitmen in drug gangs. 64 percent of felons who served time for a violent crime were re-arrested. 41 percent of violent criminals were later re-convicted of subsequent crimes. 34 percent of them were re-incarcerated. Some people practice a life of violent crime.

Shades of gray matter and a violent criminal is 500 times more likely to re-offend than a firearm is likely to be used in a violent crime.

In contrast, firearms manufacturers built a product that we overwhelmingly use to save lives in armed defense. If we’re looking for people who increase the risks for all of us, then let’s sue New York politicians, judges, and prosecutors who put dangerous recidivist-criminals back on our streets. Now that will save lives


About Rob Morse

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

 

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Don

I gather that I am an exception to the rule. That rule being most of us wont ever need our gun. Over a 50 year period, I have stopped three felony assaults. Two were a bad person and they had an edged weapon and one with a pipe.

Last edited 3 months ago by Don
GomeznSA

Once upon a time in another lifetime in a galaxy far far away I had numerous ‘professional’ encounters with a long time felon – he had been on the Rock at one time in his nefarious career. We didn’t become ‘friends’ by any means and I certainly would not turn my back on him but there was a measure of mutual respect that developed. He knew that If I saw him out and about I would do what the law required – never mind that he always had warrants out for him so it was easy. I tell this to… Read more »

Happy Everafter

Well, Mr. Morse, you are wrong! According to my socialist/communist wife, FOX News created all those lies about 1.6 million annual armed defense situations (I’ve heard it as high as 2.2 million). Just isn’t true…
And yes, she believes people who own guns, especially those hideous ‘black’ guns, are all suddenly dangerously armed potential criminals – thus, it’s the gun’s fault.
So I guess the indefensible logic of your fine story missed the democratic communist party’s more correct agenda-driven ‘guns-are-evil’ point of view.
😉

Last edited 3 months ago by Happy Everafter
Ronnie

ALL CRIMINALS ARE “DANGEROUS’ – with or WITHOUT A GUN / KNIFE/ BRASS KNUCKLES—But LOGICALLY= any INEXPERIENCED PERSON WITH A GUN ( can be DANGEROUS) ! but – IMO- Yes CRIMINALS Are Dangerous with FIREARMS = BUT YET “ANTI-GUN ORG’S ” > OUR GOV.T> ARE/ HAVE : BEEN TRYING TO DISARM THE AMERICAN CITIZENS ! WHICH WILL: INCREASE CRIMINAL ACTS AGAINST ‘UNARMED – DEFENCELESS ” CITIZENS ( if these anti-gun org’s / Gov’t) had their Way! Seems Like A INHUMANE ACT AGAINST US LAW ABIDING CITIZENS TO “DISARM US ” = WHEN CRIMINALS “ARE THE PROBLEM” & NOT US CITIZENS!… Read more »

DDS

Keep in mind that when you see a criminal someone else sees a constituent.

I ain’t making that up.

When Florida was debating passage of its version of a 10-20-Life law, one state house representative said it would not be fair to his constituents.

As a Cajun friend used to say, “That’s a true fact!”

Last edited 3 months ago by DDS
Ronnie

Lawyers that Defend CRIMINALS And call Them CONSTITUENTS= IMO- makes the Lawyer a CRIMINAL As well! I know our JUSTICE system Calls for Equality In Laws of our nation – if its OBVIOUS A crime was Committed why Should a Criminal Have an Attorney ? Isn’t the JUDGE the reason They Have a POSITION IN COURTS To be-The Determination of said Crime(s) ? trial By JUDGE & JURY – the judge Should Actually Be working the case On BEHALF OF BOTH ” PLAINTIFF & DEFENDANT’ ! In So Doing Get Rid of EVIL LAWYERS That have Indeed RUINED OUR LAWS… Read more »

Don

People need lawyers. Where would Kyle Rittenhouse be without lawyers?

Stag

Wow, how very totalitarian of you.

Wild Bill

But Ronnie the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that we all shall have a lawyer if any of the governments accuse us of anything. You don’t want to be against the Constitution, do you? Being obvious that someone actually committed a crime is what the fair trial is all about. If the government prosecutor can not make it obvious (beyond a reasonable doubt) to the jury, that a crime was committed and this person did it, then the accused must be let go. We can not begin by presuming someone is a criminal just because the police say so.… Read more »

swmft

that is why stand your ground is important , vote them out one constituent at a time, slower but it works. Make every shot count.

JayWPB

That was one of the few times that Alcee Hastings actually spoke the truth.

Cruiser

The only fair is state fair, and that only happens once a year.

GomeznSA

Cruiser – ya forgot county fairs!

When it comes to personal/family defense, a responsible Citizen will do what is needed to protect them.