A guest column by Don Robinson
Some time ago (back in 2017), Don answered a question, and his answer is worth reading. The question: What statistics would convince “pro-gun people” (who love guns) that less access to guns and certain guns being banned, would result in a safer America?
Well. You asked for stats, so here they are. After you read this, I’d like your response to your own question.
• There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. U.S. population about 324,059,091 (FBI numbers). Do the math: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year. [roughly 1 in 10,000.] Statistically speaking, this is insignificant! What is never told, however, is a breakdown of those 32,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:
• 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws
• 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and [presumably] justified
• 17% are through criminal activity, [including] gang and drug related or mentally ill persons – gun violence
• 3% are accidental discharge deaths
So technically, “gun violence” is not 32,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?
• 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago
• 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore
• 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit
• 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington DC
So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.
This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation, or about 75 deaths/state on average. Because some States have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169 and Alabama had 1.
Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California, of course, but understand, so it is not guns causing this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminals residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equally, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.
Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault all is done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous. That’s why they are criminals.
But what about other deaths each year?
• 40,000+ die from a drug overdose
• 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths [Don wrote this before COVID-19, which we are now told (over two-and-a-half years) had nearly a million die with (not from) COVID-19.
• 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities(exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide)
Now it gets good:
• 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors. You are safer in Chicago than when you are in a hospital!
• 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It’s time to stop the double cheeseburgers! So what is the point? If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10% decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.). A 10% reduction in medical errors would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides… Simple, easily preventable 10% reductions!
So you have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, why the focus on guns? It’s pretty simple.:
Taking away guns gives control to governments.
The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarm the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace.
Thus, the Second Amendment was proudly and boldly included in the U.S. Constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.
So the next time someone tries to tell you that gun control is about saving lives, look at these facts and remember these words from Noah Webster: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force at the command of Congress can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.”
So please be honest here. After understanding this do you honestly believe more gun control laws will make America safer than any other control laws for any other potential risk? Be honest. Please. With support for that. Thanks.
IF you really believe that the people you are talking to/arguing with over guns are sincere in their belief that banning and restricting guns will save lives in the States, this sort of information can be used and they MAY be won over.
Tactically, do this in a series of Colombo-style questions. “How many people are killed by guns here in the US each year?” “Do you know why they are killed by guns?” (Suicide, accident, etc.) “What defines someone as a criminal?” And so forth.
Don’t just win an argument. Win an ally!