Do We Really Have a Gun Problem? The Facts Don’t Lie.

Forget the Rhetoric.  Let’s Take a Look at the Cold, Hard Numbers

HomicideMortalityCDCEvery time some violent madman, such as the islamic terrorist who recently killed a club full of people in Orlando, happens to use a firearm to carry out their perverted mission, the anti-gun left intone their mantra of “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” and spool up their rhetoric machine to incite fear and hand-wringing among the masses while they try to use emotion to push for new legislation.  “Something must be done about guns!,” they shout.  “Ban ‘assault rifles’!”  “We have a serious gun problem!”  But do we really?  The short answer is no, and here’s why…

People die.  That is how life works; it eventually draws to an end as the curtains close and we shuffle off this mortal coil.  When people die, it is from a variety of causes.  If you are into the macabre, try to catch some reruns of 1,000 Ways to Die – we will only be discussing this in the abstract.

FACT: More people have been shot and killed in Chicago so far this year than were killed by all types of rifles in all of 2014.   

Guns Don’t Kill People, Everything Else Does…

LeadingCausesOfDeathCDCThe US Department of Health and Human Services CDC report, Health, United States, 2015, aside from being a sure cure for insomnia, gives us some cold, hard data on what makes people die based on the 2,626,418 total US deaths for which they had death certificates.  To hear the anti-gun crowd tell it, gun violence must be the number one, two, and three causes of death in the US, right?  Wrong.

The number one, two, and three causes of death are heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases with the top five rounded out with “unintentional injuries” and cerebrovascular diseases.  That best-of list accounts for 1,622,304 deaths, or about 62% of deaths.  But where are the guns?  Maybe they are just a little further down…

The rest of the top ten causes of death in the US include Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza, kidney disease, and suicide, bringing the total to 1,938,479 (approximately ¾ of the total deaths), but still no guns.  Hmmm… maybe that’s because the top 16 causes of death in the US don’t involve any sort of violence against another person.  Homicide isn’t in the top-ten overall causes of death because all types of homicide combined come in at number 17 (see p106 of the report, at left).  The one notable exception is that homicide is the eighth leading cause of death among blacks in the United States, accounting for 7,876 of the total.

So, Guns Must be the 17th Leading Cause of Death?  Not so fast…

HomicideWeaponsFBIHomicides barely made the Top 20 list for causes of death in the United States – but how many are there?  Since homicides ranked so low on the CDC’s report, they didn’t even bother giving the total number of homicides recorded.  For that, we can turn to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report that covers the same time period.

The raw data used in the FBI’s report is broken down by state rather than given in aggregate data but, thankfully, they make it available in Excel format so it is easy to do math on the numbers, as shown at right.  Not only does it tell us that there were 11,961 murders in 2014, it also tells us what kinds of weapons were used in each one – way to be thorough, FBI!  They must all be cases of gun violence, right Ms. Pelosi?  Wrong again.

All 2014 homicides involving a firearm totaled 8,124.  As a side note, the CDC reports that in the same year, 9,967 deaths resulted from alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes.  Yep – drunk driving killed nearly 2,000 more people than killers with guns in a single year.  Drunk driving death numbers equate to 83% of all homicide numbers in the year studied.  But they aren’t trying to ban alcohol (again), are they?  They already figured out that bans don’t work.

Although firearms were used in about two-thirds of the recorded homicides, the majority of those cases (68.5%) involved a handgun.  All rifles, from grandpa’s deer rifle to the so-called “assault rifles”, account for only 2% of homicides – 248 total.  Astonishingly, California, which currently has an “assault weapon” ban, makes up 16% of the total US homicides involving a rifle.  That statistic is in line with the fact that California’s 1,169 homicides with a firearm account for nearly 15% of the total US homicides involving a firearm, despite (or is it because of?) the strict gun control laws on the books there.

So, if all 248 rifle-related homicides in the US only make up 0.009% (that’s less than one one-hundredth of one percent) of US deaths, and murders with so-called “assault weapons” account for only some fractional number of those, then why the big push to ban this certain type of firearm?  

Who knows.  Six times as many people were killed with knives or cutting instruments than were killed with all types of rifles.  2.6 times as many people were killed with hands, feet, fists, etc. (i.e. unarmed) and 6.5 times as many were killed with other non-firearm weapons.  In the same year that those 248 people were killed by any type of rifle, 32,675 human beings lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in the United States.  Just sayin’.

Blame the Gun!  Blame the NRA!  Blame Anything Else!

Those nearly 12,000 murders are actual human lives that have been lost, even if the numbers – particularly the numbers of firearm-related murders – are minuscule compared to… pretty much everything else.

To hear the anti-gunners spin their tale, each and every one of them was a bunch of kids in a school or a bunch of people out dancing in a club at 3AM, and they were all a gun-owning, NRA member’s fault.  However, the fact of the matter is that, for such small numbers, the majority of them happen in places where there are strict gun control laws and many of them are carried out by violent gang members who a) should be in prison already and b) are going to kill each other regardless of whether or not they can get a gun.

The government-run National Gang Center estimates that a full 13% of homicides are gang related.  An NGC report also points out that “In a typical year in the so-called “gang capitals” of Chicago and Los Angeles, around half of all homicides are gang-related; these two cities alone accounted for approximately one in four gang homicides recorded in the NYGS from 2011 to 2012.”  Coincidentally (or maybe not), Cook County/Chicago and LA/California have the tightest gun control measures of just about anywhere in the Union.

This is not to mention that many of the recent murders that have antis wetting their pants and calling for more gun control are carried out by deranged lunatics fighting on the side of more deranged lunatics who want to kill each and every one of us just for being Americans.  Here is a hint:  they are already here and are already killing us with bombs, fire, airplanes, knives, machetes, axes, and anything else that they can get their hands on, even if it is not a gun and they are doing the same thing around the globe, even (or especially) in countries where there are zero privately owned firearms.

Even if someone has managed to, in light of the numbers above, perform the mental gymnastics necessary to make the leap to the conclusion that there is a problematic number of people being killed by guns, it is incomprehensible that the solution they come up with is to ban law abiding citizens from being able to purchase and own firearms.

Well, Maybe We Can Waste Some Crises

Isn’t it interesting that the democrat representatives who tried to stage a coup to take over the US Government this week after the vote on their gun control bills failed weren’t trying harder to pass gun control before?  You know, like back when they held a majority in congress?  They just so happen to choose an election year to pull their publicity stunt with much wailing and gnashing of teeth and they just happen to do it after a muslim extremist kills a bunch of Americans on American soil.  This was a perfect “crisis” for them to exploit.

ChicagoMayorsIf the anti-gun democrats are so concerned about perceived gun violence and enacting more gun control, why aren’t they cleaning up their own house.  Why are gun control model cities Chicago and LA specifically called out by the government’s gang report?  Why has the gun free zone of our nation’s capital also been the murder capital?  Why is New York, home of billionaire Michael Bloomberg – a former mayor against “illegal guns” – as well as home of strict gun control laws, such a violent gangland?

Despite the fact that Chicago crime-boss/mayor Rahm Emanuel might just be standing on the shoulders of giants and parroting someone else’s words when he says that “you never want a good crisis to go to waste,” the anti-gun zealots really take it to heart, even if they are proving themselves to be a bunch of misguided, uninformed buffoons.  The irony there can not be overstated given the perpetual crisis that is ongoing in the sitting US President’s hometown.

Even with Chicago’s no-guns-allowed laws, under his tenure as mayor (another “mayor against illegal guns”), Chicago has seen 2,208 murders, many of which have, naturally, been firearm related.  Perhaps if he holds the office long enough he can catch up with the 14,645 murders overseen by his predecessor and fellow gun control zealot Richard M. Daley, just shy of the 10,910 murders on the watch of like-father-like-son gun control advocate Richard J. Daley when he was mayor.

If the 1,558 people shot and wounded, 281 of whom were killed, and 312 murders this year alone in one US city (a city known for its “model” gun control laws, no less) is not a crisis worth solving to these people, what is?  I’ll tell you what is… the “crisis” of a free people being able to own firearms as protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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