Guns vs. Violence December 29, 2012Posted by geoff in News.
The proliferation of eeeevil guns hasn’t had much effect on violence in California:
Gun deaths and injuries have dropped sharply in California, even as the number of guns sold in the state has risen, according to new state data.
Dealers sold 600,000 guns in California last year, up from 350,000 in 2002, according to records of sale tallied by the California Attorney General’s office.
During that same period, the number of California hospitalizations due to gun injuries declined from about 4,000 annually to 2,800, a roughly 25 percent drop, according to hospital records collected by the California Department of Public Health.
That’s actually a precisely 30% drop, but close enough for a CA newspaper. That trend is true for the nation as well:
This gives the lie to the standard gun-grabber mantra that the presence of guns leads to more violence, and a greater likelihood of death when violence occurs.
Two other points:
The Bogus “300 Million+ Guns” Statistic: A lot of people have been quoting statistics like: “310 million — Total number of nonmilitary firearms in the United States as of 2009.” So far as I can tell, those estimates came from this report by the Congressional Research Service. If you delve into the origin of the numbers, it turns out that the author added up all the firearms manufactured in the United States since 1899, subtracted exports and added imports.
Yes, you’ve got that right – the 46 million firearms manufactured from 1899 – 1945 are all included in that stat. There are another 31 million that are more than 50 years old. So 76 million of those 310 million firearms were manufactured or imported before 1963.
And if you think that 30 years is a reasonable lifespan for a firearm, 160 million of those 310 million firearms are likely to be out of commission. That’s about half.
Victims vs. Offenders: Gun control advocates tend to focus on victim statistics, since it evokes sympathy. But the current policy discussion concerns stopping offenders from perpetrating the crimes, through means such as reducing poverty, improving identification of people with violent tendencies, and restricting guns. They should really be using offender statistics.
If they truly wanted to develop policies that would directly address the plight of victims, those policies would have to be along the lines of reducing victim vulnerability. But that, of course, would lead directly to the argument that firearms should be available for self-defense.
And we can’t have that, can we?