March 24, 2013 By Jack Jodell.
The pre-Christmas senseless murders of defenseless 6 and 7 year olds by automatic weapons at Sandy Hook Elementary School atill weighs heavily on my mind. So, too, does the infuriatingly slow and pitifully weak response by Congress (especially its Republican members) to effectively deal with this ever-rising gun violence in the United States. As I began my research for this post, I was shocked and outraged at how severe this problem has become. I share some of these FACTS on domestic gun violence below. They should help convince all doubters that we are indeed a very sick, excessively violent society badly in need of gun control. The website www.heedinggodscall.org provides this astounding information, and part was also obtained from an article which appeared in The Atlantic:
GUN VIOLENCE in the UNITED STATES
Some Indicative Data:
- The US has an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands
- Each year about 4.5 million firearms, including approximately 2 million handguns, are sold in the United States
- An estimated 2 million second hand firearms are sold each year
- The percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining (high of 54% in 1977 to 33% in 2009)
- The average number of guns per owner has increased from 4.1 in 1994 to 6.9 in 2004.
Sources: Injury Prevention (2007); ATF (2000); National Opinion Research Center (2008); Pew Research Center (2009)
More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country!
More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day!
1/2 of them are between the ages of 18 and 35
1/3 of them are under the age of 20
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds
And the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group
Gun Homicides (average annually):
Less than 50: Japan
Less than 150: Germany, Italy, France, etc.
Less than 200: Canada
MORE THAN 10,000: USA
Source: IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms of the United Nations)
Injuries and Deaths from Guns
Each time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, one is used:
- 11 times for a completed or attempted suicide
- 7 times in a criminal assault or homicide
- 4 times in an unintentional shooting death or injury
Source: Journal of Trauma, injury, Infection and Critical Care (1998)
Per Capita Annual Gun Death Rate (per 100,000 population):
Highest: Louisiana (19.04, 45.6% households contain guns)
#25: Pennsylvania (10.90)
Lowest: CT, NY, New Jersey (4.99), RI, MA, Hawaii (2.20)
Source: Centers for Disease Control
Costs of Gun Violence
- Gun violence impacts society in many ways: medical costs, costs of the criminal justice system, security precautions such as metal detectors, and reductions in the quality of life because of fear of gun violence.
- U.S. lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries total an estimated $2.3 billion
- U.S. taxpayers pay for almost half ($1.1 billion or 49%) of lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries!
Guns Recovered from Crime
- Only 1% of gun dealers account for almost 60% of crime guns recovered by police and later traced
- In one year, at least 30,000 guns were “lost” out of gun dealers inventories!
- Guns with a short “time to crime” are disproportionately represented among crime guns. Guns manufactured and sold 3 years or less, prior to recovery by police in crime make up 34 % of recovered and traced crime guns, but only 14% of the US gun stock.
- Guns sold as part of a multiple sale at a gun dealer were up to 64% more likely to be used in a crime than guns not part of such sales.
- “No background check” sales account for an estimated 40% of gun sales in the U.S.!
Sources: ATF (2000); Brady Center; National Institute of Justice (1993, 2007); Police Foundation (1997)
Distance From Legal Point of Purchase to Crime Recovery:
|Within 10 miles||More than 100 miles|
|New York City||4.4%||83%|
Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Percent of Recovered Crime Guns First Legally Purchased In-State:
New Jersey: 27% (18% from PA)
New York: 28%
Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Some Interesting Poll Data
77% of NRA members favor a waiting period for purchase of a handgun
82% of American support limiting the sales of military-style assault weapons
94% of police chiefs favor requiring a background check for all handgun sales.
Support for background checks on private gun sales, including gun shows:
- 87% of Americans overall
- 83% of gun owners
- 69% of NRA gun-owners
Support for limiting handgun sales to one per person per month:
- 65% of Americans
- 59% of gun owners
Support for registration of handguns
- 79% of Americans
- 69% of police chiefs
- 61% of gun owners
- 59% of NRA members
Sources: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll (2008); Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (2008); Mayors Against Illegal Guns (2009); National Opinion research Center (2003); American Journal of Preventative Medicine (2006); Violence & Victims(1993)
Copyright © 2010 Heeding God’s Call • 267-519-5302 • firstname.lastname@example.org
There are only two major federal laws that regulate firearm ownership and sales. The National Firearms Act of 1934 restricts civilians from owning automatic weapons, short-barreled shotguns, hand grenades, and other powerful arms. The Gun Control Act of 1968 focuses on commerce. It prohibits mail-order sales of weapons, and requires anyone in the business of selling guns to be federally licensed and keep permanent sales records. It also prohibits knowingly selling a gun to those with prior criminal records, minors, individuals with mental health problems, and a few other categories of people.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 requires licensed gun dealers to perform background checks. Background checks are not required for private gun sales (though, as mentioned above, it’s still a crime to knowingly sell a gun to someone with a criminal record). To ensure privacy, Section 103(i) of the Act prevents the Federal government from keeping the names submitted for background checks, or using this information to create any sort of registry of gun owners.
From 1994 to 2004, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban prohibited the sale and manufacture of semi-automatic weapons (in which each pull of the trigger fires one shot) with various military features such as large-capacity magazines and pistol grips. It was still legal to keep previously owned weapons. The law expired in 2004 due to a built-in “sunset” clause.
These federal laws do set minimum basic standards, and many states have also passed various types of gun laws. These laws decide which weapons are legal to own, and also set standards on sales, background checks, storage, open and concealed carrying permits, and sentencing of gun-related crimes.
Fanatical and paranoid far-right extremists like the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre tell us that the only protection against gun violence is more guns, suggesting that universal gun ownership is the only real protection one has against being fatally shot. Normal people who are in their right minds know full well how preposterous his suggestion is. Agauge of how wsildly off-base LaPierre is can be seen pn the far lower rates of gun deaths which occur in states which have very strict gun control measure, as well as the much lower rate of gun deaths which occur in foreign countries. There, of course, RATIONAL, LEVEL-HEADED people who aren’t deathly afraid that their government will swoop down on them, take their guns, and then imprison them don’t dominate their government the way paranoid crazies do here!