Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chattanooga Tennessee Shooting Reignites Gun Control Debate

This is what we know about guns in the United States. You may or may not like the data, but you cannot dispute the data, because facts are just that, facts. Facts are not emotional, and facts don't take sides. Let's get started.
We know American gun ownership by far surpasses gun ownership in other countries. “With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States is home to 35-50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns,” according to the Small Arms Survey.
Approximately 20% of gun owners own 65% of the guns. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reports that about 5.5 million new firearms were manufactured in America in 2010. 95% of these were for the U.S. market.
While the number of firearm homicides dropped dramatically over a 20-year period ending in 2011, the percentage of violent crimes involving firearms has stayed fairly constant, according to the 2013 survey.
In 2015 gun deaths are expected to surpass car deaths in the United States. That's according to a Center for American Progress report, which cites CDC data that shows guns will kill more Americans under 25 than cars in 2015. Already more than a quarter of the U.S. teenagers, 15 years old and up, who die of injuries in the United States are killed in gun-related incidents, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Every day in the U.S., an average of 289 people are shot. Eighty-six of them die: 30 are murdered, 53 kill themselves, two die accidentally, and one is shot in a police intervention, the Brady Campaign reports.
Guns and kids:
82 children under five years old died from firearms in 2010 compared with 58 law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the line of duty (sources: CDF, CDC, FBI) More kids ages 0-19 died from firearms every three days in 2010 than died in the 2012 Newtown, Conn., massacre (source:CDF,CDC) Nearly three times more kids (15,576) were injured by firearms in 2010 than the number of U.S. soldiers (5,247) wounded in action that year in the war in Afghanistan (source: CDF, CDC, Department of Defense) Half of all juveniles murdered in 2010 were killed with a firearm (source: Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention)
Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States.
Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. "From 1982 through 2012, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii," they found. And in most cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally. 15 of the 25 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years took place in the United States.
Harvard University researchers say U.S. mass shootings have surged in recent years, contradicting earlier studies.
The Harvard researchers said the rate of mass shootings has increased threefold since 2011, occurring on average every 64 days, compared with an average of every 200 days in the years from 1982 to 2011.
The researchers used a database created by Mother Jones to look at mass shootings, which they defined as attacks that "took place in public, in which the shooter and the victims generally were unrelated and unknown to each other, and in which the shooter murdered four or more people."
Gun Violence in the Home
Claims that guns are used defensively millions times every year have been widely discredited. Using a gun in self-defense is no more likely to reduce the chance of being injured during a crime than various other forms of protective action.
Guns kept in the home are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal unintentional shooting, criminal assault or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense. That is, a gun is more likely to be used to kill or injure an innocent person in the home than a threatening intruder.
Though guns may be successfully used in self-defense even when they are not fired, the evidence shows that their presence in the home makes a person more vulnerable, not less. Instead of keeping owners safer from harm, objective studies confirm that firearms in the home place owners and their families at greater risk. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that living in a home where guns are kept increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide by between 40 and 170%. Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology similarly found that “persons with guns in the home were at greater risk of dying from a homicide in the home than those without guns in the home.” This study determined that the presence of guns in the home increased an individual’s risk of death by homicide by 90%
The following report which used data from 2012, the most recent year for which national data is available. In that year, 1,706 females were murdered by males in single-victim/single-offender incidents. That's 33 victims every week and more than four every day.
Just as in previous years, it was found the most common weapon men use to murder women is a gun. For homicides in which the murder weapon could be identified, 52 percent of victims were shot and killed with a gun. The most common firearm was a handgun, used in 69 percent of the homicides committed with guns.
States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
In 2011 economist Richard Florida studied the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.

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