At a press conference Thursday, President Obama said, “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined in, saying, “How many innocent people in our country, from little children, to church members, to movie theater attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?”
It seems pretty logical, right? Take away the guns, and no one can shoot anyone.
To protect our children, family, friends… wouldn’t we do anything to keep them safe?
So the question is: Does gun control stop murder? Would it keep us safe?
Is that really how it works?
Fortunately, we have decades of research to look at the impact of gun control and crime.
Here’s nine facts to consider:
1. Although the President says, “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” actually the United States ranks #7 among 34 major nations for murders from mass shootings per capita.
2. The major nations with more murders from mass shootings per capita almost all have highly restrictive gun control.
3. Britain first passed gun control legislation in 1920. In 1968 the law was made more strict and in 1997 privately owned handguns were banned. The results: the homicide rate is up 52 percent since 1968 and up 15 percent since 1997.
4. Here in the U.S., Washington, DC passed a handgun ban and trigger lock law in 1976. It was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008. While the law was in effect, the DC murder rate averaged 73 percent higher than it was prior, while the US murder rate averaged 11 percent lower.
5. In 1982, Chicago also passed a handgun ban. Under the ban, the share of murders committed with handguns increased about 40 percent on average compared to before the law took effect. After the ban was struck down in 2013, Chicago’s homicide rate dropped to a 56-year-low and other crime rates declined dramatically.
That tells a different story than what we hear from the politicians, doesn’t it?
What about the flip side? What happens when there is less gun control?
6. In 1987, Florida passed a right-to-carry law, which gives citizens the right to carry a firearm. Since then, the Florida murder rate has gone down 36 percent on average.
7. In 1996, Texas passed a similar right-to-carry law. Since then, the Texas murder rate has averaged 30 percent lower.
8. In 2001, Michigan passed its own right-to-carry law. Since then the Michigan murder rate has averaged 4 percent lower, while the US murder rate has averaged 2 percent lower.
And of course, we already mentioned the positive improvements in Chicago, long considered one of the most violent cities in America.
But there’s one more question we don’t hear politicians answer: even if we ban guns, and that stops all gun-related murders everywhere, what about murders where a gun is not used?
9. According to the FBI, in 2013, there were 14,196 homicides in the U.S. Of those, 41 percent of those homicides were not committed with a firearm.
Even if we had a universal gun ban, that doesn’t address almost half of all murders.
The numbers are pretty obvious: increased gun control actually increases crime. The more we restrict gun ownership, the more we put our communities as risk.
Hopefully these facts provide some more information about the reality regarding gun control. Check out more information here.
Also, the families of those murdered in Charleston need your thoughts and prayers. If you are able, please consider a contribution to Emanuel AME Church at www.emanuelamechurch.org.