Gun Control & Firearms
When we hear about a shooting on the news, we immediately want to take action. Many leaders today tell us that the action we need to take is to support more gun control.
But will gun control keep us safe? Actually, Americans’ right to keep and bear arms has a surprising benefit: it results in safer communities. When our right to self-defense is limited, our neighborhoods are less safe.
Keep reading for more facts about gun control and solutions to prevent violent crime.
Dig deeperUse our resources below to learn more about this issue and how you can help find a solution.
Does gun control make us more safe?
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 we hear those in the media and some politicians say, “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. Now it’s up to you: do you want a future for your children with more gun control that is less safe, or one with more freedom and safety?