Heritage Foundation: Eight Stubborn Facts Regarding Gun Violence in America (VIDEO)
In the latest installment in the Heritage Foundation’s “Heritage Explains” series, the think-tank has provided eight stubborn facts that gun-grabbers continue to overlook as they tug on America’s heartstrings to coerce people into giving up their Second Amendment right.
Here are the eight inconvenient truths:
1. Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades
“In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013,” the Washington Post reports.
2. The biggest safety concerns with guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings
School shootings have killed 41 people in the U.S. since 2013, based on a Time analysis. Meanwhile, 63% of the 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms” in the US were suicides.
3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 50 percent of murders occur in 2 percent of the nation’s 3,142 counties, so where you live is an important factor.
If you are in a gang or involved with drugs, you are also more likely to become a victim of gun violence. It is estimated that 15-33% of shooting victims are linked with gang and drug activity.
4. Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people
According to the PEW Research Center, Americans living closer to cities, either in the suburbs (19%) or in urban areas (28%), are more likely to say gun violence is a big problem near them. Among gun owners, rural residents are much less likely to see gun violence as a problem in their community; just 5% say this is a very big problem while 16% of suburban gun owners say the same.
Gun violence is most common in poor urban areas and frequently associated with gang violence, often involving male juveniles or young adult males.
CNS News adds that almost all mass public shooters have extensive histories of mental health issues (whether delusional/psychiatric or depression/anger), disturbing behaviors, or interpersonal violence.
5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime
The rate of gun ownership is significantly higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but urban areas experience drastically more gun violence.
“Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws,” CNS News notes.
6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
States with relaxed gun control laws like New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, and Oregon, have some of the lowest homicide rates. States with more extreme gun control laws, such as Maryland and Illinois have the highest murder rates.
7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
According to a report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year, drastically more than they are used for murder or suicide.
8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
“As a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population,” CNS reports.