10 Argument for Gun Control

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There’s no doubt about it—we sure do love our guns. Last year, the small arms survey concluded that the United States has 88.9 firearms for every one hundred people. That’s more than Yemen, Mexico, Pakistan, and the West Bank/Gaza combined. Yet there’s a heck-load of research out there indicating that a pinch of gun control would keep us safer, and potentially even save our lives.

10: More Guns Equal More Homicides
If you compared gun ownership levels with homicide rates, what would you expect to see? Fewer people willing to start a fight when everyone is armed? No correlation at all? Well, not exactly: according to decades of data analyzed by the Harvard School of Public Health, guns and homicides go together like Nicholas Cage and terrible movies.Put simply, if your fellow citizens have easy access to guns, they’re more likely to kill you than if they don’t have access. Interestingly, this turned out to be true not just for the twenty-six developed countries analyzed, but on a State-to-State level too. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you definitely won’t get shot in Massachusetts—just as it’s entirely possible that you’ll live ninety years in Arizona and never experience the slightest harassment. But statistically, the trend holds true. And on the subject of statistics… 9: More Guns Also Equal More Suicides

There’s a widespread perception that committing suicide is like planning a wedding or something; you sit down, give it a lot of thought, set a date, and get on with it. But study after study indicates that suicide is not so much a rational decision, but something people do on the spur of the moment—meaning that a lack of access to a death-shooting murder-stick at that critical moment could be the difference between life and death.It might sound far-fetched, but look at the evidence: according to this report in the Boston Globe, States with high levels of gun ownership have a suicide rate almost twice as high as those with low ownership levels. Even more worrying, people who committed suicide were found to be seventeen times more likely to live with guns at home than not. Now, you might assume that gun owners or gun owning States are more likely to have mental health issues (for whatever reason), but research shows this isn’t true. So you have a bunch of people exactly as miserable as people in other states, but anywhere between two and ten times more likely to end up “going the Heming-way.”

8:The Public Supports (some) Gun Control
For all the claims of politicians that they represent the public, the truth is that they basically don’t. For every “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” type sticking up for the little guy, there are about two hundred others doing their best to trample him into the ground. Case in point: at least fifty-four percent of Americans support very strict gun laws, with that number rising to a whopping ninety-one percent (LINK 6) when it comes to common-sense stuff like required background checks. You may recognize this as the same common-sense policy Congress recently shot down in what can only be assumed was an effort to become even more unpopular. This support for gun control, by the way, is pretty bipartisan: even with controversial stuff like reinstating the assault weapons ban, roughly half of Republicans are in favor, along with a majority of Democrats and Independents. In other words, people are largely pro-gun control—it’s the politicians who aren’t.

7:Most Massacres Utilize Legal Weapons
Between 1982 and 2012, the US had roughly sixty-two mass shootings. That’s an astonishing number—but it’s not what I’m driving at. Instead, this research by Mother Jones (scroll down halfway) shows that, of those sixty-two shootings, forty-nine were perpetrated using legal weapons. And guess what? Half of all mass shooters used assault weapons or high-capacity magazines—meaning that a few sensible restrictions could have saved a heck-load of lives. While someone really determined to pull off a...
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