With recent separate shootings (man kills eight in August / another man kills seven in September) I’ve been seeing lots of the usual blame. You know, “America’s lunatic obsession with guns”, the NRA, the Second Amendment, hillbilly rednecks who are so dumb compared to NYC and West Coast elites, etc.
It’s been a while since I’d addressed, so here goes again:
In the US, there are well over 300 million guns in private hands. I last ran the numbers a few years ago on the CDC and crime numbers available 2011, which at the time were “the latest”. Here’s what it showed:
Assuming a unique gun per murder (which as the examples above clearly show is NOT the case), a privately owned U.S. gun has a 0.0037% chance of being used in a murder. That’s extraordinarily low. So low, it’s statistically irrelevant in terms of cause and effect.
But here’s the shocker: If you eliminate gang warfare (e.g., the pandemic of shootings in urban decay areas of Chicago, as noted), the odds of a privately owned gun being used to murder drops to 0.0007%. Yes, over 80% of U.S. gun murders are gang and, by direct relationship, often drug-war related.
And as a reminder, that correlation is much lower than a 0.0007% chance because gangs use the same guns for multiple murders, which also applies also outside of gang situations where you get crazy person deciding to go postal, e.g., the two articles linked at top.
In other words, gun ownership does not correlate to gun murder. Specific demographics do.
Supporting that is the fact that gun sales in the U.S. over the last decade went through the roof under increased threats of gun bans of various types, from pistols to tactical sports rifles, to magazine size and bullet availability. All of this driven from lefty authoritarian activists and politicians who believe the government elites can only be trusted to monopolize gun ownership. Indeed, the U.S. gun manufacturer lobby could not have had a better ally for profitable business than Obama.
Yet, despite record gun sales and a massive bulge in private ownership, gun murders actually declined over that period. So, despite hysteria from lefties, more guns does not = more gun crime. Instead, you could make the argument that it reduces it.