Let's make something clear to the scant few self-styled liberals who may have stumbled onto this site: We don't oppose gun control here at GC. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find even the most dedicated firearms enthusiast who doesn't agree that there are plenty of people out there who've lost the right to own a gun (like my wife when I fail to notice she had her hair done).
Gun rights advocates aren't immune to the tragedies of school shootings. We don't cry any less when an innocent person is a victim of gun violence. But part of what we strive to do with this site is focus on the cold, hard facts about gun ownership. Opinions are irrelevant if they aren't rooted in a clear concept of reality, right?
…Your hair looks amazing, dear. I love the millimeter you had trimmed off the side, it really brings it all together.
That's why we rounded up several infographics that detail the true numbers as they relate to gun control, gun ownership, and gun violence. Let's look at what they show us.
The Truth About Firearm Violence
The good folks over at Liberty Maniacs put this infographic together, which pulls data directly from the Department of Justice. Looks like the prevalence of semi and fully automatic firearms has had a real impact on crime, doesn't it? Also, it sure is scary that 99% of us buying guns at firearms AREN'T committing any crimes, isn't it? I believe that is referred to as sarcasm.
How Do We Stop Shootings?
Now let's look at public opinion when it comes to the best way to prevent shootings in this country. The biggest surprise we had on this poll was the amount of agreement between parties. Roughly 2/3 of us agree that greater access to mental health facilities is a big must. We'd like to throw in a shout here about Walter Reed too. It's an ongoing travesty how our wounded soldiers are treated when they come up, both in terms of physical and mental aid.
Most of us also agree on background checks for gun ownership. But the kicker here, and the one stat we appreciated the most, was that most of us agree that our EXISTING laws are enough. We don't need new laws, people. We need better management of our existing one.
The Truth About Stand Your Ground
Stand Your Ground laws have a been a major controversy in recent years, and it is easy to see why. What we found most interesting about this infographic from Top Criminal Justice Degrees was the difference between white and black opinion regarding the law. Some people argue that using reasonable fear as a defense for killing someone can be used to hide a real justification: racism. We suppose that could certainly be true. What we don't accept at GC is that if, when threatened, we shouldn't have full authority to respond with lethal defense, regardless of skin color.
You can also see from this infographic that, in reality, the total number of homicides where people cited Stand Your Ground is actually quite small. There were only 222 SYG rulings in every state that supports the law, and another 104 in non-SYG states. 302 isn't nothing, but how many more people would have been killed if they hadn't stood their ground? Something to think about.
More People Die By The Hand
Business 2 Community laid out this really nice infographic that explores the true effect of the 2nd Amendment. Look at how gun control has utterly failed a city like Detroit, which is easily one of the most dangerous cities in the US. And how about the fact that twice as many people each year are killed by hand than by a gun? Should we start banning hands now?
The Clear Benefit of Conceal Carry
A careful study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped.
This is just the beginning of a long discussion about firearms. We'll probably never have universal consensus, but it is our duty to focus hard and long on FACTS when we discuss the issue. Leave the opinions at the door, people. The 2nd Amendment doesn't need to be hindered by brash politics or fear-mongering. It is a disservice to us all when it is.