Posted By Levi
April 12th, 2012 6:09pm
I would like to draw attention again to the 2012 Children Defense Fund report that I mentioned in this recent post. I just finished reading the entire report and it is really a good place top start if you are cconcerned about the threat that guns posed to our society.
The death of Trayvon Martin has brought back this issue in the foreront once again and let’s hope we can get sensible gun laws in the near future. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg once again called upon Washington politicians to stand up to the gun lobby. According to the Mayor, “Every one of the criminals who has shot at our police officers possessed his gun illegally. Every one. And make no mistake: It will happen again — and again — until those in Washington stop cowering before the gun lobby.”
The report debunks some of the popular myths about guns.
• Myth : Gun deaths and injuries are mostly an urban problem.
The Truth: While the majority of teen gun homicides occur in large urban areas, rural and urban children and teens are equally likely to die from gun injuries. ural children and teens are more likely to be victims of suicide or accidental shootings; urban children and teens are more likely to be homicide victims.
• Myth : Gun deaths mostly occur in the course of other criminal activity.
The Truth: In 2008, just over one in four gun homicides with known circumstances was the result of a felony where the victim was killed while being raped or robbed or in the course of another serious offense. The vast majority of gun homicides were the result of some other situation that turned deadly, presumably because a gun was present. As the list of selected incidents of gun violence in this report demonstrates, the terrible truth is that there is no place to hide from gun violence in a society that allows easy access to guns.
• Myth : Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
The Truth: Anti-gun-control advocates wrongly argue that it is the deadly intent of the people wielding the gun, not the weapons, that results in deadly violence. Yet research demonstrates that the presence of a gun intensifies a violent event and increases the likelihood that someone will die. For example, a groundbreaking and often replicated study of criminal attacks in Chicago by University of California at Berkeley law professor Frank Zimring found that the circumstances of gun and knife assaults were very similar: Incidents typically were unplanned and did not involve a clear intention to kill.
Having a gun on hand, however, made it more likely that the incident would end with a fatality. No one would dispute that guns are potentially dangerous. The federal government regulates many products deemed to be potentially dangerous, such as cars. Automobiles are subject to a host of federal health and safety standards to protect drivers and the general public, but no federal safety standards are applied to guns. It is reasonable to require that safety measures be imposed on gun owners, such as passing a background check showing fitness to own a gun, obtaining a license, and registering the gun.
• Myth : Gun laws are not effective in reducing gun violence and only punish law-abiding citizens.
The Truth: According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, states with higher rates of gun ownership and weak gun control laws have the highest rates of gun deaths. The opposite was also true: States with strong gun laws and low gun ownership rates had significantly lower rates of gun deaths. While sensible gun laws may impose a small burden on law abiding citizens they also confer a significant benefit in the form of saved lives. Everyone benefits from fewer gun deaths and increased public safety.