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Gun rights activists are in the fight of their lives. While there have been some wins in the last year or so, there have been a whole lot of setbacks. Perhaps the worst is that Democrats are once again emboldened to pursue anti-gun legislation, something they’d learned was a losing cause a while back. Now, we’re back at it.
Those who want to restrict gun ownership, however, aren’t getting an easy fight. Nor should they.
You see, there are some facts about violence in the United States–the reason typically cited for why we need gun control–that will keep anti-gunners awake at night.
As emotions morph from grief to anger to resolve, it is vitally important to supply facts so that policymakers and professionals can fashion solutions based on objective data rather than well-intended but misguided emotional fixes.
Are there ways to reduce gun violence and school shootings? Yes, but only after objectively assessing the facts and working collaboratively to fashion commonsense solutions.
Here are eight stubborn facts to keep in mind about gun violence in America:
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- Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.
- The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.
- A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
- Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.
- Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
- There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
- Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
- Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
Each of these facts is firmly based on empirical data. Here’s a deeper look.
It’s also worth noting that the trend for violent crime decreasing tends to correspond to the liberalization of gun laws throughout the nation. While correlation doesn’t equal causation, if the claims of gun control activists had any merit, we’d see the opposite.
The fact of the matter is that violence is a complicated problem. Trying to separate gun violence from other forms of violence is pointless. No one feels better that their loved one was stabbed to death. Focusing on a tool used does nothing to combat the underlying issues, issues we only barely understand.
Every solution proposed by anti-gunners is the simple idea that if we somehow restrict law-abiding citizens from owning guns, we’ll somehow make the problem go away.
That’s not how it works.
If any of these people want to combat violent crime, then they’d at least be willing to talk about other potential solutions. After all, those eight facts show that the problem isn’t guns.
Yet practically none of them do. It’s like they want violence to continue or something.