While sitting in Delhi, India- I sometimes notice that there is one big new worthy gun related incident in the United States every six months (latest incident Gabrielle giffords incident) and the mythical NRA (which seems just as powerful as equally mythical Jewish American or Cuban American lobby ) . As someone who once trained to fire guns (.22 and SLR -rifles actually), comes from a gun friendly culture (namely Punjabi-North Indian), my dad carried a gun sometimes as a police officer during his 30 plus years of service, I dont really like guns (except when they are in a movie). My 3 yr old son likes guns a lot (for some peculiar genetic reason even though we are careful not to show him any violent TV or movie at all).
So to settle the whole guns are good- guns are bad thing I turned to the one resource -Internet
Here are some findings-
1) A lot of hard statistical data on guns is biased by the perspective of the writer- it reminds me of the old saying Lies, True lies and Statistics.
2) There is not a lot of hard data in terms of a universal research which can be quoted- unlike say lung cancer is caused by cigarettes- no broad research which can be definitive in this regards.
3) American , European and Asian attitudes on guns actually seem a function of historical availability , historic crime rates and cultural propensity for guns.
Switzerland and United States are two extreme outlier examples on gun causing violence causal statistics.
4) Lot of old and outdated data quoted selectively.
It seems you can fudge data about guns in the following ways-
1) Use relative per capita numbers vis a vis aggregate numbers
2) Compare and contrast gun numbers with crime numbers selectively
3) Remove drill down of type of firearm- like hand guns, rifles, automatic, semi automatic
Maybe I am being simplistic-but I found it easier to list credible data sources on guns than to summarize all assumptions on guns. Are guns good or bad- i dont know -it depends? Any research you can quote is welcome.
Data Sources on Guns and Firearms and Crime-
* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.
* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.
* Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010:
|Households With a Gun||Adults Owning a Gun||Adults Owning a Handgun|
|Number||47-53 million||70-80 million||40-45 million|
* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:
|Category|| Percentage Owning
* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:
|Protection Against Crime||67%|
|Definition Source Printable version|
Showing latest available data.
|# 1||South Africa:||31,918|
|# 4||United States:||9,369|
|# 8||El Salvador:||1,441|
|# 12||Czech Republic:||181|
|# 16||Costa Rica:||131|
|# 34||Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of:||26|
|= 39||United Kingdom:||14|
|# 42||New Zealand:||10|
Bureau of Justice Statistics
or the brand new website (till 2009) on which I CANNOT get gun crime but can get total
- More Infringements on Our Gun Rights (lewrockwell.com)
- Rep. Giffords Joined 276 Americans that Day Killed or Wounded by Guns (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
- Myth About Gun Violence (socyberty.com)
- Tell the Arizona Shooting Victims That Guns Don’t Kill (thedailybeast.com)
- Jacob M. Appel: Want a Gun? Get a Prescription! (huffingtonpost.com)
- America and Guns, Once More (nytimes.com)
- Gun Control Timeline: 7 Big Events In The Federal Gun Control Debate (huffingtonpost.com)
- After Tucson: Why Are the Mentally Ill Still Bearing Arms? (time.com)
- Guns (fishofgold.wordpress.com)