The facts that neither side wants to admit about gun control

Washington, DC (TFC) – A church was shot up by a lunatic. The US government never lets a tragedy or crisis pass without attempting to find a new way to restrict the American people. So, we can expect a renewed push for gun control. There is a lot of propaganda about gun control. So much so that the truth has been lost.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) would have you believe that guns stop murders. The gun control lobby would have you believe that gun control reduces murders. They are both wrong. Gun bans have always had the same effect once implemented: none. They do not create a (sustained) period of increased murders, nor do they reduce the rate of homicides. The gun control crowd is currently stomping their feet and screaming “No, it reduces violence! I’ve seen the statistics.” What you probably saw were studies that point to reduced instances of “gun murders,” not murder. The pro-gun crowd is screaming that gun bans cause crime. At least this is grounded in reality. Typically, there is a spike in murders immediately after a ban, but it is short lived.

Gun control is designed to stop people from killing each other, at least that’s what we are always told. Let’s take a look at the data:

United Kingdom: The UK enacted its handgun ban in 1996. From 1990 until the ban was enacted, the homicide rate fluctuated between 10.9 and 13 homicides per million. After the ban was enacted, homicides trended up until they reached a peak of 18.0 in 2003. Since 2003, which incidentally was about the time the British government flooded the country with 20,000 more cops, the homicide rate has fallen to 11.1 in 2010. In other words, the 15-year experiment in a handgun ban has achieved absolutely nothing.

Ireland: Ireland banned firearms in 1972. Ireland’s homicide rate was fairly static going all the way back to 1945. In that period, it fluctuated between 0.1 and 0.6 per 100,000 people. Immediately after the ban, the murder rate shot up to 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1975. It then dropped back down to 0.4. It has trended up, reaching 1.4 in 2007.

Australia: Australia enacted its gun ban in 1996. Murders have basically run flat, seeing only a small spike after the ban and then returning almost immediately to preban numbers. It is currently trending down, but is within the fluctuations exhibited in other nations.

Plain and simple. Gun control has no significant impact on murder rates. Removing firearms does not typically create massive lawlessness. It is a moot point. These figures aren’t a secret. Why would the governments of these nations want a disarmed populace? For the answer, it is best to look at a nation that has had long-time gun bans that is currently relaxing their laws. Russia recently relaxed its firearms laws. For the first time in recent memory, a Russian citizen can carry a firearm. The prohibited items speak volumes about what a government’s motive behind disarming the population is. Russia has allowed “smoothbore long barrelled guns, pistols, revolvers, and other firearms, as well as Tasers, and devices equipped with teargas.” That’s almost everything, what is still banned? Rifles. So the Russian government has made it clear that the real objective is to remove rifles from civilian hands. The reasoning is pretty clear: you need rifles to overthrow a government. [Correction on January 3, 2016: The law is more nuanced than it appeared in our source information. Please see footnote at bottom of page.]

The Real Reason Gun Control Will Never Work:

M-11 Image Source: Stephen Z, Flickr, Creative Commons

Image Source: Stephen Z, Flickr, Creative Commons

Home Depot. Most people in the gun control lobby know nothing about firearms or their construction. Everything you need to manufacture firearms is available at Home Depot. The materials needed to manufacture a 12 gauge shotgun cost about $20. If someone wanted to build a fully automatic Mac-10 style submachine gun, it would probably cost about $60. Every electrician, plumber, and handyman in the country has the materials necessary to manufacture firearms in their shop. The items are completely unregulated. They aren’t like the chemicals necessary to manufacture methamphetamines. How is the battle against that black market working out?

Poverty has a greater correlation to violent crime than access to firearms. Education and poverty are directly linked. In short, we don’t have a gun problem in the United States, we have a cultural problem.

We have a society that panders to the basest desires and instincts. One of those is violence. We live in a society where women are given dirty looks for breastfeeding in a restaurant, while over their heads on the wall-mounted television plays a movie that graphically depicts someone being tortured to death. We are desensitized to violence, and we have a generation of people that do not have the coping skills necessary to deal with reality.

Firearms are the Pandora’s Box of the United States. The box is open, it can’t be closed through legislation. If you want to change society, you have to actually change the whole of society. You can’t blame an inanimate object that’s availability has absolutely no correlation to murder and expect to end violence.


Correction from reader: As a Russian citizen currently living in the country, I would like to make the correction that rifles are not banned, and muzzle-loaded rifles are available without a license. Firearms with rifled barrels are in fact legal for ownership either by registered collectors, former law enforcement or military personnel with special permissions, or by any citizen who has held a smoothbore or self-defense concealed-carry license for 5 years. The types of weapons explicitly banned are as follows: -lethal handguns (must be stored by owner in shooting club, illegal for storage in private domicile without special permissions, non-lethal self-defense rubber bullet, gas, or beanbag firearms are allowed) -long bladed “cold weapons” such as swords, axes, or machetes (that exceed specified characteristics to be considered a “cold weapon,” can be stored at home, but not carried or transported) -explosives exceeding maximum size limit or containing lethal projectiles -firearms capable of automatic fire (without special permissions) – concealable lethal firearms under maximum length limit (with the folding stock extended, folding stocks are legal) -non-lethal self-defense firearms that have been converted to fire lethal ammunition In closing, as a Russian firearms owner and enthusiast, I agree with the general conclusion and messages of the article in question, but I do not agree with the statement on Russian gun laws, which I consider inaccurate, and the message that the article infers that the Russian government is sending through these bans. I hope at least the inaccurate statement is corrected. A significant portion of our firearms legislation is ill-informed and ineffective, something I don’t agree with, but the statement in this article is inaccurate, I say this as an owner of a converted semi-automatic 1970’s AKM. Here is an English-language source to back up my statements if extra confirmation is required:

25 comments for “The facts that neither side wants to admit about gun control

  1. June 20, 2015 at 2:58 am

    “…we have a generation of people that do not have the coping skills necessary to deal with reality.”

    You’re an optimist.

    We have at least two generations who are very nearly unable to even recognize reality, let alone deal with it.

  2. Jamey
    October 4, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Interesting, but what I’d really like to know is not the effect of gun bans on murder, but it’s effect on mass murders…shootings like the recent one in Oregon. Really, the number of victims of mass shootings is a very small percentage of the total number of people murdered each year. So yes, while gun bans may have an insignificant effect on total murders, that’s really not the point. People are going to murder people – stopping that would be an impossible task. more But that’s not the same as cutting back on the frequency of mass murder/shootings.

    I think this article is a red herring – a smokescreen – obscuring the truth by presenting statistics that are not relevant to the issue.

  3. Robert Stone
    October 7, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Look at Mexico’s gun laws and mass murder rates. Mass murders were done in our country before the time of semi-automatic weapons. Native tribes (and Europeans tribes for that matter) people did it with bows, arrows, spears and clubs. Hatred and mental illness will not be controlled by laws or bans on weapons. It is entirely too easy to manufacture in one’s own workshop weapons of mass destruction.

  4. Joel
    October 8, 2015 at 10:42 am

    You see them laughing at you? We’d have a lot less mass shooting if people realize they are being played for fool by the government Hoax!

    Look at this one, Look Maw, No real Bullets!

    Everyone of them has been set up hoax by our trusted government, to disarm people, make them sitting ducks!

  5. Jamey
    October 9, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Joel, this summer I met a women (we spent 5 days in close quarters on a small 30-person sailing ship) who teaches at Virginia Tech and who personally knew individuals involved in that shooting. I am convinced that shooting wasn’t a ‘government hoax’.

  6. Jyoti Das
    October 9, 2015 at 11:29 am

    This is a pretty well-researched article which is why I wonder: why did you decide to focus on gun murders and completely ignore gun suicides, which account for the majority (>60%) of gun-related deaths?

  7. Joe in Seattle
    October 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    “Plain and simple. Gun control has no significant impact on murder rates.”

    Wrong. This article has a lot of false equivalency.
    It argues that because the number of murders hasn’t gone down in Australia since their gun control Act of 1996, gun control does not reduce murder.

    But Australia was already a country with a lot more gun control than the US, little gun violence, and few murders. It therefore stands to reason that gun control does reduce murders.

    Furthermore, Australia’s Act of 1996 which did away with all semi-automatic weapons did accomplish its goal: there have been no more mass murders with high-powered weapons there.

  8. Rodger in Portland
    October 11, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Hi Joe,

    I don’t understand your argument. I jumped on Wikipedia and found mass murders after 1996 in Australia.

  9. Efftup
    October 11, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Since the Australian Gun ban after the Port Arthur massacre there have been NO mass shootings in Australia.

    Since the handgun ban in the UK in 1997 (following restrictions after the Hungerford Massacre in 1985) there has been ONE mass shooting in the UK

    I don’t know about Australia, but the thing is, the UK never really had many of these things in the first place though. It certainly seems to be at least as cultural as it is about how many gun are available

  10. Fred
    October 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Although horrific, mass murder is very rare. More Americans have died from lack of access to medical care.

  11. Justin King
    October 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Mass murders after Port Arthur… (some are shootings)

    Childers Palace Fire – In June 2000, drifter and con-artist Robert Long started a fire at the Childers Palace backpackers hostel that killed 15 people.
    Monash University shooting – In October 2002, Huan Yun Xiang, a student, shot his classmates and teacher, killing two and injuring five.
    Churchill Fire – 10 confirmed deaths due to a deliberately lit fire. The fire was lit on 7 February 2009.[5]
    Lin family murders – On July 2009, Lian Bin “Robert” Xie killed his sister, her husband and three members of their family (5 persons from the Lin family) with a hammer. The faces of the victims were so disfigured that forensics had to be used to identify them. The motivation for the family massacre were partly because Lin had criticised Xie for not having a job.
    2011 Hectorville siege – A shooting that took place on 29 April 2011, in Hectorville, South Australia. It began after a 39-year-old male, Donato Anthony Corbo, shot four people on a neighbouring property (three of whom died), and also wounded two police officers, before being arrested by Special Operations police after an eight-hour siege.[6]
    Quakers Hill Nursing Home Fire – 10 confirmed and as many as 21 people may have died as a result of a deliberately lit fire in a Quakers Hill nursing home. The fire was lit early on 18 November 2011.[7]
    Hunt family murders – Geoff Hunt killed his wife and three children before turning the gun on himself on September 9, 2014.[8]
    Cairns stabbings – A woman stabbed 8 children to death on 19 December 2014. 7 of them were her own.[9]

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