Comparing Car and Gun Fatalities is Misleading and Irrelevant

Is it that time of year again already? Time for the antis to trot out some ginned up stats about which to hyperventilate and ‘view with alarm’? Our pal Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center has provided the “study”, one he hopes people will gloss over without really looking too closely. Unfortunately for Josh, debunking the panty-soiling hysteria of antis is pretty much what we do . . .

Here’s Josh’s set-up:

Each day, how many motor vehicles do you see or actually use?

You probably couldn’t keep track.

Now, how about guns. How many do you see or actually use during the same period?

For most people, not that many. If any at all.

And yet, in 10 states gun deaths actually outpace motor vehicle deaths.

Mr. Sugarmann then provides the list, breaking it down by gun deaths [sic] and car deaths [sic] (note: no cars or guns were killed in the performance of this study). So laying it out in a table we see . . . not much.

State Gun Deaths MV Deaths
Alaska 104 84
Arizona 856 809
Colorado 583 565
Indiana 735 715
Michigan 1095 977
Nevada 406 255
Oregon 417 394
Utah 260 256
Virginia 836 827
Washington 623 580

The data seem kind of sparse; what were the causes of death? Were they suicides, homicides, accidents? We know that suicide rates are independent of method (that is, restricting access to firearms may reduce the suicide rate with firearms, but it does not affect the overall suicide rate) so let’s and remove suicides from the totals.

State Gun Accident and Homicide MV Accident and Homicide
Alaska 17 84
Arizona 228 807
Colorado 108 557
Indiana 267 714
Michigan 507 962
Nevada 97 254
Oregon 55 391
Utah 30 256
Virginia 285 826
Washington 118 574

Now, I know that there are some out there who would argue that I should remove homicides from the total, but as you can see, just pulling the suicides completely debunks Josh’s numbers. But let’s see what else he has to say:

While motor vehicle-related deaths are on a steady decline as the result of a successful decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy, gun deaths continue unabated.

Wow, gun deaths continue unabated, eh Josh? Not so much. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, you are a big fat liar! You can easily go here and do your own table; I used violent crime rates for the entire U.S. from 1960 to 2010 and extracted the Murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate to make this graph (free graphing available here).

Josh seems to have difficulty with words and numbers, so let’s draw it out with pretty pictures and colors, shall we? From Gun-Nuttery.com, here’s what right-to-carry looked like in 1990 (right up there at the third highest peak above):

 

And here is what it looked like in 2010 (at the very tail end of the graph, one of the lowest points):

Josh is like any good good gun grabber. If you wait long enough, they always reveal their true agenda:

And while the health and safety regulation of motor vehicles stands as a public health success story, firearms remain literally the last consumer product manufactured in the United States not subject to federal health and safety regulation.

The [ATF] is charged with enforcing our nation’s limited gun laws, yet it has none of the health and safety regulatory powers afforded other federal agencies such as NHTSA (or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency).

That was done deliberately, Josh, to keep antis like you from using consumer safety as an excuse to regulate guns out of existence. And if you think I’m being paranoid, look at California, which used state “safety regulations” to implement their microstamping requirements, loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect regulations.

Oops! Josh really lets the cat out of the bag when he quotes Dr. David Hemenway:

“[T]he time Americans spend using their cars is orders of magnitudes greater than the time spent using their guns. It is probable that per hour of exposure, guns are far more dangerous. Moreover, we have lots of safety regulations concerning the manufacture of motor vehicles; there are virtually no safety regulations for domestic firearms manufacture.”

Such an approach to injury prevention has been applied to every product Americans come into contact with every day — except for guns. And as is the case with motor vehicles, health and safety regulation could reduce deaths and injuries associated with firearms.

Aha! So what Josh really has in mind is to use safety regulations to “reduce the carnage.” But “safety regulations” would have no effect on suicide or homicide rates. So Josh must want to “reduce the carnage” from firearm accidents. A noble and worthy goal, I’m sure. What exactly are the accidental death and injury rates for firearms, as compared to cars?

As Josh so helpfully points out at the beginning, there are a lot more licensed drivers than there are permit-holders (although I think there may be more people “packing heat on your street” than he realizes), so we obviously need to do some number-crunching to be able to properly compare these rates.

I’m going to assume that permit-holders are responsible for all accidental shootings (which is ludicrous on its face, but as my faithful readers know, I like to be conservative in my calculations).

According to figures from the Census, in 2009 there were 211 million licensed drivers in the United States, and according to MSNBC, there are about 6 million gun permit holders in the U.S. That gives us 1 permit-holder for every 35.2 licensed drivers. So correcting the above table for the relative numbers of carriers and drivers gives us this:

Let’s sum up, shall we? Setting aside the fact that the freedom to own and carry a firearm is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility, ignoring the fact that defensive gun uses save twice as many lives as criminal gun uses take, guns are still safer than cars and gun owners are still safer than car owners.

Thus endeth the lesson.

174 Responses to Comparing Car and Gun Fatalities is Misleading and Irrelevant

  1. avatarMotoJB says:

    Great article and data…thanks.

    • avatarRon Neil says:

      You can determine a person’s moral compass by how he references a free man’s right to defend himself.

      • avatarDan says:

        Ron you talked about morrality, how to guage it.
        Next time you get in your car compare all the Safety features that have been installed changed over the years to protect you your family and the people around you. Seatbelts, , car locks, remote locks, built in alarms, horns, anti-lock breaks, and air bags to protect you, your passengers, automatic breaking so children don’t get run over. Not to mention the thousands of road regulations to protect the public, Stop signs etc.
        Now look at your weapon, look at every gun, 200 year old technology just an on off switch that even a 3 year old can operate, 3 kids shot a day can prove that.
        Ask yourself Why? Test your Morality.
        Why the newest models of Assault weapons just an on/off switch for safety. Why? No one’s quick drawing with an assault rifle.
        Why does a bottle of aspirin have more safety feature then my gun?
        Why doesn’t my gun have built-in safety feature so if it’s stolen the criminal can’t use it? Why don’t we want these more safety feature? I’m smart enough to operate a gun with more then an on off switch, arn’t you?
        These safety features don’t infringe on our 2nd amendment rights. It’s just common decency the ‘moral’ thing to do, while we are defending ourselves.
        Niw, without having made a single safety change in gun design in 200 years, the comment about Cars vs Guns means nothing. We have done nothing to improve on the safety of Gun, should we should be ashamed.

        But if you think about who “profits” from not having to change its 200 old technology, then it starts to come clear. Because most gun owners wouldn’t mind having to hit a few more switches before shooting a buck.

        • avatarJason says:

          Guns don’t need more safety features. You are missing the analogy (as thin as it is):

          Cars don’t have any real features that prevent their use in an unsavory way once it is accessed and put in to use (started up). Likewise, once a gun is stolen it is usable, too. Even when “smart” cars that prevent theft and driving once stolen are created, car thieves will simply avoid those cars. Same thing for “smart” guns…they’ll be avoided in favor of less sophisticated ones. So your tirade is moot.

          Education is the only safety. Always has been; always will be.

        • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

          The absurdity of this comment astounds me! Really, the thief won’t break into your house to steal your gun because they will know in advance you have a smart gun? When they accost you on the street and try to take your gun from you to use against you, they just won’t bother because you have a smart gun? As the number of smart guns increases, the number of stupid guns (oxymoron) will decline and there will be less access for the criminals. Smart guns can also prevent self inflicted wounds. You would think that any gun owner with half a brain would want this since 2/3s of gun deaths are suicides and a reduction there would further their case how “safe” these tools are. The safety features of automobile users are not just about how they are used but also about the damage caused when they are used incorrectly. The same should apply for guns. Power crazed gun owners seem to be willing to argue their invalid points to their own demise. Using intelligent thought and rules to protect everyone’s rights will ultimately preserve gun owners rights.

        • avatarDave says:

          Intelligent thought? Hardly. Just another liberal troll. Go away you are not wanted here.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      Too bad it is so misleading

      • avatarbob says:

        Exactly. This is based on guns being actually fired, but there are millions of guns carried by law abiding citizens each day that were never used in a criminal act, just as automobiles.

    • avatarDan says:

      Think, Stop and Think, Next time you get in your car compare all the Safety features that have been installed changed over the years to protect you your family and the people around you. Seatbelts, , car locks, remote locks, built in alarms, horns, anti-lock breaks, and air bags to protect you, your passengers, automatic breaking so children do get run over. Not to mention the thousands of road regulations to protect the public, Stop signs etc.
      Now look at your weapon, 200 year old technology just an on off switch that even a 3 year old can operate, 3 kids shot a day can prove that.
      Ask yourself Why?
      Why the newest models of Assault weapons just an on/off switch for safety. Why? No one’s quick drawing with an assault rifle.
      Why does a bottle of aspirin have more safety feature then my gun?
      Why doesn’t my gun have built-in safety feature so if it’s stolen the criminal can’t use it? Why don’t we want these more safety feature?
      These safety features don’t infringe on our 2nd amendment rights. It’s just common decency.
      Without having made a single safety change in gun 200 year old technology, the comment about Cars vs Gun means nothing. We have done nothing to improve on the safety of Gun, should be ashamed.

      But if you think about who “profits” from not having to change its 200 old technology, then it start to come clear. Because most gun owners wouldn’t mind having to hit a few more switches before shooting a buck. If it would save a kid.

      • avatarAl says:

        We’re not interested in any new technology for guns as they operate exactly how they’re supposed to.

      • avatarpyrodice says:

        Just a few more switches?
        So: Will law-enforcement guns be getting these, too? After all, a safety feature that just takes a few extra seconds… Who cares that they get training. In reality it’s not any more than a typical firearms enthusiast, plus: It’s not like they take seatbelts out of police cruisers just because they learn extra driving skills…

  2. you should compare the gun suicides and motor vehicle deaths for Alaska on a line graph, you’ll see a very interesting similarity between the two.

  3. avatarJason says:

    Very well done. Thank you. Of course, not all gun owners are licensed – far from it – but that only makes the denominator even larger, and guns even safer by comparison.

    • avatarMatt G. says:

      Indeed he should instead conpare all gun owners with licensed drivers since almost everyone who owns a car has a lisence for it versus relatively few gun owners having permits.

      • avatarAnne Hijme says:

        I know this is an old comment, but I couldn’t help to point out. You may be surprised by the number of drivers without a license or with an expired/suspended one.

        An article here in Tampa Bay Times, and a study done by AAA.

        • avatarSamuel Keyverdschpam says:

          Not to mention that gun owners don’t have to have a permit, where I live, anyway. Criminal gun owners will certainly not have a permit, only law abiding gun owners who live in an area where a permit is required will have a permit. Three teens killed a college baseball player, this week, with a gun. The baseball player was from Australia (happened somewhere in the US), and his mom was going on about the gun laws, and how she thought it was was wrong that we didn’t have more background checks. These three teens already had the gun illegally, as teens are not allowed to be gun owners, not allowed to have a gun without adult supervision, not allowed to commit murder, by law, already. So, considering how well the current laws kept them from killing (which is against the law)- how many more laws do we need to make, if they’re already committed to ignoring the laws?

        • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

          And…. you think more guns and therefore more availability is the way to deal with that?

  4. avatarAharon says:

    Great piece.

  5. avatarcmd says:

    The data is good information but moot. Owning and driving a motor vehicle is a privilege not a Constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT.

    • avatarDan says:

      Not everybody agrees that Gun ownership and carry is a right. So better to have data to refute their rationales for banning/limiting them.

      • avatarA Window says:

        Perhaps you should read the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights, there in writing, signed by colonial representatives is Article 2 which clearly established the right to bear arms. Further, this right is not to be limited or abridged.
        Then, perhaps you may want to study Constitutional Law and the law of Contracts. You may even find enough interest to study law at a law school where the American Bar Association in cooperation with state law has set forth to criminalize free speech in representing another in many state courts.

        • Oh, please, the writings were as flawed as the men who wrote them. You love to overlook the fact that the deified founding fathers were slave owners who denied women basic human rights. But, for you, your twisted understanding of their 2A is like something from god himself.

        • Oh please, the writings were as flawed as the men who wrote them. You love to overlook the fact that your deified founding fathers were slave owners who denied women basic human rights. But, your twisted understanding of the 2A is like something from the lips of god himself.

        • avatarLodatz says:

          Oh dear. You’re one of those people who do not know what words mean, aren’t you? Tell you what, why don’t you have a stab at figuring out what ‘well regulated militia’ means?

          Also, the process of Amendment can quite easily solve this little problem in the first place, and that IS subject to the democratic process outlined in that very same Constitution.

          In short, your argument is stupid, and the author of the article is ignorant.

          Enjoy!

      • avatarRichard says:

        Those that don’t believe gun ownership and right to carry evidently don’t believe in our Constitution and the Second Amendment. I do agree that felons, mentally unstable individuals, gang bangers and any criminal element should not have that right. All law abiding legal and responsible citizens of this country definitely have that right.

        • avatarlodatz says:

          It’s always fun to hear people spout the same nonsense about the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment was to provide for the defense of the nation, in lieu of a standing army. What exactly do you imagine a ‘well-armed militia’ to be? This right has not been necessary for national defense since the Civil War, and is now merely used by self-delusional gun lovers to justify their extraordinarily hazardous fetish.

        • avatardon says:

          Iodatz… You are correct that the 2nd amendment was to provide for the defense of the nation. Not correct about it being in lieu of a national military. It was expressly about citizens protecting themselves from government take-over… both foreign government or American dictatorship. Hitlar used gun registration information to disarm the populace of Germany prior to taking over as dictator. Don’t count out someone doing the same in the USA,

        • avatarLodatz says:

          …except that he didn’t, Don.

          Gun control had been in place since 1928, and was in fact used to prevent groups like the Nazis from effecting an armed takeover, which was the original game-plan for them. Once guns were restricted, the Nazi party had zero option but to go through legitimate political channels, and were VOTED into power by the German people.

          Then, in 1935, Hitler abolished democracy (which is the true safety-catch for freedom) and formed the Third Reich. It wasn’t until 1938, three years after he assumed full dictatorship, that guns were outright banned in 1938, and this was done merely to funnel arms production into the military.

          The 2nd Amendment is/was about summoning an army at need to defend the STATE. That’s why it was ‘well regulated’, which at the time meant supplied and provided for by the government.

          The anti-government interpretation is simply nonsense, and is as mythical as the idea that the Constitution is based upon the 10 Commandments.

          Sorry.

        • avatarDavis Martin says:

          Lodatz puked: “Tell you what, why don’t you have a stab at figuring out what ‘well regulated militia’ means?”

          It means capable of acting as a unit. Got it? What does that have to do with the rigth to keep and bear arms?

        • avatarDavis Martin says:

          lodatsz puked :”What exactly do you imagine a ‘well-armed militia’ to be? ”

          Where do the words “well-armed militia” appear???

        • avatarKnittingna says:

          Lodatz is correct about gun laws coming before Hitler. all the more reason to keep our gun rights. What he failed to mention is, hitler may have restored some of the gun laws, but he restricted ownership to non-Jew.
          It is important to tell all the truth not just some.
          You may not appreciate the constitution. My guess is you went to college and believed everything they taught you and questioned nothing. Our schools are run by people who want you to think like they do believe what they believe. They don’t want you to think for yourself. You can provide your own opinion as a teacher, but they should be required to equally offer opposing arguments with the same passion. “forefathers flawed, slave owners”. It’s proof you did no thinking or reading for yourself since very few of them were actually slave owners, but that’s how you dismiss them, falsehoods taught to you by the elite educators.

    • avatarAlmost1974 says:

      you are either brainwashed or just stupid if you think driving is a privilege,
      so who in your mind gives us this privilege? It damn sure isn’t the GOVT, being human is what gives us the right to do whatever we want, its just the crooked GOVT that tries and take away all our rights and turn them into privileges,

      GOD BLESS

    • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

      No document is timeless. The bible supports hundreds of things that are against the law today. Does it mean the bile is no good? Of course not. It means that times and society have changed. The constitution is a good framework for a government if people generally play by the rules but people today don’t play by the rules. The congress is deadlocked because the lawyers have picked apart the words and misused the intent to the extent they would rather not pass anything than to pass a compromise which meets the needs of the greater population. The constitution was written when guns could fire one shot and people would be hung in a public square for killing someone without cause. The demand for more guns under the guise of self protection is an absurd smoke screen. People want to fall back on the constitution because they want guns not because they need them. There were no cars in 1776 or I am certain someone would have put the right to own a car in there. What they did put in the documents of the US even prior to the Constitution was a declaration that every person is entitled to the pursuit of LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 30,000 people a year are robbed of the very first declaration of “LIFE” because people want to own guns.

      • avatarJoe Anderson says:

        Did you not even read the article? Many more people are robbed of “LIFE” because people want to own cars. Life is dangerous, but if we are permitted to own guns perhaps we can make it a little safer by being permitted to protect ourselves from those who would rob us of our “LIFE”.

  6. avatarBen Eli says:

    You’re awesome.

  7. avatarDerek says:

    I swear. Bruce wakes up every morning and as soon as he’s done donning a firearm he says to himself “I haven’t made an anti-gunner cry in like 12 whole hours. Time to get to work.”

    And of course, my favorites folder continues to grow.

  8. avatarSanchanim says:

    Did anyone send this to Josh. I would think he has a right to rebut the findings, and prove he isn’t a big fat liar!
    You know just saying…
    Great Article..
    I live in CA and it makes me mad everyday when I think about the stupid laws, and inequality we suffer.

    • He knows where we are. And we’d be MORE THAN happy to print any rebuttal he cares to submit. Our inbox is always open.

      • avatarbontai Joe says:

        He may know where you are, but I think you should go the extra mile and be certain he gets a copy of this for educational purposes. I’d be willing to volunteer to read it to him while in a locked room.

  9. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    Bruce, you are a machine!

  10. avatarTom says:

    Gee…Indiana sort of blows for gun accident and homicide for the population. 267. Bet most of that comes from Indy and the Gary area.

  11. avatarDan says:

    compare gun deaths to:

    * deaths caused by alcohol
    * deaths caused by smoking
    * deaths caused by fast food

    • avatarDan says:

      Yep, yep, and Fast food kills very few people.

      Sure, I’m sure a couple of people choke on it or get food poisoning, but diseases that are correlated with or caused by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle kill people. No food is inherently bad for you, no food is inherently fattening, the balance between caloric intake and output is the primary consideration here. (Poverty is probably the ultimate culprit for most of these early deaths, but that’s a totally different subject)

      • avatarMatt G. says:

        It would be impossible to quantify deaths “caused” by “fast food”.

        • avatarDan says:

          All depends on how many links back you’re willing to allow causation to reach.

          The specific food someone gorges themselves on seems a link too far in assigning cause to their death (unless they choke on it).

  12. avatarFred says:

    Nicely done Bruce.
    MOLON LABE

  13. avatarJoe Grine says:

    You schooled that fool. good job!

  14. avatarMatt G. says:

    Another excellent lesson from Proffessor Kraft.

  15. Wonderful post Bruce. You never fail to amaze.

    One point I’d like to remind you and the readers of, though, is this.

    You guys are the one’s who’ve always used the car comparisons. You guys are the ones who have used the car comparisons to the point of boring repetition. This study points out how wrong you’ve been. No matter how you dice it up, it’s not like you’ve always said.

    It’s very much like the comparisons to the UK that you’ve subjected us to countless times. All of a sudden, with the intentional homicide rate 4 times greater in the UK, you have to abandon that one too.

    Even during this “winning” season for gun rights, you guys are losing some of the pillars of your argument. Watch out.

    • avatarDan says:

      You keep bringing up the fact that the UK has a lower homicide rate than the US. You keep not linking that fact to any relevant argument in any way. But I’ll assume you’re in some way trying to hang a gun control argument on it and lay out some counterfacts (not conterarguments, since you’ve not laid out an argument to counter).
      Counterfact: Virginia (unrestricted) has a lower homicide rate than Washington D.C. (heavily restricted).
      Counterfact 2: The UK has an Assault rate twice that of the US, a Robbery rate one and a half times the US, a Burglary rate twice that of the US, and a Motor Vehicle theft rate two and a half times the US.
      Counterfact 3: London has 7 times the Crime rate as New York City, a similar size population (7m London, 8m NYC), and similar police budgets.
      Counterfact 4: In fact, the UK has 4 times the Violent Crime rate that the US does (2034/100,000 vs 466/100,000)

      As for the study, if there are 10 states where vehicular deaths have finally dipped below firearms deaths, doesn’t that mean there are 40 states where vehicular deaths are still flying high? Oh, and the iconic form of suicide involving a vehicle doesn’t show up in traffic statistics because it happens in a garage. Why do car defenders get to wipe off suicides and gun defenders not?

      Which Pillar have we lost?

      • Oh, for Christ’s sake, man. First I wasn’t linking. When I did, through my blog, that was all wrong. Now I’m “not linking that fact to any relevant argument.”

        The UK intentional homicide rate is a show-stopper for all you guys who love to say that strict gun control fails. Most of the murders there and here are done with guns still, it’s just that in the States, BECAUSE OF GUN AVAILABILITY, there’s a rate of 4 times more.

        Is that “linked” enough for you?

        • avatarDan says:

          Not at all. You have 2 very different populations with vastly different demographics and histories.

          To claim that the difference in homicide rates is solely due to gun availability is to claim that gun availability is the ONLY difference between the populations of the US and the UK.

          As for “most of the murders there… done with guns,” 3% of homicide in the UK involve guns. 3% is such a good definition of most, don’t you think?

          Like I said before, you need to account for potential confounding variables in order to make an analysis. You have made no attempt whatsoever to do so.

        • avatarDan says:

          Ok, looks like my post got eaten, so I’ll rewrite it short.

          If you’re not using your data to make an argument, there’s no reason to post it. That’s why it should be linked to/used to support an argument.

          “BECAUSE OF GUN AVAILABILITY” <<< That is the part you need to prove.

          You have shown (or can easily show) that the UK has stricter gun laws and that it has a lower homicide rate. You then need to show a causative effect.

          If you're stopping at correlation, so will I. The City of Alexandria, Virgina is demographically similar to Washington D.C. (being part of the same Metropolitan area). DC has a murder rate of 23 per 100,000*. Alexandria has a murder rate of 3.8 per 100,000**. DC has the strictest gun laws in the country (as strict or stricter than the UK), Virginia has fairly relaxed gun laws.

          By your argument, Alexandria should have the higher murder rate, shouldn't it? If there are some confounding variables in that comparison, isn't it possible (even likely) that there are some confounding variables in the US/UK comparison?

          *143 in 620,000 people.
          **5 in 130,000 people.

  16. avatarJoe says:

    Driving a car promotes a sedentary lifestyle & adds to death.

  17. avatarSean McCarron says:

    I notice in the first chart Mr. Sugarman lists gun deaths in AZ as 856. Your first step was to correct for “suicide” and you list your corrected total as 228. I am left to infer that you have some data that 628 of the 856 total gun deaths listed were “suicides”. That seems like an absurdly large number. Is there some other factor that was used to reduce the “total” number further?, and if not what is the source of your data on gun deaths that were declared suicides in AZ.

    Thank’s

  18. avatarRachel says:

    Hate 2 brake it 2 u all but people were killing each other thousands of years before guns were invented. I’m sure people will continue 2 kill each other with or without guns.

    • avatarLodatz says:

      Hate to break it to you, but that’s a really poor argument. People may well continue to try to kill one another, however, making it easier for them to do so is astoundingly stupid.

      • avatarDavis Martin says:

        I woulkd hope it would be easier for that elderly couple in the inner city to kill taht 3AM intruder. I would hope a woman being stalked and on the verge of being attacked be able to kill her attacker.
        But I guess your professional courtesy whould be to disarm her.

        • avatarIma Anonymous says:

          an elderly couple at 3 am in the morning would not be able to find their damn glasses OR their gun in time to shoot an intruder…if the gun was properly locked up or otherwise secured it would be even more difficult.. it is more likely that THEY would be killed or they would shoot themselves….god…you people and your delusional fantasies about shooting “the robber”

  19. avataranonchan says:

    thats odd, when I saw this link i expected the exact opposite of what I got. Usually motor vehicles are used as an example to show how relatively harmless firearms are, not as an example against them, Who would be dumb enough to do that? well, obviously this guy. It’s nice to see you guys don’t endorse that party line bullshit that keeps me more or less at odds with most gun supporters.

  20. avatarkurt says:

    The cars vs. guns argument only becomes relevant when the AAA begins to lobby for the repeal of speed limits.

  21. avatarDad says:

    Is there a reason over 50% of the US states were left out?

  22. avatarWally Hes says:

    Great for kids and reports. My daughter used it for a report

  23. avatarBob says:

    The real issues have yet to be discused and the real solutions are too costly, so we just don’t talk about them ! Cars and guns don’t kill people ! People kill people ! The real issues here mental health and poor driving habbits. Who wants to pay to teach people how to drive safely, they will figure out all the pitfalls, if they live through the first couple of years of driving. We give them a four wheel weapon and drivers education, a pat on the back and send them down the highway at 70 mph with cell phones to talk and text eachother, a coup coffee, radio blasting and a news paper for the traffic jams ! Great job America !
    Mental health is the real problem behing ALL these senseless shootings. People that do these things have serious mental issues and they are usually ignored and start at a young age when they could be treated. Schools just want to cover their butts any time an issue appears, parrents just want to hide it by saying “not my child, they would never do that” and the courts are told by the states “we have no room for them in our jails”! Any way you look at it the real hidden solution is $ ! Take away all the cars and guns and you will still have the same issues, but now they will use an axe or a horse and buggy ! If you think Washington will solve these problems you should guess again, they can’t even add 2+2 to solve the budget problem. Some states have added yet another distraction to driving and general mental health condition, it’s OK now to smoke pot ! I guess if you are loosing the war what’s one more battle more or less ! GREAT JOB AMERICA ! Your on the wrong track at 300 MPH. and you have Washington shovleing coal into the boiler with three feet of track left to travel ! I see people on this site that just want to argue like our people in Washington and I wrote this to see what the responce would be to the real issues and if they would discuss them or just dismiss them and continue to argue and peck away their time ????????

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Bob: As much as you might like to believe you are the only one with ideas or possible solutions, I have news for you. You’re not. People is certainly part of the equation but since that’s the part of the equation that cannot go away, we need to look at all aspects of the problem. If there were not 300 million guns floating around America, the crack pots would have a harder time laying their hands on them. Creating an atmosphere of more guns will only increase the availability of guns for misuse. Databases need to be populated and shared. Background checks need to be more stringent. Guns need to be registered to owners and those owners made to be responsible for what happens with their gun. Gun safety needs to be improved with perhaps bio coding to allow only the owner to fire it and minimize the possibility of an owner using it on themselves. Magazines need to be limited so that when a crack pot gets a gun they can’t fire off 100 bullets before anybody has a chance of getting close to them. It all needs to be on the table. Every time an extremist takes the position that anyone who disagrees with them is an extremist to the other extreme, they further polarize the discussion making it a war rather than a solution. Working together, rational people can find middle ground. Refusing to compromise generates an environment of win/lose. History shows the extremist will always lose in that scenario. Let’s come together for a unified solution.

      • avatarMartin Burkard says:

        Have you ever shot a gun? Have you ever performed tactical reload drills? A nice Sheriff bothered to make a youtube video for ignorant folks that shows how fast limited capacity magazines can be changed by even an average person. Your assumption on more guns = more misuse is plain wrong based on the data. The number of guns has increased significantly over the last 15 years, however, the number of gun related homocides and crime overall has gone down at the same time, notably so. The last thing we need is more government databases about us. Did you see how the vast NSA spying databases since 2006 did not identified terrorist blowing up bombs in Boston despite their digital fingerprints all out there and their frequenting mosques founded by wanted terrorists? Do you know how easy it is to manufacture a gun if you want to? A bomb? How easy you can buy a gun cheaper on the black market than in a store? Controlling gun ownership of “crackpots” is about as effective as controlling joints for potheads or alcohol during the prohibition. All you do is hurt law abiding citizens. And they won’t take it. The UN Small Arms Survey showed that 75% of guns in Germany are illegally owned. Why? Germany has strict gun laws but people feel the need to protect themselves from the violence that moved into their gun free state with violent Muslim immigrants, foreign Mafias, etc. Despite their tough gun laws they had mass shootings. In guy used historic percussion cap rifles in a school. Norway has pretty tough gun laws with psychological background checks, too and everything is registered. They had the most deadly shooting spree worldwide, when a crackpot that jumped through all goverment hoops killed 69 and injured more mostly with a simple handgun. He also killed people with a bomb. The Oklahoma City bombing was the most deadly crackpot in US history, he didn’t use guns. In Germany the most deadly school killing was performed with a homemade flame thrower. Why would I come to some middle ground with the likes of you? I am already hamstrung in Kalifornia. You want something from me, my birth right to get on equal ground with criminals by being equally armed. My right to defend my self and my family. I don’t see you offering anything. Will you stand guard next to our bedroom every night? Bad deal = no deal. Aside, who gives you the right to push control over other people that are actually leaving you alone? I don’t want anything from you aside leave my rights alone. You think you “know better / you demands are reasonable” and thus you can push restrictions over me? How about I restrict what you can do for a week, let’s see how you like that.

  24. avatarSLG says:

    Y’all are truly amazing; using comparisons of an ‘item’ with an exceptional need and daily use, whose only ‘deaths’ result from accidents, with an ‘item’ of absolute non-necessity, whose deaths generally result from premeditation and intent. OMG! Talk about apples and oranges! The issue is not to ‘outlaw’ anything that results in deaths, otherwise, airplanes, trains, heart attacks, all sorts of things would be outlawed. The issue is to ‘constrain’ those things which people use to purposefully inflict pain, danger or death to others! And since our society of missing parents, TV substitutes and video games and movies loves to present guns as ‘cool’, there needs to be a balance created to ‘teach’ children and others that there are alternatives…..and that ‘death’ (by any means) is not a viable solution to disagreements or depression.
    Please, stop using inappropriate, non-related numbers to prove points that have difficult solutions. This is why we can’t ‘solve’ problems.

  25. avatarIntelligentTought says:

    Unfortunately, facts are irrelavant.

    Quite a fun story. Not accurate but fun to read. Too bad it’s used for selfish desire to hold on to gun rights and that kind of creativity can’t be used to save lives. Stats are funny when you twist and turn them but little changes in the outcome of garbage in garbage out. People still die every day and in other countries its not the same. I’m not going to carry a gun to feel safe in America and I don’t want our teachers doing it either. Things will change with or without the support of the nay Sayers. I will be thinking about the future, not living in the past. I will be protecting our country not my selfish rights defined by a loosely worded amendment written 200 years ago before there were weapons of mass destruction. 200 years ago when society was different. I will protect my country.

    The main area where the U.S. exceeds the firearm violence of other nations is in comparison to other affluent nations. Using the U.N. data, European nations — even former eastern bloc countries — typically have rates well below 1 per 100,000, or far less than one-third the frequency seen in the U.S. The pattern is similar in other advanced industrialized nations, such as Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

    One study published in 2011 confirms this finding. The study, published in the Journal of Trauma — Injury Infection & Critical Care, found that firearm homicide rates were 19.5 times higher in the U.S. than in 23 other “high income” countries studied, using 2003 data. Rates for other types of gun deaths were also higher in the U.S., but by somewhat smaller margins: 5.8 times higher for firearm suicides (even though overall suicide rates were 30 percent lower in the U.S.) and 5.2 times higher for unintentional firearm deaths.
    http://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Abstract/2011/01000/Homicide,_Suicide,_and_Unintentional_Firearm.35.aspx

    Please source the information that shows that suicides should be removed from the equation.

    The violent crime stats may look like they are valid but it is fun word play. Violent crime is not the same as fire arms deaths. The only liar here is the the writer of this article.

    Gun-Nuttery? Really? That’s the source? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s not like they didn’t have an agenda when they built their little collection of stats.

    So, safety is designed to regulate guns out of existence? I call that an extremist position. Safety glass, crush zones, air bags, safety belts, and many many more but cars are still here. Over 200 health safety laws apply to a Big Mac but MacDonalds is still here. This is yet another paranoid schizophrenic argument from the spoiled little cry baby’s that want what they want and they want it now no matter who it kills.

    Hmmmm and the claim that safety measures could not stop accidental deaths? So, while the news is talking about 3d printers that can actually print gun components, I’m supposed to believe that nothing could be done to stop a small child from discharging a weapon accidentally or to prevent a gun from firing at the operator? You know I’m in the technology business right? We can get 100 mpg out of cars, fly to the moon and mars, understand air flows and fluid flows, pressure, g-force, and a host of other laws of nature. We build nuclear powered submarines, take pictures of people from space, intercept weapons of war in mid air but no, we couldn’t make a gun safer….

    The final chart is over the top making wild, unprovable assumptions and trying to justify the number of hours a weapon is used in comparison with the number of hours an automobile is used and what of purpose? What is the typical automobile used for? And what is the typical gun used for. The comparison is the most absurd of the entire article. The second amendment guarantees the right to own a gun but in the absence of vision on the part of the founders failed to define what a gun is. I support the second amendment. Buy a gun with a 6 bullet magazine like the wild wild west. Buy a rifle to go hunting like Daniel Boon. Keep weapons of war away from our people. We have a right to feel safe and not have to carry a weapon just to project misguided views of what the second amendment means.

    Are we really prepared to say we’re powerless? In the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children, year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

    • avatarGregg says:

      “The second amendment guarantees the right to own a gun but in the absence of vision on the part of the founders failed to define what a gun is. I support the second amendment. Buy a gun with a 6 bullet magazine like the wild wild west. Buy a rifle to go hunting like Daniel Boon. Keep weapons of war away from our people.”

      You call it an “absence of vision” that made our founders call them “arms”, but I see it as an understanding that weapons will evolve and as they evlove they will be included if they are considered arms required to protect the public from our government -or from other governments.

      You claim to defend the second ammendment, but then claim weapons of war should be excluded …but they were included by our forefathers ….and were used to fight the British. Cannons were allowed to be owned during our forefather’s time …but today your ability to own a cannon is VERY restricted.

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        Why not grenade launchers and flame throwers. How about F18s and nuclear subs. All “arms” right?

        • avatarGregg says:

          Yes those items are banned from ownership by the public because they are “for military use only” and “have no purpose in the hands of civilians” ….but if you apply for a class 3 license, you can own any one of them …just pay your $200 tax stamp. Thus proving it has nothing to do with any of the reasons provided, but instead is about limiting access and generating a revenue.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Firearms_License
          Still can’t buy a nuc, an F18 or a flame thrower. Allowing war weapons in the hands of civilians would lead to nothing but anarchy. The cannons and guns of 1776 could kill1 to a few people at a time and a cannon required several people to operate. Having weapons today will never stop our government if tyranny is what you fear. It’s too late. They have more fire power than you could ever imagine. The only thing you could hope for is to die shooting but you will die in a fire fight with the feds. Please be realistic.

        • avatarGregg says:

          You can own the grenade launcher or the flame thrower with a class 3 license. You can own the F-16 …it is an airplane. There are people who own MIG fighter jets. You can go fly in one if you want. A nuclear sub is not an arm, but I am quite sure if Bill Gates wanted to buy one the Government would sell it to him and then let the navy drive it around at his expense.

          You want to be realistic? The government has stopped paying the military twice already because of their own failure to submit and pass a budget. What will happen when they stop paying the military all together because the federal government is too broke and MUST default on it’s debt? The same thing that happened in the USSR …the military personnel will sell their weapons to the highest bidder. How do you think the MIG jets got into civilains hands in the USA and other countries around the world? $10 million dollar jet sold for $100 thousand …that is how. You have 200 plus years of history to look at …and yet our founding fathers laid out the groundwork for a democracy better than your modifications will ever achieve. They were predicting the future better than you are. The infantry is “the people”. How is Iraq going? How is that war in Afganistan being won? How did we do in Korea or Viet Nam? How many mass riots in different US cities can the police and military handle at once? How many will they attempt to handle once they get no medical care and don’t get paid? The infantry always has been and always will be the people, and without “we the people” you have a dictatorship. Our forefathers formed “we the people”, and specified the rights that they had and specified that those rights come from our maker, that the government does not thave the authority to remove or limit those rights.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          We can agree to disagree. Your vision of the future is different than mine. Your vision of the role of government in protecting its people is different than mine. Your interpretation of the Constitution and it’s mission are different than mine. I am proud of our country. We have risen because of our progressive views and ability to work together to solve problems. Where we will fail is when we cannot see anybody elses side anymore. when we are so sure we are right that no one else can have an opinion, we will fall from out leadership of the world. It won’t be because of governmental tyranny it will be because of inflexibility. But the fall will be just as hard.

        • avatarGregg says:

          Oh I’ve done my research and your links have nothing to do with the things I addressed. [Who is “They”? The government?] Yes, the government, either the judicial branch or legislative branch depending on the item. The courts recognizing corporations in 1819 as having rights, should have nothing to do with them having the ability to significantly contribute to a campaign. Foreigners are banned from providing campaign contributions and suddenly now it is OK for a foreigner who owns a corporation to participate in our election by contributing via their corporation? You defend that and think that is OK?
          Regarding voting areas not requiring proof of citizenship to vote: You supplied a link that is related to voter fraud, but it never addressed proof of citizenship requirements. When I went to vote I didn’t have to show proof of citizenship, so I know that it isn’t always required. I also know I never provided any proof when I registered to vote …only my drivers license. You can laugh all you want but I don’t know anyone who was asked for proof of citizenship …a drivers license – yes; citizenship or voter ID card – no. So my claim is 100% correct, they don’t require it to enter the voting booth. Maybe it is you that clicks on a internet link and fails to do the work in research to find out the facts …or if you would have voted you would have know that they didn’t ask you either. Do I think there is massive voter fraud? No. Do I think it happens on a small scale, yes.
          I see you agree that they are talking about allowing drone strikes on Americans. Where is our right to be notified of our crime, our right to a lawyer, our right to defend our self or to a trial? Those rights are all gone as soon as they OK drone strikes! It isn’t like they have never done a drug raid on the wrong house before, so if drone strikes are allowed they will eventually have a drone strike on the wrong person. I find it odd that we will house Charles Manson for decades because we don’t believe in the death penalty, but have no problem with a drone strike where we know there may be collateral deaths and know we may even target the wrong person! I am appalled that they are even discussing this.
          I hope you also agree that gitmo exists, and that there are Americans that are there – held without a trial. Odd that the USA is outraged when other counties hold prisoners without a trial, but it is OK for us to do …as long as they don’t touch US soil. It seems that we just disagree on most things.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          Because I don’t address something does not mean I agree with it. For someone who seems hell bent on fairness, I’m surprised you would try to put words in my mouth. I don’t think drones are ever going to run rampant over the US landscape and I don’t think they will ever be used in place of drug raids without regard to innocent victims. However, if you ask me the question about privacy concerns… maybe then you have something. I’m personally not a privacy nut. I have nothing to hide so mostly post anything you want to know publicly. But I know that many people do have privacy concerns. We will have to shake out over time what it means that we can be tracked every minute of every day.

          As for the citizenship bit, you are not 100% right. You see you don’t get to the voting booth without being on the voting roster. You don’t get on the voting roster unless you have registered to vote. You don’t get to register to vote without proper identification. You don’t get proper identification without proving who you are. The links I supplied were DIRECTLY related to your comments. Specifically your comment was “Declairing corporations are citizens?” and my link was related to corporate person hood. I don’t read minds, I deliver facts. If you had said you were concerned about non-citizens impacting elections through corporate donations, my response would have been different. You said “Placing massive purchase contracts to hoard bullets so the availability to public is nonexistant” and I delivered a factual response that such a claim was hogwash. The definition of the word fact seems to escape you.

          Still, I will find middle ground with you on Gitmo. It should be closed. The president tried to close it but our silly congressional members and governors were somehow afraid that we could keep Charles Manson in prison for life but cannot keep a terrorist in prison. It’s nonsense and one more poorly managed effort to discredit the president when he has attempted to do the right thing. I will also agree that the citizens united supreme court decision was very bad. Unlimited money in elections is wrong for America and regardless of if you are concerned that non citizens can skew the election results or not NO ONE should be able to skew election results with any more than their one vote. The reality is that money has always had an impact and our forefathers were the elite of their time but the level of impact must be limited. I hope that will be overturned someday soon.

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        The Heller Decision: A Radical Departure from Longstanding Second Amendment Case Law

        The law regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment changed dramatically in 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s decades-old ban on handgun possession, and the requirement that firearms in the home be stored unloaded and disassembled or bound by a locking device (a requirement which had no exception for self-defense).

        The Supreme Court stated, however, that the Second Amendment should not be understood as conferring a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court identified examples of “presumptively lawful” firearm laws, including laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill, forbidding firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms. The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service. In addition, the Court declared that its analysis should not be read to suggest “the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.” Our Heller page has more information about this many difficulties created by this decision.

        The ruling in Heller represented a radical departure from the Court’s previous interpretation of the Second Amendment. In United States v. Miller, the Court stated, in a unanimous decision, that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia. In reliance on Miller, hundreds of lower federal and state appellate courts had rejected Second Amendment challenges to our nation’s gun laws over the last seven decades, making Heller‘s reversal of this interpretation a watershed moment in Second Amendment law.

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        The Heller Decision: A Radical Departure from Longstanding Second Amendment Case Law

        The law regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment changed dramatically in 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court held for the first time that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s decades-old ban on handgun possession, and the requirement that firearms in the home be stored unloaded and disassembled or bound by a locking device (a requirement which had no exception for self-defense).

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        The Supreme Court stated, however, that the Second Amendment should not be understood as conferring a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court identified examples of “presumptively lawful” firearm laws, including laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill, forbidding firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms. The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service. In addition, the Court declared that its analysis should not be read to suggest “the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.” Our Heller page has more information about this many difficulties created by this decision.

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        The Supreme Court stated, however, that the Second Amendment should not be understood as conferring a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court identified examples of “presumptively lawful” firearm laws, including laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill, forbidding firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms.

      • avatarIntelligentTought says:

        The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      The ruling in Heller represented a radical departure from the Court’s previous interpretation of the Second Amendment. In United States v. Miller, the Court stated, in a unanimous decision, that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia. In reliance on Miller, hundreds of lower federal and state appellate courts had rejected Second Amendment challenges to our nation’s gun laws over the last seven decades, making Heller‘s reversal of this interpretation a watershed moment in Second Amendment law.

  26. avatarIntelligentTought says:

    The court declared that its analysis should not be read to suggest -the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.-

  27. avatarjosh says:

    It is funny how any rational adult living in todays society can believe that any amount of gun control laws will have any effect on criminals or those with criminal intent. so what it comes down to is criminals know that the law abiding citizens ability to defend themself is severly hampered and the first police action on the scene is to notify the next of kin, instead of more laws that wont work you might as well wish for world peace, in the real world the wish will have far less victims.
    As for children getting ahold of the guns and shooting themselves or someone else, folow standard rules of child proofing a house, then when they are older educate them on firearms safety. No matter what laws pass or how hard you fight to get rid of or control firearms the are not going away, at least not in the real world

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      I’m afraid there are too many studies and too much evidence around the world that disproves you position Josh.

      • avatarjosh says:

        Which part is disproved? Are you saying that if firearms are made illegal then criminals will no longer use them or that just saying no to children is more effective than education?

        • avatarIntelligentTought says:

          I’m saying that it will not happen over night but limiting access to weapons of mass murder will eventually lead to fewer of them and less unauthorized access. I’m saying that unfettered sales of guns leads to more guns in the world and therefore greater access by unauthorized users. There will always be criminals and there will always be those that go to extremes to accomplish a task but the greater number of murder and suicides are simplified by guns. A little too much to drink, a lost job, a mother who is going to commit you or a failed test score, and access to weapons that kill lots of people. Weapons should be regulated, tied to an owner, additional safety measures added (like bio coding – btw no crap about how they may not be reliable, guns misfire and jam all the time without any bio coding). Sales should be regulated. Yep, there will always be the guy who figures out a way around the system but there won’t be 30,000 gun related deaths a year.

        • avatarGregg says:

          Oh dear, Lodatz. You’re one of those people who do not know what punctuation means, aren’t you? Tell you what, why don’t you have a stab at figuring out what ‘effect the comma means in the following sentence. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

          Hint, it doesn’t mean everything after the comma should be ignored. What it does mean is the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

          I just love how your argument is so weak it needs to rely upon changing the very words of the constitution. While you think it is “subject to the democratic process outlined in that very same Constitution”, it is NOT a democratic process (it is not based upon popular vote) it done by our congress and senate.

          FLAME DELETED

        • avatarLodatz says:

          FLAME DELETED

          You see, the inclusion of the comma actually bolsters my point, not yours. What the comma in fact does, is detail what the actual criteria for the security of the free state is — that is, this well regulated militia of which I (and the Framers) speak. You see, when you punctuate the sentence thus, what you establish is the intent, followed by the method. The right to bear arms was, specifically, in order to achieve the well regulated militia in the first place.

          FLAME DELETED

          Also, I think you are a little confused as to what democratic means. Hint: it doesn’t mean ‘majority rule’. When you get to the level of understanding which directs you to realize that democracy is synonymous with ‘self-government’ instead, you’ll understand why elected officials utilizing due process (such as that of Amendment) is, in fact, DEMOCRATIC.

          FLAME DELETED

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Comma or not, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right like all the rest of the rights protected by the Bill or Rights. Most recently in Heller and McDonald. That argument is toast. Has been for some time.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          The Supreme Court stated, however, that the Second Amendment should not be understood as conferring a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court identified examples of “presumptively lawful” firearm laws, including laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill, forbidding firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms. The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service. In addition, the Court declared that its analysis should not be read to suggest “the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.”

  28. avatarjosh says:

    In a perfect world banning or tightly restricting firearms would work, it wold not create a black market for them causing even more violent crime and giving unlimited avalibility to anyone with cash or trade, making law abiding people victims.
    Unfortunatly we do not live in a perfect world.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      Not perfect but if the regulation occurred at a federal level to maintain consistency across states and intelligent technology applied to weapon registry and use, the losses would be minimized. Japan has very tight laws and there were still 11 gun related deaths last year. I can’t imagine getting down to 11 in America but what about 10,000? That’s only 27 dead people a day. Even cutting it by 1/3 cuts it down to 20,000 – imagine only one person per day per state has to die from a gun.

      • avatarJoe Anderson says:

        Lets for a moment say that all guns were to immediately vanish from all civilians excluding police. How much do you think murder rates would increase with other weapons? I assume you will claim that the total number of murders before the guns vanished would be greater than after the guns vanished, but as many people’s primary means of self defense is now gone, I’m not too sure. I don’t have any specific studies to quote, probably because its not really possible to study this scenario, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if murders increased in this gun free world.

  29. avatarLee says:

    The 2nd Amendment was considered to be rights given to us Americans by God or divine power, however you want to look at it. I’m sick of hearing that the anti-gun people use the facts that the 2nd Amend, even restricted, will still allow hunters to keep their guns. That wasn’t the reason behind the 2nd Amendment. People forget that the government is “hired” by us; so they actually do WORK for us. The 2nd Amendment also provides the citizen with the ability to protect themselves from tyranny (foreign and domestic) at the same time protect themselves and property.

    Also I hear that the Constitution is behind the times, written in the time of printing presses and people writing with ink and quill. Well, if it is so outdated then maybe the internet and your protection on the internet should both be taken away and the only way you can print something is using a printing press. I doubt the anti-gun and liberal bloggers would freak out if their internet was taking from them…especially because of their argument that the Constitution is outdated.

    I also hear people say that Constitution is a living document. It is, but for any changes to take place 2/3 of Congress, 2/3 of Senate, 2/3 of States have to ratify the Constitution to either take away the Amendment or add and Amendment. Look at the 18th and 21st Amendments (Prohibition).

    Also why does it seem to be ok for anti-gun people to post private information of gun owners on public forums? Would they like it if someone that didn’t agree with them to post their private information on a public forum or newspaper. Also that information could have 2 effects: 1) those houses would never be robbed 2) those houses would be targeted for the guns, which will most likely be used in other violent crime. So that logic and the person who published is responsible for anyone’s death due to the information that was made public.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      Lee: Not in favor of the publicizing of gun owners personal information (although it is publicly available). I think the paper was out of line but I’m also not in favor of the way you characterize anyone who does not agree with you as “anti gun”. That kind of terminology only polarizes people. If you know anything about statistics, one of the common graphic representations of an occurrence is the standard deviation or bell curve. If we put all the people who want to amend the constitution and have an across the board gun ban to the far left, let’s sat 2% for the sake of argument, and take all the people who think that if we have enough money we ought to be able to buy any weapon we want including F18 fighter jets and heat seeking missiles, grenade launchers, napalm and more to the far right another 2% it leaves 96% somewhere in the middle. The one thing you might be able to get the 96% to agree on is that those 4% to the far left and far right are whack jobs. But then is where compromise can and must prevail in finding workable solutions. I know that anyone who blindly follows NRA leadership wherever it goes got to hear the bit about putting an armed guard in schools but it’s time to be reasonable. Putting an armed guard at every gathering where 2 or more people meet is not a solution. I don’t want my kid going to school to see an armed guard and I don’t want teachers who are there to teach to have to learn about guns so our children can be safe. But much more than that, armed guards at malls, coffee shops, car shows, churches… the list goes on and on and it is not reasonable. For me, the middle ground is the register all guns and not allow them to transfer without registration changing also. It also means, as much “fun” as it may be to fire and AR15, the constitution goes not guarantee your right to fun. It guarantees your right to own and bear arms. In recent history, the Supreme Court stated that the Second Amendment should not be understood as conferring a “right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The Court identified examples of “presumptively lawful” firearm laws, including laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and the mentally ill, forbidding firearm possession in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms. The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service. In addition, the Court declared that its analysis should not be read to suggest “the invalidity of laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents.”

      • avatarJoe Anderson says:

        First, an AR15 is no more dangerous or deadly than any other modern hunting rifle, it is just targeted because of its appearance.

        Second, a quote:
        “The Court noted that this list is not exhaustive, and concluded that the Second Amendment is also consistent with laws banning ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ not in common use at the time, such as M-16 rifles and other firearms that are most useful in military service.”
        AR15s are in common use, and are neither dangerous[1] nor unusual. No laws should be made to ban then.

        Third, how would gun registration stop anything? The majority of guns used in the commission of crimes are already illegal. Telling a criminal he now has to change the registration of his illegally obtained gun isn’t really going to do anything. It just makes things more annoying for law abiding citizens.

        [1]: All guns are dangerous, but as we are clearly not banning all firearms, “dangerous” is presumably used here to denote any excessively dangerous weapons, such as fully automatic rifles

  30. avatarTim Meyer says:

    How many of the automobile deaths were in reality suicides?

  31. Thank you for your work in putting this together. Just the data I knew was out here somewhere. Thank you again.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      Morgan:
      You are right if you just call it data. If you include the incorrect assumptions and conclusions drawn then it is garbage. The analyst here has a clear agenda. A healthy solution for all should be built on valid data with valid analysis with agenda. If you are truly interested solutions, you will look deeper

      • avatarSkepticalQuery says:

        Please argue your point. What were the incorrect conclusions and the assumptions. How much of the article is flawed and in what manner is it flawed?

  32. avatarMatt says:

    The argument is about use of a tool for evil intent. The CDC shows the firearm homicide rate at 3.7 per 100,000, and the vehicular homicide rate at 11.7 per 100,000. There are 100 million licensed drivers and 50 million licensed firearms owners.

    Yeah, that looks like 3 times the homicide rate for only 2 times the licensure rate. Imagine that: people murder with the tool they have available. This is what was found out in the UK and Austrailia when they banned guns. Gun homicide went down, replaced with other forms of homicide.

    Comparing guns and vehicle deaths is hardly “misleading and irrelevant. ” You’re only saying it is because it puts a huge hole in your argument supporting your hatred of guns.

    • First of all, I don’t think you mean “vehicular homicide.” Maybe vehicular deaths. Plus, I don’t think you mean “licensed” gun owners, either.

      Secondly, those comparisons have been debunked by the fact that the average gun owner doesn’t use or handle his gun nearly as much as the average driver uses his car.

      The whole thing is bogus.

    • avatarIntelligentTought says:

      What Mike said….

  33. avatarSkepticalQuery says:

    For anyone who thinks the militia is either the active Army, the US Army Reserves, or the National Guard, please read this Military Law Review article:
    http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/fieldsandhardy.html

    Anyone who has witnessed the ceremony for people gaining US citizenship would catch it. The oath has people swearing that will defend the nation from enemys, both foreign AND DOMESTIC. First time I heard it I was actually taken aback because it feels like you’re watching a military swear in, but these are only people becoming US citizens. In short, every US citizen is a member of what the US Constitution calls the “militia,” but as natural born citizens we don’t realize that language is speaking of every citizen, not just those in the Army.

    • avatarSkepticalQuery says:

      Also, Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution speaks both of the Army and of the Militia. Clearly they are two different things. Also, Lodatz, the radified second amendment is:
      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      And a common reading of that is:
      “[BECAUSE] A well regulated militia [IS] necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      Strange how that comma now bolsters the notion that it gives every citizen a right to bear arms.

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      How we interpret the Constitution and the Amendments is not important. What is important is how the Supreme Court interprets it. They are who determine the final interpretation and define the law of the land. The SC interpretation says all citizens have the right to bear arms. But it also says that arms are not to be interpreted as any weapon and they specifically name a couple and make it clear that that is not the only weapons not covered but any weapon like those weapons that are more intended for war than for self protection. In addition, it clearly states that laws governing safety are not to be interpreted as infringing on the right to bear arms. There is no sense arguing the second amendment. It’s all been argued and decided. Now is a time to understand the risks and decide the right thing to do with weapons NOT covered by the second amendment. The Assult weapons ban has absolutely nothing to do with the second amendment. I’m not arguing for or against the reasons for it but the second amendment is not part of the equation.

      • avatarSkepticalQuery says:

        Then what ARE you arguing? The assault weapons ban banned no assault weapons. It banned weapons that looked like assault weapons. True assault weapons have been banned from public sale, geez, I don’t know how long. The M16 is an assault weapon. It is a weapon that can go full-auto until the magazine is dry or until 3 rounds are down range, depending on the version we’re speaking of. M16s are not available for public purchase. The weapons that look amazingly like M16s are what is available for sale. These weapons functionally differ from your dads 30-06 deer hunting rifle only in appearance and power; the 30-06 round is two large to fire from an M16-like platform so an M16-like weapon cannot fire a 30-06 round. Yes, your dad’s deer rifle is MORE POWERFUL than M16-style rifles like the Bushmaster brand rifle used at Sandy Hook. This is the problem that legislators are faced with; how do they write legislation to outlaw a rifle that is less powerful than your dad’s hunting rifle but is otherwise functionally equivalent?

        When the Army downsized to 5.56mm rounds, they did so because it killed FEWER people. On the battlefield, if you kill someone, they can be left behind. If you maim someone, two other guys have to help the guy get around. Maiming one guy makes 3 guys ineffective in battle. The Army is in the business of winning wars, not killing people. The M16 is viewed as a more humane weapon because of its smaller caliber.

        So, the whole attack on the M16-look is ridiculous. We already can’t buy “assault weapons”, and the civilian weapons that look like assault weapons are overwhelmingly predominantly less deadly than hunting rifles. Some of those M16 looking weapons are really .22 long files, appropriate weaponry for squirrel hunting.

        This is political football that legislators probably get into to win some points with their constituency, only the find out they were completely ignorant, but they must pass something to save face. Whether or not the SC feels the law is Constitutional is NOT a factor until a case makes it to them. In the meantime the citizenry has had their rights infringed upon so that a senator can save face with the public.

  34. avatarIntelligentThought says:

    Splitting hairs. Bottom line – SC said handguns and hunting rifles are covered, everything else can be legislated. You can argue but the law is the law and its a done deal.

    • avatarSkepticalQuery says:

      WOW! Now that “assault rifles” have been disposed of, I guess we’re hanging your hat on this other ambiguous term, “hunting rifles”. Guess what the common colloquial term is for those M16 look alikes that are really .22 caliber long rifles? “Varmint rifle.” Believe it or not, some people hunt rabbits and you can probably guess what one of the most common calibers is for that.

      I am arguing, but only for the same reason this article’s author is arguing, as rebuttal. You took issue with his rebuttal. I asked you for specific points. I’ve seen none so far, except that the Supreme Court has decided that “hunting rifles” are ok. It’s a shame one cannot own a rifle for self-protection as well as hunting but, apparently, such is the judgement of the supreme court. I guess I’ll go on hunting wolves with my M16-like rifle, but I had better not shoot a wolve who’s getting after my sheep, that would be using it for protection.

      Maybe I’m lost on what the definition of splitting hairs is. Can you at least define that for me? Is it:
      * Acknowledging that the commercially available rifles which look like M16s are in fact not assault weapons.
      * Acknowledging that those commercially available weapons which look like M16s are often squirrel hunting rifles that just look badass.
      Or maybe its:
      * Acknowledging that the any law concerning those rifles is an infringement on the 2nd amendment until such time as someone brings the case to the SC. (Assuming the justices aren’t as clueless as some who have posted in this thread)
      Or could it be:
      * Demonstrating that most people don’t have a clue what an assault weapon is.
      Or maybe it’s:
      * Searching for some phrase that means “rifles other than an assault weapon” — because that clears up what an “assault weapon” is.

      To be honest, I have not read the learned words of the justices for any 2nd amendment challenge that was brought before them. I would enjoy a link to such and perhaps you could help in finding where they define a “hunting rifle” in those writings as well. For my part I’ll help you out by giving you a link to one of those baddass looking, publically available, .22 caliber LR “M16″ rifles that some folks use to hunt squirrels and, gasp, protect themselves.

      Mossberg Tactical Flat Top Carbine, 22LR, 10 Rnd Mag, Adj Stock

      • avatarIntelligentThought says:

        What I mean by splitting hairs is exactly what you appear to be doing in your comment. Relying in technical points to justify your need for high capacity magazines and guns which may or may not be configured to look or not look like weapons of war and may or may not have the ability to be modified to be more lethal than shipped from the factory. The beauty of the English language is the ability to use it in many ways to describe for the receiver events, items, places, people and interpretations. The ugliness of the English language is that people can use it’s ambiguity for their own selfish purpose to legally tear it apart and change the meaning and/or intent of the sender. As I read your comment it appears you don’t want to clearly define what can and cannot be categorized as a “gun” – such an ambiguous term. The definition of a gun is so broad it can mean anything that has a projectile and in modern terms, can be defined by the name given by the creator like a taser “gun”. It is in the best interest of the lawyers of the world to maintain this ambiguity so there is ALWAYS something to argue. I, for one, am glad that it is illegal to own grenade launchers though they could be categorized as a gun.

        You asked that I point out the specific holes in the argument above. What evidence is there that safety measures would not impact homicides or suicides? Are you suggesting that with todays technology we could not prevent a firearm from from discharging at the user? Or that using bio coding the firearm could not be disabled to all but the owner? And comparing MV license deaths to gun owner deaths as a rate cannot be done as a straight table for table view. There are something on the order of ~255 million cars on the road in the US every day traveling for various reasons. They are a required part of life for most Americans. While there are about 300 million guns in America, only about 45% of Americans are gun owners and they do not use them every single day for their livelihood and family requirements. Assuming each adult can only use one firearm at a time it means that even if all 45% of adults used their guns every single day (and we know this isn’t true) about 74 million guns would be in use. If you calculate the the death rate by number of users every day guns come out to about 41 per 100,000 and automobiles just under 12. More gun owners = more gun deaths at that rate. You can slice and dice these numbers all day long but the comparison is ridiculous and cannot be correlated.

        Here is your link to the supreme court ruling where you can freely slice and dice the words ad nauseam . The bottom line is they upheld American rights to own hand guns (the case was about a police officer and his right to own a personal hand gun) but they clearly pointed out that the second amendment does not apply to anything you might like to define as a “gun”.

        http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf

  35. avatarDeron smith says:

    Obama would never ban all guns, or any other president. They may ban assult rifles. But I think that Obama knows that if he were to ban guns in the United States he would be assassinated by some crazy person. So I would not worry about a gun ban any time soon.

  36. avatarTimothy says:

    Number of Guns in US: 270 million
    Number of Automobiles 256 million

    I would say you are correct. Not a fair comparison. Clearly cars are much more dangerous.

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Apparently you can’t read. Only 45% of adults are gun owners and they can only use one at a time. Even if all gun owners used their gun every single day, the rate would be 2.5 times that of cars which ARE used every day and contain 1 to 6 passengers. Don’t be stupid.

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Since you cannot read, you may not be able to read the safety information and complete the forms required for gun ownership. Sounds like you’re not qualified to own a gun.

  37. avatarClaymore says:

    “Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
    Tench Coxe (1755-1824), writing as “A Pennsylvanian,” in
    “Remarks On The First Part Of The Amendments To The Federal Constitution,” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789
    Mr. Coxe was a prominent anti-federalist, one of those who worked toward adoption of the Constitution; it would not have been without the Bill of Rights.
    If you are unfamiliar with the happenings of 220+ years ago, your education is deficient. Under the 2d Amendment we should be permitted to own and bear, within reason, weapons by right. The laws should be “shall issue” nationwide.

    • avatarArnie Kappeler says:

      All that writing, just to get to the “within reason” part, which is what reasonable Americans believe. A personal armory is NOT within reason.

      • avatarMr. Lighter says:

        Which part of the 2nd Amendment specifies that one can only have so many guns? Why does it matter how many guns I have?

  38. avatarskeptic says:

    “We know that suicide rates are independent of method (that is, restricting access to firearms may reduce the suicide rate with firearms, but it does not affect the overall suicide rate) so let’s and remove suicides from the totals.”

    No, we don’t know that. From Harvard School of Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/risk/

    Ecologic studies that compare states with high gun ownership levels to those with low gun ownership levels find that in the U.S., where there are more guns, there are more suicides. The higher suicide rates result from higher firearm suicides; the non-firearm suicide rate is about equal across states.

  39. avatarJeff says:

    I have a feeling that the great state of Texas is going to see a large immigration of gun owners from states passing these idiotic gun laws that prove null in preventing mass shootings. While California is at it, why don’t they take away driving privileges from everyone who has ever been treated for a drug or alcohol addiction? After all, if there is the slightest chance a veteran with PTSD might injure someone with a firearm, isn’t there also a chance (much larger actually) that someone with a history of drug or alcohol problems might injure or kill someone with their vehicle?

  40. avatarJeff says:

    I have a feeling that the great state of Texas is going to see a large immigration of gun owners from states passing these idiotic gun laws that prove null in preventing mass shootings. While California is at it, why don’t they take away driving privileges from everyone who has ever been treated for a drug or alcohol addiction? After all, if there is the slightest chance a veteran with PTSD might injure someone with a firearm, isn’t there also a chance (much larger actually) that someone with a history of drug or alcohol problems might injure or kill someone with their vehicle?

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Jeff. Comments like this always make me laugh. How many people say they will move to Canada after a presidential election. As if. Nobody is moving to Texas and nobody is taking anyone’s guns away. The goal is to limit availability of guns to potential crackpots and criminals. That requires a national database and thorough background checks. Cars are used so much higher of a percentage of time and by so much greater of the population the comparison is truly irrelevant. The few owners using their guns a very small percentage of time are way more dangerous.

      • avatarArnie Kappeler says:

        There was so much kicking and screaming, forty years ago, about the astonishing cost to make automobiles safer. Now, here we are today – so many more drivers and half the fatalities. And only because our leaders insisted. We don’t have to thank the government for that, and we shouldn’t hack on the vast majority who believe that safety IS important either.

  41. avatarArnie Kappeler says:

    30,000 more shot-dead Americans since your article was posted. Of course, it’s only been a year.

  42. avatarTanner S. says:

    While I agree with your position on civil liberties, I couldn’t help but notice a few mistakes. First, you do not state where you find your new data. Data must always be cited, as I’m sure you will agree. Secondly, while testing the correlation coefficient with the parameters of X and Y being total gun deaths minus suicide (X) and total gun deaths (Y) respectively, I found that the numbers did in fact have a correlation co-efficient of 0.9237177648880043. While determining an r-squared value to three significant digits, I found a value of .853. An r-squared value of .853 in this context means that gun homicides are in fact 85.3% responsible for total gun deaths in these states. Third, because of the disparity in relative use of firearms and motorized vehicles (as stated in the article), it would be more correct to conduct a hypothesis test with using either deaths per minute of operation of guns vs. motor vehicles in the US (using a 2-sample z test) or the proportion of motor vehicles used to commit homicide vs. the number of firearms used to commit homicide out of the total number of homicides committed in the US using either a gun or a motor vehicle (using a standard z test). This brings me to my fourth point: bad sampling. Mr. Sugarmann most likely has a sampling bias against gun ownership, and the selection of these ten states was most likely not random. I would advise looking at statistics for the entire US, either with population data or statistical data using a block selection sample using states as the block. This will minimize any confounding variables, such as pre-existing gun legislation, ethnic population, hate group densities, and crime rates (affecting gun deaths), roads, congestion and weather (affecting motor vehicle deaths). My fifth point is about your dot-plot. While it is essentially correct, it is misleading in that the y-axis ranges only from about 4.6 to 9.5, exaggerating the trend. It also uses data from the entire population of the U.S, rather than each of the separate states. Most importantly, keep in mind that the growth of the third peak began when the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act of 1986 was passed, stalled when the Crime Control Act of 1990 was passed, and finally began to fall during 1994, the same year that the Brady Bill and Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was passed. These are unlikely to be the sole variables responsible for this data, however. For example, the decline seen in the third peak also coincides with the presidency of Clinton, and the latest reduction in murder rate also coincides with the Obama administration. Once again, I must stress that these are only a few possible variables. In conclusion, I feel that it is wise to do further statistical testing on gun violence in our nation. I hope you agree with me.

    • avatarDan Jopp says:

      Think, Stop and Think, Next time you get in your car compare all the Safety features that have been installed changed over the years to protect you your family and the people around you. Seatbelts, , car locks, remote locks, built in alarms, horns, anti-lick breaks, and air bags to protect you, your passengers, automatic breaking so children do get run over. Not to mention the thousands of road regulations to protect the public, Stop signs etc.
      Now look at your weapon, 200 year old technology just an on off switch that even a 3 year old can operate, 3 kids shot a day can prove that. weapon.
      Ask yourself Why?
      Why the newest models of Assault weapons just an on/off switch for safety. Why? No one’s quick drawing with an assault rifle.
      Why does a bottle of aspirin have more safety feature then my gun?
      Why doesn’t my gun have built-in safety feature so if it’s stolen the criminal can’t use it? Why don’t we want these more safety feature?
      These safety features don’t infringe on our 2nd amendment rights. It’s just common decency.
      Without having made a single safety change in gun 200 year old technology, the comment about Cars vs Gun means nothing. We have done nothing to improve on the safety of Gun, should be ashamed.

      But if you think about who “profits” from not having to change its 200 old technology, then it start to come clear. Because most gun owners wouldn’t mind having to hit a few more switches before shooting a buck.

  43. avatarThat Bald Dude says:

    Let’s use the anti-gunners’ favorite diatribe here: cars aren’t designed to kill so this is apples and oranges. Okay, let’s run with that. A motor vehicle is designed to transport people, a gun is not. No argument there. Guns are used in crimes. Yep, some of them certainly are. (So are some cars, but I want to take it easy on the use of logic, lest hoplophobes’ heads explode.) You have to be licensed, insured, and trained to drive a car, but you can go in and buy a gun if you pass a background check. True again.

    However, there is one thing to be easily determined using the car vs. gun fatalities arguments. Using the US Census Bureau’s most recent data (only as recent as 2009, sadly) I see that auto-related deaths were 35,900 in total. Gun-related deaths were 9,203. Therefore, even with licensing, insurance, education, training, and various state and local laws, deaths are still caused by car accident nearly four times more often than intentional gun misuse. It follows that mandatory licensing, training, and insurance is not the answer and is therefore not the answer to gun violence problems. Let’s not add to the equations such facts as the cars having seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, and all those safety features, because then the 4 to 1 comparison gets even more mind-boggling. I guess that’s the real “apples and oranges” comparison to be drawn, then, and the main reason the anti-gunners don’t want us to broach the topic.

    Oops…I guess I did, huh? So sorry about that…

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      @That Bald Guy – Please don’t try to equate your thinking with logic. A) your facts are wrong and 2) Try getting to work using your gun as transportation and C) Background checks may as well be non existent since there are so many gaping holes in the system anyone with half a brain (most criminals) can figure out how to get around them and there is no central federal database for people who DO perform BG checks to use. Cars kill because everyone use them every single day (usually many times) to perform life activities and accidents happen. Guns kill because that is what they are designed to do. They are not to help you accomplish your day or to provide convenience. They are specifically designed as deadly force devices. You choose to use them as sport toys but they are really killing machines. Every action show, video game, war, police intervention, and gun crime shows that. Guns are used by < 40% of the population < 10% for the time. Stop spewing BS.

      Still I support the 2nd amendment and the rest of the constitution. That means I believe people have the right to own a gun within reason and in accordance with the supreme courts interpretation of the second amendment (also power provided to them by the constitution). That means the government can put restrictions on them for the purpose of public safety. Be sane, demonstrate you know how to use and protect your weapon, and you get to own one. Be a crackpot who cannot add 2 + 2 and wants to randomly blame everyone else for their own issues or leave your guns around for your 5 year old to shoot your 2 year old and you lose that right (and in my opinion you should lose your freedom for being an accomplice to murder – or more importantly, for being stupid). The problem is, too many gun owners fall into the category of stupid. Not all but just too many of them. Litmus test, if you can't see the ridiculousness of saying that cars are more dangerous than guns you're too stupid to own a gun.

      Rights are not blanket tickets for every crackpot to use as a wedge against the best interest of society and civilization.

      • avatarJeff says:

        The main difference between cars and guns is that the Bill of Rights guarantees U.S. citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Driving is strictly a privilege. I know, the constitution refers to militia’s. At the time, there were no National Guard units, so Americans in their geographical areas banded together to form Militia’s. There was a standing Continental Army at the time, so the framers were not writing about the organized military units. I don’t think we disagree on any of this, but there is a clear reason why the founders wanted people, other than the military, to have guns and that is to fight foreign and domestic tyranny. My commissioning warrant states that I will fight against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. I suspect that the founders wanted the same thing for the civilian population so that they could potentially take up arms against all forms of tyranny. I imagine that the writers also would have wanted the population to have the kind of weapons that would actually help them win against tyranny. I don’t think that the founders wanted to limit our citizens to inferior weapons.

        Also, I do not believe in comparing deaths statistically. For example, we in the military do not compare IED and sniper death ratio’s. What interests us the most is simply what causes the most injuries and deaths in total number, because that is what really matters. The cold truth is that there should be a hell of a lot more urgency placed on the reduction of automobile deaths, because that is by far the biggest taker of lives.

        Which is actually more dangerous, shooting or driving? Most shortsighted people would probably say shooting, but I would like to give this comparison. If you were to take a 5 year old out shooting or driving, which would you choose. I personally would choose to do neither one, but if I had to choose, I would definitely prefer to take my son out to the range for a little target shooting than to let him sit behind the wheel in the driver’s seat of my vehicle.

        So, how do we stop crazies from walking into schools with guns? Simple, you can’t. No more than you can stop an idiot form getting into an automobile drunk. You can, however, offer those kids protection. Sounds ridiculous, but we are not living in the same age that you and I grew up in. We now have security measures at just about every populated venue that I can think of, but we do not have the common sense to do the same thing at our schools. Guns are here to stay, and it doesn’t matter what limits the law puts on magazines, ugly black weapons, bullet caliber and etc. If some idiot wants to walk into a school, McDonalds or church with intent to commit murder, that person is going to do just that, unless there is someone who stand between that crazy and potential victims.

        We need to stop placing the blame on the law abiding gun owners (which 99.999999% of them are, and start taking steps that will truly limit the kind of carnage that we watched unfold at that grade school. There is only one thing that would have stopped the violence that day. A trained law abiding citizen with a firearm, period.

      • avatarThat Bald Dude says:

        Uh oh. You mad, bro? You want to call me stupid for pointing out the fallacy in your argument? I could link you to the Interactive Butthurt Form so you can fill it out.

        The facts still stand. More people die from car use through accidents than from intentional misuse of guns. The CDC and the Census Bureau proved that with their statistics. I cited the facts that you need. Go look them up yourself. Don’t like them? Then wedge your head back in the sand or wherever you like to keep it.

        The stats and the facts are right there in front of you, and you lose. Again.

    • avatarTanner S. says:

      Remember, sir, that if you are comparing proportions, you must compare proportions within the same population. The number of US citizens who own vehicles is far higher than the number who own guns, so the percentage of gun deaths from a population of gun owners versus the percentage of car death from a population of car owners may – in fact – be much larger.

  44. avatarThat Bald Dude says:

    Oh, by the way…your claim that there’s no central federal database? That’s wrong. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics

    You might want to rethink your screen name. It’s a bit misleading at best.

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Not mad. Just frustrated with stupidity. People who have made up their minds rarely change them regardless of the facts put in front of them. I know, you can turn that argument around and point at me the same way. And, I will admit that the gun debate is more tricky than most political arguments because the gun lobby has made it all but impossible to get funding for public safety studies that prove arguments. After all, why would you want to enable fact finding truth? I also accept your correction about the national database but stand on the truth that a criminal can find dozens of ways around being checked. Buyjng from a private seller, gun shows, and irresponsible gun owners that leave their guns around to be stolen. We cannot rely on states laws to protect us because if I don’t like this states laws I can go to the next state and since this is America, there are no border checks to stop me from bringing my gun back to a place I might not have been able to get one otherwise.

      Guns kill. That’s all they were designed for. I’ve been in America all my life. I am a Vietnam era vet. I know how to use a gun but I have never needed one in America. I am not paranoid enough to think someone is coming after me or trying to violate my rights. And I know that in the nearly 60 years I’ve been poking around on this planet, no one ever has so even if I had a gun I would not be ready to to get it, use it, in time to make a difference. If someone was interfering in my life every week maybe it would be different and I would be on guard but I’m not. And if you are, you might want to study what is wrong with your life. What kind of people do you hang out with. Why are you so afraid?

      No, I’m not mad. I’m sad. This is not the America I grew up in. The polarized no middle ground black and white society. Putting safety around guns is not the end of the second amendment or the end of the constitution or a declaration of war against the American people. It is public safety. If you can accept my hypotheses that guns are used < 10% of the time cars are used then figure out a way to make gun deaths 10% of auto deaths. That's 3,000 instead of 30,000. If you can't accept that hypotheses then there is only one of us with their head in the sand, and I submit that it is not me.

      • avatarGregg says:

        “Guns kill. That’s all they were designed for.” Really? Guns are designed to shoot a projectile in the same was a bow and arrow is designed to shoot a projectile. Their purpose is not only to kill.
        Anyone who has shot a bow with a field tip or a broadhead (or even handled one), can see some tips are designed to target shooting and some are designed to kill game. This applied to guns and ammo too.
        There is a whole market based around target guns and race guns. These are not DESIGNED to kill, but are DESIGNED and customized for speed and accuracy. The anti-gun movement attacks all guns regardless of purpose, and has shown itself in most other countries to result in a total gun ban …sometimes with horrific attacks upon the population.
        Our bill of rights was put in place not just to define our rights as humans, but to place the government on notice for what the government is not allowed to do. Over the years, and especially in that last 50 years, the government has passed laws that allow them to violate the bill of rights in the interest of the public (or in their own interest). Drone strikes on Americans? Detention without right to a trial? The government banning specific arms? Placing massive purchase contracts to hoard bullets so the availability to public is nonexistant (a gun without a bullet is not an arm). Declairing corporations are citizens? Not requiring proof of citizenship to vote?

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          Gregg: And that kind of crazy talk is what makes me nervous about you owning a gun. You haven’t done your research and are prepared to demonize things that you are not educated about. Who is “They”? The government? So when the courts recognized corporations in 1819 as having rights under the constitution, it was all part of the evil plan to take over the people in 2014? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood – And let’s see, not requiring proof of citizenship to vote? That’s about the most laughable conspiratorial I’ve heard all day – there plenty on Facebook so there is no shortage of crackpots in the world, don’t feel alone. http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/2012fraud.asp and http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/mar/02/aclu-florida/shark-attacks-are-more-common-voter-fraud-florida/ If you listen to crackpots on TV and Radio, you will build those kinds of lines of thought but somehow it never crosses your mind to do the work in research to find out the facts. You would rather lay your reputation on the line for a talk show crackpot or rag news like Infowars. Hoarding bullets? Another conspiracy. http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/ssabullets.asp If you really think this is happening, I highly recommend visiting a psychologist and not handling dangerous weapons while on medication. When you don’t check your facts you dishonor yourself and you are in danger of persecuting someone or some group for false accusations.

      • avatarThat Bald Dude says:

        Well, Gregg already beat me to shooting down your “guns kill” BS, so no sense beating that dead horse. My guns do not kill. Maybe in your world, yours do and you need to control them better, but mine sit in the safe until needed except one or two hidden about the house. (My kids were old enough to move out except the youngest, and she’s 18 and has no interest in them until it’s range time.)

        “I also accept your correction about the national database but stand on the truth that a criminal can find dozens of ways around being checked.”
        No arguments there, which beggars the point of passing more laws that criminals will continue to circumvent. Why not put teeth in the ones we have? Check out some of the penalties in place then ask why the hell these sanctions almost never make their way to the felon’s sentencing hearing.

        If someone was interfering in my life every week maybe it would be different and I would be on guard but I’m not. And if you are, you might want to study what is wrong with your life. What kind of people do you hang out with. Why are you so afraid?

        Well, I worked for the DOC for ten years and some of the thugs still know where my family and I live. Does that meet with your approval for owning a gun? Do I have your permission now to be concerned? Also, crime is still on the rise, and when I’m away, my dog and my Mossberg are all that stand between my 4’11 wife and a rapist. Or would you prefer she lie back and accept being raped? It’s not for you or anyone else to decide what we do to provide for our own defense. While the dog barks, the humans awaken and get ready. She locks the bedroom door and hits 911 on the phone’s speed dial and leaves the phone off the hook. She or I go for the shotgun.

        We know what we’re doing, and the rest of us see through your attempt at either diminishing us or empowering yourself. We’re not “afraid.” We’ll be “afraid” if someone enters our house armed and ready to do us harm. Being able to defend ourselves enables us not to be afraid. Are you “afraid” when you buy a fire extinguisher or put on a seatbelt? As it is now, we’re prepared. If you’re so resigned to being a victim that you don’t want to take measures to defend yourself, that’s your business, but fortunately the rest of us aren’t so easily whipped.

        The point you’re missing about the ratio of car incidents to gun incidents is that even with so much statistical spin and attempted reinterpretations, the number of gun-related deaths represents the maximum efforts of people who will misuse them. That’s all the thugs who are going to go shoot someone or all the idiots trying to thin the herd. 100% of the intentional or accidental deaths related to guns is still far less than 100% of the intentional or accidental deaths related to cars.

        There’s another question to put to you.
        “Rights are not blanket tickets for every crackpot to use as a wedge against the best interest of society and civilization.”
        Since when is it in society’s best interest to make me or my family victims? Who’s driving wedges here? Me for saying I have the right to own a gun or you saying that because you don’t like my posts on the internet, I don’t deserve to have one?

  45. avatarThat Bald Dude says:

    Now I know you’re completely off track. Where did I mention anything about anyone outside America being a victim? Here’s what I asked: “Since when is it in society’s best interest to make me or my family victims?”

    My right to defend myself is not a wedge of any kind, and the only one trying to use anything as a blanket is you for saying anyone who wants a gun for defense is “afraid.” Link all the Jon Stewart videos you want. It doesn’t change any facts at all, namely the fact that Gregg, Jeff, and I have dismantled all your arguments one by one and you’re left trying to spin something I never said. Knock yourself out.

    I don’t know why facts frighten you, but live in your bubble and stop bothering the rest of the real world.

    • avatarIntelligentThought says:

      Dismantled? I think not. As usual, I find myself wasting time arguing with people with closed minds. There are lots of shades of gray between black and white but you will never see them. And I am done wasting my time on this thread. The discussion took a turn. Cars are used by many more people than guns and used much more often than gun but the annual fatality rate for both are the same. It is simple math. You have tried to take me down the path that because I think there should be better safety measures surrounding guns that somehow I am anti gun. I am not and I have said it before. I support the second amendment as described by the supreme court which is ALSO authorized by the constitution. Anything that you don’t agree with cannot be right and that is a dead end argument. As long as you think there is nothing that can be done to improve safety without somehow trampling on your paranoid rights you should not waste your time arguing on site like this. You are quite transparent.

      • avatarGregg says:

        Who has the closed mind? I think it you – IntelligentThought. You claim “guns kill and that is all they are designed for”, but I showed how the choice of bullet is different for self defense vs target shooting ….and BTW is is different for hunting too. The choice of bullet partially determines the purpose of the gun. Clearly a firearm with a 22LR bullet is DESIGNED for the range and not to kill. Race runs are another example of guns whose purpose is not to kill anything but a piece of paper. I showed how Bow and arrow can be to kill or for target use based on the arrow selected. You however hold on to the closed minded idea that guns are all designed to kill.

        You say “I support the second amendment as described by the supreme court” …that means you don’t necessarily support the second amendment as it is written or as it has been interpreted over the past 200+ years, you only support the current supreme court’s interpretation of it.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          Let’s see you fire 154 arrows from any bow in 5 minutes. Let’s see you, carry in a concealed way, three different kinds of bows and 1600 arrows. Let’s see you shoot your way into a locked elementary school with a bow and arrow.

          I don’t address your ridiculous arguments about starting guns, flare guns, and the sort because, well… they are RIDICULOUS! Starting guns are used for tradition sake because it was always the way races started. There are lots of things that could make a loud noise without being a gun. That’s neither here nor their. I don’t care if there are starting guns. In fact, I don’t care if there are guns. I want the same approach to safety procedures applied to guns as have been to cars. Find ways to make them safe. Bio-code them for owner use only. Serialize them in a way that can’t be destroyed. Child proof them to prevent accidents of 5 year olds shooting 2 year olds. Have background checks on ALL sales not just the kind that are easy to avoid. Hold owners responsible to protecting their weapons. And don’t let crackpots with lame arguments about starting guns buy guns because they can’t logically think their way out of a paper bag. But there I go, wasting my time again.

        • avatarGregg says:

          Your comment was “ALL GUNS are designed to kill”. That is not a true statement, many are designed to shoot paper targets or bowling pins and that is what I was addressing. (FYI a race gun is a specific gun designed for very fast very accurate shooting …it is not a starters pistol that is used to start a running race.) The guns I mentioned all shoot bullets, and multiple versions of them (or their magazines) are now illegal to own in CO, CA, and CT in the same configuration as they are used elsewhere in the country. They outlawed these guns and accessories in the name of “safety”, but ignored safety or likelihood of being used in a crime when wording and passing these laws.
          When one shot = one death, or 10 shots can equal 10 misses … why are you worried about a the number of shots in a 5 minute period? A bow shooting a hunting broadtip will kill just as easily as a gun. They will easily take down a deer, they will easily take down a person …which was my point. But put a target arrow in that bow or a FMJ round in that gun and they are no longer DESIGNED to kill.

          Multiple bullets are used in a magazine so the person on defense doesn’t have to reload. The person planning the attack will bring a second weapon or will bring an illegal magazine. More bullets in the magazine mainly benefits the defender who will get to respond if the first shot is not fatal or if they were not the target of the first shot. This is why the police and military want to have more rounds in their magazines. It isn’t because they are really really bad shots.

          Cars require a key. You keep that key out of the hands of people who are not to use it. If you leave your keys in your car, you are being irresponsible with your car. If you leave your keys where your child can get them, the same thing. Why is it we can see parents leave their keys on the table and don’t call child protective services and ask to take their kids away for child endangerment?
          Guns have gun locks (that are supplied with every gun purchase). They also require bullets. Like the car keys, either the gun or the bullets must be locked up. When my son was young, they were both locked and were in different areas.

          You are a typical gun grabber. You are ill-informed on the topic, you don’t know what a race gun is (you falsly ASSUME it is a starters pistol because you think you know everything), and think this lack of knowledge on your part entitles you to call me names! Then you say I shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Ha! With your lack of knowledge you shouldn’t be allowed to post on this topic. I bet you think you are qualified to decide what jet engines Boeing should use and should be banned from using too. I’m sure you believe you know more about building airplanes than they do.

        • avatarGregg says:

          You want:
          1) Find ways to make them safe.
          Like with a car, this can only be done to the extent that the owner is safe. Leave your car keys in the ignition and all the safety features of the car really don’t help.
          2) Bio-code them for owner use only.
          This technology exists but it isn’t perfect and can block a person from using the gun in a life or death situation …making it not safe. This is why the police don’t do it.
          3) Serialize them in a way that can’t be destroyed.
          Already done. you can sand the numbers off, but there is technology to still read them.
          4) Child proof them to prevent accidents of 5 year olds shooting 2 year olds.
          Done, you need bullets. Keep the bullets out of the gun. You can’t child-proof stupid. If you remove the child-proof feature (put the bullets in the gun) then let a 5 year old have it, expect bad things to happen. We all know how well childproof medicine containers work …the child can open them but the the elderly who need the medicine!
          5) Have background checks on ALL sales not just the kind that are easy to avoid.
          ALL new gun sales require a background check right now. Do you really want me to be able to go to the police and run a background check on you? Used gun sales bans a person from selling their gun to a person that they think can not legally own it. In many states all handguns (even used handguns) require the prospective buyer to get a purchase permit to show they can legally buy a gun. Technically this is not considered a background check …even though a background check is still done.
          6) Hold owners responsible to protecting their weapons.
          There are laws on the books already. This is another example of government having a specific job, but doing a lousy job or not doing it at all.

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          More wasted time. I’m not gonna do it. Since YOU choose to polarize this debate and call me a gun grabber, that is what I will be come and all like me. At the moment, we want to find middle ground. Since you want no movement at all the only answer is to take the guns away. Is that your goal. Remain unmoving and see what it gets you over the next 50 years.

        • avatarGregg says:

          You hang on to that double standard of yours, it gets you nowhere.
          In your mind it is OK for you to call me: a “crackpots with lame arguments” and say I “can’t logically think their way out of a paper bag.” But it has been YOU that lacked information and made bad assumptions. Gun deaths in the USA have dropped significantly in the past 30 years and are at a 50+ year all time low …in spite of gun ownership being the highest in that same period.

          “Rights are not blanket tickets for every crackpot to use as a wedge against the best interest of society and civilization.” Why is it that Baldguy and I are crackpots that shouldn’t be alowed to own a gun, but your progressive beliefs are those that are the best interest of society? Your progressive beliefs have also caused some major destruction in this country …your mainstreaming of the drug culture (especially in the 60′s and 70′s), Johnson’s “Great Society”, and Obama’s current expansion of the number of people on state and federal assistance. Those are hardly successes!

        • avatarIntelligentThought says:

          Expanding your argument to progressives vs conservatives does not build you any creditability. The discussion is about gun safety and you now want to turn it into an Obama hate fest. Good luck with that. He was overwhelmingly elected twice. That’s the other thing you seem to struggle with. Our government is for the people by the people. Majority rules. If the majority wants to outlaw guns then it will be done. So far you’re lucky. The majority, including me, does not want to outlaw guns but when people politicize and polarize the argument, refuse to see middle ground, and refuse to acknowledge facts, they force the hand of their opponents. I don’t want to outlaw guns but if we can’t get to a safe place with them because of legislation that impacts research, prevents background checks, limits safety innovations, and in general tries to drive a 2013 public to live in 1776 land when guns could fire one bullet at a time well then, we’ll just start the drive to a ban altogether. The choice is yours, work with us or make us your enemy. You won’t like us as your enemy.

          http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/welcome.htm

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state

          http://www.stat.duke.edu/~dalene/chance/chanceweb/103.myth0.pdf

  46. avatarMartin Burkard says:

    Rationally it comes down to two things:

    (1) Can civilian guns save more people’s lives from crime than they take through homocides and accidents? Per the US DOJ’s 1994 “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms” in the US there were 1.5 million defensive gun users who used their guns 4.7 million times for defense in the previous 12 months (per US DOJ “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms” 1997, page 8, Exhibit 7, referencing the 1994 survey -> https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf). There we have it, per DOJ there are millions of defensive gun uses. Let’s assume despite the soaring population growth, millions of illegals, and millions of more guns since 1994 the defensive gun use was actually exaggerated by these DOJ scientist by a factor of 10 (unlikely, the DOJ is always right). Then we still have 470,000 defensive gun uses every year. That number outweighs by far the number of gun related deaths. …. CHECK, civilian guns win.

    (2) Can civilian guns protect us from a tyrannical government and be less harmful in the process? Tyrannical government have always always always disarmed the population first. So guns do help protect. Now to the damage of government vs guns, governments have killed over 200 million people in the last 100 years. Individual civilians, including non-goverment criminals have not even killed remotely this many…. CHECK, civilian guns win.

    Of course, the gun grabbing socialist tyrants, even if accepting the above, will want to pass “safety regulations”, “while protecting the 2nd amendment right”. ERR, that’s exactly what has been going on and here we are. We are seeing around us how the government uses “reasonable common sense measures” to “protect us”. At the same time, their measures have proven ineffective at actually preventing anything they were supposed to. Nope, I am not willing to give up more of my rights for elusive safety. If I want more safety I do what real Americans do, I take care of it myself. If you want a nanny state, move to Europe, they are supposed to be the socialist, we are supposed to be the free and brave people, remember?

    • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

      So, by your calculation, owners of 1.5 million defensive guns (not sure where this number comes from since there are about 300 million guns in America right now) but of that 1.5 million, every one of the users had to use them an average of 3 times in the 12 months they owned them (4.7/1.5). Since I am 56 years old, have lived all over the United States and traveled all over the world and not once needed a gun for self defense, it kinda makes you question what exactly the owners of these “defensive” guns do to attract so much evil doesn’t it? Any effort to make guns more safe makes a person a gun grabbing socialist? Have you ever considered anyone other than yourself? You are so worried about your rights you really don’t care you has to get hurt or die so you can have them. And if you think you know me, you don’t. I served honorably in the military during the Vietnam war. I have family roots in Arkansas. And I am not against guns. I am for gun safety as I am for any kind of safety. Bio-coding guns stops thefts and use by unauthorized people. Background checks stop the legal sale of guns to those who do not meet the requirement to own a gun. If you are afraid of these things, perhaps you are one of those that should not own a gun.

  47. avatarGun Right DOES NOT= Driving Privalege says:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2005, motor vehicle accidents caused 43,667 deaths, and firearms killed 30,694. Using gun control as a guide, the US should ban all vehicles that can go over 80 MPH and it should be a felony to modify or own a vehicle that can go over 80 MPH. Only law enforcement have a legal need or use for vehicles that fast.

    • avatarDr Jackson says:

      I agree with you.. but don’t give them ideas…

      • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

        There are about 225 million adults in America
        There are about 254 Million vehicles in America owned by 207 Million adults
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States
        There are about 270 Million guns in America owned by 74 Million adults
        http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_in_America_own_a_gun#slide=4

        207 Million people use their automobile every single day for extended periods of time on the road with 207 million other users resulting in 34,000 accidental deaths.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

        74 Million people use their guns occasionally resulting in 30,000 deaths
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

        It’s not rocket science. 35% of the population cause nearly as many deaths per year using guns on an occasional basis as 92% of the population causes using automobiles every day.

        Since 92=2.6 times 35, multiply 30,000 deaths times 2.6 to get a 1 to 1 ratio of deaths by gun ownership. This would be 78,000 annual deaths from firearms and does not take into account the daily vs occasional use values. You don’t have to be a math major but you do have to be intelligent enough to understand the facts.

        • avatarSteve Money says:

          It’s really great that Wiki has accurate facts and records on illegally owned guns and this data associated with the 30,000 deaths. Law enforcement should be able to now go and get these criminals and their non-registered guns and reduce the 30,000 deaths to almost nothing and then the 74 million registered gun owners can also rest easy (as long as they properly lock and properly carry their firearms).

          Perhaps for accuracy we can see the relationship of non-registered, illegal guns used in one or more of the 30,000 deaths and then we can absolve most of the 74 million gun owners that have nothing to due with the 30,000 number.

        • avatarIntelligent Thought says:

          That’s a great response. It would be terrific if we could get more real numbers but since the gun lobby has pulled out all the stops to ensure that nobody ever knows anything about the statistical relationship between gun ownership and gun deaths, you will always have estimated numbers to fall back on as a reason not to believe facts. Do you have better data? Can you source it from someplace besides the gun lobby? And by the way…. due = do as in “nothing to do with…”

          While it is quite true that the majority of gun owners are not the cause of the 30,000 deaths, it is also true that gun owners, by their arguments, refuse to let the people protect themselves from the perpetrators. Not allowed to collect data, not allowed to demand safety devices, not allowed to demand background checks, not allowed to limit sales to registered store fronts. Guns put all the rights in the hands of the minority gun owners and remove all the rights from the majority who wish to protect themselves. I am not anti gun ownership. I am anti hands off guns which tips the scales in the direction of anyone who may or may not wish to harm me. Your right to own a gun does not trump my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Own a gun if you want but be safe, be sane, be responsible, and stop thinking your something special because you own a gun. You not more entitled to constitutional and declaration rights because you plopped down a couple of hundred bucks.

        • avatarSteve says:

          Accurate facts? Gun Lobby? You know as well as me that there are plenty of sources of facts that support the accurate representation of an argument. Use them. Yes, I was sarcastic. We don’t need a misrepresentation from any source. Your fact 1 is 74 million known (registered) gun owners. Your fact 2, 30,000 deaths from guns. Absolutely no correlation presented. We know there is some correlation of course but you leave an open and unsubstantiated implication that appears meant to turn the issue to legal gun owners and away from illegal gun owners; those that perpetrate most of the violent crime against others.

          You agree “that it is quite true that the majority of gun owners are not the cause of the 30,000 deaths.” Thank you for that.

          Send me the law or regulation either in force or proposed that will ensure that the criminal element discloses their intent, residence, illegal guns and their intentions to use them and I will applaud you and wave the flag for the cause. It is inaccurate to try to implicate gun owners but you give it a good try in stating “it is also true that gun owners, by their arguments, refuse to let the people protect themselves from the perpetrators”? Wow…

          New flash…in my state we have all the regulations that you complain we don’t have because of gun owners such as required classes, guns from only dealers, background checks and more. Yet, our law enforcement still does not know where the criminals live, what they have for guns, or when they plan to next use them. Not us legal gun owner’s fault sorry.

          And if I am not bad enough by leaving you helpless to the bad folk I become worse than scum because of the way you paint me with “stop thinking your something special because you own a gun. You[re] not more entitled to constitutional and declaration rights because you plopped down a couple of hundred bucks.”. Great argument there. Seems you are actually telling me in so many words that I am less entitled. I wonder in what view of the world you feel that as a gun owner I am taking away your rights? To me: “Your right to own a gun does not trump my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. We both, as any US citizen, have the right to own legally whatever we want, to live the way legally we want and so on. Because someone lives differently than any of us it does not give us the right to accuse them of denying our well being however much we may disagree.

          American citizens will own guns and regulations will generate positive cash flow in the way of fees paid but regulations will do nothing to regulate illegal guns, which is the problem that we all face together. Just because I own a gun does not mean that I am exempt from being shot with one.

        • avatarGregg says:

          The number of deaths by firearms and the number of people shot both get thrown around a lot. Subtract the number of deaths where the police shoot someone and the number of people shot will go down dramatically. Remove the bad guys killed by police in a shootout and the number of people killed will go down too. The Anti-gun people seem to forget this little fact. Or is their goal really to disarm the police to get those numbers down to a point where they are finally satified?

          Since a large portion of deaths are suicides, does anyone really believe that banning guns will significantly reduce the suicide rate? Or is their real mantra “death by self inflicted gunshot is bad but death by hanging or drug overdose is OK”. Lets face it, suicide is already illegal, but those who want to kill them self really don’t care.

  48. avatarDan Jopp says:

    Think!!!! Stop and Think, Next time you get in your car compare all the Safety features that have been installed changed over the years, to protect you your family and the people around you. Seatbelts, car locks, remote locks, built in alarms, horns, anti-lick breaks, and air bags to protect you, your passengers, automatic breaking so children do get run over, and new eature every year. Not to mention the thousands of road regulations to protect the public, Stop signs etc.
    Now look at your weapon, 200 year old technology just an on off switch that even a 3 year old can operate, 3 kids shot a day can prove that.
    Ask yourself Why?
    Why the newest models of Assault weapons just an on/off switch for safety. Why? No one’s quick drawing with an assault rifle.
    Why does a bottle of aspirin have more safety features then my gun?
    Why doesn’t my gun have built-in safety feature so if it’s stolen the criminal can’t use it?
    Why don’t we want these more safety feature?
    These safety features don’t infringe on our 2nd amendment rights.
    It’s just common decency.
    Without having made a single safety change in gun 200 year old technology, the comment about Cars vs Gun means nothing. We have done nothing to improve on the safety of Gun, should be ashamed.

    But if you think about who “profits” from not having to change its 200 old technology, then it start to come clear. Because most gun owners wouldn’t mind having to hit a few more switches if it would prevent a kid form being shot.

    • avatarClint Johnson says:

      This sure seems like an educated bunch of guys who have done some research. I am a gun owner. I am pro gun. I am also pro education because I grew up in a family of teachers. I wonder if you have any statistics on the # of anti-gun people who are gun owners. Would it be accurate to say that most anti-gun folks are not gun owners? So then would it be accurate to say that those folks are more apt to be scared of something they don’t understand. Natural human nature right? Might education about guns and familiarization change some of their minds? I personally know of 4 people who had never shot a gun or owned one before they met me. After shooting my guns they decided they wanted one.

      This brings up my next request. I also would be interested to know how many gun owners consider themselves educated about gun safety and security. I meet people all the time who own guns and don’t know anything about them. I have a friend Tim, that works behind the gun counter at Cabelas. After the latest attempt to push through gun legislation backfired, his business was flooded with 1st time gun owners who wanted to “get one while they still could”. Many of them had been on the fence about owning a gun. Their reasoning for not owning a gun so far is that they would actually be creating a safety issue in their home. But as soon as the threat of losing that right was there, the were off the fence, and off to the gun store. I bet at least 50% of them bought a pistol and stashed it unsecure in a underwear drawer or shoebox in the closet and may or may not have actually shot it. Wouldn’t education about guns help to teach folks what it means to truly secure your firearm. Better security alone would probably help with some of the school shootings.
      Tim also said that people are constantly asking him where they could go for a gun class or to practice with their new weapon. There are plenty of concealed weapons classes, but just general use and security are rarely taught. People are asking because they don’t know what they are doing with a firearm. Most of them do not plan on actually carrying.
      I have a single friend of my wife who was afraid of guns, but she wanted something for protection because her house had been broken into on two occasions. I was concerned about her limited experience with firearms. She ended up purchasing a gun and leaving it in my safe to come over and practice with it before she took it home. I have been teaching her about gun safety. If we actually want to reduce the number of gun related accidents, wouldn’t education about gun safety curb some of the senseless deaths? What about a simple card that you would have to present when buying a gun that says you have passed a gun safety class? Hunters have to have a hunters safety card to get a license to hunt. Automobile drivers have to pass a drivers test, which in many states can not be taken until you show proof of passing a drivers ed course.

      Haven’t we humans proven to ourselves over and over again that banning things we are scared of doesn’t work. Education about these kinds of things is what works. We make fun of the backwards holy rollers who want to burn library books and ban sex education classes. Why not a program to educate teens about firearms instead of banning a tool that has been as much a part of our history as democracy and free speech. I find it interesting that the other killer everyone keeps mentioning is the automobile. Drivers education is in all the schools now. That is one of the ways we are fighting that fight.
      I also think that it is interesting that we have a government agency (ATF) that deals with three big killers. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. We all know what happened when they tried to ban alcohol. I think that you would be hard pressed to find an educated man that would not agree that prohibition was a big mistake. (Although it did make for some great gangster movies!) I also think that the number of smokers has been affected by add campaigns and education about smoking —- Not by banning cigarettes. What could we possibly hope to gain by banning guns? I think that some of ideas that Dan mentioned added safety features for guns are not bad. Do you think we will get to them faster by banning guns or by promoting scientific research into them?

      Oh, one last request. I would be interested in knowing the statistics on the proportions of anti-gun folks that live in Urban areas vs rural. I grew up a country boy. Moved away from the closest city when I was in second grade. I don’t think I even knew anyone in my home town in Missouri that didn’t have guns. We kept them for hunting mostly and a little bit for protection…from snakes and varmints mostly. Of course, that was also in an area of the country where you didn’t have to lock your doors at night. People didn’t get killed by guns unless it was a hunting accident and those were way less common than drunk driving deaths and farm accidents. In the back of your mind, however, was always the safety of your family. There was the knowledge, that if something or someone did go bump in the night, there was not anyone you could call that would be there fast enough to actually help you. You were responsible for your own security.
      I live in the suburbs of large city now. I meet a lot more anti-gun folks these days. I laugh at the folks who live in a world where they think the police are here to protect them. I had a conversation with a woman the other night that was anti-gun. She said “We don’t own guns because we don’t NEED them. That’s what the police are for!” I told her my dad was police when I was just a baby. He put himself thru college working nights as a city cop. Even he would tell you that the police are here to arrest the criminals and put them in jail after they kill you for the flat screen TV on your living room wall. People who think the police will be here fast enough to save them are living with a false sense of security because they see a patrol car every once in a while. In reality that patrol car is out doing his real job which is deterrence by having a presence in the area. Personally, I would never ask another man to lay down his life to protect me anyway. (Although those of us who have served in the military know what it is like to pledge to do so.)
      Some folks just don’t think it will ever happen to them. They are playing the odds. The truth is the chances are very low that it will. I have a neighbor that is anti-gun to the point that they would vote to take away my right to protect myself. They would vote to take away the right to bear arms from folks who don’t live within earshot of another person to even shout for help. I think that the idea that you can make yourself safer by taking away guns is a little like nuclear disarmament. You can’t go back. It doesn’t work like that. The bad guy can always find a way to get what he needs if he is willing to circumvent the laws to get it. What would have happened if we really didn’t have any nukes when this idiot in N. Korea wanted to flex his muscles here recently.

      Sorry guys that I didn’t have any facts and figures to back up any of my statements. They don’t seem to be working for either side of the argument anyway. But this is my opinion and real life experience, hope it counts for something..

  49. avatarJames Freeman says:

    This is interesting but only proves that people die every day, for example acording to the Journal for American Medicine in year 2012 there was over 250,000 deaths due to pharaceutical and medical error and this figure is miniscule compared to slaughter of billions from government control and the wanton deaths and destruction by military intervention in foreign sovereign countries.
    The exact reason why our founding fathers reminded the people that they have always had the right to protect their selves, even from a tyranical out of control government.
    The fact is that the overnment did not give the people the right to bear arms, hence they can not control what they did not give, and to register your arms means that the gov. thinks that to posses arms is is a privilage not a right ….. WRONG!

    • avatarRationalThought says:

      Typical post from an uneducated paranoid extremist. No research to understand the numbers and no reference to where the numbers are obtained. Followed only by a blind belief in some single paragraph in a book written 1500 years ago without seeing the context of any other text in that same book. And finally, complete lack of recognition that the document that defines this government was created by men in a different time and they were the creators of government. To write that something is a God given right does not make it so, it only means that it was written by humans of the time.

      My God has no interest in the stupidity that is human argument of rights. Gods interest (if you believe in the being) is in goodness to one another. Not judgment, not power, not countries, not race, not religion. Goodness, that is all. Put down your selfish desire to own guns and your smoke screens of rights defined by any man made document. It’s not about you.

      • avatarGregg says:

        Dear “RationalThought”,
        If your God does not believe you have the right to protect yourself, I can understand that and respect that. Unfortunately for you, my God does believe in it. Luckily for me the founders of this country also had a God that believed it was an inalienable right.
        That is a wonderfult thing about this country, we believe freedom of religion is also a right ….meaning we don’t imprison or kill people like you for not believing in the same God that our founders believed in. The freedom of speech allows you to voice your opinion against the 2nd amendment without being jailed for it. Or would you prefer an arrangement where you could be jailed indefinitely for a post that speaks poorly of the 2nd amendment? This is not really a God thing anyway, this was our founder’s way of saying the government needs to be limited in what they can restrict. They lived in governments that restricted these thing (all detailed as what the government can not restrict in the bill of rights). They realized when past government restricted those rights, it always happened under the rule of unsavory governments – and they wanted to stop that from happening to this country.

        You are right,it’s not about me. Why is it that people say “it isn’t about you”, when what they really mean is “I have no basis for wanting it my way, but I want it to be about me”. Keep in mind, it’s also not about you.

  50. avatarSteveM says:

    I read the article to the point that it was written to refute a claim of comparison of deaths related to cars vs. guns. Seems to me it did so fairly well.

    Regardless of the other arguments pro and con. Guns will be owned. Gun ownership cannot be correlated to wanting to kill another human being. If I own a gun and you want to take it away, perhaps you are the reason I should own a gun. When you threaten to take it away maybe I should own two or three.

    My opinion only..is that it is easier to speak to regulating gun ownership because at the end of the road is revenues for state, local and federal regulators for the fees that are paid. Fighting social factors that lead to violence comes with costs and taxes

    No politician is going to go after the hunter or the sport or competition shooter and I doubt that they could really support the argument of taking away self defense firearms. In this latter example I suppose that they could attempt to ban self defense weapons if they could guarantee a crime free society but then we are back to costs and taxes.

    You don’t like guns or gun violence fine. Again, guns will be owned so figure something else out.

    To the gun owners out there please rethink your gun management. To the vast, vast, majority I am preaching to the choir but to some, if your 12-year old can access your 9mm (recent example) turn your gun(s) in to the police today and never touch a firearm again. Please….

  51. avatarJulia says:

    What you gun-waving rednecks don’t recognize is that NO ONE wants to ban all guns. The priority is who obtains guns and how they are obtained. Just has you have to be mentally and physically sound to have a driver’s license, you should be mentally sound enough to own a gun permit. Guns should also all be registered and have identification numbers. I recently heard a proposal for gun-owner insurance and a requirement. Brilliant, I say! And I don’t want anyone calling me a hippocrite or anything so I will add this: I am a 21 year-old female from farm-country. I grew up with people tresspassing on my family’s 12-acre property to hunt in our woods. No cops would do anything about it. As a child, I was afraid to go in my own backyard because of it. Unrelated, I now see a therapist for anxiety, depression, and formerly suicidal tendencies. Although I am stable and medicated, I do not believe that considering my history, I should ever be elligible to be a gun-owner. However, I am. Gun-purchasing is too easily available. You can go to a gun show and buy firearms without a background check. THESE are the things we “antis” are trying to change. So stop being whiney babies about it, ok?

    • avatarJulia says:

      Oh right, I forgot to include how the “responsible” gun owners in my neighborhood left death-threats in our mailbox because they didn’t like living near a family with ‘noisy’ little girls on a farming property with chickens and roosters. Sorry, if you didn’t want to hear roosters, you shouldn’t have moved in next to a farm! Those morons shot two of our chickens before they ever managed to get a rooster. I wished those jerks had seen those little girls cry at the site of their dead pets in their own backyard.

    • avatarKent Schmidt says:

      “No one” wants to take away our guns? How about these no-ones:

      http://coldservings.livejournal.com/51731.html

      and this is just a short list. Not one of these folks are even trying to hide their preferences. They don’t want me, you, or anyone but *maybe* the police to have guns. They do not, ever, explain how disarming a law-abiding citizen will lead to criminals not having guns.

      I say this often: *MY* guns have never been used to commit a crime, and they never will. Unless, and until, their very ownership is made illegal.

      I make you an offer, Julia. I will provide you, free of charge, a sign for your front door that states: “This is a gun free zone.” That way, all the criminals out there, and the police as well, will realize the situation and won’t trouble you in your home. Deal?

      • avatarSteve says:

        Unfortunately many posts comment meant to slander or frame others as lower class persons. If I were a redneck I would be red and proud bless your heart.

        Julia’s post is interesting because it includes a description of irresponsible gun owners, gun owners possibly acting in an illegal manner, and where there is not support from the local authorities. Two sides to every story of course…you poke a stick at a sleeping snake and you may get bit…don’t blame the stake…regardless, no one has the right to threaten others or to shoot towards them let alone kill their chickens. An extremely small % of gun owners making a bad name for the majority that are good citizens.

        To a responsible gun owner these folks are indeed part of a criminal element. To Gregg’s point and I hope at the time what would have been a concern of Julia’s parents, is what happens should these folks came at you in the night vs. threats and shooting chickens. Those who choose to have a firearm for the protection of their families would rather be armed in that instance than victim. We must admit universally that we are in an environment where police respond, but in the seconds of intrusion and possible harm or murder, police cannot get to you in time to protect you. Anyone can and do make their own choice and I don’t degrade you who wish to be passive; measure your own risk your own way.

        I feel yes, that it is easier in some states than in others to legally obtain firearms. The problem nationally is that even in extremely regulated states the politicians continue to push for regulation; this a waste of time and effort and will only result in more fees paid by gun owners. Some states (my opinion) should come up to an acceptable regulatory standard; however, we must take note that the bad element and bad gun owners exist whether in a loose or highly regulated state and tighter regulation generally limit only impulsive actions. Rather, we need to speak to collectively about how to better criminally treat bad gun owners such as the folks that Julia notes or also doing a better job of holding the gun owner that allows any other person unrestricted access to their firearm; most notably kids on school yards with the parent’s gun, responsible.

  52. avatarStephen Lamade says:

    I don’t see a problem with comparing vehicular homicides with gun homicides. There will always be a certain percentage of people who kill people with their cars because they behave irresponsibly with the potentially dangerous tool that they are driving. Some of these people will do so because they experience road rage, some because they are callous enough to get behind a wheel after imbibing alcohol or drugs, some because they are distracted and not careful, etc. On the gun side of the analogy you’ve got your criminals and moral delinquents, drunks and drug users, and the kind of parent, for example, that would leave a loaded rifle in the corner of the living room or a loaded hand gun in the dresser drawer, in a home that children frequent. A car is just as dangerous as a gun in the wrong hands, and vice versa. On the other hand, a gun is more inherently dangerous than a gun due to several factors, including the fact that most people are just more comfortable handing a car than they are a gun. That’s not the gun’s fault, but it does contribute to why the gun is more likely to be demonized compared to the car, or swimming pool, or whatever. I think that the issue at hand has more to do with two competing philosophies with respect to how we handle everyday risk: either you are optimistic that an agency superimposed over your moral compass is better suited to handle the repercussions of giving individuals broad civil liberties (i.e., there will always be individuals who mishandle firearms, and cars), or you believe that there are unintended consequences of taking individual responsibility away from those who are capable of acting responsibly, even though there are a few who do not behave in this manner.

  53. Pingback: All gun deaths are not equal. | Selling the Second Amendment by Gregory Smith

  54. avatarMike says:

    “…as you can see, just pulling the suicides completely debunks Josh’s numbers.”

    No.

    What it might tell you is that the “gun violence” prolblem is less a problem with “guns” in the abstract, and more a lack of access to mental health/suicide prevention care — at least as compared with the ease of access to a firearm.

    The comparison to be made is to coal gas suicides in GB.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC478945/

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/25565893?uid=3739560&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103501861247

    To summarize, when GB changed the gas supply from lethal coal gas to the non-poisonous natural gas — the national suicide rate dropped. Substantially, and permanently.

    What this tells us is that most suicides are short term, spontaneous reactions – and that if it’s made more difficult to commit suicide – even merely difficult enough to require as much forethought as driving to a suitably high bridge to jump off off — that the suicide rate will IN FACT, go down.

    And yes, that is DIRECTLY applicable to firearms.

    Suicides are very much if not exclusively, spontaneous reactions to a momentary feeling of despair. For those suicides committed by firearm, the British experience argues conclusively that most of those firearm suicides, rather than looking for another method, which would require at least at little more planning or determination — that most of THOSE suicides would never happen.

    So quit contrary to your conclusion — those firearm suicides show a *massive* problem with firearms

    If we could take away the firearms from the population (mostly older and sick, lacking adequate health care of any kind, let alone mental health care) most susceptible to suicide by firearm, while some few of them would indeed simply try harder — most would never make the attempt if it took more than loading their personal firearm and shooting themselves while alone at home.

    I.e., what you’re saying is you don’t give a rats ass about depression in and lack of health care for older people.

    Just let them kill themselves.

    What a trooper.

    • avatarGregg P says:

      Mike, I appreciate your interest in restricting my choices regarding how I am going to die, BUT ….with all due respect to you wanting to strip me of that right for your personal edification, if I ever become terminally ill, how I choose to die is none of your business. I am all for treating mental illness, but when you decided to take away the right of someone who is terminal to choose suicide instead of a long, painfull expensive death ….you lost me there. Not all suicides are due to depression or due to being mentally ill.

      Nobody wants the depressed or mentally ill to hurt themself, but mental health care is a crap shoot at best. The professionals still have a high misdiagnose rate, and the medications to treat are filled with side effects – one of them is often the desire to commit suicide. To blame a gun, a rope, prescription pills, or coal gas ….is like blaming the spoon for making a person fat. Are you also for banning all prescription pills? – because they are the number one choice for those about to attempt suicide.

  55. avatarKeith says:

    This is an excellent article. It shows exactly the ignorance of anti-gun people. Guns are incredibly safe in the hands of law abiding and educated citizens. I wish the FBI or whatever federal agency handles these stats would publish the number of gun deaths/injuries intentionally caused by legal gun owners and also further show how many of those were wrong and how many were justified. Something tells me (common sense) most gun deaths/injuries are caused by criminals who illegally purchased their gun or were caused by people who could legally purchase a gun who bought it with the intent to harm people. Now I know some people will that last sentence and say, “Those are the people gun control laws are trying to control!” but that is ignorant. If we controlled every item that could be purchased with the intent to harm someone we would have laws on toasters. Guns need to be made readily available to law abiding citizens so that they can defend themselves when the police are not around (which is pretty much during every crime). One final point, if you have ever had you house broken into or come home to find you house broken into you would understand how unsafe you feel after that experience and would want to arm yourself accordingly. I know how that is.

  56. avatarJohn A says:

    We don’t need more laws about firearms, we need laws for people to respect firearms and how they can help a lot of people. The major thing I have noticed is that with all the media hype and less and less people being around firearms we are becoming scared of them. It’s not the firearms themselves that are committing the shootings its the people holding the firearms. I have noticed there are not many people out there that know how to properly point firearms which is most likely where the accidents are coming from. I have even noticed it with sales clerks while buying my own firearms. We need to go back to teaching everyone how to respect firearms and relearn the 10 commandments of firearm safety. I have been shooting since I was 12 and when I first started I needed to learn the proper way to treat all firearms.

    Now comparing me with my firearms and me while driving I know for a fact I am more dangerous behind the wheel of a car than with my firearms. I go over the speed limit and because I wear glasses my peripheral vision is not that great and I am not always able to read the road signs. I go hiking with my firearms all the time for safety and I always and I mean always making sure I am properly caring my rifle and handgun and treating them properly. I always treat them as if they are loaded even though I do not always have them loaded, I have all safeties on when I’m not ready to fire and I always know where my mussels are pointing and will move them if someone decides to walk in their line.

    Now I know not everyone is like me but if we were just less scared of firearms and make sure everyone is taught proper educate about firearms we can prevent a lot of deaths.

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