American civil society gun culture
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People have strong feelings about guns. I don’t think everyone needs to hate them, and I see value in people hunting for their meat instead of buying it from factory farms, where animals are mistreated. But studies have found that gun control reduces gun violence.

According to a policy evaluation conducted by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, loosening laws around concealed weapons increases gun homicides. Even after controlling for poverty, unemployment, college education, population density, race, and non-firearm deaths, the same policy evaluation found that states with tighter gun control see fewer gun suicides and homicides.

Guns, by definition, are instruments of violence. I understand a farmer owning a rifle to protect his sheep, cows, or chickens from predators. I understand owning a gun to hunt with. I understand that some folks feel it’s necessary to own a handgun for protection.

Still, while it may make them feel safer, one study actually found that “people successfully defend themselves with guns in less than 1 percent of crimes in which there is contact between a perpetrator and a victim.” They’re much more likely to be unharmed if they flee the scene or call law enforcement.

Our feelings about guns may vary, but the fact is that guns kill or wound. Some do that more efficiently than others. They don’t double as construction tools or household objects. They are created to destroy. It’s pretty clear to me that more available guns means more destruction, which is why I am now a proponent of common-sense restrictions that keep us safe from gun violence of any kind.

— Christine Clark in I Grew up Thinking Guns Were a God-given Right: Here’s Why I’ve Changed My Mind

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