Well looking around it is hard to say. It seems carrying a gun is more of a deterent espescially in states with a concealed weapon permit. What are
we going to base this on. All shootings? Just legaly owned weapons shootings? Illegal weapons and legal weapons? Name the criteria and I will
Here is just one of the many. It so used I have no idea with whom to give credit.
Ten Myths vs. Reality
Gun control is an issue surrounded by (some would say submerged in) myth and misunderstanding. We present here ten myths that are most frequently
raised . . . and, from our perspective, most commonly misunderstood.
Myth No. 1: Guns cause crime. A review of the academic literature shows that there is no relationship between the number of guns and the amount of
crime in the United States. Criminologists Gary Kleck and E. Britt Patterson reported in 1993 their finding that gun ownership had no significant
effect on the rates of murder, assault, robbery, or rape in the U.S. Between 1973 and 1992, the rate of gun ownership in the U.S. increased by 45
percent (from 610 guns per 1,000 people to 887). The homicide rate during that period fell by nearly 10 percent (from 9.4 homicides per 100,000 people
Myth No. 2: Gun control laws reduce crime. Firearms have been regulated with increasing stringency in the United States for most of the past thirty
years. Nevertheless, the number of firearms in private hands has increased continuously by many millions per year; handguns have become an increasing
proportion of privately owned firearms; and rates of crime, violent crime, and homicide have shown no relationship to the passage or enforcement of
gun laws. In their 1993 research, Kleck and Patterson analyze the impact of 19 gun control measures on six categories of violence. In ninety of the
resulting 102 relationships, they found no significant correlation between gun laws and violence.
Myth No. 3: Gun control laws stop friends from killing friends. Most murderers and most victims of homicide have criminal records. They are likely to
have other criminals as friends and acquaintances. So while it is true that in many cases of homicide the offender and victim are known to each other,
it is not true that these "friends killing friends" are the plain ordinary folks often portrayed in anti-gun propaganda. "It is not a slander on
the few truly innocent and highly sensationalized victims," writes Dr. Edgar A. Suter and his colleagues, "to note that the overwhelming
predominance of homicide victims' are as predatory and socially aberrant as the perpetrators of homicide." Indeed, according to City of Chicago
data, the largest and fastest-growing category of relationship between killer and victim is "non-relative, non-friend acquaintance."
Myth No. 4: Gun control laws keep criminals from obtaining guns. In surveys of prisoners, a majority report that they had owned a handgun prior to
their imprisonment. But only 7 percent of criminals' handguns are obtained from legitimate retail sources. Three-fourths of felons surveyed report
they would have no trouble obtaining a gun when they were released, despite legal prohibitions against firearms ownership by convicted felons.
Myth No. 5: Required waiting periods would prevent some of the most vicious crimes. The Brady waiting period law imposes waiting periods on
handguns--the least-deadly type of firearm--while imposing no such restriction on much more deadly, substitutable weapons such as rifles or shotguns.
While handguns are preferred by criminals because of their portability and concealability, not every criminal who planned to use a handgun will
abandon his criminal plans when confronted by a waiting period. Indeed, for reasons discussed in more detail below (see "Why Waiting Periods Fail"),
it is entirely possible that waiting period laws could increase the number of both killings and nondeadly woundings.
Myth No. 6: Guns don't work as self-protection against criminals. In fact, guns are about as valuable to civilians as they are to police officers,
and for the same reason. According to criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, every year adults use guns for protective purposes 2.5 million times.
As many as 65 lives are protected by guns for every life lost to a gun. Each year, potential victims kill between 2,000 and 3,000 criminals; they
wound an additional 9,000 to 17,000. Moreover, mishaps are rare. Private citizens mistakenly kill innocent people only thirty times a year, compared
with about 330 mistaken killings by police. Criminals succeed in taking a gun away from an armed victim less than 1 percent of the time. The real
utility of defensive firearms, moreover, must surely be far greater, and would be measured not by how many people were shot or even how often a gun
was fired, but rather by the deterrent effects of a civilian being armed.
Myth No. 7: Guns aren't needed as self-protection. About 83 percent of the population will be victims of violent crime at some point in their lives,
and in any given year serious crime touches 25 percent of all households. The odds are not likely to improve; there is only one police officer on
patrol for every 3,300 people. And the courts repeatedly have ruled that government has at most a limited duty to protect individual citizens from
crime. An illustrative case is Warren v. District of Columbia, in which three rape victims sued the city under the following facts: Two of the victims
were upstairs when they heard the other being attacked by men who had broken in downstairs. From an upstairs telephone, the two roommates made several
calls to the police. Half an hour passed and their roommate's screams ceased; they assumed the police must have arrived. In fact, however, their
calls had been lost in the shuffle while the roommate was being beaten into silent acquiescence. When her roommates went downstairs to see to her, as
the court's opinion describes it, "For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon
each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands" of their attackers.
Having set out these facts, the District of Columbia's highest court nevertheless exonerated the District and its police, noting that it is
a fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police
protection, to any individual citizen.
Myth No. 8: Gun control laws are especially needed to prevent the purchase of Saturday Night Specials and "assault weapons." Inexpensive handguns
are involved in only 1 to 3 percent of violent crimes; criminals generally prefer larger caliber and more expensive handguns. Moreover, in the past
fifty years no civilian has ever used a legally owned machine gun in a violent crime. And despite their repeated use by drug dealers on television and
movies, no Uzi has ever been used to kill a police officer in the United States. Even some gun control advocates concede that so-called assault
weapons play a minor role in violent crime. In 1991, 1992, and 1993 combined, there were more than 2,500 criminal homicides in the City of
Chicago--only three of which were perpetrated with a true, military-style, "assault weapon."
Myth No. 9: Gun control laws are especially needed to prevent gun accidents in the home. "Gun-control advocates have sought to create the impression
that firearm accidents involving children are a large and growing problem," writes the Independence Institute's David Kopel. "Many people
mistakenly conclude that children die frequently in gun accidents and that sharp restrictions on gun ownership are necessary to address the problem."
In fact, however, the number of gun accidents involving both children and adults has fallen dramatically.
In 1970, 2,406 Americans died from firearms accidents. By 1991, that number had fallen to 1,441--even as the number of guns increased dramatically.
Between 1970 and 1991, the annual rate of fatal gun accidents was cut in half, from 1.2 to 0.6 per 100,000 Americans. The death rate from firearms
accidents is lower than that from accidental drowning (1.6 per 100,000 in 1991), inhalation and ingestion of foreign objects (1.3), and complications
from medical procedures (1.0).
Myth No. 10: Gun ownership is not a constitutional right. The Second Amendment reflects the founders' belief that an armed citizenry (called the
general militia ) was a necessary precaution against tyranny by our own government and its army. The idea that government has a constitutional right
to disarm the general citizenry is totally foreign to the intent of the Constitutional framers. Samuel Adams, for example, expressed in the
Massachusetts convention his intention that "the said Constitution be never construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States who are
peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." David Kopel summarizes the legal scholarship on this issue:
[edit on 12/27/2004 by just_a_pilot]
Mod Edit: to add a link to the list.
[edit on 27-12-2004 by kinglizard]