It seems like there are irreconcilable differences between those who are pro-Second Amendment, and those who advocate gun control, and I think it goes beyond their personal beliefs. They think about the world in fundamentally different ways, which becomes plainly obvious when you see how these two groups compile data on homicides and gun ownership. Let’s take a look at how anti-gun folks see these numbers:
Higher ownership of guns in the United States has been linked to more violent crimes and overall homicides, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University.
I was intrigued when I first read that. I don’t think it would change my overall position on the rights of human beings if this were true, but I’d like to know if the statistics I give readers are true or not, so I decided to read more into this study.
Firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in US states with the most guns versus states with the least, said study researcher Michael Monuteaux, an epidemiologist and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
“We found no support for the hypothesis that owning more guns leads to a drop or a reduction in violent crime, instead, we found the opposite,” Monuteaux told Live Science.
“This study suggests that it’s really hard to find evidence that where there are more guns, there are less crimes, but you can easily find evidence that where there are a lot more guns, there are a lot more gun crimes,” he said.
Numerous studies have found that gun ownership is directly associated with gun-related homicides, and homicide by gun is the most common type of homicide in the United States.
Boston University researcher Michael Siegel and colleagues found in a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health that over 30 years, gun ownership levels correlated with firearm homicides, such that the higher the gun ownership rate, the higher the firearm homicide rate.
Do you see what they did there? At first, the article was about gun ownership causing violent crime. Then it shifts back and forth between that, and claiming that more guns cause more gun related crimes. I swear the next time I hear the words “gun homicide” “gun crimes” or “firearm homicides” I’m gonna scream.
That’s because gun control advocates can always find plenty of statistics that show higher gun ownership rates correlate with gun related crimes. Obviously, if you live in a state or country with an easy access to firearms, there will be more crimes committed with firearms. Human beings always seek out the most effective tools for the job, so they will always spring for best weapons they can get a hold of, regardless of whether or not they are criminals or law-abiding citizens.
But gun control advocates have a tendency to ignore overall homicides, and instead focus on homicides that are caused by firearms. When you do that, you’re missing the bigger picture. You’ll always fail to recognize that, while more guns equal more gun related crimes, they may also cause the overall violent crime rate to go down, a fact which has been proven time and time again.
Now it’s true that the Harvard study did claim to find a relationship between more guns and a higher overall homicide rate. I decided to look for another article that had more details on the study, which I did find. The researchers behind the study admitted that while there did appear to be a connection between more guns and more crime, they weren’t sure which came first. Do guns cause more crime, or does a higher crime rate cause people to buy more guns?
This reminds me of another falsehood that gun controllers fall for over and over again. They love comparing the statistics of criminal homicides and justifiable homicides. Criminal homicides account for many more deaths than the former, so they conclude that guns are much more likely to be used by a criminal to kill, then they are to be used by a law-abiding citizen to protect themselves. But there’s a serious problem with that conclusion.
As many of us now know, police departments in America are famously bad at reporting the number of “justified” homicides their officers commit. And apparently, they’re even worse at reporting justified homicides committed by average Americans. These numbers also don’t account for how often someone uses a gun to protect themselves, which don’t result in injury or death. It’s a number we’ll probably never know for sure, since some people probably don’t even bother reporting these incidents to the police.
So the next time you read about any study that draws a conclusions between gun ownership, crime, and self-defense, always read between the lines and dig a little deeper. The truth is often elusive.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.