Happy New Year!

As 2013 rings in, it seems that bad news is all around us.  But rather than harping about the exploding national debt, the consequences of another four years of Obama, health care, Islamic Caliphate, etc., let’s focus on the good news.  The Mayans were wrong and the World didn’t end on December 21, 2012.  And despite what you might see on the evening news, the crime rate is down.

According to the FBI, the violent crime rate in America has been steadily falling for decades.  The 2011 crime rate was only half of what it was twenty years ago.  The murder rate has also been halved over that same period.  Great news, right?  Yes, but you’ll never see that being reported on MSNBC or CNN, because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the U.S. using a variety of different murder weapons.  1,694 were committed with knives, 1,659 were committed with other objects like hammers or baseball bats, 728 were committed using hands and feet only, 356 were committed with shotguns, and 323 were committed using rifles.   There is currently no easy way of determining the actual type of rifle from the FBI crime date available online, but you can assume that the “assault” rifle category is somewhat smaller than 323.  So what has the hysteria that has followed the horrific crime in Sandy Hook brought? –  An assault on our constitutionally protected rights in the renewed effort to ban “assault” type weapons.

For comparison, in 2010 there were 10,228 deaths caused by drunk driving.  We should ban drunk driving, oh wait, we already did.  About 17,000 people die each year from illegal drug use.  We should ban illegal drugs, oh wait.  Over the past five years, over 3,500 people on average drown each year in America.  About half of those deaths occurred in swimming pools.  We should ban swimming pools.  About 411 people are electrocuted each year.  We should ban electricity.

You see, the left believes in the fallacy that fewer guns would result in fewer crimes, but in fact, the complete opposite is true.  More guns actually REDUCE crime.  In Switzerland, the government actually issues guns to most households.    Their homicide by gun rate is one of the lowest on the planet at 0.52 per 100,000.   In the US, many surveys have been conducted to determine the number of legal self-defense uses of guns (DGUs) by law abiding citizens.  Most of the surveys put the number between 800,000 and 2.5 million DGUs per year.  The one outlier survey, conducted by badge-wearing federal employees in face to face interviews, put the number at 108,000 DGUs per year.  These numbers are completely ignored by the left.  It’s funny that they have no problem believing in the number of “jobs saved” by the stimulus, but refuse to acknowledge the number of crimes prevented by guns.  Guns are like seatbelts.  They save lives every day, but occasionally they can kill you.  How many times have you heard about a car wreck where the driver or passenger was lucky to be thrown from the vehicle? It’s not 100%, but the good significantly outweighs the bad.

Most people are completely ignorant when it comes to firearms in the first place.  They hear terms like “semi automatic” and “assault rifles” and “high capacity magazines” and conjure up images of something that our troops are using in Afghanistan.   So here are a few pointers for those of you who were not brought up around guns.  A semi automatic weapon means that the gun will shoot ONE bullet each time the user pulls the trigger, without halving to reload or do anything in between.  Just like an old cowboy six-shooter, pull the trigger and the gun goes “bang”.   Technically, a semi automatic also ejects the spent shell casing (which is not true of revolvers) but the result is the same.  Put six bullets in the gun, pull the trigger six times = six dead bad guys.  Some shotguns are also semi automatic.  My Remington model 1100 that I’ve had since 9th grade is a semi auto.  It will hold 5 “bullets”:  one in the chamber and up to four in the “magazine.”  Put 5 shotgun shells in and pull the trigger 5 times = 5 dead ducks (hopefully).  Some shotguns are not semi auto, like pump-action or single shot models.  Pump shotguns require the user to manually eject the spent shell after each shot by “racking” the forward stock of the gun back and forth.  A good hunter can do this about as fast as someone with a semi auto.  With a pump, put 5 shells in, pull+pump 5 times = 5 dead ducks.  Single-shot or double barrel shotguns require the user to open the gun to remove the spent shell or shells and reload between shots.  This takes considerably longer between firings.  Put 1 shell in gun, 4 in pocket, pull trigger + open gun + remove shell + load new shell + close gun = 1 dead duck and 4 lucky ones that flew away.

“Assault” type weapons are just a legal term.  The Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 was a ten year ban on firearms having certain characteristics like folding stocks, pistol grips, or weighing more than a certain amount.  It expired in 2004.  However, many people still incorrectly equate “assault” weapons with machine guns.  Machine guns are fully automatic weapons, i.e. put 20 bullets in, pull and hold trigger once = 20 bangs.  Machine guns are already illegal in the U.S. and there is no legitimate effort underway to make them legal that I’m aware of.

Check out these sources for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ooa98FHuaU0#!

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Causes_of_Death

http://www.centurycouncil.org/sites/default/files/images/AIDF-Rates.gif

http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Assault_Weapons_Ban

 

About John Cox

I'm a 47 year old software engineer and father of four.
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