Guns don't kill criminals as often as criminals use guns to kill innocent people


There is one justifiable use of a privately owned gun to kill a criminal for every 34 murders committed with a firearm in America. Looking at the horrible gun death statistics recently shared by the Violence Policy Center, I can only shake my head and wonder what it'll take to reform America's love of guns.

The Washington Post has a wonderful analysis of the Violence Policy Center's report. They break it down nicely:

In 2012, there were 8,855 criminal gun homicides in the FBI's homicide database, but only 258 gun killings by private citizens that were deemed justifiable, which the FBI defines as "the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen."

That works out to one justifiable gun death for every 34 unjustifiable gun deaths.

Or, look at it this way. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that in 2012 there were 20,666 suicides by gun. That works out to one self-defense killing for every 78 gun suicides. CDC data show that there were more than twice as many accidental gun fatalities as as justifiable killings.

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  1. Honestly, as much as I don't really like guns, I don't care about them directly, just think that it's crazy that in the US in 2012 there were around 15000 homicides, while in the UK there were 650, Italy 530, France and Germany 660...

    There were also 13000 in Russia - I'd hope the US doesn't want to be lumped together with that state.

    I really can't understand what is culturally wrong that leads to this orders of magnitude difference in killings between the US and Western Europe. That is what needs fixing.

    As far as using the 2nd amendment to overthrow a tyrannical government goes, I think that's just pie in the sky thinking. If you want to start a guerilla war you'll do it regardless of what the constitution says (as we're always told, there's guns lying around everywhere anyway and you can make your own), and I don't think the US Army would be very intimidated. You'd need them to be taking part in this revolution if you wanted to succeed.

  2. Still relevant:

    "There is one argument and one argument alone for having a gun: Fuck off. I like guns! It's not the best argument, but it's all you've got."

  3. If you mean that for every criminal who brandishes a gun in a robbery or assault there are several law-abiding gun owners who just want to go shooting at the local gun range, I agree.

    If you mean that for every crime facilitated by someone brandishing a gun there are several crimes prevented by someone brandishing a gun, I very much doubt it.

  4. You cannot post that image too many times for me, Jason. I love it. No irony, totally srsly.

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