Saw a good post on WordPress today titled Do Guns Save Lives or Take Them? Can’t say I agree 100% with it on every minor detail, but in essence it does address the real problem. The post ends with this observation with which I do fully agree:
…it is not the gun that is the problem, but the person. Rather than addressing the means, we need to get to the source of the problem, which is the person behind the weapon.
As many have pointed out before the crime, violence, and homicide problem in the U.S. is not uniformly distributed around the country. No, it is highly centralized in certain areas where some primary features are an illegal trade in drugs and gangs of young men fighting for turf. Blacks are something like 10-13% (depending on whom your read) of the population but commit over 50% of the homicides, and this violence is most often directed at other blacks.
A good example of this was in the news just the other day where at least 19 people were wounded at a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans. From Yahoo News:
Two brothers with a history of drug arrests and suspected ties to a neighborhood gang each face 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder in a shooting spree that brought a sudden bloody end to a Mother’s Day parade in a New Orleans neighborhood. Yahoo News, May 17, 2013
You have to go to the story to see the pictures to realize the shooters were black. Or you need to know that the Seventh Ward in New Orleans where this happened is almost completely a black neighborhood. It is politically incorrect today to acknowledge the racial component of our problem with violence in America.
According to this report in Bloomberg:
[New Orleans ] had 199 murders last year, or 58 for every 100,000 residents, up from 50 for every 100,000 in 2010. The city with the next highest crime rate last year was Flint, Michigan, with 51 murders for every 100,000 residents followed by Detroit with 48 murders for every 100,000.
In comparison the overall rate for the United States as a whole for 2011 was 4.8 per 100,000, a huge difference (see these FBI statistics). The areas with the worse problems share some common characteristics:
1. Controlled for decades by Democratic politicians
2. High concentration of lower income blacks characterized by a large percentage of single head of household (dysfunctional) families
4. Illegal drug trade
Here the facts are laid out succinctly:
The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes. In 2010, blacks (approximately 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 48.7% of all arrests for homicide, 31.8% of arrests for forcible rape, 33.5% of arrests for aggravated assault, and 55% of arrests for robbery. Also as of 2010, the black poverty rate was 27.4% (about 3 times higher than the white rate), meaning that 11.5 million blacks in the U.S. were living in poverty. -HOW THE WELFARE STATE HAS DEVASTATED AFRICAN AMERICANS
If we want to solve the problem we have to acknowledge it, but today too many people shy away from seeing truth because they fear being labeled a “racist” for seeing the obvious. The problem is not black people per se. Never has been. The problem is calculated political destruction of the black family by progressive policies of the Left. To many cynical politicians in Washington it is not important how many blacks kill each other, or how much drugs they sell as long as the votes are delivered on time to the Democratic machine.
Many have said, and I think accurately, that blacks traded dreams of freedom and progress in the 1960s for guaranteed benefits on the Democratic Plantation today. Too many blacks are willing to sell their vote for a free “Obamaphone” and that is the real root of the problem.
Returning to “Do Guns Save Lives or Take Them?,” the writes says that:
From the perspective of the National Rifle Association, they would say that guns save lives and claiming that a gun never killed anyone. From the political left, you will find the exact opposite response. Guns take lives, and a gun alone never saved anyone.
This is an exaggeration. Gun rights advocates acknowledge that guns are used for both good and bad purposes. However from their point of view the good uses far outweigh the bad and they acknowledge that ultimately you can’t have one without the other.
According Dr. Gary Kleck, an award winning criminologist at Florida State University, firearms are used over 2 million times a year by Americans to defend themselves. In contrast guns are used in homicides and suicides far less often. Some critics of Kleck claim that his statistics are inflated, but many studies have come up with figures above 100,000 per year of defensive firearm usage, still quite a bit larger than their use in homicide and suicide.
The truth is that it is very difficult to know how many times people legitimately use firearms for self defense. If you think about it for a minute that should not be difficult to understand. In a lot of Democratically controlled cities if you use a firearm in self defense you are more likely to be prosecuted than the criminal. In those parts of the country a sensible person doesn’t report these things to the police.
You can’t just count the official police statistics of a criminal killed in justified self defense. As Kleck showed in his research in the vast majority of cases of self defense a firearm is never fired. In most cases the intended victim displays a firearm to the attacker and that person quickly leaves the vicinity, presumably to find an unarmed victim whom it is safer to attack.
On this evidence alone I think the verdict can be reached. Guns save lives. That is essentially their primary purpose. That is what the majority of people use guns for. Based on the research of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman in his book On Killing the majority of people can’t kill another human being on purpose. But they can threaten an attacker with one, and the evidence strongly supports the claim that that is what they most often do with a firearm.