300,000 Violent Gun Crimes a Year in the US (Poster)

Gun Crime

Some 300,000 violent crimes are committed each year in the US with the aid of a firearm..

One of the arguments for not banning the sale of military weapons to any old civilian (crazy ones included) in the US that one often hears from gun rights fundamentalists is that they need the guns to fight the government if it ever became tyrannical.

I can’t actually find any evidence that these people actually care about key liberties such as Habeas Corpus or the right to a fair and speedy trial before the government blows you away from the sky, or the prosecution of illegal wars abroad.

What I do know is that the actual extent of violent crime in the US aided by guns is unparalleled in advanced industrial societies. Every three years, a million Americans are mugged, raped, assaulted, and robbed by people carrying firearms.

Not to mention that 59 people are killed every year with firearms in Britain, but 8,777 are killed by guns in the US (per capita, the rate in the US is 30 times higher).

16 Responses

  1. If only the US government had the metaphoricals to formally declare the NRA as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorist activity.

  2. I’m not sure why you keep holding up the incredibly violent UK as a model. Yes the UK weapon bans reduces gun violence, but non gun violence has skyrocketed. It has over 4x the per capita violent crime as the US.

    “2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe. Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland. By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population. ”
    link to telegraph.co.uk

    • It does not make sense that Austrians are so much more violent than there northern German neighbors. What does make sense is that the stats make the Austians look more violent than they are because when the law breaking English and Swedes and Dutch come to vacation in Austrian they bring their law breaking habits with them.

  3. Is it plausible that a militia of US citizens armed with guns could stand up to a United States government that has become tyrannical? I think the government’s armament is such as to render that argument–needing guns to fight a tyrannical US government–very weak.

    • Tyrannical governments fall because they lose the support of their base, not because they are defeated militarily by the militia. We are seeing this happen at the moment in Syria.

      • When the government no longer has support of the base, it usually does not cede power peacefully, especially if the population has already been disarmed. History is littered with examples of gun control laws leading to atrocities against law abiding citizens, either at the hands of government or the illegally armed, often externally funded opposition to that government. Baghdad’s Sunni population was substantially disarmed from 2003-2006 which made them easy targets for ethnic cleansing by Iranian supported Shiite militias or maligned Interior Ministry forces.

        I happen to agree with Juan Cole who said in his 6/24/2010 post, “But it turns out that if you disarmed the Sunni Arabs, then the Shiite militias came at night to chase them away…… I don’t think Baghdad is now more than 10-15% Sunni, whereas it was probably about half and half Sunni and Shiite at the time of Bush’s invasion in 2003.”

        And to give credit where credit is due, I was avid reader of “Informed Comment” while assigned to MNF-I staff under both Casey and Petraeus in 2006-2007. While Mr. Cole did not have access to the same information that I did, he certainly had a deep (and correct) understanding of events that helped me put the intellgence pieces together. I offer a belated thank you, even if our politics may not exactly align.

  4. What NRA supports really think but are smart enough not to say is, we do not care if there are 300,000 gun related crimes each year. That is a small price to pay to be able to keep an AR 15 and an Uzi under my bed. Furthermore we take the same theoretical risk as everyone else in being a victim üf such crimes And to top that of we secretly are pleased by gun crimes because victims of gun crimes tend to be overwhelming liberals who are secretly socialists who are secretly communists who are secretly Stalinists who are obviously stupid. So if we reverse this format we understand that we are cleverly culling our society of its intellectually infirior elements. Only a liberal would go to the movie Batman. After what Rush said about the movie any self respecting conservative would boycott the movie.

  5. If we ever did need to overthrow our government (and it might be necessary the way things are going) we would stand no chance without the military on the side of the people. As it stands the militia fantasy is just an excuse to do nothing on this terrible problem.

  6. My guess is that many of the gun owners who believe they need guns to protect themselves from the government are the same voters who support officials who want increases in military spending each year. Perhaps if we disallowed the military to have guns, it would never be possible for the government to turn on gun owners.

  7. I think “Does Not Sell”, Jon and Simon are getting close to the heart of the matter of the militia ideology. Though the modern Tea Partiers are canny enough to deny it, they are mainstreaming the radical militia agenda of the ’90s. The role of the gun in that ideology is exactly that of the gun in the Southern traditional ideology.

    That ideology is based on a capitalist perversion of the Old Testament Patriarchy, in which the male head of household (owner of land/property/capital) has absolute power over his family and slaves, and thus by forming a “republic” with his fellow patriarchs, rules all the non-citizens with an iron hand. Thus, the executive government only serves them by organizing their private firepower to destroy all opposition at home and abroad.

    Certainly they thought that their cultural indoctrination makes their weapons more effective than their enemies, so after 1865 they would tolerate blacks having small arms, but not the organization to attain a balance of terror against their own militia.

    The Southern ideology also leaned on feudalist fantasies, in which knights owned farms but were obligated to provide military service (plus their personal weapons and horses) to their lords. That meant that every militia member was a kind of knight (Invisible Knights, anyone?) and their strongest regiments were bankrolled by wealthy men, who received the title “Colonel” just as European lords got military titles like “Baron” and “Duke”.

    Meaning: they don’t care if you own a pistol as long as they have machine guns and group training in how to use them to exterminate you when the time comes. The government is an obstacle, but it relies heavily on their caste as a source of soldiers, cops and prison guards. So they have no problem with spending all your tax $ on making the military strong; they already have a 5th column inside it in the tradition of Franco and Pinochet.

  8. The US and the UK are different places. It might be better at this point for Americans to be humble and compare themselves to other south of the Canadian border nations like Brazil and Mexico instead of European nations.

  9. Maybe the US of A. are made of a violent culture made by violent people.
    A shame amerikans didn’t keep this habit between them…
    It would be better for the rest of the world.

  10. “I can’t actually find any evidence that these people actually care about key liberties such as Habeas Corpus or the right to a fair and speedy trial before the government blows you away from the sky, or the prosecution of illegal wars abroad.”

    In the context of the establishment political paradigm, you are absolutely right. There seem to be very few politicians in office, or professors in academia for that matter, who respect individual liberty and rights. However, you may want to research lesser known, libertarian-minded Rule of Law platforms such as Ron Paul’s. While supporting the individual right to self-protection, Ron Paul vehemently opposes such legislation as the 2012 NDAA which (still) codifies indefinite detention and military custody. He also works to reduce military spending and our presence abroad.

    • Yeah, and vehement Mr. Ron Paul, he wants to “free” our “markets,” so our Great Nation can end up looking like this:

      link to nakedcapitalism.com

      Shrink “the government,” and replace it with all these “government-like organizations,” so we can live like the folks on that planet visited by Captain Kirk and Spock, where the whole joint works on the Al Capone model… Pay your protection, or die.

      Granted, what we have collectively saddled ourselves with is tailing down into that same kind of dystopia, on a slightly different trajectory. Seems we humans can’t do any different, certainly not any better…

      • I agree, JT. Libertarians who have any kind of historical context are whores for the age of robber barons, satanic mills and Herbert Spenser.

        Meaning, they want a power vacuum to be filled by the business class, so they combine Jefferson’s limited agrarian government with an out-of-control industrial capitalist oligarchy that Jefferson himself opposed. To do this, they lie about the existence of power as being inherent in complex social arrangements and diverse/immigrant populations (required by capitalism). They pretend that governments create power, so that if we cripple the government, power will magically go away instead of reverting to the rich, who will switch their payroll from lobbyists to El Salvadorian-style death squads.

        Which is really all feudalism and militias were.

  11. juan, i’m not a gun owner and i abhor the violence of our society, but i wonder what you think of this article — link to harpers.org — and the notion that the issue of gun control itself may be causing us to lose out on other progessive opportunities?

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