Firearms used in 300,000 crimes a year in US (Poster)

reprint edn.

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).

13 Responses

  1. Actually, the figure I heard last night on NBC was 30,000 Americans are killed by a firearm every year.

    For once, the NRA knew enough yesterday to keep its mouth shut and didn’t issue its usual “guns don’t kill people …” idiocy. Of course, it didn’t offer any sympathy to the victims or their families, either, simply saying it wouldn’t comment “until all the facts are known.”

    What?!?

    Here are the facts: The fact is that 20 children and seven adults working with little kids were killed because high powered hand guns and assault rifles are so readily available. It doesn’t matter that the guns used were acquired legally and registered. No one – and I mean absolutely no one outside of law enforcement or the military – needs a Glock or a Sig or an assault rifle. And I’m not convinced law enforcement needs such weapons, either.

    Thanks to five men on the Supreme Court who didn’t understand 18th century punctuation and grammar, we ended up with an insane ruling in the 21st century on guns.

  2. A commentator in the Denver Post wrote in a article published the day before the Connecticut school shooting:

    “Practically speaking, a law-abiding citizen’s first line of defense is his or her own gun — a right protected, in any case, by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. If your home is invaded by a criminal, not having a gun is your biggest problem.”

    (link to denverpost.com)

    If the news reports are correct, the school shooter used his mother’s legally obtained firearm to murder her and his other victims. That fact alone should do much to demolish the argument that a gun has any utility for self-defense.

  3. Honest and sober points again today. These need to be repeated to fight against their irrational arguments to arm themselves in such an unhealthy way. Thank you for your blog, it is invaluable to be to read your assessment of the news. I appreciate your knowledge.

  4. It’s challenging understanding how gun ownership means freedom to anyone. Militia type citizens could be armed to the teeth and they’re still no match for the US military. Joey Strummer and Mick Jones of the Clash sing in White Man in Hammersmith Palais, “The British [US] Army is waiting out there and it weighs fifteen hundred tons.”

    Outlawing guns makes it easier knowing who the criminals are. They’re the ones with guns.

    • The far right is working day and night to infiltrate the US military as well. I think when their dreams come true, it will be via a military coup, and the militias will do the dirty work of exterminating enemies on the local level. Recall Indonesia, where the Army overthrew Suharto, and then 600,000 ethnic Chinese and Communists somehow got hacked to death by Malay civilians. Was the Army really doing nothing during all that, or was it directing traffic?

  5. Yes, Charley, you are correct. I think the figure I saw earlier from the Brady Campaign was 30k deaths causes by firearms. That is far more than we lost in Iraq or Afghanistan so why aren’t people screaming about this?

    I am not sure what to think of the NRA other than they are a bunch of cowards.

  6. When the NRA becomes a major supporter of the ACLU I will believe that gun owners are sincere in their concern for individual liberty.

  7. Like a lot of things in the US, the debate about guns is hiding another dispute over who is a “real” American and who is an inferior.

    The framing of the NRA, et al is that there is an implied “criminal” race, and a non-criminal “American” race, with no crossing over, no shadings, no ambiguity. If the Good Americans simply out-firepower the Bad Americans sufficiently, then the war on crime is won, just like the war on Indians. The fantasy about militias is therefore the next logical step. The fantasy about militias overthrowing a government that refuses to strip Bad Americans of their false equality is the next insane step.

    Instead, the Good Americans are deeply flawed, paranoid people who shoot their spouses, children, parents, and best friends when they lose their tempers. When that happens these Good Americans magically become Bad Americans, who all along were hiding in disguise among us like Communists and child molestors.

    The point of it all, of course, is that the militia advocates have no intention of allowing blacks or Hispanics or gays or leftists or atheists avail themselves of the 2nd Amendment in the same way that Good Americans can. The instant that those undesirables form militias to counter right-wing militias, they will simply be labeled terrorists, treated completely differently under the law, and no one will blink.

    • There is a theory that the real reason the Civil Rights movement succeeded and wasn’t just crushed is that African-Americans were fairly well armed and could have defended themselves from a concerted attack by racists

  8. Nothing about the USA is more befitting of validating the claim of “American Exceptionalism” than our gun culture and the violence it causes. It truly does make the USA “exceptional” among the advanced nations of the world. It’s not something that most NRA-supporting gun owners should be blamed for. But the NRA leadership is a bunch of sociopaths who appear to care only about their political power. Twenty children lost in Newtown? Collateral damage that they won’t lose sleep over.

    What would the public think if the posture of the AAA was that speed limits restrict our freedom and should, therefore, be opposed and should be the single issue upon which all AAA members should cast their votes. The truth is that speed limits do limit our freedom. Exactly the kind of limits that distinguish “freedom” from “liberty.” We should view “reasonable” gun controls as the same limitation of “freedom” that enhances our “liberty.” The liberty to send our children to safe schools, which would seem to be a pretty basic component of our society.

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