In the past few years, there has been a growing public outcry calling for increased gun control measures and restrictions. The unthinkable acts of violence from Aurora, Colorado to Newtown, Connecticut have only strengthened this call for sweeping changes to the way guns are used and regulated. World-wide media outlets have continuously misrepresented facts in an attempt to scare the general public into embracing increased gun control measures. We, as a nation, should focus more on controlling criminals that use firearms than controlling the guns themselves.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) crime statistics, in 2011 there were 1,203,564 violent crimes nationwide, which translates to 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, nationwide. Violent crimes are defined by the FBI as the following: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) completed a study in 2012 comparing the murder rates of countries from around the world. In the UNODC study, the United States is shown to have had 4.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, which ranks at number 102 in the world. To place that number in perspective, the country with the most murders was listed as Honduras with 91.6 murders per 100,000 people; Cameroon had 19.7.
The FBI statistics show that the majority of crimes involving the use of a gun occur in large cities that have the strictest gun control laws in the country. In 2012, in Detroit, Michigan, 333 people were killed by a gun; this equates to 47.5 per 100,000 residents (FBI). New Orleans, if it were a country, with a rate of 62.1 gun murders per 100,000 people, would rank second in the world (Thompson).
Banning all firearms outright may eventually see a decline in gun related deaths, but in many countries worldwide, guns have already been outlawed almost entirely. In England even unlicensed possession of a single bullet can carry heavy penalties. Similarly, Australia has incredibly restrictive gun laws, limiting firearm usage to licensed sports and occasionally licensed for hunting, after a lengthy application process. In both Australia and England handguns have been banned, from possession, entirely for any reason other than sport shooting at specified gun clubs. Since these new restrictions on individual gun ownership have gone into effect both England and Australia have both seen decreases in the number of firearm related homicides. However, they have also seen an explosion in the number of violent crimes committed without a firearm and large increases in the number of “hot” crimes (committed while the victim is present) (UNODC). Australia and England are numbers one and two, respectively, in the world for violent crime rates.
Statistical data has consistently shown that the large majority of gun violence victims are criminals. World News Daily contributor Michael Thompson, in his article entitled, “Most Murder Victims in...