Plenty of groups and organizations have recently held anti-gun rallies and marches, wanting stricter gun controls to be put in place. But do gun bans and gun controls really work?
As all this gun control talk continues, gun purchases and applications for concealed gun permits have soared nation-wide. A record number of people applied for a license to carry concealed firearms last year in the Lehigh Valley, and early indicators in 2013 show that demand isn't slowing down. Northampton County Sheriff Randy Miller said his office received 4,627 license-to-carry applications last year, shattering 2011's total by 70 percent.
Did you know that Russia, a country that practically eradicated private gun ownership over the course of decades of totalitarian rule and police state methods of suppression has a murder rate four times higher than the U.S.?
Critics, citing numerous statistics, have questioned the efficiency of gun restrictions. Large cities, including our capital, Washington D.C. and Chicago have strict gun laws. Yet, these places have high murder and violence rates. The violent crime rate for Washington in 2010 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 207.47%. The violent crime rate for Chicago in 2010 was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 148.31%.
In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed a law generally prohibiting residents from possessing handguns and requiring that all firearms in private homes be kept unloaded and rendered temporally inoperable via disassembly or installation of a trigger lock. The law became effective on Sept. 24, 1976. However, this law was overturned in March 2007 by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The ruling was upheld on June 26, 2008, by the Supreme Court of the United States in a 5-4 ruling, striking down this law as unconstitutional. Both courts held that the city's handgun ban violated individuals' Second Amendment right to gun ownership.
However, the ruling did not repeal all forms of gun control; laws requiring firearm registration remain in place, as does the city's assault weapon ban. Additionally, city laws still prohibit carrying guns, both openly and concealed. However, if you obtain a valid registration for your weapon, you may keep a firearm in your home, place of business, or for specified recreational purposes. Also, the District of Columbia does not recognize concealed handgun licenses from any other state and penalties may include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. Second and subsequent convictions incur fines of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower. The number of homicides in Washington peaked in 1991 at 479, and the city eventually became known as the "murder capital" of the United States.
The Washington Times says this about the Democratic leadership;
“It is important to remember that while they are talking about disarming you and me, they are not talking about disarming themselves. They will still be coddled in their fortresses. The closer you get to the Capitol the more armed guards there are. Up close, there are bomb proof guard shacks, literally, on every street corner. Squads of machine gun-carrying guards dot the magnificent marble buildingscape at all times. Leaders in Congress ride around with escorts of huge armed men.”
Evidently our chicken-shit scared leaders feel they are more important than the rest of us. In other words, the places in which they live and breathe and conduct their business will remain under heavy guard–from police, armed agents, helicopter flyovers, and snipers at various points while “the little people,” the average American citizens, are expected to get along as best they can without any means to defend life or liberty.
Illinois remains the only state in the nation with no provision to let private citizens carry guns in public. Did you know that 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001? But, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that same time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.
Not a single gun shop can be found in Chicago because they are outlawed. Handguns were banned in Chicago for decades, until 2010, when the United States Supreme Court ruled against it, leading city leaders to settle only for certain restrictions. And yet Chicago, a city with no civilian gun ranges and bans on both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, can’t stem a flood of gun violence that contributed to more than 500 homicides last year and 157 shootings and 42 killings already in January of this year.
Chicago police say they are discovering far more guns on the streets of Chicago than in the nation’s two most populous cities, Los Angeles and New York. Chicago's murder rate is also currently quadruple that of New York and double Los Angeles' rate.
Of 1,662 murders committed in New York City during 2003-2005, more than 90% were committed by people with criminal records.
Despite being for stronger gun laws, Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker said, "Legal gun buyers are not causing murders in Newark and Chicago and other places."
The following are some staggering facts:
Currently, for every 12 aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders committed in the United States, approximately one person is sentenced to prison for committing such a crime.
Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.
A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun "for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere." Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all "military service, police work, or work as a security guard.
At the current homicide rate, roughly one in every 240 Americans will be murdered.
A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974-1985 found:
• 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives
• 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime
• 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once
A 2002 U.S. Justice Department study of 272,111 felons released from state prisons in 1994 found that within three years of their release:
• at least 67.5% had been arrested for committing a new offense
• at least 21.6% had been arrested for committing a new violent offense
• these former inmates had been charged with committing at least 2,871 new homicides, 2,444 new rapes, 3,151 other new sexual assaults, 2,362 new kidnappings, 21,245 new robberies, 54,604 new assaults, and 13,854 other new violent crimes.
Many federal gun laws are already in place but do they work and are they enforced?
• It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for the following people to receive, possess, or transport any firearm or ammunition: someone convicted of or under indictment for a felony punishable by more than one year in prison, someone convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by more than two years in prison, a fugitive from justice, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, someone who has been ruled as mentally defective or has been committed to any mental institution, an illegal alien, someone dishonorably discharged from the military, someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship, someone subject to certain restraining orders, or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor.
• It is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison to sell or transfer any firearm or ammunition to someone while "knowing" or having "reasonable cause to believe" this person falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.
• It is illegal to "engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms" without a federal license to do so.
• It is illegal for any federally licensed firearms business to sell or transfer any firearm without first conducting a background check to see if the buyer/recipient falls into any of the prohibited categories listed above.
• It is illegal for anyone except a federally licensed firearms business to sell, buy, trade, or transfer a firearm across state lines.
* Under federal law, private individuals are not required to a conduct a background check before selling or transferring a firearm to someone who lives in the same state, but it is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a private individual to sell or transfer a firearm while "knowing" or having "reasonable cause to believe" that the recipient falls into one of the prohibited categories above.
Here’s a good one: As of 2010, federal law does not prohibit members of terrorist organizations from purchasing or possessing firearms or explosives. Between February 2004 and February 2010, 1,225 firearm and three explosives background checks for people on terrorist watch lists were processed through the federal background check system. Of these, 91% of the firearm transactions and 100% of the explosives transactions were allowed.