With gun violence a hot topic of conversation in the United States, the stats below should bring all the talk about disarming Americans into perspective.
The murder rate in the United States, as calculated by the UNODC has been dropping since 2006 (high of 5.8 since 1999) and is now 4.8% (latest stats available, 2010).
The UNODC also calculates the “Homicides by Firearms” statistics, which puts America at a low 3.2% per 100,000 people.
Consider some of the most dangerous places in the world, where murder per 100,000 people is extremely high:
Honduras: 68.4% (firearms)
El Salvador: 69.2%
South Africa: 38.8%
Mexico: 10.0% (firearms)
Venezuela: 39.0% (firearms)
Saint Kits and Nevis: 38.2%
Trinidad and Tobago: 35.2%
Colombia: 27.1% (firearms)
In most African countries the rate is above 15%, while most European countries are below 1%.
Most of the countries above have either 100% ban on weapons, or close to it, called “restrictive” in many countries. Why, if there are laws in place restricting or banning guns, is the violence rate so high? The stats available are mostly only available for legal firearm owners, not those who have their guns illegally. (Source for statistics below: chetbacon.com)
- In the US, there are approximately 200 million firearms, owned by 60-65 million people.
- Criminals misuse less than 0.2% of firearms.
- Over 99.8% of US firearms and 99.6% of US handguns will not be involved in criminal activity in any given year.
- Voluntary firearm safety programs have helped reduce the accidental firearm fatality rate 67% over the last 50 years, yet firearm ownership has risen 200% (handguns).
Why do Americans own firearms?
- Hunting: 10%
- Protection: 58%
- Target shooting: 18%
- Collecting: 14%
- Of those Americans owning firearms, 13% have used their gun for protection. Where would those 13% be if they had not had that firearm?
Statistics for states that allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms:
- The homicide rate for states with favorable carry laws is 31% lower.
- The robbery rate is 36% lower.
- In Florida, which changed its law to a more favorable CCW law in 1987, the homicide rate has dropped 22%, even while the national rate rose 15%.
If you aren’t carrying a firearm yet, check the stats below and then go get a background check.
- Prisons are overcrowded and out of 4.3 million convicted criminals, only 26% are in prison. The remaining 74% are serving parole or probation, free on the streets.
- Criminals who are incarcerated are freed too early: average time served for murder? 7.7 years. Rape? 4.6 years.
- Every day in America, 14 people will be murdered, 48 will be raped, 578 robbed, all by convicted criminals on parole or early release from prison.
The statistics listed above can be used to counteract the scare tactics put out by anti-gun groups. There’s an anti-gun “photo” going around on Facebook called “Protect Your Home From A Killer.” The information is full of scare tactics such as “a gun in the home triples the risk of a homicide,” and “an abused woman is 6 times more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home.” The information is not sourced. The photoshop graphic at the top of this article is sourced, right here, in this article. Let’s get it circulating.
Unfortunately, the main reason most people want to take away gun rights, and the reason people want to keep their firearms is the same. Fear.
Fight that anti-gun fear with facts and education. Offer to take someone to a gun range so they can experience the power of being able to protect themselves. Call your congressman and let them know where you stand on gun control and the 2nd Amendment. Protect your rights, and yourself, whenever you can.