Donald Trump surveys the death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, hears the laments of the grief stricken and then tells everyone it’d be good idea to bring more guns into school. You let the teachers have them. “You give them a little bit of a bonus, so practically for free, you have now made the school into a hardened target.”

More guns equals less crime, then?  No:

The notion [that more guns mean less crime] stems from a paper published in 1997 by economists John Lott and David Mustard, who looked at county-level crime data from 1977 to 1992 and concluded that “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths.” Of course, the study of gun crime has advanced significantly since then (no thanks to Congress). Some researchers have gone so far as to call Lott and Mustard’s original study “completely discredited.” …

Now, Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the analysis, extending it through 2010, and have concluded that the opposite of Lott and Mustard’s original conclusion is true: more guns equal more crime.

“The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates” of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder, Donohue said in an interview with the Stanford Report. The evidence suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with an 8 percent increase in the incidence of aggravated assault, according to Donohue. He says this number is likely a floor, and that some statistical methods show an increase of 33 percent in aggravated assaults involving a firearm after the passage of right-to-carry laws.According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 467,321 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011, which includes the 11,000 or so gun-related homicides.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey 2011, 467,321 people were victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011, including the 11,000 or so gun-related homicides. Guns are pretty good at threatening people. Bang. Bang. You’re dead.

In 2010 the FBI recorded 12,996 homicides – 8,775 were committed with guns; 1,704 with knives; 540 with blunt objects; 11 with poison. People murder, then, with the nearest most lethal object to hand. Or they become more devious: in 1927, America’s deadliest school massacre was carried out with dynamite.

But what about guns just going off?

In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people. From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. Over 1,300 victims of unintentional shootings for the period 2005–2010 were under 25 years of age.

Matt Steinglass notes:

Gun-rights advocates often argue that there’s no point taking away people’s guns, because you can kill someone with a knife. This is true, but in practice people are nowhere near as likely to get killed with a knife.

In America, of those 14,022 homicides in 2011, 11,101 were committed with firearms. In England and Wales, where guns are far harder to come by, criminals didn’t simply go out and equip themselves with other tools and commit just as many murders; there were 32,714 offences involving a knife or other sharp instrument (whether used or just threatened), but they led to only 214 homicides, a rate of 1 homicide per 150 incidents. Meanwhile, in America, there were 478,400 incidents of firearm-related violence (whether used or just threatened) and 11,101 homicides, for a rate of 1 homicide per 43 incidents. That nearly four-times-higher rate of fatality when the criminal uses a gun rather than a knife closely matches the overall difference in homicide rates between America and England.

But police having guns is good, right?

Not one but four sheriff’s deputies hid behind cars instead of storming Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Fla., during Wednesday’s school shooting, police claimed Friday — as newly released records revealed the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received at least 18 calls about the troubled teen over the past decade.

Sources from Coral Springs, Fla., Police Department tell CNN that when its officers arrived on the scene Wednesday, they were shocked to find three Broward County Sheriff’s deputies behind their cars with weapons drawn.

Stoneman Douglas had an armed guard who did not engage the killer.

There is no consensus over guns in the US. Maybe the focus should be on the ‘wrong kind of people’ having guns?

 

 

All the talk is of guns. But why do the State and ordinary people own them in the first place? And if anyone needs to be denied gun ownership, why shouldn’t everyone be made gun free?

Anorak

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