“Gun Violence” is one that I want to delve into a little more here, because it is such an overused and misleading phrase, yet it is at the center of the entire debate. What is “gun violence”? Typically when people talk about gun violence, they use it as a catch-all phrase to encapsulate just about anything that has ever been done with a gun. They include homicides, suicides, accidental discharge and even police shootings and justifiable self-defense. They lump all of these things together in order to inflate the numbers and give the impression that America is some third world country where people just run around shooting each other in the street, when the truth is just the opposite. Police shootings are an issue all their own; that is a law enforcement issue and NOT a gun issue. Suicides are a separate issue as well, with sub issues of mental health, family units, support systems, etc. NOT guns, that is simply the method used. Accidents are a training, education and handling issue, NOT a gun issue. So that leaves the only thing that actually fits under the heading “gun violence”, homicides and non-fatal firearms victimization. Here’s some food for thought.
- Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
- Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.
- Firearm violence accounted for about 70% of all homicides and less than 10% of all nonfatal violent crime from 1993 to 2011.
- From 1993 to 2011, about 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun.
- Males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide from 1993 to 2010
How Prevalent is Gun Violence in America?
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 467,321 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011. In the same year, data collected by the FBI show that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 41 percent of robbery offenses and 21 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide.
Most homicides in the United States are committed with firearms, especially handguns.
Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, reaching a low of 10,117 in 1999. Gun-related homicides increased slightly after that, to a high of 11,547 in 2006, before falling again to 10,869 in 2008.
Gun-related homicide is most prevalent among gangs and during the commission of felony crimes.
Do we have issues in America? Of course we do, but they are not gun issues. The issues we need to be dealing with are educational (firearms education included), social (gang issues, family structure issues, mental health issues) and economic (which affects all of the above) issues. As I said at the beginning of this, when you take the “gun” out of all of these catch phrases, then you start to see the real issues and the real debate. Protecting our rights, who is in control (the government or the people), reconnecting with our American culture and the real root causes of violence are the real issues.
Note: Need more proof? Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware – Pew Research
Jon Britton aka DoubleTap is Chief Operating Officer of CDH, Inc., a regular contributing author and regularly involved in most aspects of their social media. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and zombie stories to political advocacy. Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. As a founding member Cold Dead Hands his study of human nature and writing ability found a purpose. His zombie roots provided a variety of issues from prepping to human behavior under crisis to firearms that he applies to his advocacy for gun rights. A ravenous appetite for the study of history combined with his current events political junkie addiction led to him writing an e-book Gun Sense: Past, Present and Future.