Back in 2007, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy released a study on gun control that received very little media attention – and there’s little wonder as to why. The study essentially obliterates the lie that gun control makes people safe.
The study draws correlative data from the Center for Disease Control, the U.N. International Study on Firearm Regulation and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Though lengthy, it’s definitely worth the read.
I took the liberty, however, of pulling some notable facts from the study – some that I found fascinating and some that run contradictory to claims you often see touted by gun control advocates whenever the opportunity for pushing their agenda arises.
1. Russia’s stringent gun control laws versus America’s lax laws
During the era of Soviet Russia, the police state enforced gun control so well that hardly anyone in Russia possessed a firearm. Despite this, murder rates in Russia were either the same or exceeded rates in the United States. As time went on, Russia’s murder rate would skyrocket to become four times the rate of the United States. Conversely, the U.S. rate would decline as gun ownership increased. This is solid evidence that gun control does nothing to deter violence and murder and that socio-political factors play a leading role in determining how dangerous a country’s populace is.
2. Countries with high gun ownership see lower murder rates than those with gun control
Countries such as Norway, Germany and France have had extremely high rates of gun ownership but low murder rates. In 2001, Norway had 36,000 gun owners per 100,000 people but had only 0.81 murders per 100,000 people. In 2003, Germany and France each had 30,000 gun owners for every 100,000 people but had murder rates of just 0.93 and 1.65, respectively.
On the other hand, near the turn of the century, countries without many guns – such as Russia, Luxemburg and Hungary – had much higher murder rates. Russia’s gun ownership rate was 4,000 for every 100,000 people yet the country had the highest murder rate at a whopping 20.54. Luxemburg had virtually no guns but had an alarming murder rate of 9.01, while Hungary had 2,000 gun owners per 100,000 people yet the third highest murder rate at 2.22.
3. Gun control only helped crime grow in England
Before gun control in England was passed, the country had little in the way of violent crime. In fact, murder rates were at an all-time low. Control measures were introduced after WW1 but did nothing to stem the growing crime rate that occurred in England after WW2. In fact, they may have made it worse.
This caused Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm of the George Mason School of Law to conclude in her study of English gun law and violent crime: “The peacefulness England used to enjoy was not the result of strict gun laws. When it had no firearms restrictions [nineteenth and early twentieth century] England had little violent crime, while the present extraordinarily stringent gun controls have not stopped the increase in violence or even the increase in armed violence. Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now become one. Handguns are banned but the Kingdom has millions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the decade after 1957, the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold.”
This trend lines up with an evaluation done by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, who compiled 253 articles, 99 books, 43 government publications and original research done by the organization, that concluded gun control did not reduce violent crime, suicide or accidents where it was implemented. This was later backed up in 2003 by a study done by the CDC.
Furthermore, the gun ban in England was so ineffectual in reducing violent crime that in 2000 England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, even surpassing the United States.
4. States with conceal carry laws saw less crime than states without them
From 1990 to 1999, when England was making their gun control laws more stringent, the United States saw 25 states pass conceal carry laws, which allowed private gun owners to carry their guns in public. Over time, 40 states would pass these conceal carry laws. Interestingly, crime rates decreased in the United States overall and those rates fell even faster in states that passed conceal carry laws than in those states that did not.
5. The U.S. does not lead in murder – it doesn’t even break the top 10
Many gun control advocates like to pretend that the U.S. murder rate is extremely high due to our ownership of firearms. This is far from the truth. In fact, according to the study, the U.S. sat at number 17 (out of 27 countries) with a combined suicide/murder rate of 19.4 per 100,000 people, with suicide making up 11.6 of that number as of 2007.
6. Everyday citizens don’t just suddenly become killers on a whim
Data gathered finds no conclusive proof that people with firearms in the home are often killed by family or friends in moments of anger if that relation doesn’t already have a history of violence, drug addiction or mental illness. In fact, people with unstable histories are more or less uniformly responsible for murdering people they know. While only 15 percent of Americans over the age of 15 have arrest records at all, 90 percent of adult murderers had adult arrest records with an average criminal career of 6 years or more, including four major adult felony arrests. Furthermore, in cases of domestic murders such as spousal homicide, 95.8 percent of those murderers had a history of domestic violence. The cases of normal people with no violent histories suddenly killing their loved ones in a moment of anger are virtually non-existent.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
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