Do you believe owning a gun saves lives or can it cause more harm than good?
Years ago I knew a man who was held up in his shop. Instead of giving in to the robbers' demands, he tried to get his gun and was shot dead.
Recently a man and his son were held up in their home. The man succeeded in getting his gun and shot the two robbers dead, but was killed in the process. His young son suffered the trauma of seeing three men die.
Today South African sporting hero Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend in what may have been an accident after claims were made that he had mistaken her for a burglar.
In the light of these incidents, should gun ownership be banned?
Up until three weeks ago I would have had a different answer.
We had an attempted break in and my husband and I were both shot in the leg. We returned fire and the potential thieves left. If they had entered our house, we could have been dead. So I am living proof that there is a place for gun ownership.
I'm glad that it worked out right for you, but I do worry about the many irresponsible gun owners out there.
There are many irresponsible alcohol drinkers who kill over 50,000 people a year in drunk driver traffic accidents. Should alcohol be banned since we have conclusively proven that our society cannot safely drink or are responsible drinkers?
Well I'd certainly say there's a case for better control of alcohol consumption too, but it has been proven that banning it outright doesn't work.
Fact: Guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year or 6,849 every day. Often the gun is never fired and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed
++ Targeting Guns, Dr. Gary Kleck, Criminologist, Florida State University, Aldine, 1997
Fact: Every day 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of these instances is the gun ever actually fired.
++ National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000, Bureau of Justice Statistics, BATF estimates on handgun supply
Fact: 60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. 40% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.
++ Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms, James Wright and Peter Rossi,
Fact: Felons report that they avoid entering houses where people are at home because they fear being shot.
++Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms, James Wright and Peter Rossi,
Fact: 59% of the burglaries in Britain, which has tough gun control laws, are “hot burglaries”which are burglaries committed while the home is occupied by the owner/renter. By contrast, the U.S., with more lenient gun control laws, has a “hot burglary” rate of only 13%.
++ Dr. Gary Kleck, Criminologist, Florida State University (1997) and Kopel (1992 and 1999)
Fact: Washington D.C. has essentially banned gun ownership since 1976 and has a murder rate of 56.9 per 100,000. Across the river in Arlington, Virginia, gun ownership is less restricted. There, the murder rate is just 1.6 per 100,000, less than three percent of the Washington, D.C. rate.
++ Crime in the United States, FBI, 1998
Fact: A survey of felons revealed the following:
• 74% of felons agreed that, "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime."
• 57% of felons polled agreed, "criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police."
++ The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons, U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics Federal
In light of the above it is no wonder that rapists, muggers, home invaders, burglars, mass killers, wife-beaters, terrorists, white-sheeted bigots, stalkers, gay bashers, gangbangers and anti-Semites everywhere are in favor of a "gun ban."
You've certainly done a lot of research on the subject and the statistics are impressive. Sadly the press has a way of only reporting the negative stories.
Sorry here is the correct link! it wont let me change the post under my answer! But I thought it might also interest Jack. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759797/
Just.... have you ever heard the phrase "correlation does not equal causation"? Might want to think about that for a while.
I do know the limits of statistics, but I really do believe Dr. Branas's investigation has merit .
I think owning a gun is a very large responsibility! I think the daily reports of accidents and murders from acts of passion instead of criminal use tell you that there are a percentage of gun owners who have no clue about gun usage, safety or safe storage and need to have some guidelines plus we need to enforce the ones already in place.
I personally do not feel a gun would protect me. I find it ludicrous to think that if my home was invaded that the criminals would give me a chance to go unlock my safely put away weapon, or that a rapist would give me a chance to get my gun, or that anyone else wanting to do me harm will be deterred because I own a gun. How would they even know, would I need to put up a sign “Beware this property protected by an gun toting grandma”? Now that would really keep the crooks away!
I think we would be better of working on some points that would make this society more civilized instead of a war zone or a Hollywood depiction of the Wild Wild West. By all means if someone wants a gun get one, I have no problem with people owning a gun, but don’t try passing of your need or insecurity as a safety factor for us all or that owning a gun is some great gift to society.
Here are thousands of stories direct from the media of everyday, law abiding citizens defending themselves in their homes, their businesses and on the street with their firearms.
It's really quite common.
Pulling a gun on a criminal often increases your chance of dying. I still think prevention is more useful then arming the populace!
And just what are your "chances" of dying when you don't have a weapon and the criminal does? Call me silly, but I generally prefer not to base my chances of continued living upon the tender mercies of a thug and social deviant. Your mileage may vary
A study found that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. They got the info from a study of people who were shot!!!
It is much less likely that the criminal will use his gun if you give in to his demands than if you try to defend yourself. At least that has applied in the cases I have personal knowledge of.
I agree with you Gina! Here is the study I mentioned above. It worh reading. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 … illed.html
Anyone can play with bogus studies. I did one once that showed that people who went into a hospital died at a much greater rate than those who stayed out of hospitals. The conclusion was to never go to a hospital if you wanted a long life.
Hey, I read your whole list, now why should I accept your studies results over mine... so here we are back to square one! But I am amused by your list of those for the ban, I always counted them as gun owners.
Gina/... no one minds if you just "give in" to the social deviants. That's between you and them. I do thank you for making yourself a willing target for them as it makes life safer for my family as criminals know to attack willing sheep first.
Just... the fun of opinions is that any one can have them. Some are more grounded in reality though... and if you want to continue to believe that going to a hospital will kill you quicker than not going to one that is completely up to you.
Just... when it's you and the social deviant eyeball to eyeball it is a little late to be concerned about "prevention." Every women who reads this hub knows that you are not going to be there at that time to throw your body between her and the thug.
Jack, I'd much rather give a criminal everything I own than reach for a gun and be shot for trying to defend myself. As I said at the start, this happened to someone I knew personally.
Things can be replaced, lives can't.
Jack, I was reading your hub on safe gun handling and realize we really do think more alike than not. I don't need a gun, but I do not want to take away your right to own yours, but I think we need some controls in place.
Gina, you might want to read this story about a woman who gave the social deviant "everything he wanted" ... and then got shot thru the head for her courtesy.
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/03/04/ … errillvill
Let's just agree to differ in our opinions, Jack. Not all criminals will react the same way to the same situation, so no one case proves anything.
How odd, Gina... you wanted your "cases" to prove that guns were no good for defense, and now that you have a clear cut case where an innocent was killed by a social deviant you want to declare that "cases" don't prove anything after all.
Now here's a "case" worth noting... In this small, sleepy rural town two women were attacked in their home by a social deviant. Did they give him what he wanted (wonder just what that was, eh). No... one of them shot him and sent him to the hospital.
Just... I have no problem with anyone who chooses not to have a gun for any reason. As long as they leave me and mine alone it is jake with me.
Jack, I'm just saying that single cases don't prove anything. In my country gun ownership seems to lead to a lot of problems and this topic is being widely debated at present as a result of the Oscar Pistorius case.
And I am saying, Gina, that you sure made quite an appeal to "cases" as long as you thought they proved your point. The moment they don't it was absolutely amazing how fast you decided that they really did not mean that much.
I'm not saying they don't mean much, just that there seem to be enough single cases to prove both sides are right. Maybe what works in one country will fail in another.
U said, "Pulling a gun on a criminal often increases your chance of dying." This is simply false. I gave 1000s of cases of people defending themselves. U gave nothing. Where are the sites showing 1000s of your such stories posted by anti-gun orgs?
by actual statistics it saves lives, that why right now many cities are starting to require gun ownership. that is if one is smart enough to check real statistics rather than watch the news
Yes, I think it's Field & Stream magazine or something similar, always has several stories of how guns saves lives, in every single issue. People need to be reading these. We need to work on getting them from the wrong hands of course.
Please name one city in this US were gun ownership is mandatory? other than Kennesaw, Georgia...
For the man that was held up in his shop, depending on circumstances, he definitely could've had an opportunity to save his own life so why not take that chance? If the robbers were capable of shooting him with a gun, they would've shot him without the gun. He had to do what he thought was right, at least he had a choice.
For the kid who lost his father, would it have been better to lose just his father and his own life as well? Or is it better that the bad men died and his father passed away defending his son? Of course the son will have issues with this, but better than being dead and the robbers possibly walking away!!
As far as Oscar Pistorius goes, that's a bunch of bull crap. He obviously wasn't educated enough on owning and possessing a gun or he wouldn't have shot his girlfriend! How does a person grab a gun and shoot without knowing if it's a family member or not? Wouldn't he have called out her name first, to find out? If they didn't answer then obviously they weren't supposed to be there. If he called out her name and she answered, he wouldn't have shot her. He shot her in cold blood and this is an unfortunate side of being a gun owner but you have to take the good with the bad. Good things come from gun owners every day. Thousands of lives are saved. If we take the privilege away then the thugs who have them legally now will still have them and they'll take us over!! We won't have any defense and they'll know it. If criminals know that anyone could have a gun and shoot them, they're going to be less likely to pull theirs on just anybody or start shooting in fear that they'll be victims themselves!
Well honestly, the only reason people carry guns is because they're scared of other people carrying guns! If the U.S. wasn't so lenient on gun laws, a lot less news stories would be about the massacres that happen with them.
That's what I'm saying. The reason citizens need them is because criminals can easily get them. There does need to be new legislation, something to stop that. But for now we must defend ourselves. And criminals are second priority over law-abiding
Torrossian believes that a 250 lb social deviant must need a gun to rape a 100 lb woman. If he doesn't have a ~gun~ then the woman has nothing to fear.
I agree Jack. If guns can somehow be taken from criminals, there will certainly be less death. There will still be crime, yes, but fewer deaths. So, I don't have all the answers I just know we must protect the innocent.
Jamie, your answer reminds me of my favorite Bible verse in Genesis where Abel asked his brother, Cain, "Crikey, mate, where did you get that Glock?"
As long as guns are in the hands of good people, it will save lives.
The problem right now is only few good people own a gun and a lot of bad people are armed and dangerous.
A large percentage of bad people get guns, because good people do not store them safely and they are stolen. I am not sure why people are fighting so hard against having some rules to make gun ownership safer for all.
Because rules that are meaningless to bad guys and only put an unnecessary burden on good guys are not the way America should work. And I am not aware that many people leave their guys laying about on the sidewalk, lawns, and city streets.
You are not aware because you are not interested, Jack. I guess kids who shoot themselves with their parents guns cut off the locks on the Gun cabinets. Do you know what the stats are for crime committed with legally purchased but stolen weapons?
Hmmm... who's more interested in everything to do with guns? Gunowners and activisits? Or those who have nothing to do with guns? Tough question, I know.
80,000,000 gun owners. The number of people under 18 who steal parents guns and shoot others is measure under 100. You think it is reasonable to put restrictions on the 79,999,000 who don't cause problems. And yes, BAD GUYS do steal guns from homes.
You are quoting Rense.com almost word for word number for number. Using data from a conspiracy theorist does not really make you more convincing or accurate.
Never heard of any rense.com so it would be hard to quote him. But we notice that you really can't address the facts. Do you dispute 80,000,000 gun owners? Do you dispute the low number of deaths from children stealing guns? Then give facts.
Just wants "accuracy"? Okay, just. Give us the number of gun owners in American. With detail. Be specific. Give the number of guns stolen. Divide that into the number of gun owners and then tell us the actual percentage of the problem.
Ok jack, lets go with your numbers ... That makes gun owners about 25% of the population. So why should their voices be louder than the rest of the population?
Perhaps you can share with us just who said that gun owners voices should be louder than any one elses? Give detail. Be specific.
The NRA for one even thought they only represent about 5% of the gun owners. A a number of you on Hubpages who seem to think anyone who wants some kind of control on firearms or does not want to own one are out to disarm the whole country.
I asked for details and specifics, Just. Not a list of people and orgs that you don't like. YOU brought up the "louder voices". Back up your words, eh. Or admit that U pulled it out of thin air and gun owners never said they should have louder voices
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