The reaction by the public varies after another school or public place shooting. Whenever such a horrific crime occurs, there’s a huge outpouring of emotions, which is understandable. There are all types of opinions expressed on what should be done, but before we decide on a solution, shouldn’t we first understand the problem?
The U.S. population increased from 133 million in 1945 to 313 million in 2012. A 235% increase in population.
In 1945 there was an estimate of 47 million guns. At the end of 2012, it is estimated there were 347 million. That’s a 738% increase.
The number of firearms confiscated and destroyed or sold to buybacks, wear, abuse, neglect and are lost, are not figured in, so the total number may be lower than 347 million.
The term homicide is used when a human being is killed by another human being. Criminal homicide takes several forms, for example murder; but homicide is not always a crime, it also includes affirmative defense, insanity, self-defense or the execution of convicted criminals. Gun deaths are only a portion of the total number of homicides.
Taking into account all homicides in 1950 compared to 2012, we see a slight increase. This number as defined above, doesn’t just isolate homicides by firearm, it includes everything, criminal as well as non-criminal. The number of homicides in the US per 100,000 in 1950 were 5.1 • The number for 2012 ▪▪ 5.4
Even though we had a large increase in population, and an even larger number of known available guns, there doesn’t seem to be a significant statistical increase in homicides.
In the decade following the banning of handguns in the UK in 1997, the number of recorded violent attacks increasd by 77% to 1.2 million in 2007- or more than 2 attacks every minute!
The war on drugs in the United States has taken on a civil, enforcement, criminal, judicial struggle apart from all others. The results to the ban of illegal drugs, as well as theft and reselling of legal drugs has gone on unabated. Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States significantly increased from 17,000 in 1999 to 41,000 in 2012.
If the claim is, we have a gun problem, where’s the evidence? We have had an increase in population of over 235%, and an increase in known available firearms of over 700%, yet the overall homicide rate has barely increased.
Moreover, shouldn’t we be looking toward solutions to prevent murders in our schools that seem to be working at airports, government buildings, and sports venues? It seems reasonable to suggest that preventing someone from entering a school with a weapon is more effective than a sign which claims the area to be a gun free zone.