People Don’t Stop Crimes, Guns do

“People’s reaction to the horrific events displayed on TV such as the Minnesota attack are understandable, but the more than two million times each year that Americans use guns defensively are never discussed — even though this is five times as often as the 450,000 times that guns are used to commit crimes over the last couple of years. Seldom do cases make the news where public shootings are stopped or mothers use guns to prevent their children from being kidnapped. Few would know that a quarter of the public-school shootings were stopped by citizens with guns before uniformed police could arrive.” John R. Lott Jr. has made the case that responsible people use guns to prevent crimes that otherwise increase when guns are banned.

4 Comments People Don’t Stop Crimes, Guns do

  1. Rachel

    Still – you could wonder why in most European countries they are able to do without, but their crime rates are not that higher than the US and maybe even lower? Maybe one of the reasons why responsible people need guns is that the irresponsible ones usually have one? Just me thinking aloud?

  2. jwowen

    I don’t have European countries’ crime rates on the tip of my tongue, but I’m not sure most, and certainly not all, have lower crime rates than the US.

    Yes, I think that’s partly true at least. Responsible people might want or need a gun to protect against the irresponsible. The Second Amendment of the US Constitution allows citizens the right to bear arms, and at the time this was written it was the case that responsible citizens needed to bear arms. Our enemies have changed (from being primarily the English!), but the reasons remain. Anti-gun people in the US argue that because some people are irresponsible or wicked, we should take away the rights of the responsible–take away the freedom of all because of the recklessness of some.

  3. Rachel

    I’m sorry, but I think I’m probably too European to understand this whole “I have a right to own a gun thing.” I guess we do not have a gun culture.

    Why would you need a gun…to protect yourself I assume. (To make it all a bit easier I’m not talking about the guns used for hunting) Well I have looked up on the internet the intentional homicide rate per 10000 people and again and again I see there are a lot more people being killed in the US then in the European Union. So despite you guys much easier can get a gun, it doesn’t seem to make things much safer. This could be because it’s also much easier to get your hands on a gun for the bad guys?

    The history story is nice, but we in Europe have been there as well. In the Netherlands over the years we had to fight the Spanish, the English, the French and the Germans. However we decided that sometimes it is better to hand over some rights, when you are able to save people. In fact we believe, that it is a better way to protect yourself and your children by not allowing guns to be owned by just everyone. So far…our method seems to be showing results. The freedom of owning a gun on the other hand seems to have a high price. Or is there another reason why so many people are killed?

  4. jwowen

    Many people own guns for protection. Others own them primarily for sport or play. I’m not advocating “guns for everyone!” Those with criminal records etc shouldn’t be allowed to have them. According to John Lott, cited near the end of his article, gun controls laws lead to higher homicide rates:

    “Gun-control advocates conveniently ignore that the nations with the highest homicide rates have gun bans. Studies, such as one conducted recently by Jeff Miron at Boston University, which examined 44 countries, find that stricter gun-control laws tend to lead to higher homicide rates. Russia, which has banned guns since the Communist revolution, has had murder rates several times higher than that of the United States; even under the Communists, the Soviet Union’s rate was much higher.”

    This makes sense to me. Criminals are always going to be able to get guns. Banning them ensures responsible people who won’t break the law to get a gun will be vulnerable.

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