After the Newtown massacre, Obama commanded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “research the causes and prevention of gun violence.” The resulting study was completed in June, but you probably never heard about it. Here’s why:
[The] study refuted nearly all the standard anti-gun narrative and instead supported many of the positions taken by gun ownership supporters.
For example, the majority of gun-related deaths between 2000 and 2010 were due to suicide and not criminal violence…
In addition, defensive use of guns “is a common occurrence,” according to the study:
Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.
Accidental deaths due to firearms has continued to fall as well, with “the number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents account[ing] for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”
Furthermore, the key finding the president was no doubt seeking — that more laws would result in less crime — was missing. The study said that “interventions,” such as background checks and restrictions on firearms and increased penalties for illegal gun use, showed “mixed” results, while “turn-in” programs “are ineffective” in reducing crime. The study noted that most criminals obtained their guns in the underground economy — from friends, family members, or gang members — well outside any influence from gun controls on legitimate gun owners.
Also, the report noted that mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, have declined and “account for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.”
The study did find that the USA has a higher firearm-related homicide rate than other countries. However,
As Graham Noble of Guardian Express noted, “If one were to exclude figures for Illinois, California, New Jersey and Washington, DC, the homicide rate in the United States would be in line with any other country.” These areas, of course, are noted for the most restrictive gun laws in the country, thus negating any opportunity for the president to celebrate the report’s findings.
If more encroachment on the Second Amendment is the answer, then the question must be something other than how to make law-abiding citizens more safe.
On a tip from Lyle. Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.