Monday, February 07, 2011

The Firearm Series Part I: Are Firearms Dangerous?

Are firearms dangerous? Should they be restricted or even banned? These are two questions that have become very important in the politics of our country. Proponents of gun rights site the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution as a reason that citizens should be allowed to own guns; however, things have changed since the Constitution was written. Have firearms become so dangerous that they should now be restricted or banned?
The easiest as well as the most striking way to determine how dangerous firearms are is through statistics and numbers. For instance, it was discovered that homes with firearms in them are 2.7 times more likely to experience a homicide than homes without a firearm. Now this statistic is actually a bit misleading because it falsely puts ownership of firearms and homicides into a cause-and-effect relationship. For example, people who live in neighborhoods with a higher risk of homicides will be more likely to buy a firearm. Because more people in these neighborhoods die from homicides, the statistics are skewed in favor of the view that owning a firearm brings about homicides. If the faults of this statistic are ignored it can reasonably be deduced that firearms themselves, even if they are not in plain sight, have a mystical way of attracting violence. This is probably through some magical property of the weapon. Or perhaps the weapons themselves are ruthlessly killing their human owners.
Another set statistic that should cause concern in relation to firearms is the percentage of fatal accidents that are caused by them. From a survey conducted in 2007, 613 fatal accidents occurred as a result of firearms in the United States. These 613 accidents were out of 123,706 total fatal accidents that year, making an enormous 0.5% of all fatal accidents that year a result of firearms. Obviously we cannot accept this very high percentage of deaths due to guns. By extrapolation, if we are to ban guns in order to remove the 0.5% of fatal accidents caused by them, we should also look into banning other things that cause even more fatal accidents than guns do. Motor vehicles account for 34% of fatal accidents and so should be banned in this country. Drowning accounts for another 3% of fatal accidents, so we should remove the cause of these deaths by banning water. Even accidents due to nature and the environment kill more people per year than accidents due to guns do, so we should ban the environment.
A third statistic that incriminates firearms is the percentage of non-fatal accidents that occur annually due to them. In 2007 there were 15,698 non-fatal accidents caused by guns in the United States. Of course this was out of 27.7 million total non-fatal accidents bringing the percentage of these accidents caused by firearms to a humongous 0.05%. This 0.05% is so important to us that we should ban firearms to prevent it. Of course, as with fatal accidents, firearms are nowhere near the top of the list for causes of such injuries. Consequently, I propose that we ban other things such as machinery and fire which cause even more non-fatal injuries every year than guns do. In fact, the only cause of non-fatal injuries with a lower percentage of the total than firearms is dog bites. This means that we could keep dogs when we ban everything else, but they already got banned with the rest of nature for its part in causing fatal injuries.
Another thing to consider when deciding whether guns are inherently dangerous or not is the benefit that they are to us as opposed to the harm that they cause. One statistic of this issue was used by the committee that proposed a complete ban on guns in the District of Columbia. The committee said that “[f]or every intruder stopped by a homeowner with a firearm, there are 4 gun-related accidents within the home.” The best thing about this statistic is that it is very easily explained and requires no lengthy examinations of numbers. In fact, it requires no numbers at all because the committee offered no explanation for their claims. The numbers can be proven though by looking at the results of studies from 1994 and 2001. In 1994 it was determined that about 498,000 instances of home protection with the use of a gun occur every year. A study in 2001 (the first with numbers on this topic) revealed that 18,498 instances of accidents due to guns occur in the home every year. This means that there are roughly 27 times more instances of instances of protection from firearms every year than there are instances of gun-related accidents in the home. If you put these numbers into the “Official Gun-Control Activist’s” calculator, you find out that there are 4 accidents for every use of firearms for home protection.
Beyond statistics, Hollywood also gives us valid reasons to fear the use of guns. If you’ve watched any shoot-em-up movies, you know that a gun can turn anyone into a deadly accurate killing machine. Forget those people that train for their whole lives to be able to shoot targets in the Olympics, Hollywood proves that anyone could do the same thing with any old gun. Hollywood also shows us that guns are deadly. One shot to any part of the body will kill you almost instantly. Of course a shot in the hand or foot won’t kill you, but a gut shot or a chest shot is usually fatal in a matter of minutes if not seconds. Obviously all of those stories about people recovering from gunshots to the torso and head are hoaxes; Hollywood has spoken. Hollywood provides a final reason that guns are dangerous: their incredible firepower. The typical assault rifle holds around 30 rounds in the clip. If the automatic rifle can spit out about 8 rounds per second. Punching 30 rounds at 8 rounds per second into the “Official Gun-Control Activist’s” calculator reveals that a typical automatic weapon can be fired non-stop for over a minute, just like Hollywood says. With this kind of firepower, anyone can be a deadly killer.
I have shown that firearms are very dangerous. Besides the many statistics that can be cited to show this danger, Hollywood has taken upon itself to reveal to us the very real and very dangerous nature of firearms. Armed with the knowledge that we have, we would be fools to not place a complete ban on guns in the United States.

NOTE: all of the statistics in this article were gathered from

TI hope that you enjoyed this article on firearms in the United To whoever reads this:sdfsdifjeiieiefiejfieijfijasdi iefnhie dieifjitjeiejifjerijfiefjiejfiejfiejfiejfie jfi e fjfi  I hope that you enjoyed this article on  the danger of firearms. It is the first in a three part series. Tune in next time to find out about current firearm bans and restrictions and how successful they are. As always, thank you for taking the time to read my;fojsdfjiejfilksjfijsseifjewifeiejfiejfi eifaslidfjsdilfjildfjlisjfiwejfiefjasilefiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iii i Sincerely,dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddderrrrPeter Last

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