Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.…
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The Jerusalem Recognition: Before and After

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.…[more]

December 14, 2017 • 10:37 am

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Three Defective Assumptions Underlie Gun Controllers' Agenda Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 05 2017
So the three leading assumptions on which gun controllers rest their arguments simply don't accord with facts or reality.

Tastelessly but predictably, Second Amendment phobics wasted no time in exploiting this week's Las Vegas murders for political gain and as an opportunity to signal their virtue. 

Everyone from latenight television buffoons to leftist political scolds trotted out their usual self-righteousness and demands for more gun control. 

Their collective agenda, however, rests upon three foundational assumptions, each of which is easily refuted by even a cursory review of the relevant facts. 

First, gun control advocates assume that the U.S. suffers a comparatively high murder rate, but that's simply false. 

The U.S. murder rate actually falls well below the worldwide average, and from the broader perspective dwells alongside those allegedly more enlightened nations of Europe.  We also fall well below nations that outlaw firearms yet truly are statistical outliers in terms of high murder rates. 

Specifically, the U.S. murder rate currently measures approximately 4 per 100,000 people.  That compares to a worldwide average over twice that high, at approximately 11 per 100,000.  And what about that supposed gun-control Valhalla of Europe?  Most European nations and Canada generally fall between 2 and 4 per 100,000 people, not significantly different than America. 

Meanwhile, many nations that have enacted gun controllers' preferred agenda by outlawing firearm possession actually do suffer extraordinarily high murder rates, unlike the U.S.  Russia, for instance, suffers a murder rate of approximately 14 per 100,000 people.  Mexico's murder rate stands near 24 per 100,000.  And then there's Brazil, at approximately 26 per 100,000. 

Conversely, nations like Switzerland, with the world's second-highest firearms possession rate but less than 1 murder per 100,000, enjoy miniscule murder rates. 

It's also worth noting that gun controllers often employ an evasive rhetorical tactic to circumvent this inconvenient truth.  Namely, they attempt to compare the U.S. to other nations in terms of "firearms homicides" or "firearms deaths" (which includes suicides, which account for 60% of all gun deaths in the U.S.).    The obvious flaw in that tactic is that homicide is homicide, regardless of method (although some anti-gun fanatics might be so deranged that they prefer 86 killed in France by a man driving a truck into a crowd to the 59 killed in Las Vegas).  The relevant comparison is homicides, not the subset of gun homicides, since someone intent on murder can find innumerable other means to accomplish the task.  So it's important to beware that dishonest tactic among Second Amendment opponents. 

Gun controllers' second false assumption is that America's "gun culture" and the prevalence of firearms somehow correlates with more murders.  Again, that's a false and easily refuted notion. 

Since 1993, the U.S. has experienced a sharp 56% increase in firearms possession.  During that same period, the U.S. gun homicide rate has plummeted by 49%. 

A headline from even the left-leaning Pew Research Service says it all:  "Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware." 

Also during that period of plummeting murder and crime rates, the number of states allowing concealed carry went from fewer than 10 to nearly 50 today. 

Additionally, as referenced above, the U.S. and Switzerland enjoy the world's two highest firearms possession rates, but low murder rates relative to the rest of the world where gun possession is more restricted or prohibited. 

All of this might not conclusively establish the adage of "more guns, less crime" as a clear causal relationship, although the panoply of evidence suggests that's the case.  But at the very least, it certainly eviscerates the assumption among Second Amendment opponents of "more guns, more crime." 

The third defective assumption among Second Amendment restrictionists is that the U.S. somehow leads the world in mass shootings. 

Once again, that's simply false. 

As recently as 2015, the U.S. actually witnessed a lower rate of mass shootings than almost a dozen European nations.  Those include, in descending order, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Switzerland, Norway, Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and France. 

Obviously, many of those nations prohibit or significantly restrict firearms possession, yet they suffer higher mass shooting rates than the U.S.  France in particular has witnessed an outbreak of highly-publicized mass shootings since 2015, which makes the popular myth that the U.S. is somehow unique in that regard particularly strange. 

So the three leading assumptions on which gun controllers rest their arguments simply don't accord with facts or reality.  They're entitled to whatever beliefs they wish to maintain, but they mustn't be allowed to perpetuate their false claims unchallenged. 

 

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