Critics of Second Amendment routinely ignore data showing guns save lives and prevent violence
March 14, 2014
A United Nations committee charged with enforcing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has come down hard on the United States for “gun violence,” code for the right to own firearms guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and a raft of other issues.
Walter Kälin, a Swiss international human rights lawyer who sits on the committee, criticized the “extreme domestic habits” of Americans, including the upholding the cornerstone to the Constitution, the Second Amendment. Kälin cited a “staggering figure” to argue in favor of eliminating the right to own guns – there are 470,000 crimes committed with firearms each year, including about 11,000 homicides. “We appreciate the position taken by President Obama on these issues. Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to curb gun violence,” he said.
Obama and the Democrats tried unsuccessfully to outlaw entire classifications of firearms following Sandy Hook. The 112th Congress considered an inordinately large number of bills designed to chip away the right to own firearms.
Kälin and critics of the Second Amendment routinely ignore data showing how guns save lives and prevent violence. A Gun Owners of America factsheet shows guns were used 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year — or about 6,850 times a day, according to research conducted by Dr. Gary Kleck, who was awarded the prestigious American Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang award for his research into guns and violence.
“Most uses of guns for either criminal or defensive purposes are less dramatic or consequential than one might think,” Kleck writes. “Only 3% of criminal gun assaults involves anyone actually being wounded, even nonfatally, and the same is true of defensive gun uses. More commonly, guns are merely pointed at another person, or perhaps only referred to (‘I’ve got a gun’) or displayed, and this is sufficient to accomplish the ends of the user, whether criminal or non- criminal.”
Even the government admits guns deter crime and violence. “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” a report commissioned by the Obama administration and issued by the Centers for Disease Control states.
Moreover, most deaths by guns resulted from suicide, not homicide, a fact ignored by the United Nations. “Between the years 2000 and 2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States,” the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council noted in the CDC report.
The CDC report also doubts the effectiveness of gun control in reducing violence. It questions “whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence” and characterizes the dubious efficacy of such laws as “an unresolved issue.” The report expresses uncertainty “that passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime” and admits that “gun turn-in programs are ineffective.”
The United Nations call to disarm and render Americans defenseless is contradicted by police. Earlier this month Detroit Police Chief James Craig told residents to arm themselves and shoot to kill assailants and robbers. “A lot of Detroiters are fed up,” he told WDIV-TV. “They’re tired and they’ve been dealing with this epidemic of violence. They’re afraid and they have a right to protect themselves.”
The United Nations, on the other hand, does not believe citizens should be empowered to protect themselves, either from criminals or government.
“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government,” George Washington advised.