I Hate Gun Crime. That’s Why I’m Pro-Gun.

August 17, 2017

Contrary to liberal talking points, guns do not cause crime; criminals do. And whether criminals are armed or not, we as individuals have a basic right to defend ourselves. Guns in the hands of responsible citizens thwart crime, and the statistics prove it.

Disarming citizens enables tyranny, creates victims and empowers criminals who do not respect or abide by the law. When we need to defend ourselves, the old saying, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away” really rings true.

Furthermore, individual gun ownership is all that stands between the people and tyrants who would deprive us of our liberties. As George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment said (emphasis added), “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Liberals believe that it is a government responsibility to defend us and would outlaw guns, but the right to bear arms is an individual right and is not limited to the government. This was most recently revalidated by the Supreme Court in the District of Columbia (D.C.) vs. Heller decision which struck down Washington’s handgun ban.

Defend yourself, don’t be a victim

Americans own over 300 million guns. That is a formidable deterrent against a government or enemy who would attempt to take away our liberties. And gun ownership for self-defense is increasing as well, especially among women and minorities.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, gun sales and background checks more than doubled. Furthermore, in the months leading up to the 2016 election, perhaps in recognition of Hillary Clinton’s strong anti-gun position, gun sales surged to record highs.

Gallup polls show big changes in attitudes toward gun control over time. As of 2000, only 35 percent of responders believed that guns in the home made them safer, but as of the end of 2014, 63 percent believed that guns in the home made them safer. A whopping 41 percent of Democrats agreed as well.

Pew Research polls agree. According to a December 2014 poll, 57 percent of Americans feel gun ownership “protects people from becoming victims of crime,” while only 38 percent feel that it “puts people’s safety at risk.” That’s up eight percentage points from just two years earlier. Furthermore, except for Democrats as a whole, every group polled by PEW viewed gun ownership more favorably.

The two groups with the largest increases in attitudinal shifts were blacks and women. Compared to two years earlier, nearly twice the number (from 29 percent to 54 percent) of blacks responded that gun ownership does more to protect than to harm them. For women, the increase was a full 11 percentage points.

The data seems sufficient to refute liberal arguments for gun control laws as a solution to crime. Clearly, those vulnerable to crime or who live in high crime neighborhoods feel that guns make them safer. Furthermore, since criminals don’t follow the laws, new regulations on gun ownership would only burden lawful owners, while doing little to combat crime.

Armed citizens prevent crime

Other data shows convincingly that an armed citizenry prevents crime and saves lives. Gun Facts reports the following statistics:

  • Every year, people in the U.S. use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds.
  • The number of times per year an American uses a firearm to deter a home invasion alone is 498,000.
  • In 83.5 percent (2,087,500) of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first, proving that guns are very well suited for self-defense.
  • Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92 percent merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.
  • Only in most of the remaining 8 percent of defensive gun uses does a citizen wound his or her attacker (they fire warning shots), and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed.
  • For every accidental death (802), suicide (16,869) or homicide (11,348) with a firearm (29,019), 13 lives (390,000) are preserved through defensive use.
  • When using guns in self-defense, 91.1 percent of the time, not a single shot is fired.
  • After the implementation of Canada’s 1977 gun controls prohibiting handgun possession for protection, the “breaking and entering” crime rate rose 25 percent.
  • When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3 percent of rape attacks were completed, compared to 32 percent when the woman was unarmed.

Still not convinced? Here’s a real life example. In September 2016, a Georgia woman exchanged shots with three armed home invaders, who broke into her home with their guns drawn. She charged into the room with her gun blazing, killing one and driving off the two others, successfully averting the attack.

Statistics show gun control doesn’t decrease crime

Liberals argue that foreign countries with gun bans have much lower crime rates, but that may not be true.

For example, after the U.K. banned handguns in 1997, gun crime actually rose; by 2009, the U.K. had gained the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of violent crime in Europe, also surpassing the U.S. and even South Africa.

Although liberals point to the fact that the U.K. has a lower homicide rate compared to the U.S., the U.K. has always had a lower rate than the U.S. One could argue that the difference has nothing to do with the gun ban; it is cultural. Furthermore, after guns were banned in the U.K., firearm crimes doubled over the next decade.

Australia was often cited by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the liberal media as a model for solving the so-called gun violence problem. But, in fact, the mandatory confiscation and buyback program has not had any noticeable effect on gun crime.

According to a University of Melbourne study:

There is little evidence to suggest that [the Australian mandatory gun-buyback program] had any significant effects on firearm homicides … Although gun buybacks appear to be a logical and sensible policy that helps to placate the public’s fears, … the evidence so far suggests that in the Australian context, the high expenditure incurred to fund the 1996 gun buyback has not translated into any tangible reductions in terms of firearm deaths.

Other studies in Japan and Korea that attempted to show a reduction in suicides due to gun bans were repudiated by the fact that although gun suicides dropped, suicides did not. Unfortunately, people intent on taking their own lives, merely find another way to kill themselves.

Gun control is not the solution for violent crime

Clearly, gun control is not the answer to stopping violent crime. Americans have an inherent right to defend themselves and protect their liberties against those who would take them away. The courts have validated those rights and they will stand.

Recognizing the threat from criminals, desperate drug abusers, domestic terrorists and social uprisings, more and more people are arming themselves and will continue to do so, especially more vulnerable groups like women and minorities.

Countries that have banned and confiscated guns have not seen lower crime and firearm crimes, so the knee-jerk calls from politicians for bans of handguns, and so-called assault weapons are nothing more than attempts to coerce legislators, following high profile crimes that may involve guns. But the facts and the human instinct for self-preservation appear to be stronger; gun sales are up, even in liberal states, and studies show that attitudes are changing.

The solution will be an ongoing debate, and liberals will continue to push background checks, restrictions on ammunition purchases, micro-imprinting, assault weapon bans and other legal and regulatory approaches. But the facts show these approaches don’t work and are a burden on law-abiding citizens.

Worse, these policies disarm vulnerable American citizens, leaving them helpless in the face of criminals. After all, 8 out of 10 gun crimes are committed by criminals with illegally-obtained guns.

Guns will not be banned in the U.S. anytime soon. Everyone hates gun crime, but the people now know: the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

And, as John Lott wrote: “More guns, less crime.”

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Raymond O'Lenic

Raymond O'Lenic is a Conservative Institute Staff Writer. He is a former business executive with a background in Finance. He writes on politics, economics, business and technology.