Strong Gun Laws Reduce Gun Deaths


 

 

 

31,347 people are killed with firearms each year in the US. 

 

The US has the highest rate of childhood homicide, suicide and firearm-related death among industrialized countries.

 

Violence in the US is on the decline.

 

In 2010, violent crime rates hit a low not seen since 1972.

 

Ownership of guns in the US is at an all-time low.

 

No statistical evidence exists between gun deaths and mental illness or stress levels.

 

Homicide levels can be affected by sudden pronounced changes in the economy.

 

More poverty, more gun violence.

 

More education, less gun violence.

 

A viscous cycle connects firearm availability and higher homicide levels.

 

States with stricter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.

 

Countries with more gun violence than the US are Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Russia, The Phillipines and Thailand.

 

Countries with less gun violence than the US are Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and Great Britain.

 

In Sweden, fully automatic weapons are only issued under special circumstances, to elite-level marksmen active extensively in a shooting club, and with the approval of Försvarsmakten, the Swedish Armed Forces.

 

The Japanese have the world’s fewest firearm-related deaths: 11 in 2008. An individual may only own a shotgun for hunting, skeet and trap and then only after a lengthy licensing process. Handguns cannot be owned by individuals. A prospective shotgun owner must attend class, pass a written test, shooting range test, shooting test, safety exam, mental exam, medical test, and background check.

 

Brady Campaign analysis finds that the 31 states with few or no gun laws export nine times the crime guns as the six states with the strongest gun laws. California was awarded 81 points in the Brady Campaign’s 100-point Scorecard because of the state’s universal background check system, retention of purchase records, limiting of handgun purchases to one a month, and assault clip ban.

 

Check out your state’s ranking. A four-star state has the strongest laws to combat gun trafficking, prevent the sale of guns without background checks, and reduce risks to children. California is the only state that qualified in 2011. New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Hawaii are three-star states.

 

Here are some resources for talking to your children about the Colorado shootings.

 

And, check out Bang! Bang!, our classic article on children and gun play.

 

How are you making sense of what happened in Aurora, Colorado? How are you talking to your children about it, if you are?

 

Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)Peggy O’Mara founded Mothering.com in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

 

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