Politicizing Gun Gontrol?...This is a MUST Read! Six Facts About Guns, Violence, and Gun Control
The aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado shootings has been thick with calls to avoid “politicizing” the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for “don’t talk about reforming our gun control laws.” ~ Erza Klein
Let’s be clear: This is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It’s just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws.
That said, it’s important to be clear about what Aurora is: A tragedy that may or may not tell us anything useful about the general trends in guns and violence in the United States. And so this post is about those trends, some of which may surprise you.
1. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.
Kieran Healy, a sociologist at Duke University, made this graph of “deaths due to assault” in the United States and other developed countries. We are a clear outlier.
As Healy writes, “The most striking features of the data are (1) how much more violent the U.S. is than other OECD countries (except possibly Estonia and Mexico, not shown here), and (2) the degree of change—and recently, decline—there has been in the U.S. time series considered by itself.”
2. The South is the most violent region in the United States.
In a subsequent post, Healy drilled further into the numbers and looked at deaths due to assault in different regions of the country. Just as the United States is a clear outlier in the international context, the South is a clear outlier in the national context:
3. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall.
“For all the attention given to America’s culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,” writes political scientist Patrick Egan. The decline is most evident on the General Social Survey, though it also shows up on polling from Gallup, as you can see on this graph:
The bottom line, Egan writes, is that “long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the United States. ”
Unbelievable! Read full article HERE