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What You Need to Know About Gun Statistics Background

What You Need to Know About Gun Statistics Background

Due to their versatility, gun statistics are an interesting resource when analyzing the causes and effects of guns. Most would assume that there is a direct proportion between the amount of guns and the amount of violent crime in America-the more guns in circulation the more crime will be committed and vice versa. This assumption is not accurate; gun statistics are amorphous, they can be manipulated to express a certain sentiment. There are two sides to the gun control debate-those who want stricter gun laws and those who want limited to no restrictions placed on the purchasing and ownership of such firearms. Each side has an assortment of statistics that expresses their individual arguments.
General stance for Guns Rights activists
Proponents of gun use in America believe there is no correlation between the amount legal guns or the accessibility for such weapons in regards to violent crime statistics and even homicide via firearm.  Activists believe that providing protection for one’s self, family, and possessions is the main function of a firearm; by eliminating these rights society will be fill with fear and doubt.  Gun safety statistics have shown that more crime has been prevented from the use of guns then caused.  Activists also believe that regulating the gun market for law abiding citizens will only create a nuisance, and do anything in regards to the growing illegal market, as well as nothing to prevent dangerous people from acquiring such weapons.  Gun safety statistics also prove that firearms prevent more crime than they cause.  Listed below are a series of gun statistics that are commonly used by gun activists.     
 Gun Statistics that back up gun rights activists   
 Although there are nearly 30,000 gun deaths per year in America, more than 60% of those are suicides 
 The firearm murder rate has dropped by 40% in the past 15 years (murder, 45 percent; rape, 31 percent; robbery, 47 percent; and aggravated assault, 37
 States with Right-to-Carry laws have lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country: total violent crime by 31 percent, murder, 39 percent; robbery, 55 percent; and aggravated assault, 19 percent.
 More than 80,000 Americans a year used guns in an effort to protect themselves or their property against crime
 More than 2 million crimes prevented each year by the presence of privately-owned firearms.
 In 2008, our nation had it’s lowest violent crime rate since 1973 and its lowest murder rate since 1965
General stance for gun control activists
Those in favor of more stringent gun laws will use a series of gun statistics to reveal the obvious inherent dangers of firearms.  Gun control activists believe that the increase in handguns will directly lead to a more dangerous and violent society.  Gun statistics show that the large amount of violent crimes in America is attributed to our lenient stance on hand gun laws.  When compared to the rest of the world, there is an abundance of handguns in circulation and that number continues to grow, not out of necessity, but of a dangerous infatuation.  Gun safety statistics also show that firearms are abused, and often times mishandled which lead to thousands of accidental deaths a year.  In addition to the violent crime numbers, gun statistics also reveal that firearms put financial stress on the economy in the form of negative externalities.  Gun control activists believe there is a direct correlation between violent crimes and handgun distribution.  Listed below are a series of gun statistics that are commonly used by gun control activists.   
Gun Statistics that back up gun control activists
 In 1998 licensed firearms dealers sold an estimated 4.4 million guns, 1.7 million of which were handguns. Additionally, it is estimated that 1 to 3 million guns change hands in the secondary market each year, and many of these sales are not regulated.
 In 2005, 30,694 people in the United States died from firearm-related deaths – 12,352 were murdered; 17,002 killed themselves; in comparison-33,651 were killed in the Korean War, and 58,000 in the Vietnam war.
 In addition to the 30,000+ people who die, 72,000+ are seriously injured from gun shots annually
 In 2006-There were only 54 murders in Australia by firearms, 184 in Canada, 73 in England and Wales, 5 in New Zealand, and 37 people in Sweden. In comparison, firearms were used to murder 11,344 in the United States
 Each year during 1993 through 1997, an average of 1,621 murderers who had not reached their 18th birthdays took someone’s life with a gun
 The average total cost of one gun crime can be as high as $1.79 million, including medical treatment and the prosecution and imprisonment of the shooter
   
As you can see gun safety statistics widely vary based on who you ask and what side you’re on.  Like any good debate, statistics and numbers can be altered, skewed, or even embellished to prove a point.  

Country Wide Trends At A Glance

Country Wide Trends At A Glance

A useful way to research the effectiveness of strict gun control in regards to violent crime, is to view international homicide statistics in correlation with a country’s gun laws. Do countries with stringent gun control have lower crime rates than those with loose gun laws? A study such as this will help elaborate America’s position. Are we doing enough to quell gun-related crimes and deaths in the United States?
The answers for such questions do not have a direct A=B equation. There are numerous cultural and societal implications that must be weighed for a comprehensive conclusion to be reached. For example, the United States has a high gun murder rate, whereas a country like England with strict gun controls has almost no murders via firearms.
This small sampling would prove that gun control is effective in reducing murder rates, however, prior to any gun control laws, England’s homicide rate was lower than the United State’s. England’s culture is thus non-violent when compared to America’s. The problem with studying international crime statistics lies within the innate differences between cultures.
Sweden equips a majority of male citizens with a semi-automatic rifle, (as a necessary means to protect the country) yet has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. In order to create a reasonable study to determine the effectiveness of gun laws one must generalize and accept cultural differences. For clarity’s sake, we will compare America’s violent crime percentages to other developed countries with varying stances on gun control laws.
The United State’s murder rates and violent crime statistics through gun use are the highest in the world for advanced nations.
The United States when compared to other developed nations with more stringent gun laws. The following numbers are based on firearm homicide per 100,000 people.
     United States-39% of households possess firearms and there is a 3.72 firearm homicide rate.
     Italy-16% of households contain guns and there is a 1.66 firearm homicide rate.
     Canada-30% of households contain guns and there is a .76 firearm homicide rate.
     Australia-20% of households contain guns and there is a .44 firearm homicide rate.
     England/Wales-5% of households contain guns and there is a .11 firearm homicide rate.
     Switzerland-28% of households contain guns and there is a ..58 firearm homicide rate.
     Germany-8% of households contain guns and there is a .22 firearm homicide rate.
     France-23% of households contain guns and there is a .44 homicide rate.
     Norway-32% of households contain guns and there is a .23 homicide rate.
The list can be expanded but it’s redundant. The common theme is that America has more guns and more murders via guns than any other developed country in the world. Some countries possess similar percentages of possession but the homicide rate in the US is staggering. This mainly can be attributed to cultural differences. For example, America has more urban environments which seemingly possess an infatuation with guns and violence.
Statistics show more of a correlation between violent crime and the stability of a nation’s government. When compared to impoverished or unstable countries, America’s gun statistics look rather meager.
United States-3.72 firearm homicide rate
     South Africa-37.85
     Colombia-34.59
     Mexico-29.67
     Brazil-22.58
     Venezuela-19.87
There may be a direct proportion found in gun availability and murders but there other key contributors to the equation. The above countries have similar gun laws to the US if not stricter, yet there violent crime numbers in regards to guns are much higher. The contrast is found in a multitude of variables. Government unrest, poverty, societal stress between rich and poor, and drug trade are all determinants to explain why violence happens.

Gun Statistics

Gun Statistics

Gun control activists also use statistics with the intentions of painting a biased picture. Advocates for strict gun laws point out the obvious-guns kill people either maliciously or by accident. Over 75% of murders in the United States are caused by firearms. To make matters worse the majority of these murders are caused by illegal firearms, obtained through trafficking, or unregulated purchases.
Advocates for more stringent gun laws will also use examples of regions that have benefited from a more rigid stance on gun laws. States like New Jersey and New York have made significant strides in decreasing their respective murder rates due to a more scrupulous stance on guns.
On a Federal level, the implementation of the Brady Bill created an immediate positive impact in regards to homicide rates. Gun crime statistics have revealed that murders dipped by 25% in it’s first 4 years, and 46% overall.  
America is a gun culture. Firearms played an intricate role in our formation as a free country. Hunting and the right to bear arms have long been traditions in the United States. AS of late, this rite of passage has been questioned through government legislation both, on a federal and state level. The decline in gun use is reflected in the manufacturing numbers.
Strict gun laws are the major factor for a 30% decline in gun production since the early 80’s. America’s stance against handguns is the main cause for this drastic decline. From 1980-2000 handgun production fell by over 1 million guns annually.
Manufacturers produced 1.3 million a year as oppose to their accustomed amount of 2.3-2.5 million. The adoption of scrupulous gun laws seemingly had no effect on the shotgun or rifle market- shotguns dipped only slightly, from 1.3 million to 1.1 million while rifles shrank from 1.9 million to 1.6 million.
The debate over guns will continue due to the weapons unique characteristics. A product that yields pain is also cherished. The complexity of the gun market and ever-changing gun laws cannot be expressed through merely statistics. Granted regulating gun trade and illegal firearms is justified and benefits can be visible through statistics, however, with an abundance of abstract factors, the true effect of guns cannot be detailed through statistics.

Your Guide to Gun Trade

Your Guide to Gun Trade

Due to its inherent nature, international gun trade is an enormous market that is seldom publicized. As a result of their dichotomy, the character and violent disposition of a gun is seldom discussed or made transparent by America’s numerous media outlets. When delved into and analyzed, the gun trade, and more specifically the illegal gun trade, is shocking in regards to size and financial significance. The following statistics will help elaborate this often ignored issue.


The Gun Trade
     There are currently 640 million small firearms in the world. This vast number equates to roughly one gun for every nine people on earth. 59% of these weapons are owned by civilians, 38% are owned by government agents or the armed forces, and 2.8% are owned by the police.
     The gun trade in the United States is worth roughly $4.1 Billion per year. Nearly 28%, or $1.2 billion is comprised of unauthorized or illegal gun trade.
     There are currently 1,249 gun manufacturers in the world, these companies operate in 92 countries, and produce roughly 8 million new guns a year.
     The 1,249 companies involved with the gun trade also produce 15 billion units of ammunition annually. This is roughly enough to shoot every person in the world three separate times. 
     The main issue with the illegal gun trade is that 80% of the firearms involved are initially considered legal transactions. Guns like many consumer products exchange hands so many times that the become impossible to trace. Eventually these guns become illegal through illicit transactions.
     The largest exporters of guns in terms of annual value (numbers are equal to $1 million dollars):United States (533), Italy (265), Germany (185), Brazil (164), Russia (130), China (120), Britain (85), Japan (65), and Canada (52)
     Judging by the above statistics the United States position in the gun trade is equal to the roles of Russia, China, Britain, Japan, Canada, and Brazil combined.


The Illegal Gun Trade
Gun dealers in the United States on average “lose” 82 firearms per year-30,000 guns in total are lost on average each year. When a gun is stolen from a retailer it automatically becomes apart of the illegal gun trade. To make matters worse these statistics are only compiled from 1/5th of the nations gun retailers. Many states do no allow police inspections of retail gun shops by law enforcement agencies.
The Brady campaign has officially labeled a variety of ways that an individual can take advantage of the illegal gun trade:Traffickers pick “easy stores, criminals have friends or strangers purchase guns for them in exchange for money or drugs, an individual will take advantage of the lax bulk purchase laws and buy multiple guns and then re-sell them in the black market, an individual can obtain a weapon through a private transaction at a gun show, and some distributors are loosely regulated by the government, enabling them to sell to anyone at anytime.
The ATF interviewed 6,000 criminals who were found guilty of committing violence with a handgun, and asked each individual how they obtained their weapon: 56% claimed they purchased the weapon legally, 15% said it was a gift, 10% said they borrowed it from a friend, 8% said they illegally traded it, and 5% admitted to stealing it.
The statistics available will shed light on the gun trade and more specifically the illegal gun trade, however, an enormous percentage of firearm transactions are impossible to document due to their undefined nature. A countless number of guns, each year, are obtained through private transactions. 
This form of illegal gun trade essentially matches a buyer with a private collection, to a seller in need of a gun. It is similar to children trading baseball card; there is no way to document the transactions, nor even predict how many guns are exchanged each year through this form of illegal gun trade. The market is impossible to regulate and presents the federal government with an enormous loophole. 
The gun trade comes in two specific forms:the international trade which is massive and encompasses global manufacturers importing and exporting guns between countries, and the domestic black market or illegal gun trade. The former, although critical, is at least tangible through statistics, while the latter is completely unregulated and seemingly impossible to control.
 

Understanding The Classification of Illegal Weapons

Understanding The Classification of Illegal Weapons

Classifications of illegal firearms in the United States are often confused because of the terminology associated.  When one hears the word “illegal” they automatically assume a broad interpretation that refers to anything against the law.
An illegal drug for instance is concrete. Possession or distribution of cocaine or heroine is unlawful under any circumstance.  Illegal guns are not this simple.  Most firearms purchased in the United States are legal, but can take on an illegal form through unlawful secondary selling, use, or distribution. For instance, if an individual purchases a weapon legally, then conceals or fires it without a proper permit, the gun becomes illegal. 
The confusion over the definition of “illegal firearms” also exists because of the varying state laws in the U.S. With over twenty thousand gun laws in place, the formation or distribution of illegal guns is inevitable. Due to the variation and ambiguity present in state law a gun can seemingly switch from legal to illegal based on location or use.
A firearm can be considered legal in one state, region, or even jurisdiction, but can be highly illegal in another.  Regulating and creating statistics for illegal guns and illegal firearms transactions is nearly impossible because of all the contrasting legal guidelines.
For example, a registered handgun bought legally in Buffalo, NY is transported via car to New York City. The handgun, although unloaded,  will be considered illegal as soon as it crosses into the city’s limits.  The physical gun is not altered, nothing has changed, except for the governing laws of New York City. This is just one example of thousands, in which legitimate purchases, can instantly turn into illegal firearms. 
Regulation of illegal guns is so difficult in the United States because firearms are commonly exchanged through a private transaction between a dealer and seller. Forty percent of all gun transactions in America take place outside of a retail market.
The Brady Laws which were federally instituted in 1994 were meant to curb the sale of illegal guns. The Brady Bill made background checks on all purchasers mandatory as well as instituted a minimum 3 day waiting period on all transactions. Thought to be a monumental passing, the Brady Bill has been rendered somewhat ineffective due to the vast loopholes present.  Gun shows, which are a common market for gun transactions do not require background checks on individuals because they are constituted as a “private transaction” between buyer and seller.
The buyer is essentially bargaining a price of a firearm with a seller who is offering up his own private collection for purchase. Although these sales are considered legal, they greatly perpetuate illegal firearms transactions. An ex-convict for instance, can purchase a handgun through a private transaction without a background check or permit at purchase. Although legal in the bubble of the gun show, when that individual leaves the premise, he will be carrying an illegal weapon.  Federal law states that firearms cannot be sold to ex-convicts, drug addicts, minors, those who are mentally unstable, fugitives etc
Although illegal guns are often conceived through ignorance of state laws, there are many illegal firearms that take on a more dangerous form.  Illegal firearms are most commonly distributed through alterations made by the seller that do not coincide with federal or state laws.
Violations includes-altering the gun’s physical appearance or firing rate, scraping off the serial numbers making the gun impossible to trace, or by tampering with any features present on the firearm.  Illegal firearms such as high-powered assault rifles and sniper rifles are also sold in America through loopholes that require insignificant alterations made for each weapon. 
The most critical issue pertaining to illegal guns in the United States revolves around transportation, turnover, and subsequent use to commit a violent crime. Statistics associated with illegal guns and violent crimes are startling-
         The ATF reports that 85.9% of traced guns used in crime in New York City came from outside the state-majority of illegal guns came from the South where loose gun laws are present    
         59% of all guns used by juveniles were imported from another country and considered to be “junk guns”
         Only 1 percent of gun dealers account for almost 60 percent of crime guns recovered by police and later traced
         Trafficking in firearms at gun shows and flea markets, where background checks are not required for every sale, accounted for 25,862 guns from 2003-2005
         Many guns are recovered in crime shortly after their first retail purchase. Thirty-four (34) percent of crime guns recovered in 1999 had been purchased new at a gun dealer within the past 3 years.

Gun Manufacturing Explained

Gun Manufacturing Explained

Gun manufacturing in the United States is an enormous, often times ignored industry. Small arms manufacturing in the United States accounts for 177 companies totaling 9,978 employees. Because of the lenient gun laws in America these companies are very profitable and demand is constant-companies have a combined annual revenue of 3.5 billion dollars.
The industry is highly concentrated and most demand is driven by hunters, gun enthusiasts, and law enforcement agencies. The industry is also not common, it is highly labor-intensive (average annual revenue per worker is $200,000) and advertising is regulated by law.
The manufacturing industry for guns has two unique characteristics-it is highly concentrated and demand rarely fluctuates. Although nearly 200 gun manufacturers exist, the majority of firearms are produced by 5 large companies. Gun statistics in regards to manufacturing reveal that the industry is an oligopoly in nature. 55% of the pistols market and 72% of the rifle market are controlled by the 5 largest producers, while 86% of the shotgun market is controlled by Mossberg, H&R, and Remington.
The gun industry produces more than 3 million guns per year: 40% are pistols and revolvers, 35% are rifles, and 25% are shotguns or all other firearms. With loose gun laws in America it is interesting to note that the majority of firearms produced are handguns. Gun control advocates will point to these gun statistics as a catalyst for America’s high violent crime rates. 60,000 machine guns are produced annually as well, but these firearms are mostly distributed for government and military use.
Like many markets, the gun industry has leading producers for their various segments. Sturm, Ruger is the only truly diversified company within the market-they produce all 4 categories of firearms. Remington specializes in rifles and shotguns; Smith & Wesson is the leader in producing handguns and pistols. As stated earlier demand rarely fluctuates based on hunting, self-protection, and law enforcement needs, however, the market is sensitive to changes in government policy and legislation. 
Gun statistics in terms of manufacturing reveal a small percentage increase every decade up until the 1980’s. Shortly after 1981, manufacturing numbers dramatically decreased. Strict gun laws were the factor for this overall dip of 30% in the market. Gun statistics reveal that the decline in the market was most effected by the lack of handgun production.
From 1980-2000 handgun production fell by over 1 million guns annually. Manufacturers produced 1.3 million a year as oppose to their accustomed amount of 2.3-2.5 million. More stringent gun laws are the main factor for this decrease. Major American city’s such as New York, Washington, and Chicago placed a ban on handguns and numerous state governments imposed restrictions in regards to purchasing, owning, and carrying such weapons.
The more rigid gun laws in America were aimed directly at handguns, with intentions to lower violent crime in the states. The adoption of scrupulous gun laws seemingly had no effect on the shotgun or rifle market- shotguns dipped only slightly, from 1.3 million to 1.1 million while rifles shrank from 1.9 million to 1.6 million.
Gun statistics for the manufacturing and production of firearms reveal that the gun market is unique in structure and fundamentals. Unlike most industries, the gun market is not susceptible to recessions or changes in technology, but solely, to government intervention and the adoption of more stringent gun laws.