Don't look to the USA

Re: On the Liberal gun ban

I wanted to address your claim that Texas is the “safest place in the states”, and the idea that allowing citizens to “defend themselves” deters crime.

I’m not sure which statistics you are looking at.

In 2018, Texas was 1 of only 2 states (along with California) which had over 100,000 violent crimes. When adjusted for population, the rate of violent crime in Texas is over the national average, sitting at 410.9 incidents per 100,000 (FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 2018).

Compared to other countries:

  • The USA has the 28th highest rate of death via gun violence in the world, with 4.43 deaths per 100,000; this is far greater than other wealthy countries (NPR, 2019)
  • When compared to North Africa and the Middle East, the USA holds the top spot for death via gun violence, followed by Afghanistan and Iraq in 2nd and 3rd place (NPR, 2019)
  • The USA also has 6x the firearm homicides of Canada, and nearly 16x as many as Germany (Vox, 2019)

Extensive research (Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Centre) concludes the following: “the US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations”. Phrased another way, “Americans make up less than 5% of the world’s population, but they own roughly 45% of all the world’s privately held firearms” (American Journal of Public Health, 2015) .

Further, since Sandy Hook there have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in the USA (Gun Violence Archive, 2017). In fact, 2015 saw 355 mass shootings, in a year of 336 days (Washington Post, 2015). The vast majority of these shootings are carried out with automatic weapons, or handguns (Mass Shooting Tracker, 2017); in areas where these firearms are more heavily restricted, incidences of gun violence decreases (The Atlantic, 2011) - research also supports this globally.

So in conclusion: in your letter you claim that the new gun restrictions “have nothing to do with gun crime” – research and statistical evidence begs to differ.

Bex Raron, RPAL holder, firearm-user, and supporter of gun restrictions

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