Cole Michigan

Gun Violence

The amount of gun related deaths in the United States is undeniable. There has been about 30,000 gun related deaths per year.

Dear future President,

 However, there is one thing never shown in popular media. 65% off those 30,000 deaths are by suicide, 15% are justified law enforcement shootings, 17% are through criminal activity, and 3% are accidental discharge deaths. Just looking at the breakdown you see that any gun control laws would do little to reduce deaths. So in reality “gun violence” is far lower than that 30,000, it really is about 5,100 annually. Do you think this is still too high? Let’s look at a further breakdown,

480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago (Homicide number has increased drastically)

344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore

333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit

119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington, D.C. (54% increase over prior years.)

What does this mean? It essentially shows that 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. If we look at the policies in these cities we see that they have strict gun laws in comparison to other places. This leaves 3,825 annually for the rest of the United States, 75 per state on average. This is just an average, some states are far higher others far lower. For example California which had 1,169 vs Alabama which had 1. Which of these two states has more strict gun control? Let's compare those 5,100 deaths by guns to other ways to die.

40,000 people die annually from drug overdoses.

36,000 people die annually from the flu.

34,000 people die annually in traffic fatalities.

220,000+ people die annually from preventable medical malpractice.

710,000 people die annually from heart disease.

Maybe we should focus on reducing some of these. For example, an obtainable 10% decrease in medical malpractice would be 66% of all gun deaths, or 4x the number of criminal homicides.

Most people seeking more gun control are mostly against “assault weapons.” In 2010 there was 358 (5.6%) homicides from ALL rifles, not just assault weapons. 6,009 (94.4%) were committed with a handgun. In other words, over 95% of gun deaths were not committed by a person with a rifle. Yet it is ar-15’s and similar firearms that are attacked again and again. It just is not logical in any way. If you wanted to save the most lives from firearms you need to focus on crime in a few major inner cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Washington D.C. Another major factor worth noting is the amount firearms are used in self defense or deterring criminal activity. The CDC found in a study ordered by President Obama that self defense use ranges from 500,000 to 3 million annually. So even on the low end 500,000 is much greater than the 5,000 criminal homicides. What this shows is that firearms are used far more often for good than they are for bad. The groups who need firearms the most are minorities. An example is the lgbtq community should be armed. We see that they believe this too as the Pink Pistols members skyrocketed from 1,500 to over 8,000 in the first week after the Orlando shooting. In a study, 86% of law enforcement officers said that mass shootings stopped by civilians mitigate the casualties of the shooting significantly. If you propose any gun control laws that make it harder for law abiding citizens to obtain firearms you're only taking away some people's only form of defense. Included would be any laws that require a costly license to own firearms as this would only prevent people who are impoverished from getting firearms legally. This group of people is arguably the ones who need firearms for protection the most because of location and lengthy police response times. I ask you to consider the facts and logic to make an educated decision instead of using emotion to restrict people's rights.