The people over at National Public Radio’s website published a story recently about a new study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine that confirms what some pro-gun regulation advocates have hypothesized about for years — the places where more people own guns see the most deaths by firearm. On the face of it, it’s a fact that doesn’t really seem all that controversial. The simple math you would think would point to this being the case, but the mythos of the “responsible gun owner” promulgated by groups like the National Rifle Association suppressing these kinds of studies in the first place, has created a narrative that has cast doubt on this being the case; the study lays all of that to rest.
Using a large sampling — twenty-seven countries in all — the AJM researchers found that to no one’s surprise the U.S. has the most number of gun deaths in the world — an astounding rate of 90 guns for every 100 citizens. The U.S. also has the most gun deaths per capita, with 10 out of every 100,000 deaths in the country resulting from a firearm. South Africa, a continent ravaged by years of war, has a much lower ratio of gun ownership and nearly the same number of gun deaths, but to repeat, that’s a war zone we’re talking about there.
It should be noted that the study couldn’t tie guns to gun deaths in terms of causation but the correlation of civilian gun ownership and gun deaths is not deniable. Also of note, the study showed that mental illness does also seem to correlate with gun deaths, but the correlation isn’t nearly as high as simple gun ownership. Dr. Sripal Bangalore, lead author of this story said of the correlation between gun ownership and gun deaths,”You could say that if there is a lot of crime in a society people will feel insecure, so they buy guns and there’s a vicious cycle. But, Bangalore said, “We just don’t see that. We found a direct and strong correlation between gun owners and firearms deaths.”
Common sense does seem to dictate that if you increase the number of firearms in society at the very least you increase the chances for more gun deaths. That’s what this new study shows. Of course not every person who owns a gun will shoot or kill someone, in self-defense or otherwise. However, doesn’t the fact that a strong correlation has been found between guns and gun deaths mean that we should do our level best to keep guns away from people whose mental state and/or proclivity to violent crime will only further increase the odds of a gun death?
Watch this clip of President Barack Obama telling the American people this week that Congress is needed to take action on gun control. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in a comment.