April 03, 2012
But there is another side to the gun story, and University of Houston Professor Larry Bell relates it:
Law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times in 1993 (about 6,825 times per day), and actually shot and killed two and a half times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606). These self-defense shootings resulted in less than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2 percent versus 11 percent).
The figures tell the story. Along with rising incarceration rates, the proliferation of guns in the hands of the law-abiding has been a factor in the nation’s falling crime rate.
And that proliferation has accelerated under President Obama.
According to ammo.net, tax revenues from the sale of firearms and ammunition have gone up 48 percent since 2008, with Iowa, North Carolina and Utah registering revenue gains of over 100 percent.
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, there were 129,666 background checks of individuals seeking to buy a gun, the highest one-day search in history. This exceeded by 32,000 the number of background checks by gun dealers on Black Friday 2010.
Background searches in December broke the all-time monthly record set in November, as 1,534,414 inquiries were made to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System about prospective gun-buyers.
Half a million inquiries came in the six days before Christmas.
Why are Americans arming themselves?
More and more citizens, says the National Rifle Association, fear that if or when they confront a threat to their family, lives or property, the police will not be there.
Reports of home invasions and flash mobs have firmed up the market for firearms. After the 1992 Los Angeles riot, when Californians found themselves defenseless in homes and shops, gun sales soared.
Others argue that a fear of new laws in an Obama second term, or even the possible confiscation of handguns, is driving sales.
Gun-control organizations claim that gun ownership is actually declining, that fewer and fewer people are buying more and more of these guns.
But the numbers seem to contradict the gun-controllers.
A 2005 Gallup survey found that three in 10 Americans own a gun, that 40 percent had a gun in the house, that nearly half of all men own a gun, as do one in seven women. Two-thirds of all gun-owners gave as a reason they own a gun: protection against crime.
America is an armed camp, with the South and Midwest the most heavily armed. Yet, still, Americans buy guns in the millions every year.
Why? Whatever the answer, it is our business, not the U.N.’s.