First and foremost, this article is titled "Civilian Disarmament" rather than "Gun Control" because that's what the real end goal is, for civilians to be completely disarmed and for the government to have a complete monopoly on any and all forms of weapons. Anyone calling for "Gun Control" that "doesn't want to take your guns away" is being disingenuous.
Now that that's out of the way...
The debate over civilian disarmament is hot right now, due to a handful of high profile mass shootings. Without discounting the lives that were lost in these incidents, I believe a lot of people are shouting "something must be done!" emotionally without rationally looking at the numbers, and looking at what further disarmament can cause. Lets take a look at the numbers to see what we're actually trying to prevent, and how much of a difference it would actually make.
Since the general stated end goal of getting rid of firearms is to reduce deaths by firearms, lets take a look at the most recent FBI statistics on homicides, which at the time of this writing is from 2019.
| Weapon | Actual | Adjusted[^1] | |---------------------------------------------|-------:|-------------:| | Total | 13,927 | 13,927 | | Total Firearms | 10,258 | 10,258 | | Handguns | 6,368 | 9,363 | | Rifles | 364 | 535 | | Shotguns | 200 | 294 | | Other Guns | 45 | 66 | | Type not stated | 3,281 | N/A | | Knives or Cutting Instruments | 1,476 | 1,476 | | Blunt Objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) | 397 | 397 | | Personal Weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) | 600 | 600 | | Poison | 16 | 16 | | Explosives | 3 | 3 | | Fire | 81 | 81 | | Narcotics | 93 | 93 | | Drowning | 7 | 7 | | Strangulation | 64 | 64 | | Asphyxiation | 92 | 92 | | Other Weapons or Weapons Not Stated | 840 | 840 |
Right now congress (and the media) are focusing on "assault rifles", so lets take a look at that category. After distributing "Type not stated" firearms into other firearm categories based on the percentages those categories make up, we see that of the total number of homicides in 2019, 535 can be attributed to "rifles"; not "assault rifles" mind you, but just plain old rifles. Just to help make a point, lets assume that all "rifles" are "assault rifles" and say that 535 homicides were committed using "assault rifles" in 2019.
Compared to some of the other categories in this list, that's not really that many. "Personal Weapons", which is basically any normal body part, accounts for more deaths per year than "rifles". We already have laws on the books stating that you're not allowed to hit someone (without their consent), and yet somehow people still manage to kill other people with their hands and feet. Maybe to prevent these deaths we should cut off everyone's hands and feet at birth, so that they won't be able to use them to murder anyone later in life.
Back to rifles, we're talking about trying to ban something that only caused a total of 535 deaths over an entire year, less than two per day. You could say that even one is too many, however there are plenty of other preventable deaths that we could focus on that would save more lives per year.
- 42,915 motor vehicle fatalities (2021)
- 45,979 suicides (2020)
- 102,188 deaths caused by diabetes (2020)
- 293,287 chronic lower respiratory diseases deaths (2020)
- 659,000 deaths caused by heart disease (2021)
- 602,350 cancer deaths (2020)
- 629,898 abortions (2019)
- 200,955 unintentional injury deaths (including traffic deaths) (2020)
All of the above categories are orders of magnitude greater than the number of deaths by rifles per year, and even the smallest category, motor vehicle fatalities, is more than four times the number of deaths than by all firearms.
Instead of spending the time legislating firearms and paying for buybacks, put that money into helping people with their mental health issues so we can reduce suicides; teach people how to drive better so that we can reduce motor vehicle fatalities; educate people about their heath so that we can reduce diabetes, lower respiratory issues, and heart disease. If we could save just those three categories, more than a million people that died in 2020 could still be alive today.
But no, instead of concentrating something that can make a difference, we're fascinated on banning and restricting firearms, something guaranteed to us as Americans in our constitution, because they're scary and go boom. Anyone that says that they're for civilian disarmament to reduce deaths at this point are either being disingenuous or don't know the numbers. At least be honest about it, you want to disarm law abiding citizens, so that there's no resistance to draconian laws put in place.
If you want to see what kind of society you'll live in without civilian ownership of guns, look no further than Australia. At the height of the COVID pandemic, when "conspiracy theorists" started noticing that vaccines weren't really working, there were protests against them along with the continued mask mandates. What the the police do? They fired rubber bullets at peaceful protestors and arrested them. For peacefully protesting. Imagine the outcry if that were to happen in the United States.
Except, there wouldn't be, because people that don't want to wear masks or get a COVID vaccination are "far right extremists" that don't deserve rights like "normal" people that will comply with whatever the government tells them to do.
If you think what happened in Australia was okay, and that they are "far right extremists", you should really take a good look in the mirror and really think about what you stand for. Do you believe in freedom, or authoritarianism? Reconcile that answer with the rest of your beliefs.
[^1]: Adjusted to distribute "Firearms, type not stated" into other firearm categories, assuming that percentages of firearm types is otherwise accurate.