(United States murder rate data from Disaster Center / FBI UCR. England/Wales murder rate data from Home Office Statistical Bulletin; Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/2009; Table 1.01. Latter sourced by John Hardin.)
The raw numbers of firearms in America correlated to the raw number of “crimes committed with firearms” with a coefficient of –0.45221, which indicates a negative correlation between the two.
The rate of firearm ownership in America correlated to the rate of “crimes committed with firearms” with a coefficient of –0.58015, which indicates a strong, negative correlation between the two.
In other words, as the number of firearms and the rate of firearm ownership have both increased in America, on average, the number of firearm-related crimes, and the rate at which they happen, have both decreased. Or, to put it another way, the hypothesis of “more guns = more ‘gun violence’” cannot be true in the frame of reference of America over the past 18 years.
Moving on, the numbers at the far right end of the orange bar indication how many firearms there are in the country per murder transpiring in the country. Given that Iceland has somewhere around 90,000 firearms in-country and all of one murder, it’s number is obvious. America has somewhere around 270,000,000 (probably far north of that, but that is the official number) firearms and we had 12,996 murders in 2010, so it "takes" somewhere around 20775 firearms to "create" an unlawful killing. Obviously firearms do not create murders any more than spoons cause obesity, but, as I said at the beginning, we surrendered logic and reason in order to adopt the "more guns = more deaths" hypothesis and further examine it.
Now, remember that higher numbers are "better", in that it "takes" more guns to "cause" a murder. So consider the countries above us… and then the countries below us. For example, observe how the functional theocracies typically rank over us, at least if they have not suffered a war recently. Likewise, those countries with a strong history in firearms – or just an absurdly low population or population density – are up there with us or above us. Now, take a look at where the United Kingdom – the oft-vaunted example of "ideal" "gun control" – falls on the chart: apparently their firearms are four times more deadly than ours. Or how about Mexico, where private ownership of firearms is functionally impossible, but "murder" seems to be the recreational sport of choice? Hell, Fiji has functionally no guns (all of 1538, or "what I have buried in my back yard"), but they managed to crank out 23 murders despite that.
That line slanting to the lower-right and disappearing beneath the x-axis is the trendline for the datapoints, and the equation for that line tells you everything you need to know. Specifically, there is a correlation coefficient of -0.2055 between the rate of firearm ownership and the rate of murders in the 90 countries I have documented on the bar chart above. In other words, using those countries’ data from a single year as our test population, countries with higher gun ownership rates tend to enjoy lower murder rates and vice versa. However, this is a very weak correlation, and thus does not hold true in all cases.
The raw number of firearms in America correlated to the raw number of firearm-related fatalities with a coefficient of –0.40017, which indicates a negative correlation between the two (as the former increases, the latter is likely to decrease, and vice versa).
The rate of firearm ownership in America correlated to the rate of firearm-related fatalities with a coefficient of –0.81232, which is a strong, negative correlation, and even stronger than the last post.
In other words – and I know I am beating a dead horse into glue at this point – the hypothesis of “more guns = more deaths” cannot be true* in the frame of reference of American society over the past 31 years.
This is not a gun:
No, seriously, that is not a firearm… at least not in the BATFE-dictated, legal definition. Oh, sure, it and its brothers served in the Swiss Army for somewhere around 35+ years, it possesses an impressive free-floating barrel that aids in its already-notable accuracy, it carries an onboard, six-round magazine, and it shoots still-available, if expensive, ammunition that is roughly comparable to the modern 7.62x51mm round used by NATO forces today, but since this particular Model 96/11 Schmidt-Rubin rifle was constructed by Waffenfabrik Bern in 1898 (in Solothurn, as its stamping indicates), it is legally not a firearm here in the United States of America.
In most states in the Union*, no background check is necessary to purchase this device, no matter where you buy it from – it is not a firearm.
In most states in the Union, you can have it shipped straight to your door, without having a Curio and Relic license and without using an FFL/gun store – it is not a firearm.
In most states in the Union, anyone can own it, including "prohibited persons" (felons, etc.) – it is not a firearm.
There is no "paper trail" on this device – it is not a firearm.
It could be rechambered in a "modern" caliber, and it would still be an antique – it is not a firearm, and can never be one (though, oddly, if you gave it a short barrel, it would be subject to that part of the NFA).
For example, if you were to look at all firearm owners (the grey square) in comparison to all crimes of various sorts, how would the numbers balance out? Well, let us first establish a baseline of all crimes (be advised, the root images are flipping huge – right-click and "open in new window" to get the full effect):
That graphic was probably not so surprising to you.
But what about only crimes that are firearm-related?
That particular image might have surprised you.
And, now, for the grand comparison (the big version of this should, in theory, also be animated):
One would think that if the anti-rights cultists were genuinely interested in increasing the safety and security of average Americans throughout the country, they would focus on such things as property crime and larceny theft, where even a small percentage change could result in a massive decrease in raw numbers. Instead, they rabidly latch on to abridging and infringing on all American’s rights for the supposed purpose of addressing a subset of crime that is smaller than property crime, larceny theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, aggravated assault, and robbery, individually.
Is it common sense to focus on such a small, narrow aspect of crime, when so many other forms of crime are detrimentally impacting so many more people’s lives? Is it common sense to forcibly deny Constitutionally-protected individual rights to millions upon millions of law-abiding American citizens just because a borderline-statistically-insignificant number of total American citizens cannot properly behave themselves in society? Is it common sense to overlook the massively-more-influential effects your efforts could be having in other fields?
I say, "No," but you probably saw that coming already.
Expanding on “‘gun control’ is crime control” (one pixel represents one person at full resolution):
To quote Justin, the originator of the below graphic:
I’ve taken your graphic and done a slight modification to it. I created an alternating 4×4 pixel pattern and used it as the fill on this image. That way you can zoom in to all of the individual pixels, getting an even better idea of the scale of the numbers involved.
(Be advised, the linked-to image is somewhat on the "beefy" side.)
Which brings us back to the graphic – one very large blue square (to be specific, 5492×5492 pixels), with a series of multi-colored squares contained within it. What are those? Well, I will give you a hint – one pixel in the above image represents 10 American citizens in 2007.
Still give up? Well, here is the answer:
From right to left, we have the leading causes of American deaths:
Heart disease: 616,067
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
Actually, I added that last one – firearms do not even make the Center for Disease Control’s top ten list of causes for American fatalities (there were somewhere around 620 firearm-related accidental fatalities in 2007, which will be counted twice under that category and “accidents”). Bear in mind that, as with the last few graphics like these, that “firearm-related” number includes all firearm-related fatalities – accidents, law-enforcement, suicides, murders, etc. Something tells me doctors will not be terribly helpful in discussing how to avoid “death by cop” or being shot by a mugger, but, as usual, I want to give the anti-rights cultists every single advantage we can – their positions seem to need it.
So, with the proportions of what kills Americans now firmly established by the above graphic, might you think that the good Florida doctors’ time might be a little better spent on actually relevant topics?
In terms of firearms, this is a clip:
Specifically, it is a stripper clip, also known as a “charger”. Note how the majority of the ammunition is not covered, but only the rim of the cartridge is held. Note the lack of springs, boxes, drums, or tubes. This exact model differs from a true clip in that it is not designed to be inserted fully into a firearm, but rather it is used to fill – or charge – the internal magazine of a rifle. En bloc clips (as those true clips are sometimes known) are fully inserted into a firearm – specifically into its integral magazine – and ejected when empty, but the firearm in question cannot properly operate without the clip.
Speaking of, this is a magazine:
Note the fully-contained box design. Note that were I to disassemble it, it would have both a very strong spring and a “follower” (a metal plate designed to push the ammunition by way of the force from the spring). And note that magazines can come in both detachable and integral forms, as well as tube, box, drum, pan, rotary, and helical designs, and that some are designed to accept stripper or en bloc clips. In short, this is a container, designed to hold ammunition and feed it into a firearm.
And that is the primary difference – regardless of “stripper” or “en bloc”, or “integral” or “detachable” clips are designed to fill magazines, while magazines are designed to feed firearms.
So all that said and explained, it would appear as though the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
ViolenceOwnership wants to ban “assault clips” – or clips with capacities greater than ten rounds (despite their obsessive fixation on “32 rounds”, 10 seems to be the arbitrary, magic number for them). Fine. But let me ask them this: has there ever been a clip designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition? Unless you count the Cammenga Easyloader as a “charger” (and there is a valid argument there), I cannot think of a single one. Something tells me that banning “assault clips” will not get the Bradyites exactly what they want…
As usual, the Brady Campaign does not have a single clue what it is talking about.
…I love the hell out of Howard Nemerov’s post comparing firearm ownership against a variety of other metrics in countries throughout the world. Of course, one of the best parts about this post is the source for all of his data – the United Nations, a notoriously anti-self-defense, anti-firearms organization that is intentionally and willfully supporting policies that run directly contrary to the information they themselves collected. Diogenes’ lamp, anyone?
Mr. Nemerov links to all the various sources he used for his number-crunching, but I am going to borrow his graphics and type up short synopses below them:
Debunking “‘gun control’ is crime control” (one pixel represents one person at full resolution):
As such, examine the full-size version of the image. In the context of the “stopping crime” argument, the anti-rights nuts of America (and the world in general) are attempting to restrict, regulate, control, limit, abridge, infringe, and generally destroy the rights of all of the individuals represented by the blue field, based on the actions of the individuals represented by the red box. Does that make a lick of sense to you?
Debunking “public safety requires ‘gun control'” (one pixel represents one person at full resolution):
Once again, in the context of the “public safety” argument, the anti-rights nuts of America (and the world in general) are attempting to restrict, regulate, control, limit, abridge, infringe, and generally destroy the rights of all of the individuals represented by the blue field, based on the actions of the individuals represented by the yellow and orange boxes. Does that make a lick of sense to you?
And we can now show that of two nearly-identical rifles, one was banned under the Assault Weapon Ban, and one was not.
How does that stop crime? How does that keep people safe? Rifle A and Rifle B are operationally, functionally, and effectively identical, and yet one is permissable under these Bans, and one is not. How does that make any sense at all?
Simply put, it does not, and anyone still supporting Assault Weapon Bans in this day and age of unbounded-data-at-our-very-fingertips is either a baldfaced liar, a damned fool, a petty totalitarian, or some combination of all three, and in no position to be deciding on laws and legislations that would unconstitutionally limit millions of Americans’ rights.
Not only are every last one of those rifles “military-style”, they are, in fact, military rifles shooting “military calibers”, and they probably actively served in their respective countries’ armed forces. And yet, even during the blissfully-expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and still during Kalifornistan’s and Massachussets’ still-enacted AWBs, I could have all four of these rifles shipped straight to my door with my Type 03 / Curio and Relic FFL.
Make no mistake – these are not replicas, these are not reproductions, these are not copies, these are not just “military-style”, and these have not been “de-milled”. They are, in fact, 100%, hardcore, honest-to-God military-issue rifles, and some of them may have even spent some time perforating Soviets, Germans, or Lord knows what else (not likely, but it is possible).
And every last one of them was legal to possess, buy, and sell during the Federal AWB.
Remind me again how the “Assault Weapon Ban” was/is supposed to keep “military-style” hardware out of the hands of us untrustworthy citizens?
By way of example, what is the difference between these two firearms, one being covered by the Assault Weapon Ban currently enacted in Kalifornistan, and one not:
I will give you a hint: not a damned thing.
Both of those firearms are the ubiquitous Ruger Mini-14, but one is not legal in Kalifornistan, and one is. The latter of the two firearms, since it does not have a pistol grip, flash suppressor, or threaded barrel, is 100% legal in Kalifornistan, even though it can accept a removable magazine. The former, however, does have a pistol grip, a collapsible stock, a flash suppressor (and probably a threaded barrel underneath that), and removable magazines, and thus would not be legal within that Left Coast state.
Functionally, the firearms are no different, but one is an “assault weapon” and the other is not.
How does that make sense?