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There is a truck load of footnotes on the original site to verify the facts in this article. It's about time someone printed the truth.

Edited to Add: You may want to click the link to get the story, the charts didn't paste right. But I think I fixed it. Had to add periods to keep spacing.

http://www.michnews.com/artman/publish/article_6174.shtml

Gun Control: Hiding Their Heads In Sand Francisco
By Howard Nemerov
MichNews.com

Dec 27, 2004

?We know that for even law-abiding folks who own guns, the rates of suicide and mortality are substantially higher. So while just perceived to be a crime thing, we think there is a wide benefit to limiting the number of guns in the city.? ? Bill Barnes, aide to Supervisor Chris Daly (1)

With this erroneous claim to bolster them, San Francisco supervisors kicked off a campaign to get voters to approve a city-wide handgun ban to take effect in 2006. What they are ignoring, besides statistical data, is history.

Gun Ownership and Murder Rates

Mr. Barnes used the term ?mortality.? The US did have higher total mortality rates in 1999??the most recent World Health Organization statistics available online??than either Australia and the United Kingdom. (2) Both countries, Australia in 1996 and UK in 1997, instituted massive gun bans, and are surrounded by water, theoretically making it easier to restrict smuggling, yet drastically reduced lawful gun ownership has not correlated decisively with murder rates.

.................1999 Mortality Rate/1,000 ...............Change Since 1996

UK .........................(10.6 )...........................................(-1.8%)

USA.........................( 8.8) ...........................................(.5%)

AUS .........................(6.8)............................................( -3.4%)

But to say higher mortality is due to greater US firearms ownership is misleading at best. On the other hand, the murder rate trend in the US compares favorably to the UK and AUS since the latter two countries banned guns.

Homicide Rates 1996-2001 (3)


.............................1996
....................................Murders ...................Population .................Rate/1,000

UK (Eng/Wales) .............(679) ...................(52,010,000) ...................(0.013)

USA ..........................(19,645) ..................(265,228,572) ..................(0.074)

AUS ................................(350) ...................(18,310,700) ..................(0.019)

.......................................2001
.....................................Murders................ Population ..........Rate/1,000 .........Change

UK (Eng/Wales) ..................850 .................52,041,916 ............(0.016) .............25.1%

USA ...............................16,037 ...............285,317,559 .............(0.056) ............-24.1%

AUS ...................................340 ..................19,357,594 .............(.0.018) ............-8.1%

With no conclusive relationship between civilian disarmament and murder rates, the onus of proving that law-abiding gun owners represent a threat to public health and safety rests firmly with the SF supervisors. Unless, of course, they intend to force a legal system upon residents that presumes guilt.


Internationally, the US compares even more favorably, rated 24th overall in murder rate. All countries with higher rates have far more gun control; they have no Constitutional right to own guns, and self-defense is not a valid reason for ownership. (4)

Gun Ownership and Suicide Rates

The following table summarizes World Health Organization statistics. (5)

Suicide Rates (per 100,000 population)
................1995 .................1999/2000 ....................Change

UK .............7.4 ........................7.5 .......................1.4%

USA .......11.9 .......................10.4.................... -12.6%

AUS ..........12.0 ......................12.5 ........................4.2%

Again, there is no relationship between civilian disarmament and suicide rates. As with murder rates, the US is 27th overall in suicide rate, and countries with higher rates have more gun control. (6)

Further confirmation that gun ownership has no consistent correlation with murder and suicide comes from a study that collated a United Nations report and found no positive correlation between gun ownership and higher levels homicide or suicide. (7)

Washington, D.C.: Grave Warning

In 2003, our nation?s capitol experienced a murder rate of 44.2 per 100,000 population, about 10 times the rates of nearby states and nearly 8 times the national rate. (8) This is a continued trend begun in 1976, when D.C. instituted a gun ban, claiming the dubious title of ?Murder Capital of the World? 14 of the last 15 years. (9)

Conclusion

Certain San Francisco supervisors are choosing to ignore history. With so much evidence casting doubt upon the wisdom of banning civilian firearm ownership, they would be wise to abandon their plan. Considering all the easily-accessible information contradicting their claims of noble intent, one must pause and ponder what their true motivation may be.

Since it has been in vogue for cities to sue firearms manufacturers for criminal use of highly-regulated, non-defective products, it would seem legal ground has been prepared for similar suits in the reverse direction: that city politicians should be held accountable for death and destruction of public safety resulting from the flawed policies they enact. Perhaps we need to start a new holiday: Take a Politician to Court Day.
 

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Well, I think arguments that guns should be banned because they are deadly, and arguments that they shouldn't be banned because they aren't, both rather miss the point: That it doesn't matter whether or not guns are deadly. And that a few deaths from firearms isn't that high a price to pay for liberty. It isn't just soldiers who die for freedom.
 
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