Gun Control .. the Onion Nails it

The Onion is of course satire and yet beautifully nails it in one …

It’s An Honor To Continue Being Valued Over Countless Human Lives

An AR-15

Look, I’m not the type who needs constant validation, and I have never sought preferential treatment from anyone. I just try to focus on doing what I do and not get too caught up in what people think or say about me. But I have to admit, it’s been hard to ignore all the support and appreciation I’ve been receiving lately, particularly over the past several years. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to let all of you know what an absolute honor it is that you continue to value me over countless human lives.

I don’t want to get too sentimental or anything, but it really means the world to me how often you as Americans, through your words and your actions, make it known that I am more important to you than the lives of your fellow citizens.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

What does the evidence tell us

People have opinions, so what happens if you put aside subjective human opinion and carefully review the data objectively, do we learn anything?

There was a 1998 study that looked into what happens to suicide rates when gun control laws come into effect …

Suicide rates typically decreased following implementation of a variety of firearm control laws. Suicide-prone individuals seldom substitute other means or go outside legal channels for suicide weapons. Firearm restrictions may decrease the ready accessibility of firearms enough to allow the peak period of suicidality to pass. Conclusion: The findings support gun control measures as a strategy for reducing suicide rates.

A 2016 study looked into what happens when you ban people from having guns when they have domestic violence restraining orders against them …

when violent intimates have access to firearms, IPV [intimate partner violence] increases in severity and deadliness; however, increases in severity may not be due to firearm use. Additionally, statutes prohibiting persons under domestic violence restraining orders from accessing firearms are associated with reductions in intimate partner homicide

Another 2016 review looked at 130 studies that reviewed the impact of gun control laws …

Evidence from 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that in certain nations the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively.

The Wikipedia Article on the topic also piles on the evidence …

A 2007 study found evidence that gun control laws passed in Austria in 1997 reduced the rates of firearm suicide and homicide in that country.[81] 

In Brazil, after disarmament laws were passed in 2003,[82] gun-related mortality declined by 8% in 2004 relative to the previous year, the first decline observed in a decade. Gun-related hospitalizations also reversed their previous trend by decreasing 4.6% from 2003 to 2004.[83] 

A 2006 study found that after gun control laws were passed in New Zealand in 1992, homicides committed with guns declined significantly, especially among youth. The same study found a decline in youth suicide after the laws were passed, but also concluded that “it is not possible to determine the extent to which this was accounted for by changes in firearms legislation or other causes.”[84] 

A 2010 study looked at the effect of a policy adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces that restricted access to guns among adolescents on suicide rates, and found that “Following the policy change, suicide rates decreased significantly by 40%.” The authors concluded that “The results of this study illustrate the ability of a relatively simple change in policy to have a major impact on suicide rates.”[85] 

A 2013 study showed that after the Military of Switzerland adopted the Army XXI reform, which restricted gun availability, in 2003, suicide rates—both overall and firearm-related—decreased.[86] 

Another 2013 study looking at four restrictive gun laws passed in Norway found that two of them may have reduced firearm mortality among men, but that the evidence was more inconclusive with respect to all of the laws they studied.[87] 

A 2014 study found that after South Africa‘s Firearm Control Act was passed in 2000, homicide rates in the country declined, and concluded that “stricter gun control mediated by the FCA accounted for a significant decrease in homicide overall, and firearm homicide in particular, during the study period [2001-2005].”[88] 

A 2000 study found that a ban on carrying guns in Colombia was associated with reductions in homicide rates in two cities in the country, namely, Cali and Bogotá.[89]

Will anything actually change in the US?

I would like to think so, but given that no previous mass shootings has resulted in anything of any substance, then I suspect it will be more of the same. Here is what has happened so far this year.

Much will be said, but alas nothing will be done and so the body count will continue unabated.

Just how many bodies will it take to bring about a cultural shift in thinking and inspire change?

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