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Gun Control and Gun Related Violence By the Numbers

by Adam Luke, published
The United Nations Gun Control Monument in New York City

Like never before in the history of reporting numbers, definitions and connotations are being thrown around in an irresponsible fashion. However, the common denominator for the loose lips and definitions is now becoming increasingly clear. Anything goes for gun control. Today's reporting on the subject has turned gun control into a lightning match with numbers. Titles and articles are riddled with holes filled with missing facts and half truths. Many articles read as a jumbled mess of "30 round clips, 6,000 round stockpile, 4 gun arsenal, 40 gun arsenal, 2 people killing rampages." Like sex, gun control sells, and there is no greater way to sell copies like telling people how they can lose five pounds and eat ice cream or how they are going to die in a hail of gun fire without federal protection.

There is no denying that this summer has been a hard one for the American people, in the last three months we have had three mass shootings. The Empire State Building shooting can join this list. Now what is being played out in front of us is the left and right fighting to justify, deny, or rationalize what actions they deem are appropriate for this situation, and more importantly, what they deem appropriate for the American people. Every statistic, every article on gun control, all seem to fall along the same line: it's a numbers game.

The American people are bombarded by numbers from various media outlets, but none of these numbers seem to be the right numbers. We hear constantly about how many have been killed by someone wielding a gun, how many guns made it to Mexico and other headlines. However, rarely do we ever hear about the guns that stayed in our borders, or the ones that never hurt anyone at all. At the end of the day does it really matter what gun the person used? How many rounds he purchased off the internet?

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence lists some very shocking numbers and facts. As listed on the website, a shocking 63,289 people have been involved in a gun-related incident this year as of today. To put that number in perspective that is roughly the Gillette Stadium of the New England Patriots packed at capacity. The numbers are staggering, and if the numbers are simply left at just that, there is without any doubt that many would believe gun control needs to be a bigger issue. But as always in any statistical evaluation, solving a part of the riddle does not give you the whole solution.

Based off of the numbers reported by Reuters, there is an estimated 270 million guns within America's borders. A Gallop poll last October stated that gun ownership was at its highest level since 1993, and that was a self reporting poll. There are 270 million guns in America alone, which means roughly 47% of America "reports" to own a gun. When dividing the number of guns in America amongst our population of approximately 311 million people, it comes out close to 90 guns per 100 people. What's the point? It seems the numbers of the people are speaking quite clearly.

But still we have senators, congressmen and private interest groups hammering at more restrictive gun control. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City and co-founder for Mayors Against Illegal Guns stated two weeks ago on CNN's Piers Morgan Show that law enforcement officers across the nation should strike until gun ownership is removed from the rights of the American people. Even as bold as Mayor Bloomberg's opinion was, the most important thing as an independent thinker is to not let his opinion deter the logical thought process. It seems the media constantly presents us with events where the definition of true reporting is resorting to who can present the most ludicrous argument as long as it helps stifle the discussion at hand.

62,524 people already have been affected by gun violence this year and it is the Brady Campaign's best guess that roughly 100,000 people will have been involved with a shooting related case by the time this year is over. These are the numbers and facts that are known, now contrast those numbers with the estimated 146 million Americans who are reporting that they own a gun and all of a sudden the argument is cast in equally shared light. That would mean that roughly .068% of legal gun owners will actually use their gun in a gun-related incident of violence this year.

Again, the numbers appear to speak clearly for themselves, one could go as far as to point out that it would seem that the gun control legislation on the books is already working, because by their own numbers less then 1% of all legal gun owners in America will use their gun in a illegal fashion.

The question is still present: what as the American people, should we do on the issue of gun control?

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