Certain things in life are so evident that we don't need to stop and analyze them too long before we accept them as a given. We call it common sense. Einstein might have called it a gift.
And for those things not so self-evident, we were given scientific study. How handy.
This week's moment of sobriety comes via the American Journal of Public Health which posted the results of a recent research project on the relationship of gun ownership to homicide.
Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.
The "We" in the statement above are: Boston University professor Michael Siegel and coauthors Craig S. Ross and Charles King III. (That's Charles King III, not to be confused with King Charles III who died in 1788). So if overstating the obvious in one study doesn't float your boat, here's another.
Harvard School of Public Health research on Homicide concluded:
We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty).
Well, "armed" with these studies, you would think that common sense would cause sane, law abiding people to consider that maybe passing up the opportunity to buy guns might actually contribute to saving their lives.
According to the Small Arms Survey:
The United States owns more guns per resident, at around 0.89, than any other nation in the world. The U.S. has over 50% more firearms per capita than the next two highest nations combined.
To what extent does the NRA fight control of weapons? Well aside from a catchy motto based on Fred A. Roff Jr., president of the Colt Patent Fire Arms Co., whose 1959 quote was co-opted by the NRA, "Guns don’t kill people. People kill people,” the NRA is spending money like there's no tomorrow to see that every man, woman and child is heavily packing. Yes, kids too. You're never too young to experience the thrill of 10 rounds per second from an AK-47.
The NRA has received $38.9 million since 2005 from gun manufacturers. And the NRA has spent $7.2 million supporting candidates during the 2010 election alone, according to Policymic.
During the height of the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union each had enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth many times over. How many times do you need to destroy the planet? Or in this case, how many guns do we need?
When will common sense kick in to make people realize, guns are a problem, much more than a solution? And guns do kill.
Consider this statistic - the number of deaths by bullets loading themselves into a gun then aiming and shooting themselves into a victim is zero -- for the 5774th year in a row, if you use the Jewish calendar.
Scientific and actuarial studies are conclusive. But if they're not enough, listen to the sage musings of British comedian, Eddie Izzard who discusses this subject with humor and common sense. (oh, and forgive the Donna Karan chemise, and the salty language. Eddie dressed in a hurry)