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Harvard study on guns and violence


Jul 1, 2013
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A common tactic among anti-gun people is to pick one or two countries that have lower gun ownership and lower homicide than the US and use that to claim that more guns = more violent crime. Of course, this is completely one dimensional and ignores that crime is a complex socio-economic thing, and has many factors to it. Also commonly ignored is looking at violent crime rates in those countries before and after such gun restrictions were in place. Selective reporting at its finest.

This study disproves the notion that more guns = more murder, looking at a number of European countries. It shows a negative correlation between gun ownership and murder rate.

In addition, a strong case can be made that more guns reduces crime. This makes sense -- defenseless people are easier victims of crime. More guns is also a deterrent to criminals. Surveys show between 500,000 and 3 million defensive gun uses per year in the US. This outweigh 300,000 violent crimes related to guns.

Furthermore, the presence of guns is a deterrent to criminals.

Surveys among prison inmates reveals that large percentages of criminals fear that a potential victim might be armed, deterring them from a confrontational crime. Also, the felons most frightened about this were from states that had a higher rate of gun ownership.


Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence
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