worked 6-years as host of live talk radio shows producing more than 600 live programs dealing with boomers and seniors concerning issues of health, wealth and lifestyle. His weekly podcasts continue on the Internet on his website.
Today, Ron consults with seniors and adult children of aging parents on many aspects of aging, and is the author of the book Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Do more guns mean more violence?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I’m a state-certified concealed handgun and deadly force instructor. I conduct handgun training classes on gun safety and for those who wish to apply for a N.C. concealed handgun carry permit.
Liberals claim there’s a gun epidemic in America. That statement is blatantly false; there is no epidemic. That’s not just my opinion — that’s according to the FBI, which reported in a Washington Examiner article on Dec. 5 that “murders are at a record low and falling in the U.S.”
Darn, that just doesn’t fit Barack Obama’s narrative or that of antigun citizens, but facts don’t seem to prevent anti-gun advocates from attacking our Second Amendment rights.
Liberals and anti-gunners are quick to tell us that guns have been designed to kill people. I, like our Founding Fathers, take the position that guns are designed to defend people. But, liberals ask, what about all the mass murders, like the gun-caused tragedies in Newtown, Conn., or, more recently, in San Bernardino, Calif.? Doesn’t that prove that America is a “gun-crazy” culture compared to the rest of the civilized world?
No, it does not. It’s true that America has the highest per capita gun ownership in the world — 90 guns per 100 people — but we don’t even come close to the highest per capita homicide rate among 218 nations in the world. FBI statistics in 2012 ranked America 111th in the world with a homicide rate of 4.7 murders per 100,000 people. In 2014, the FBI reported that since 1964, murders in the U.S. are at an all-time low. Yes, any number of murders is still too high, but these are more details that liberals conveniently overlook.
While Democratic leaders in D.C. and beyond want tougher gun laws, I’d like to mention that the murder rates per 100,000 in Democratically controlled cities, with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, are the reason the murder rate is 4.7. For instance, in Detroit, the murder rate is 54.6 per 100,000, and if Detroit were a country, it would rank No. 2 as the most murderous country in the world, just behind No. 1 Honduras.
Other Democratically controlled U.S. cities with very strict gun control laws and high gun murder rates include New Orleans (53.2), St. Louis (35.5) and Baltimore (34.4), and the cities of Newark, Oakland, Stockton, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Memphis, Atlanta and Chicago — all controlled by Democrats, and all with very strict gun laws — range from a “low” rate of 18.5 up to 34.4. If those cities brought their murder rates down to the national average, America would be ranked among the five lowest per capita murder rates in the world.
In 2014, there were 33,000 deaths by gun, but liberals didn’t tell us that 21,000 of those deaths were suicides. Some of the deaths, as liberals love to point out, resulted from mass shootings.
Again, it might be important to look at the facts. An Oct. 9, 2014 report from the government’s Crime Prevention Research Center showed that “92 percent of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones.”
Rational people might begin to think perhaps it’s not the guns but the people holding the guns. Lawabiding citizens follow the rules and buy guns legally. Criminals don’t tend to buy their guns at shows or gun stores where background checks are required, and our laws don’t allow us to require background checks or tests for mental illness to legally purchase a gun.
In November 2014, the FBI revealed that the estimated number of violent crimes in 2013 decreased by 4.4 percent when compared with 2012 figures, and the estimated number of property crimes decreased by 4.1 percent. Government statistics show that, except for some small blips, serious crime has decreased almost every year from 1994 through 2013.
Those were national statistics. Here are some 2012 state statistics: 1,941 N.C. residents (19.9 per 100,000) died as a result of violence. The leading causes of N.C. violent deaths were 1,394 suicides (71.8 percent) and 547 homicides (28.2 percent). The leading methods of violent deaths in N.C. were firearms (58.8 percent), poisoning (15.1 percent) and hanging, strangulation or suffocation (13.8 percent).
In Henderson County during 2012, overall violent deaths were 30. Of those, 23 were suicides.
Liberals seem to fear that the increase in gun ownership (gun purchases have spiked to their highest levels under Obama) will result in more murders and more crime. The facts just don’t bear that out. However, that doesn’t seem to matter to those opposed to guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. They irrationally fear that violence with increasing gun ownership will go up.
Our local area police chiefs and the county sheriff all support gun ownership and concealed carry by well-trained, responsible citizens. One more thing: Americans own between 280 million and 310 million guns of all types — handguns and rifles — and an estimated 12 trillion rounds of ammunition. Think about it: If more legal guns actually led to more violence, don’t you think we’d know it? — Ron Kauffman is a Hendersonville resident. You can reach him at .