Public health and guns: The assertion that more guns equals more violent crime is false, say Harvard researchers

Saturday, September 07, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: public health, gun control, violent crime

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(NaturalNews) The progressive elitist class loves to claim moral superiority when it comes to the development of public policy, so it is no small thing that the pinnacle of elitism - Harvard University - has proven what good, ol' American common sense has conveyed for decades.

Namely, that gun control does not work to appreciably reduce violent criminal activity. Oh, and no, the mainstream media didn't report on this finding far and wide. In fact, the results of this Harvard study have been largely ignored.

The study, called "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" examined figures from "intentional deaths" throughout continental Europe. Researchers then juxtaposed those figures with the United States "to show that more gun control does not necessarily lead to lower death rates or violent crime," Breitbart News' AWR Hawkins wrote.

Where guns are more plentiful, violence is less common

He added:

Because the findings so clearly demonstrate that more gun laws may in fact increase death rates, the study says that "the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths" is wrong.

For instance, researchers note that numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and corresponding murder rates readily do not show that fewer guns mean less death. In Russia, for one, where the rate of gun ownership is about, 4,000 per 100,000 residents, the murder rate was 20.52 per 100,000 in 2002. In Finland during the same year, where gun ownership rates are much higher (39,000 per 100,000), the murder rate was practically nil, at just 1.98 per 100,000.

In examining Western Europe, researchers found that Norway "has far and away Western Europe's highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate."

When the Harvard researchers focused on intentional deaths by comparing the U.S. and continental Europe, findings were no less substantial and telling. The U.S. is often called the most violent nation in the world by gun control advocates, but it actually comes in 7th - behind Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and the Ukraine - in murders. In terms of suicides, America only ranks 22nd.

Hawkins notes, citing the study, "The murder rate in Russia, where handguns are banned, is 30.6; the rate in the U.S. is 7.8."

More guns = less crime and we've known this

More from Hawkins:

The authors of the study conclude that the burden of proof rests on those who claim more guns equal more death and violent crime; such proponents should "at the very least [be able] to show a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that impose stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide)." But after intense study the authors conclude "those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared around the world."

The researchers also found: Indeed, "data on firearms ownership by constabulary area in England," like data from the United States, show "a negative correlation," that is, "where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest."

No question about it: The Harvard study merely reinforces what many of us "common folk" have known for years - that fewer guns means more crime, more death, more mayhem. And why wouldn't it be that way? A firearm is the ultimate equalizer; small, frail women or weaker men who tend to be targets of violence are more than a match for bigger, badder people when they are armed.

Our own crime statistics bear this out. According to the FBI, since 1992 there has been a 50-percent reduction in the violent crime and murder rate in the United States.

What's even more notable, say experts, is that the crime rate has continued to fall despite the Great Recession of the past few years.

"This is actually a pretty significant drop, which is fascinating because we'd normally expect crime to go up when we're in an economic downturn," said Gary LaFree, a criminology professor at the University of Maryland, in an interview with NBC News in January.


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