Sobering gun facts

Paul Helmke, head of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has a good op-ed on the Huff Post this morning in which he take the NRA to task for its absurd claim that widespread gun ownership is responsible for the drop in violent crime in recent years.

In 2009, gun sales increased. Which means that in 2009, after a successful campaign of fear-mongering about President Obama among its followers, more of the same guys who love guns bought…wait for it, more guns.

In truth, the average number of guns per owner has gone up, but the percent of American households with a gun? That’s right: it’s gone down. Gun ownership by household has gone down from a high in 1977 of 54 percent to 33 percent in 2009. But for the NRA bosses, any excuse to fear-monger is better than none.

If more guns meant less crime, then we should be the safest people in the world. In truth, more guns mean more gun violence. While I cheer the news that violent crime rates in America have gone down, most of us know that there are many factors that contribute to crime rates.”

This is the one that is truly worth remembering:

And most importantly, I know the all-too-sobering truth: America has the highest number of guns in the industrialized world and our citizens make up 80 percent of people in the industrialized world who die from bullet blasts.”

Helmke goes on to point out that 35 Americans die as the result of gun violence every day. If you go to the Brady website, you can see a running total at the top of the page. At last check, 79,287 Americans have been shot this year, including 88 today.

Simply amazing.


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