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Reducing Gun Violence?

Author: Jeanne Hull
April 23, 2013
National Security Forum


Current discussions and debates on gun control legislation contain substantial gaps obscured by rhetoric, questionable statistics, and political posturing. The proposed legislation focuses on improved background checks and restricting access to assault weapons and magazine sizes – the idea being to prevent more spectacular school and mall shootings that gain national attention.

While it is commendable that efforts are being made to bring down gun violence, the legislations is likely to be more of a "feel good" balm than actually reducing gun deaths. This is because of the nature of the preponderance of gun violence in our society, and what many have neglected, a serious shortfall in the availability of law enforcement personnel to combat this dire situation.

First, by way of review, let's examine some key statistics with respect to gun violence. The United States has a much higher per capita death rate from guns than any other developed country—by far. There are cities in the U.S. that experience a higher death toll from gun violence than the civilian death tally in Afghanistan. Chicago suffered over 500 deaths by guns in 2012, largely gang on gang violence in the inner cities.

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