One of the most interesting things I’ve found in studying the ‘gun issue’, is how incredibly complicated the various aspects can be.
In my last post I looked at the math to answer whether the availability of firearms “produce” tragedies like the recent church shooting in SC that saw 9 murdered by Nameless Scumbag, or the Hartford Distributor shooting in 2010 that saw 8 killed by a different Nameless Scumbag.
But in the interests of simplicity I left out a few things.
As things stand now, when the kind of people who claim we need to limit the availability of firearms really mean is that we need to limit the availability of firearms in the above ground legal market.
Why is this distinction important? Well for one thing, that 85 guns per 100 people is really the number of guns in the hands of Law abiding citizens, NOT the number of guns total.
If we include the number of guns available on the Black Market, then the total number of guns in the country as a whole, is approx 300 MILLION.
It’s important to remember that those extra 19.5 Million ‘crime’ guns are separate from the 280.5 MILLION ‘legal’ guns, because those arguing for limitation are actually making two separate arguments.
The first argument is that all guns start out as ‘legal’ guns, which is not completely accurate, as a significant fraction of ‘crime’ guns are smuggled into the country by the drug dealers, human traffickers, and other smugglers along side their regular cargo.
For that matter, an even smaller fraction of ‘criminal’ guns are manufactured for the criminal market, any decently equipped high school machine shop or the equivalent has all of the tools the knowledgeable person needs to manufacture any firearm currently in use.
Unfortunately I haven’t found any data I consider reliable enough to even guesstimate HOW significant that fraction is, so for the sake of argument let’s just consider that ‘crime’ guns start out life as ‘legal’ guns, which are then stolen, or purchased by criminals with an intent to distribute through the Black Market.
This means that around 7% of all ‘crime’ guns can reasonably be argued to have come from the legal market.
It is important to remember that guns are a durable good, Black Market guns can and do travel from criminal to criminal, a couple of data points I’m still looking for is the average number of crimes committed with a ‘crime’ gun, and the number of criminal hands a ‘crime’ gun passes through before seizure and destruction by the police.
Such data would be useful to those interested in the big picture, but none of the above matters at all to the 2nd claim from the people who believe that guns ‘produce’ gun crime in general and spree killers in particular.
Because it is their assertion that if guns weren’t readily available to law abiding citizens tragedies like the SC Church shooting wouldn’t happen.
Now I realize that there is still some confusion as to exactly how Nameless Scumbag got his gun, or if he should be included in the tally of law abiding citizen before this atrocity, but for the sake of argument, let’s say it was a legal purchase by a law abiding person lawfully able to buy a gun.
I don’t mind conceding the point for the sake of discussion, because I know something the gun banners either don’t know or prefer to ignore.
That 10,000 gun homicides a year I cited in the last post is accurate, but once again it’s not the entire story.
Because it turns out that approximately 8,000 of those murders are committed by felons, who CAN NOT legally own a gun!
That means that we only ‘produce’ about 2,000 murders committed by notionally FORMER law abiding citizens using legally acquired guns.
So let’s do the math again with the refined data.
Stupidly assuming 1 formerly ‘legal’ gun per homicide that means only
0.0036% or thirty-six ten thousandths of a percent 0.00071% or seventy-one one hundred thousandths of a percent of ‘legal’ guns are used for homicide.
Except of course that some formerly ‘legal’ guns are used to kill more than one person, so the number of formerly ‘legal’ homicide guns is LESS THAN
0.0036% or thirty-six ten thousandths of a percent 0.00071% or seventy-one one hundred thousandths of a percent
Which means more than
99.9964% 99.99929% of ‘legal’ guns ARE NOT used for homicide.
Once again I’m left to conclude that legal guns in the hands of law abiding gun owners ARE NOT, mathematically speaking, the problem.
So can we please stop wasting time on irrelevant fantasy and start talking about fixing the actual problems?
I for one think we need to end ‘legally sanctioned’ discrimination….but that’s a different kettle of fish, and if you think accurate gun math and rational analysis about guns is complicated….