HOME
        TheInfoList






Gun politics is an area of American politics defined by two primary opposing ideologies about civilian gun ownership. People who advocate for gun control support increasing regulations related to gun ownership; people who advocate for gun rights support decreasing regulations related to gun ownership. These groups often disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of firearms regulation on crime and public safety.[1]:7 It is estimated that U.S. civilians own 393 million firearms,[2] and that 35% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun.[3][4] The U.S. has the highest estimated number of guns per capita, at 120.5 guns for every 100 people.[5]

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."[6]

Debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the United States have been characterized by concerns about the right to bear arms, such as found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the responsibility of the United States government to serve the needs of its citizens and to prevent crime and deaths. Firearms regulation supporters say that indiscriminate or unrestricted gun rights inhibit the government from fulfilling that responsibility, and causes a safety concern.[7][8][9]:1–3[10] Gun rights supporters promote firearms for self-defense – including security against tyranny, as well as hunting and sporting activities.[11]:96[12] Firearms regulation advocates state that restricting and tracking gun access would result in safer communities, while gun rights advocates state that increased firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens reduces crime and assert that criminals have always had easy access to firearms.[13][14]

Gun legislation, or non-legislation, in the United States, is augmented by judicial interpretations of the Constitution. In 1791, the United States adopted the Second Amendment, and in 1868 adopted the Fourteenth Amendment. The effect of those two amendments on gun politics was the subject of landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2008 (In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to possess firearms independent of service in a state militia and to use firearms for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense within the home. In so doing, it endorsed the so-called “individual-right” theory of the Second Amendment's meaning and rejected a rival interpretation, the “collective-right” theory, according to which the amendment protects a collective right of states to maintain militias or an individual right to keep and bear arms in connection with service in a militia.

There is an open debate regarding a causal connection (or the lack of one) between gun control and its effect on gun violence and other crimes. The numbers of lives saved or lost by gun ownership are debated by criminologists. Research d

There is an open debate regarding a causal connection (or the lack of one) between gun control and its effect on gun violence and other crimes. The numbers of lives saved or lost by gun ownership are debated by criminologists. Research difficulties include the difficulty of accounting accurately for confrontations in which no shots are fired and jurisdictional differences in the definition of "crime." Furthermore,

Such research is also subject to a more fundamental difficulty affecting all research in this field: the effectiveness of the Criminal Law in preventing crime in general or in specific cases is inherently and notoriously difficult to prove and measure, and thus issues in establishing a causal link between gun control or particular gun control policies and violent crime must be understood to be an aspect of a more general empirical difficulty, which pervades the fields of Criminology and Law at large. It is not simple, for example, to pro

Such research is also subject to a more fundamental difficulty affecting all research in this field: the effectiveness of the Criminal Law in preventing crime in general or in specific cases is inherently and notoriously difficult to prove and measure, and thus issues in establishing a causal link between gun control or particular gun control policies and violent crime must be understood to be an aspect of a more general empirical difficulty, which pervades the fields of Criminology and Law at large. It is not simple, for example, to prove a causal connection between the laws against murder and the prevailing murder rates, either. Consequently, this general background must be appreciated when discussing the causal and empirical issues here.

A study published in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology in 1997 concluded that the amount of gun-related crime and deaths is affected more by the state of the area in terms of unemployment, alcohol problems and drug problems instead of the laws and regulations.[188] This study analyzed statistics gathered on the amount of gun crime in states with strict and lenient gun policies and determined that the amount of gun crime is related to how to run down economically an area is.

A 2003 CDC study determined "The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."[54] They go on to state "a finding of insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness but rather as an indicator that additional research is needed before an intervention can be evaluated for its effectiveness."

In 2009, the Public Health Law Research program,[189] an independent organization, published several evidence briefs summarizing the research assessing the effect of a specific law or policy on public he

A 2003 CDC study determined "The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."[54] They go on to state "a finding of insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness but rather as an indicator that additional research is needed before an intervention can be evaluated for its effectiveness."

In 2009, the Public Health Law Research program,[189] an independent organization, published several evidence briefs summarizing the research assessing the effect of a specific law or policy on public health, that concern the effectiveness of various laws related to gun safety. Among their findings:

With 5% of the world's population, U.S. residents own roughly 50% of the world's civilian-owned firearms. In addition, up to 48% of households within America have guns.[196] According to the UNODC, 60% of U.S. homicides in 2009 were perpetrated using a firearm.[197] U.S. homicide rates vary widely from state to state. In 2014, the lowest homicide rates were in New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont (each 0.0 per 100,000 people), and the highest were in Louisiana (11.7) and Mississippi (11.4).[198]

Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, and his colleague Marc Gertz, published a study in 1995 estimating that approximately 2.5 million American adults used their gun in self-defense annually. The incidents that Kleck extrapolated based on his questionnaire results generally did not involve the firing of the gun, and he estimates that as many as 1.9 million of those instances involved a handgun.[199]:164 These studies have been subject to criticism on a number of methodological and logical grounds.[200]

Another study from the same period, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), estimated 65,000 DGUs (Defensive gun use) annually. The NCVS survey differed from Kleck's study in that it only interviewed those who reported a threatened, attempted, or completed victimization for one of six crimes: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, non-business larceny, and motor vehicle theft. A National Research Council report said that Kleck's estimates appeared to be exaggerated and that it was almost certain that "some of what respondents designate[d] as their own self-defense would be construed as aggression by others".[201]

Research based on the NCVS data set largely confirms Hemenway's earlier results, showing approximately 55,000 uses of a firearm in self-defense from a violent crime in the United States for the 3-year period of 2013–2015.[181]

In a review of his own research, Kleck determined that of 41 studies half of them found a connection between gun ownership and homicide but these were usually the least rigorous studies. Only six studies controlled at least six statistically significant confound variables, and none of them showed a significant positive effect. Eleven macro-level studies showed that crime rates increase gun levels (not vice versa). The reason that there is no opposite effect may be that most owners are noncriminals and that they may use guns to prevent violence.[202]

Commenting on the external validity of Kleck's report, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said: "Given the number of victims allegedly being saved with guns, it would

Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, and his colleague Marc Gertz, published a study in 1995 estimating that approximately 2.5 million American adults used their gun in self-defense annually. The incidents that Kleck extrapolated based on his questionnaire results generally did not involve the firing of the gun, and he estimates that as many as 1.9 million of those instances involved a handgun.[199]:164 These studies have been subject to criticism on a number of methodological and logical grounds.[200]

Another study from the same period, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), estimated 65,000 DGUs (Defensive gun use) annually. The NCVS survey differed from Kleck's study in that it only interviewed those who reported a threatened, attempted, or completed victimization for one of six crimes: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, non-business larceny, and motor vehicle theft. A National Research Council report said that Kleck's estimates appeared to be exaggerated and that it was almost certain that "some of what respondents designate[d] as their own self-defense would be construed as aggression by others".[201]

Research based on the NCVS data set largely confirms Hemenway's earlier results, showing approximately 55,000 uses of a firearm in self-defense from a violent crime in the United States for the 3-year period of 2013–2015.[181]

In a review of his own research, Kleck determined that of 41 studies half of them found a connection between gun ownership and homicide but these were usually the least rigorous studies. Only six studies controlled at least six statistically significant confound variables, and none of them showed a significant positive effect. Eleven macro-level studies showed that crime rates increase gun levels (not vice versa). The reason that there is no opposite effect may be that most owners are noncriminals and that they may use guns to prevent violence.[202]

Commenting on the external validity of Kleck's report, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said: "Given the number of victims allegedly being saved with guns, it would seem natural to conclude that owning a gun substantially reduces your chances of being murdered. Yet a careful case-control study of homicide in the home found that a gun in the home was associated with an increased rather than a reduced risk of homicide. Virtually all of this risk involved homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance."[203]:1443 Kleck however pointed out that most of the firearms used in the Kellermann study were not the same ones kept in the household by the victim.[204] Similarly in 2007 when the Permit-To-Purchase law was repealed in Missouri,2008 saw a 34% increase in the rate of firearm homicides in that year alone, and the figure continues to be higher than the figure pre-2007.[205]