The Truth About Common Anti-Gun Rights Arguments

Many common arguments against the rights of Americans to own and keep firearms do not hold up under further scrutiny, according to a careful review of statistics and legal history. While crime has been increasing, legal access to firearms has little or nothing to do with the surge.

Many conservatives argue that a number of statistics regarding murder rates are misleading. Republicans also argue that policies they see as weak on crime are more responsible for the increase in property and violent crime over the last three years. Crime statistics appear to support their arguments.

While the United States has a relatively high murder rate among industrialized nations, much of the total is related to gang activity.

Furthermore, access to firearms does not directly correlate with gun deaths. Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world and sees remarkably few firearms deaths. The small nation also fights against efforts by the European Union to restrict gun rights.

Canada also has high firearms ownership rights, despite what many conservatives view as heavy-handed gun control efforts by Ottawa. That nation also sees few firearms deaths.

Nations that have high levels of gun control, such as Venezuela and Brazil have catastrophically-high murder rates. Ironically, Brazil saw a significant decline in homicides after former President Jair Bolsonaro expanded access to legal firearms.

Other gun-related statistics are often twisted to meet the final desired policy outcome. Usually, these stats are used to argue for gun restrictions.

For example, many anti-Second Amendment arguments are backed by high numbers of gun-related deaths. However, many of these are suicides involving firearms. While these deaths are tragic, they are often presented as murders.

A majority of such gun deaths are suicides.

The push to ban semiautomatic rifles is often not borne out by the facts, either. FBI statistics show that of almost 14,000 murders in 2019, rifles accounted for 364 of these deaths, or 2.8% of all murders.

This is well below the murders committed by hands and fists and clubs and hammers. The total number of murders utilizing murders is about a quarter of those including knives and other cutting incidents.

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