Harvard gun study concludes gun bans don’t reduce the murder rate

posted at 3:21 pm on August 28, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

In fact, it appears, bans may actually see them increase. Here’s a summary of the study’s findings:

The Harvard study attempts to answer the question of whether or not banning firearms would reduce murders and suicides.  Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with HIGHER gun ownership often had LOWER murder rates.

Russia, for example, enforces very strict gun control on its people, but its murder rate remains quite high.  In fact, the murder rate in Russia is four times higher than in the “gun-ridden” United States, cites the study. ”Homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.” In other words, the elimination of guns does not eliminate murder, and in the case of gun-controlled Russia, murder rates are quite high.

The study revealed several European countries with significant gun ownership, like Norway, Finland, Germany and France – had remarkably low murder rates. Contrast that with Luxembourg, “where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002.

The study found no evidence to suggest that the availability of guns contributes to higher murder rates anywhere in the world.  ”Of course, it may be speculated that murder rates around the world would be higher if guns were more available. But there is simply no evidence to support this.”

And, as the study points out, where guns are banned, murderers still find weapons with which to do their dirty work.  The difference is that the victims potential means of self-defense.  With guns available, one would assume their deterrent effect if not outright effectiveness in the self-defense realm would predictably knock the murder rate down.  Criminals and murderers are less likely to attack if the possibility the potential victim is armed exists.  Common sense 101.

The study found no evidence to suggest that the availability of guns contributes to higher murder rates anywhere in the world.  ”Of course, it may be speculated that murder rates around the world would be higher if guns were more available. But there is simply no evidence to support this.”

And finally:

Further, the report cited, “the determinants of murder and suicide are basic social, economic, and cultural factors, not the prevalence of some form of deadly mechanism.”  Meaning, it’s not guns that kill people.

People kill people.

Well how about that?  The study is published in Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.  You can read it here.  Pass it around to your anti-gun friends.  Point out this isn’t some right-wing think tank that pumped out the study.  Then appeal to their common sense.  Of course that may be difficult to do with someone who actually believes that the simple act of banning a weapon will magically lower the murder rate because without that weapon, people just wouldn’t murder each other … or something.

~McQ

Blogging at QandO


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