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Harvard Study Concludes ‘The More Guns a Nation Has, the Less Criminal Activity’

  • Harvard study published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy  concluded, “The more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.” The study’s conclusion is contradictory to conventional wisdom about gun violence and understandably received very little media attention. Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark, which have high rates of gun ownership, have low murder rates. On the other hand, in Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, the murder rate is nine times higher than Germany.

Guns are also linked to suicide – more guns, more suicides. The study also addressed this:

“There is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership. People do not commit suicide because they have guns available. In the absence of firearms, people who are inclined to commit suicide kill themselves some other way.”


According to a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which cites the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Nations International Study on Firearms Regulation, the more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.

In other words, more firearms, less crime, concludes the virtually unpublicized research report by attorney Don B. Kates and Dr. Gary Mauser. But the key is firearms in the hands of private citizens.

“The study was overlooked when it first came out in 2007,” writes Michael Snyder, “but it was recently re-discovered and while the findings may not surprise some, the place where the study was undertaken is a bit surprising. The study came from the Harvard Journal of Law, that bastion of extreme, Ivy League liberalism. Titled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?, the report “found some surprising things.”

The popular assertion that the United States has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate, says the Harvard study, is a throwback to the Cold War when Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates. In a strategic disinformation campaign, the U.S. was painted worldwide as a gunslinging nightmare of street violence – far worse than what was going on in Russia. The line was repeated so many times that many believed it to be true. Now, many still do.

Today violence continues in Russia – far worse than in the U.S. – although the Russian people remain virtually disarmed. “Similar murder rates also characterize the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various other now-independent European nations of the former U.S.S.R.,” note Kates and Mauser . Kates is a Yale-educated criminologist and constitutional lawyer. Dr. Mauser is a Canadian criminologist at Simon Fraser University with a Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine. “International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error.”

By the early 1990s, Russia’s murder rate was three times higher than that of the United States. Thus, “in the United States and the former Soviet Union transitioning into current-day Russia,” say Kates and Mauser, “homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce, other weapons are substituted in killings.”

“There is a compound assertion that guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why the United States has by far the highest murder rate,” report Kates and Mauser. “Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated,” the statement “is, in fact, false.”

Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark, which have high rates of gun ownership, have low murder rates. On the other hand, in Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, the murder rate is nine times higher than Germany. Their source of information? The United Nations’ International Study on Firearms Regulation, published by the UN’s Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Commission on Crime-Prevention and Criminal Justice.

When Kates and Mauser compared England with the United States, they found “’a negative correlation,’ that is, ‘where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense, violent crime rates are highest.’ There is no consistent significant positive association between gun ownership levels and violence rates.”

In 2004, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released an evaluation from its review of existing research. After reviewing 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications and its own original empirical research, it failed to identify any gun control that had reduced violent crime, suicide, or gun accidents, note Kates and Mauser.

“The same conclusion was reached in 2003 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” write Kates and Mauser. “Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now become one. Handguns are banned but the Kingdom has millions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the decade after 1957, the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold. In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law-abiding enough to turn them in to authorities.” But crime increased instead of decreasing.

Ignoring these realities, gun control advocates have cited England, as the cradle of our liberties, as “a nation made so peaceful by strict gun control that its police did not even need to carry guns,” write Kates and Mauser. “The United States, it was argued, could attain such a desirable situation by radically reducing gun ownership, preferably by banning and confiscating handguns.”

Somehow, it goes unreported that “despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic reductions in criminal violence,” write Kates and Mauser. “On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was ever-more drastic gun control. Nevertheless, criminal violence rampantly increased so that by 2000 England surpassed the United States to become one of the developed world’s most violence-ridden nations.

“Gun owners across America reading this right now will say: ‘Well, duh!’” writes Michael Snyder. Even so, the California state legislature recently approved $24 million to expedite the confiscation of 40,000 handguns and assault weapons purchased legally, according to the Huffington Post. Gun registration records are being used to seize those California guns from owners who legally purchased and registered the guns – but who the state of California has now decided pose a risk to public safety.

“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” said Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

Senator Leno’s measure utilizes $24 million from Dealer Record of Sale funds. That account holds fees collected during any transfer or sale of a firearm in California. Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) voted against the measure because he said the fees were intended to cover background checks – not underwrite confiscations, the Huffington Post noted.

“What we are seeing is ideology in collision with reality” writes Terry Roberts in California’s North Coast Journal newspaper. Confiscations are being made for all the wrong reasons, he says. “Recent mass shootings were all in places that were ‘gun free zones.’ The theater in Colorado was the only theater out of seven in the near vicinity of the shooter with ‘no firearms allowed’ posted outside. Ditto, for the other mass shootings. They were all in ‘gun free zones.’”

“Where have the worst school shootings occurred?” writes John Lott. “Contrary to public perception, Western Europe. The very worst occurred in a school in Erfurt, Germany in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996, where 16 kindergarteners and their teacher were shot. The third worst high school attack, with 15 murdered, happened in Winnenden, Germany.” The fourth worst? Columbine.

“Most often, the mere presence of a firearm is enough to stop criminal activity in its tracks,” writes Scott Bach, president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. “To the woman whose clothes are about to be torn from her body by a knife-wielding rapist in a deserted parking lot, a handgun in the purse is a lifeline. It is a genuine equalizer that may mean the difference between her life and her death. It gives her a chance when she otherwise would have none.”

“Criminologists of all political persuasions, in over a dozen studies,” writes Bach, “estimate that firearms are used for protection against criminals several hundred thousand to 2.5 million times per year, often without a shot fired. This is a staggering statistic, but it’s not one you are likely to hear on the evening news. Why is it that you don’t hear about the homeowner who defended his family before the police could arrive; or the shopkeeper who saved his own life and the lives of his customers; or the woman who stopped her own rape and murder; or the teacher who stopped the school shooting?”

“Yet when a single criminal goes on a rampage, that’s all you hear about, over and over and over again, along with angry cries to ban firearms,” writes Bach. “Why? A study by the Media Research Center concluded media coverage of firearms is overwhelmingly biased. In a recent period, “television networks collectively aired 514 anti-gun stories, to a mere 46 that were pro-firearm, a ratio of more than 11-to-1 against firearms.”

“And did you know that there is now an official propaganda manual that has been put out for gun control advocates?” asks Snyder. “This manual actually encourages gun control advocates to emotionally exploit major shooting incidents to advance the cause of gun control.” It’s a how-to manual on manipulating the public’s emotions toward gun control in the aftermath of a major shooting.

“A high-profile gun-violence incident temporarily draws more people into the conversation about gun violence,” asserts the guide, an 80-page document titled “Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging,” “We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence.” It also urges gun-control advocates use images of frightening-looking guns and shooting scenes to make their point.

“The most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak,” the guide insists. “The debate over gun violence in America is periodically punctuated by high-profile gun violence incidents including Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, the Trayvon Martin killing, Aurora and Oak Creek. When an incident such as these attracts sustained media attention, it creates a unique climate for our communications efforts.” In other words, they time their propaganda carefully. Just when it will alarm you the most.”

“We are only being told one side of the story,” notes Bach. “When we hear only one side, we assume that what we are told is all there is to know, and we do not inquire further.” The reality is that criminals “really, really, really don’t want to get shot,” writes Snyder. “When you pass strict gun control laws, you take the fear of getting shot away and criminals tend to flourish.”

In some American cities, “where strict gun control laws have been passed,” writes Snyder, “police are so overwhelmed that they have announced that they simply won’t even bother responding to certain kinds of crime anymore. The truth is that the government cannot protect us adequately, and that is one reason why millions are arming themselves and gun sales have been setting new records year after year.” He offers are “some little-known gun facts:”

Little-Known Gun Fact 1
Over the past 20 years, gun sales have absolutely exploded, but homicides with firearms are down 39 percent during that time and “other crimes with firearms” are down 69 percent. 2 Almost every mass shooting that has occurred in the United States since 1950 has taken place in a state with strict gun control laws. With just one exception, every public mass shooting in the USA since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are banned from carrying guns. 3 The United States is Number 1 in the world in gun ownership, and yet it is only 28th in the world in gun murders per 100,000 people. 4 The violent crime rate in the United States actually fell from 757.7 per 100,000 in 1992 to 386.3 per 100,000 in 2011. During that same time period, the murder rate fell from 9.3 per 100,000 to 4.7 per 100,000. 5 Overall, guns in the United States are used 80 times more often to prevent crime than they are to take lives.

Little-Known Gun Fact 6
Despite the very strict ban on guns in the UK, the overall rate of violent crime in the UK is about 4 times higher than it is in the United States. 7 In one recent year, there were 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the UK. 8In the United States, there were only 466 violent crimes per 100,000 people during that same year. Do we really want to be more like the UK? 9The UK has approximately 125 percent more rape victims per 100,000 people each year than the United States does. 10 The UK has approximately 133 percent more assault victims per 100,000 people each year than the United States does. UK has the fourth highest burglary rate in the EU. 11 The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.

Little-Known Gun Fact 12
Down in Australia, gun murders increased by about 19 percent and armed robberies increased by about 69 percent after a gun ban was instituted. 13 The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. So has this reduced crime? The murder rate in Chicago was about 17 percent higher in 2012 than it was in 2011, and Chicago is now considered to be “the deadliest global city,” 14 After the city of Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring every home to have a gun, the crime rate dropped by more than 50 percent over the course of the next 23 years and there was an 89 percent decline in burglaries.

Little-Known Gun Fact 15
According to Gun Owners of America, the governments of the world slaughtered more than 170 million of their own people during the 20th century. The vast majority of those people had been disarmed by their own governments. Why? It wasn’t to stop crime.

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/news/articles/harvard-university-study-reveals-astonishing-link.aspx?p=3#6URlFsc2TG8l0DyO.99

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