Our ruling The social media meme said that "gun homicide is down 49 percent in the past 12 years." The gun homicide rate is actually down by 49 percent over the past 17 years, but this seemingly minor mistake betrays a significant misunderstanding of how rates have fluctuated over the past two decades. During the past dozen years, gun homicide rates have been largely static; their big decline mostly came in the years before the meme even started counting. The meme is not just incorrect; it’s a distraction from what actually happened. We rate the claim False. Awesome post there G5
But the video of Parker and Ward’s slaying, which played over and over on social media, merely made vivid something that happens all the time, even though few Americans see it. On Wednesday alone, at least 13 other people died from gunshots, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit corporation that tracks shootings around the nation. In 2013, the last year for which federally collected data is available, 33,636 people in the U.S. died. No other developed country has a gun homicide or gun violence rate even approaching that level. (That’s true even though the rate is now much lower than it was in the early 1990s, likely because crime overall has declined.) And while America’s high rate of gun violence undoubtedly reflects many factors, researchers like David Hemenway, a widely cited professor from the Harvard School of Public Health, have found a clear, strong relationship between gun ownership and gun-related deaths. In places where more people have guns, more people get killed by them. As Hemenway and others scholars are quick to acknowledge, this correlation does not prove that the availability of guns actually causes more gun deaths -- mainly because, as so commonly happens in social sciences, it’s impossible to run the kind of controlled experiments that would allow scholars to rule out other factors unrelated to the availability of firearms. But their research strengthens the case for a causal link. Among other things, several scholars have found that states and countries with higher rates of gun killings do not have correspondingly high rates for other types of killings. In other words, when guns aren’t available, people don’t simply react by killing with different weapons. They actually kill less frequently. (There's also strong evidence linking gun ownership to suicide rates, which makes sense given that suicide is frequently an impulsive act, although the international data on suicide is fuzzy because different countries measure it -- and think of it -- in different ways.) Demonstrating that gun laws might cut down on gun deaths is even more difficult than establishing a link between firearms ownership and the extent of violence. But here, too, academics have recently produced important scholarship that bolsters the case for more regulation. One recent study examined the murder rate in Missouri after that state repealed a law mandating background checks for all gun purchases, including ones that the federal system does not currently cover. The homicide rate increased once the gun law came off the books, the researchers found, even as the homicide rate in neighboring states -- and the U.S. as a whole -- was declining. “There is strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of Missouri’s handgun purchaser licensing law contributed to dozens of additional murders in Missouri each year since the law was changed,” Daniel Webster, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and lead author on the study, said at the time. Another leading researcher, Philip Cook from Duke University, told the New Republic that Webster’s paper “is probably the strongest evidence we have that background checks really matter.” Still more persuasive evidence on the effect of gun control comes from Australia, which -- following a highly publicized mass killing in the 1990s -- banned many types of weapons, introduced a more restrictive permit system, and then launched a buy-back program in which states paid gun owners for turning in weapons that the new laws made illegal. Homicide and suicide rates dropped substantially. And while the murder rates was also dropping before the laws took effect, researchers found that the decline was sharpest for the weapons declared illegal and in those states reporting the highest buyback rates. (Zach Beauchamp, of Vox, has an excellent summary of that research.)
I had to think if I ever had a picture of me with a tube up my ass around here...but I don't think so welcome back, I know you are not alone here as far as your story goes, but year the adamant religious posters tend to not last that long around here, I think because they feel like they can change minds on the internet, and that just does not happen. I was religious for a short while after my moms death when I was in High School but it didn't take me long to realize it was just wishful thinking. It helped that my parents made me go to catholic indoctrination once a week for 6 years or so because they were coaches in the church sports programs so i already had a dim view of organized religion though.