Wash. Rinse. Repeat
It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out if there are no guns, there won’t be any deaths from firearms. It’s common sense. Taking it a step further, it’s easy to see the states with the most gun laws have the fewest gun-related deaths.
The conclusion is elementary. It is beyond the grasp of a minority of Americans. A school shooting happens, calls go out for stricter gun control, gun lovers yell, “You’re not taking my gun!” And Congress bows before the National Rifle Association’s altar and refuses to act to make America just a little safer.
By the end of the summer in 2015, America had seen over 200 mass shootings. Roanoke, Virginia’s WDBJ lost two employees — a reporter and a cameraman — during an on-air broadcast in which they were shot dead by a former station worker.
Hours later, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton signaled her support for immediately tightening gun laws. Republicans expressed “prayers and thoughts” but disregarded the call for tighter gun laws. Instead, the GOP, in bed with the NRA, pointed to mental health, inadequate law enforcement and a ‘godless society’ as they fuel feeding America’s problem with gun violence.
Almost before the smoke cleared at the concert venue in Las Vegas, politicians, gun control advocates and gun lovers were repeating the same scene over again. Still, nothing was done, and four months later, shots rang out at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
A variety of factors contribute to the high rates of gun violence in America. Evidence shows a correlation between state laws and the pace of shootings. The answer is clear. The states with the most gun restrictions have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths. Those jurisdictions with fewer gun regulations have a higher death rate, and often the death rate from guns is much higher.
Regarding self-defense laws in America, there are two sweepings categories of states. “Stand your ground” laws maintain tension with “duty to retreat.”
In duty to retreat states, an individual must try to run from the dangerous situation before turning to deadly force — unless they are already in their home or on their property. In other states, stand your ground laws give immunity from prosecution for the individual defending himself with deadly force — regardless of where the meeting happens.
Among those states without a stand your ground law, the average rate of gun homicides was lower than in states which don’t have such laws in effect.
Federal laws demand background investigations on all commercial weapon sales. Transactions with an unlicensed seller — such as at a gun show — or exempt. Surveys show roughly 40% of firearm sales in America happen through unlicensed dealers.
To close the loophole, some states have laws requiring all gun sales be subject to background checks. The states which impose stronger background investigations, for private gun sales, the median gun homicide rate in 2013 was 0.97 lower than those states not regulating background checks except for those to meet the federal guidelines, according to The CDC, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Some states fall into one of two schools of thought when talking about ‘right to carry’ a concealed weapon.
There is the ‘may issue’ and the ‘shall issue.’ May issue states allow law enforcement bureaus to use discretion in the criteria required for who gets a permit. Shall Issue states give zero room to maneuver, and all options are eliminated. In those states, law enforcement is obligated to issue a license to almost anyone who applies as long as they meet loose and fundamental, requirements.
Nevada is a shall issue state. Anyone who can count their fingers and toes is considered qualified to carry a concealed weapon. Florida is another shall issue state. Eleven states don’t call for a permit to carry concealed weapons at all. Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.