A gun violence report compiled in 2016 and updated this year shows that only 18% of gun violence can be attributed to lawful gun owners. Following protocols used in previous similar studies, researchers analyzed just under 800 cases in which a gun was involved in the commission of a crime by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Firearm Tracking Unit.
The report states that “Most perpetrators (79%) were carrying a gun that did not belong to them.”
According to their chart, the numbers break down as follows:
• Perps carrying stolen weapons: 79%
• Perps carrying weapons that had gone missing: 3%
• Perps obtained weapon from an illegal dealer: 10%
• Perps committed offense while carrying a legally owned gun: 14%
• Perp committed offense while carrying own illegally carried gun: 12%
It’s important to keep in mind that this category of crime does not necessarily have to involve the actual use of the gun in the commission of the crime. These are simply cases of incidents where guns were present on the scene. This means that in the subcategory of “Perps committed offense while carrying a legally owned gun” the offense could have been anything from reckless driving to jay-walking.
Shockingly, The Washington Post agreed with the researchers’ findings. They write, “The top-line finding of the study — that the overwhelming majority of gun crimes aren’t committed by lawful gun owners — reinforces a common refrain among gun rights advocacy groups. They argue that since criminals don’t follow laws, new regulations on gun ownership would only serve to burden lawful owners while doing little to combat crime.”
Epidemiologist and lead researcher in the study, Anthony Fabio, told the Post that all of the guns in the study start as legally purchased guns. He complained that precious little funding is given to gun violence statistical research and commented that much more remains to be learned.
Sadly, the mainstream media isn’t helping by refusing to report on findings like this. When this study was originally published in 2016, the Washington Post was the only outlet that reported it. Even though gun violence and 2nd Amendment rights have been hot button issues in recent years, the legacy media marches in lockstep to promote an anti-gun agenda.
The Post writes, “These data suggest that many perpetrators of firearm violence, especially homicides, acquire their firearms through theft or trafficking. This study offers a timely opportunity to encourage ongoing, systematic collaboration between public health and law enforcement with the purpose of describing, understanding and reducing violent crime (particularly violent death) as well as reducing the difficulty in data collection for firearms.”
The implications are serious indeed. If law-abiding people are not committing the vast majority of gun crimes, then why would we focus on changing the laws rather than focusing on how we enforce laws that are already on the books?
The facts on hand clearly indicate that stricter regulations would not stop the illegal gun owner from obtaining weapons. While it’s true that if fewer legal gun owners had weapons, their weapons could not be stolen, this would not prevent criminals from buying guns from the black market. What it would do is disarm otherwise legal gun owners.
Then, we must consider the fact that 73% of all gun injuries and deaths are the result of the successful use of a legally owned gun to defend the owner of the gun or a would-be victim of a crime. In short, more gun restrictions can only empower gun toting criminals to victimize the populace more than they already are.
Fabio told the Washington Post, “the conclusions of our study might not fit neatly within the narrative of “good guys” and “bad guys” in the ongoing gun control debate, but the data could help law enforcement and lawmakers better understand how they can curb the flow of guns into criminal hands.”
People of good faith want to use accurate information to save lives. But the other side of the debate believes that it can manipulate data to obtain the outcome it wants. These are the same people who supported Jussie Smollett’s fake hate crime report even after the facts were in.
These are people who believe that the evil they fear is out there lurking in the hearts of average working-class Americans. They believe that evil is so elusive, they have to lie about it in order to draw it out. Of course, that’s being generous. We’re sure many of them simply lie to obtain power and rhetorical advantage.