the reluctant lobotomist (fourfreedoms) wrote,
the reluctant lobotomist
fourfreedoms

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And then, the world comes back to smack me in the face and say "STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF!"

I can't--I just, oh my god. Thirty-three people dead at Virginia Tech today? Only 12 people were killed at Columbine, and that was the worst one to date. I have a concentration in violent crime, specifically gun violence, and sometimes, inspite of all the facts, all the reasons, I'm still stuck sitting here asking why.

Below the lj cut is some of the research that I've compiled on gun violence, specifically shooting sprees, world wide. I do not suggest that you support gun control, but I do ask you to think about what I have to say.



A. United States of America

America has at least 200 million guns in private circulation, that’s enough for every adult to have one. 65 million of these guns are handguns, which are marketed solely for defense of the home. Most of these guns were obtained from a legally licensed firearms dealer (an FFL), but 30-40% of guns are bought on the secondary market, and another 500,000 guns are stolen each year. These constitute the primary weapons used in crime. Gun violence costs America $100 billion dollars each year, most of which is criminal assault.

30,000 Americans committed suicide in 1998, making it the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. 60% of these were committed with a gun. Research indicated that individuals who use a firearm are more likely to be successful when committing suicide.

In only 3% of all burglaries of occupied residents were firearms used as effective deterrents, according the Bureau of Justice.

Approximately one in three female homicide victims and one in twenty male victims are killed by a current or former spouse, 60% of these cases involve firearms. According to research access to a firearm by an abusive partner significantly increases the rate of homicide for women in physically abusive relationships.

33 States have “shall issue” laws which require law enforcement officials to issue permits to carry concealed weapons to adults with no documented record of significant criminality or mental illness.

According to IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) in 1993-2000 the US “was the leading supplier of conventional arms to the developing world, with sales of USD 61.5 billion. In 1999, the U.S. manufactured over four million firearms for domestic sale or export.”

The US also has the highest rate of youth firearm-related violence. Studies find that 43% of households with children under the age of 18 own firearms. And another study found that 57% of guns used in teen-suicide were owned by the parent.

B. The State of Massachusetts

In the United States, guns are not regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, meaning the government has no ability to mandate design changes. Massachusetts became the first and only state to regulate the design of firearms. NRA (the National Rifle Association) has stood against this law because it significantly raises the price of a firearm.

C. Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City all have bans on handguns.

D. The State of Illinois

Illinois requires all gun owners to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card. They must report the gun if stolen, and can only sell to other FOID carriers. Gun owners are legally liable if their firearms turn up at crime scenes regardless of whether or not they discharged the weapon.

E. Port Arthur, Australia

On April 28, 1996 a lone-gunman killed 35 people with a semi-automatic rifle. In response Australia instituted the largest scale buyback program ever. More than 162,000 handguns and 700 tons of ammunition.

F. Hungerford, England

On August 19, 1987 Michael Ryan killed 15 people, wounded 14 others, and then turned the gun on himself. One of them was his own mother, and the rest he had known all his life. The British government then collected 3,500 self-loading rifles.

G. Dunblane, Scotland

On March 13, 1996 Thomas Hamilton walked into a school gym and started firing upon the 29 five and six year olds inside. 17 children were left dead, including their gym teacher, Gwen Mayor, and 12 more were injured. As a result handguns of .22 caliber or higher were prohibited in the United Kingdom.

H. Japan

In 2003 Japan accepts an informal request to provide $3 Million dollars to finance a buyback in Sierra Leone. Before that the UN was paying $150 for each gun that a Sierra Leone militia man surrendered.

In Japan itself 39 people are killed with a firearm each year.


I. The State of Hawaii

Becomes the first state to ban firearms for domestic violence misdemeanants.

J. Killeen, Texas

October 16th, 1991, George Hennard drove his truck into Luby’s Restaurant and opened fire upon the patrons and staff. He killed 23 people, before turning the gun upon himself. As a result, the state of Texas allows people to carry concealed handguns. In fact, Killeen passed a law requiring every household to own a handgun.

K. Aramoana, New Zealand

David Gray killed 13 people on rampage that spanned two days in 1990 before he was brought down by the police. In response, New Zealand issued another large scale buyback.

L. Stockbridge, Georgia

In 1999, Michael Barton killed his wife and two kids with hammer blows and then went to Momentum Securities and the All-tech Investment group shooting 9 people to death, and injuring 13 more. He then turned the gun upon himself.

M. Littleton, Michigan

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot 12 of their fellow students and one teacher to death, wounded 24 others, and then committed suicide.

N. Montreal, Quebec, Canada

December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine walked into the Université de Montréal, went into an engineering class, forced out the men at gun point, open fired on the remaining women, and began roaming the campus shooting on all women he came across. He killed 14 total, injured 8 others, and then turned the gun on himself.

O. Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany

Robert Steinhäuser walked into the school he’d been expelled from on April 26, 2002, and shot 13 teachers, two students, and a police officer, before he shot himself.

P. Jonesboro, Arkansas

In 1998, Mitchell Johnson (age 13) and Andrew Golden (age 11) killed four female students and one teacher, injuring 11 others, when they open fired upon Westside Middle School with rifles found in their grandfather’s house. Mitchell Johnson was released upon his 21st birthday with a clean slate, as Andrew will be in 2007. They will legally be able to purchase firearms.

Q. Clifton Hill, Australia

August 9, 1997 19-year-old Julian Knight shoots 26 people walking along Hoddle Street, killing seven of them, and doing serious harm to the rest.

R. Springfield, Oregon

In 1998, Kip Kinkel was expelled from school for bringing a gun to class, he returned home and shot his father, and later his mother. The next day he went back to school, killed two students, and wounded 25 others.

S. Sanaa, Yemen

In 1997, Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri attacked the school his children attended killing six children and two adults.

T. Canada

165 people are killed by guns each year in Canada. The liberal party has recently proposed a ban on all handguns as they are used in 70% of all gun-related crime. There has been a recent upsurge of murders in Canada, which the Canadian government claims the US is responsible for due to its lax gun laws. The degree of arms smuggled into Canada has risen sharply.

U. France

255 people are killed by guns each year in France, as a result it has one of the highest firearm related homicide rates in the industrial world. Looking at gun violence per capita, the US is still massively ahead.

V. Germany

381 people are killed by guns each year in Germany


W. Australia

Despite trouble with spree shootings in the past Australia only has 65 gun related deaths per year.

X. Burundi

An estimated 300,000 civilians have been killed with illegal firearms.

Y. Central African Republic

A UN mission succeeded in retrieving 58% of illegally owned firearms, although civil unrest flared shortly after, undoing most of the work. The government has recently vowed to conficate 10,000 firearms.

Z. Colombia

A number of Colombian footballers have been shot to death after losing soccer matches or in someway messing up a game, most notably: Lucio Fernando España (age 33), Andrés Escobar (age 27), Albeiro Usuriaga (age 38), and Elson Evelio Becerra (age 28).

Tags: gun violence, virginia tech
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