While this is something I’ve discussed many, many, many times before, it bears repeating: our greatest problem, by far, is a handgun problem. Not assault rifles. Not evil terrorists, but simple handguns, usually either domestic violence or chucklehead-on-chucklehead violence (often retaliatory killings). According to the Guardian, between 2010 and 2014, seventy percent of U.S. murders were committed with handguns. But the number is actually higher than that, since the weapon in 21.5% of gun murders couldn’t be identified. If we assume that seventy percent of those murders also involved handguns, we’re at 85 percent, give or take.
As someone who lives in a city, the concern I have–and which is far less nebulous than the unstable mass murderer with an assault weapon–is the chucklehead with a concealed handgun. And I have it far safer than some in this city.
While assault rifles are both ridiculous and far too deadly–you don’t ‘need’ one, Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding–they aren’t the weapons that are used to murder us (less than four percent of homicides use any kind of long-barrel weapon). Until we get serious about handgun control, we’re not going to put a dent in our homicide rate, especially that of the poor and the non-white.