We Have A Handgun Problem

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.

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4 Responses to We Have A Handgun Problem

  1. itsathought2 says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m not sure it’s doable to get them under control in the current culture.

    Just getting rid of assault rifles is somehow controversial despite making as much sense as taking your next breath, I find I can’t even imagine future in which the mindless army of gun owners can be brought to consider it.

    The NRA has inoculated them deeply. They are quite impervious to considering the safety or health of the nation as a whole.

  2. Ryan says:

    “If we assume that seventy percent of those murders also involved handguns, we’re at 85 percent, give or take.”

    It’s actually even higher than that. 70% was of all, including the unknowns; when you take what that equates to only of the known %, it comes to 89.18% of known firearms deaths being handguns. That’s the rate we should assume for the unknowns, and when we do that the whole figure handgun estimate is similarly 89.18%.

  3. albanaeon says:

    I’m guessing that people think making progress on ANY gun control would be a star they can build on, so going after the most ridiculous, clearly not-meant-for-civvies death machines is an obvious starting point. Particularly when we are so numb to gun violence only the truly spectacular things get noticed anymore.

    But yes, a nutter with a concealed carry worries me far more, because I encounter those regularly.

  4. Gingerbaker says:

    Most handgun murders are drug and gang related. What we have is a drug law problem. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, screaming about (unConstitutionally) taking guns away does nothing productive – except it really helps elect Republicans. Which is about the worst thing imaginable and incredibly tactically stupid. Regain Congress, then talk about gun control, OK, guys?

    Btw, I live in Vermont. We have had concealed carry .with no licence required for many decades here with virtually no problems. Concealed carry is not the problem. Unconcealed carry IS a problem – it is used to intimidate people.

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