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Brian Mark Weber / Aug. 31, 2018

The Americas and 'Gun Violence'

A new study shows that countries in North and South America are the most violent in the world.

A new study shows that countries in North and South America are the most violent in the world when it comes to deaths perpetrated using firearms.

U.S. News & World Report reveals, “Half of all global deaths from gun violence occur in six countries in the Western Hemisphere, according to a new study that exposes trends in fatal shootings, particularly in the cause of death.” Topping the list in the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation study are Brazil, the United States, and Mexico.

Yet one of the more interesting results of the study is that the U.S. actually ranks 30th in the rate of homicides with guns, which, given the prevalence of firearms in our nation, flies in the face of those claiming that more guns cause more violence. The trick to ranking the U.S. second overall is suicides. More on that below.

First, let’s consider “gun violence,” a politically charged term devised by the media and leftist politicians to blame guns and avoid focusing on the real problem. As gun-rights advocates rightly say: Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. The factor making up most of the homicides has nothing to do with flag-waving, Bible-thumping, country-music-loving gun owners in America’s flyover country (as the Left would have us believe); instead, the violence is mostly caused by gangs, drugs, and the breakdown of our culture and values in cities that have been run by Democrats for generations.

Even Jenn Christensen at the virulently anti-gun CNN admits, “If you were to look on a map, the highest numbers of gun-related homicides are concentrated in a belt that stretches from Mexico through the Caribbean to Brazil.” Citing the study, she acknowledges, “Many of these homicides involve drug cartels,” and asserts, “There’s a problem with organized crime and the illegal gun trade.”

The Left perpetually ignores fatherless homes, roving gangs, drug trafficking, and other social and cultural maladies that lie at the root of the problem here at home and elsewhere in the West. Areas where guns are more prevalent do not experience a higher rate of gun crime or violence. America’s most violent places are the cities and states where guns are banned, whereas low homicide rates are reported in locations with fewer gun restrictions, such as Idaho, New Hampshire, and even deep-blue Vermont.

Aaron Bandler writes at The Daily Wire that after Washington, DC, outlawed guns, “annual homicides rose from 188 in 1976 to 364 in 1988, and then increased even further to 454 in 1993.” Lest some attempt to deny that correlation, he adds, “The gun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, and homicides have steadily declined since then to 88 yearly murders in 2012.” Bandler adds that the Crime Research Prevention Center shows that “nearly 99 percent of mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones.”

Of course, violence is high in these gun-free zones because criminals and other deranged individuals know that there’s virtually no chance that they’ll encounter resistance from an armed citizen. It’s no wonder that crime is lower where right-to-carry laws have been passed. Gun-rights defender John R. Lott Jr. writes, “Right-to-carry laws reduced both the frequency and the severity of mass public shootings; and to the extent to which mass shootings still occurred, they took place in those tiny areas in the states where permitted concealed handguns were not allowed.”

Finally, suicides account for more than two-thirds of our nation’s “gun deaths.” Leftists prefer to lump these self-inflicted deaths with homicides to add shock value to their statistics, but suicide is far different than gang-related murder, even if the same tool is used. And while the U.S. may be second in suicides with guns, it’s 48th in suicides overall. Furthermore, firearms were used in just over half of American suicides — which means people bent on ending their lives will find another way.

In any case, it’s pretty clear that we don’t have an epidemic of “gun violence” in this country, despite the Leftmedia’s incessant desire to repeat the association. In fact, a range of statistics show that more guns are actually helping to keep Americans safe from the real problems that plague our society. The recent spate of knife attacks in Great Britain is proof that those who seek to inflict harm upon innocent people will find the means. Just as American leftists refuse to address the root causes of violence, London’s mayor is now calling for knife control. That’ll work about as well as gun control in DC.

As long as the innocent are prevented by the government from protecting themselves, their families, their businesses, and their communities, those who seek to terrorize will have the upper hand. Countries in the Americas should address the real root causes of violence rather than pushing for failed solutions that empower violent people while keeping responsible citizens from defending themselves.

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