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Tue Jun 15, 2021, 02:48 PM

Is there a link between the sheer number of guns available and gun violence.

This is a chart of gun deaths from 1968 to 2017:

Note the sharp spike in murders that begins in 2014. That trend continues today with the CDC reporting a murder rate of 5.8/100k in 2019 and increases over that in 2020* and 2021* (numbers not finalized as of this post).

What happened in 2014? No pandemic, no major influx of drugs or gangs, economy booming and inflation down while employment up. What changed?

Below is a graph of guns manufactured from 1986 through 2018:

Here is a chart of imports of guns from 1986 to 2018:

Notice the spike in manufacturing and imports that began after 2010 and spiked in 2014? The supply of guns is directly correlated to the increase in gun violence. There is no way to ignore this.

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Reply Is there a link between the sheer number of guns available and gun violence. (Original post)
AndyS Jun 2021 OP
exboyfil Jun 2021 #1
Justsumguy Jun 2021 #2
AndyS Jun 2021 #3
Justsumguy Jun 2021 #4

Response to AndyS (Original post)

Tue Jun 15, 2021, 02:51 PM

1. I think we are fortunate that many own multiple guns (in some cases lots)

One moron, criminal, or violently insane person with ten guns is less dangerous than ten morons et al with one gun each.

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Response to AndyS (Original post)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 04:15 PM

2. I don't see how those charts help prove your point.


Last edited Wed Jun 23, 2021, 06:13 AM - Edit history (1)

The “sharp spike” beginning in 2014 is starting at the all time low of the era the chart represents, and shows a jump up to a number that is right around the average for the time period.

The “sheer number of guns available” isn’t what the charts indicate. They show guns imported to the US and how many were made in the US, which would, I assume correlate with the total number of guns sold per year. I’m just going to talk about the imported gun chart since I don’t think combining the 2 will make any difference in my point and only make the math harder. Looks like total guns imported in 86 was about 750k. 87 was 1.1 milllion, then 88 was 1.2m or so. Would the guns sold in 86 still be available to be used for murder in 87 and 88? 99%+ would be, so you would need to add together all those years in the chart, plus what was available before 86 to find available guns. Wouldn’t the total # of (imported) guns available be closer to 60 million, plus what was available before the time period of the chart? A chart showing the number of guns available by adding the number sold each year to the ones already in circulation would look a lot different. If the total # of guns effects gun violence, why has the murder rate dropped?

If there was a direct relation to # of available guns to gun violence, it seems to me we would have 10 times the problem we do now.

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Response to Justsumguy (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 23, 2021, 03:36 PM

3. I don't understand the difficulty in seeing the correlation in increased guns and increased shooting

so I'll just begin.

Note that in the early/mid '90s there is an elevation in murder rate and, correspondingly an elevation in the manufacture and import of guns (ergo an increased availability).

The same pattern occurs in the 2012-2015 period. Increase in murder rate at the same time there is an increase in gun supply.

In the year preceding the 2014 sharp increase in murder rate/100,000 the import and manufacture of guns began, ergo more guns were available.

The number of guns available correlates to the murder rate. Showing causation is a bit more problematic; we can see that the trends are somewhat related but can't point to any one specific murder/mass shooting as a direct result of the increase in gun supply.

So, if there is a baseline of existing guns that corelates with a baseline in murder rate and an increase in gun supply that corelates with an increase in murder rate it seems to me that more guns means more murder.

I can speculate that the baseline of existing guns also corelates to a baseline of theft/loss/illegal sale guns and an increase in availability/supply will corelate to more guns in the illegal market.

I admit that I'm not a statistician and am not educated in that field, however it seems to me that if there are more cars on a freeway there will be more accidents.

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Response to AndyS (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 24, 2021, 04:41 PM

4. Let's look at the years 93-98.


Last edited Thu Jun 24, 2021, 05:50 PM - Edit history (1)

The murder rate is dropping sharply in that 5 year period, and so is the new gun import and manufacturing in the US, which we assume equates to gun sales. Let’s say there were 250 million guns in circulation in 92. There were about 4 million guns made in the US in 93, plus another 3 million or so imports, so we added 7 million guns to the total available making 257 million guns, but fewer gun deaths. The following four years added another 20 million guns or so, bringing the total up to around 277 million guns available, yet murder rates continued to drop.

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