I keep an updated website on the issue of guns, ammo, gun control and legislation on CoveringGuns.com. Go there for newer data, studies and story ideas.
(From The Washington Post)
- Data hint at assault gun ban’s effects
Data from Virginia show a drop in criminal firepower during the period that the assault weapons ban was in place.
- Over 62,000 guns unaccounted for in U.S. since 2008
The firearms have disappeared from inventories of licensed gun dealers.
- Searchable database Licenses revoked, denied
Have gun stores in or around your community had their licenses revoked or denied? Search for dealers near you to find out.
- Confidential Documents Deconstructing a gun trace
Explore a confidential gun trace report to learn about the challenges that face criminal investigators.
Resources from New York Times Archive
A list of resources from around the Web about veterans as selected by Journalist’s Resource, a project of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard.
- The Effectiveness of Policies and Programs That Attempt to Reduce Firearm Violence: A Meta-Analysis Crime and Delinquency, March 2012
- Gun Rights, Abortion, Gay Marriage Views Over Time Pew Research Center, 2012
- 2011 Global Study on Homicide United Nations, 2011
- Reassessing the Association Between Gun Availability and Homicide Rates at the Cross-National Level American Journal of Criminal Justice, December 2011
- Household Firearm Ownership and Rates of Suicide Across the 50 United States Journal of Trauma, April 2007
- More Resources
Gun Control Navigator
A list of resources from around the Web about gun control as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.
- Resources relating to the Second Amendment
- National Rifle Association
- Links to groups opposed to gun control Open Directory Project
- Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
- Links to groups supporting gun control Open Directory Project
Resources related to Parker v. District of Columbia
- Appelate ruling in Parker v. District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, March 9, 2007 — supports individual rights under 2d Amendment.
- Ruling in U.S. v. Emerson U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Nov. 2, 2001 — supports individual rights.
- Silveira v. Lockyer U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Dec. 5, 2002 — supports collective rights view.
- U.S. v. Miller Supreme Court’s most recent 2d Amendment ruling, May 15, 1939
- The Year of the Gun: Second Amendment Rights and the Supreme Court Texas Law Review, Forthcoming, via SSRN, 2008
Resources Related to United States V. Miller, An Earlier interpretation of the Second Amendment
United States vs. Miller 1939 Supreme Court Case
The Peculiar Story of United States vs. Miller NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 3, 2008
Supreme Court Bars Sawed-Off Shotgun; Denies Constitution Gives Right to Carry This Weapon The New York Times archives, May 16, 1939
Blogs Covering Gun Issues-click on logo
PBS’s Gun Issue Specials:
After Newtown: Guns in America
A COLLECTION OF WASHINGTON POST RESOURCES:
How much did the NRA spend in your district in the 2010 midterm elections? See how NRA-backed candidates fared in your community.
Have police officers been killed in your community? Learn more with our interactive map.
Is your state a gun importer or exporter? Where do its guns go to, and where do they come from?
At one Virginia gun store, guns moved quickly from sales counter to crime.
The ATF’s odyssey of trying to revoke the license of one Maryland dealer.
In 2007, there were seven slayings in National City, Calif., involving guns. In the past three years there have been only three.
Authorities have struggled to keep U.S. firearms out of the hands of drug cartels as violence increases south of the border.
Photos of some of the 511 police officers killed by guns since early 2000, and their families.
- More photos: Two officers’ lives cut short
Sellers say they work to keep guns out of the wrong hands — doing background checks and watching out for attempted “straw purchases” — but that there’s only so much they can do.
An ATF agent explains how Texas guns fuel Mexico’s drug war, and a killer reenacts shooting to death a Houston police officer.
Staff at the ATF’s National Tracing Center fielded 300,000 requests last year.
- Photo gallery: Tracing center
Shop owner Robert Marcus said he turns away a suspicious buyer almost every day.
Guns and Mental Health
Guns and Suicide: New York Times
“The gun debate has focused on mass shootings and assault weapons since the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn., but far more Americans die by turning guns on themselves. Nearly 20,000 of the 30,000 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010 were suicides, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national suicide rate has climbed by 12 percent since 2003, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teenagers.
Guns are particularly lethal. Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85 percent of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2 percent of cases, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.”
Why Mental Illness may NOT be the Biggest Issue in Gun Crimes
Despite what politicians say, the mentally ill are not the gun-firing criminals you would expect. The National Journal reports:
Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. (also see this blog for more citations)
Resources from Dave Kopel, Constitutional scholar:
From the archives:
- Kopel articles on school murders and the deadly dangers of pretend “gun free zones”,
- on the copycat effect of media coverage of murderers,
- on semi-automatic firearms.
A Principal and his Gun. How Vice Principal Joel Myrick used his handgun to stop the school shooter in Pearl, Mississippi. By Wayne Laugesen. Oct. 1999.
The Resistance. Teaching common-sense school protection. National Review Online, Oct. 10, 2006.
Arming teachers is the most realistic way to reduce school shootings. iVoices.org podcast. Oct. 5, 2006. MP3.
Pretend “Gun-free” School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction. 42 Connecticut Law Review 515 (2009).
“Gun-Free Zones.” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2007. The murders at Virginia Tech University.
Only press itself can stop copycats. Killers, suicides thrive on publicity given those who perpetrated earlier crimes. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post, Sept. 23, 2006.
Congressional Testimony on Guns
US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on gun violence. PDF. Jan. 30, 2013.
International Gun Issues
Global murder rates: (sources UNData and the World Health Organization-2009)
American gun culture is largely unique, but advocates on both sides have often pointed to the gun-control success stories (we looked at Japanese and British gun laws) as well as the countries with relatively wide gun ownership, such as Israel. But what about Switzerland?
Switzerland has the world’s third-highest number of privately held guns per person, after the United States and Yemen, an outgrowth of its unique military culture. Service is mandatory for young men, though the national military is a little bit like a collection of local militias. That militia-tinged military culture blurs the line, just a bit, between an “on duty” time, when it’s normal to carry a gun, and “off-duty”; the result is that it’s not considered crazy, as it might be in the United States, for a service member to carry his or her assault rifle home.
To get a gun in Japan, first, you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once per month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you will be the proud new owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.
Even the most basic framework of Japan’s approach to gun ownership is almost the polar opposite of America’s. U.S. gun law begins with the second amendment’s affirmation of the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” and narrows it down from there. Japanese law, however, starts with the 1958 act stating that “No person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” later adding a few exceptions. In other words, American law is designed to enshrine access to guns, while Japan starts with the premise of forbidding it. The history of that is complicated, but it’s worth noting that U.S. gun law has its roots in resistance to British gun restrictions, whereas some academic literature links the Japanese law to the national campaign to forcibly disarm the samurai, which may partially explain why the 1958 mentions firearms and swords side-by-side.