Gun Ownership and Violence: The Truth about Control and Who Controls What

Whenever there is a mass shooting in the United States, the cry goes out from the left for more “gun control.” But really, what exactly does gun control mean? Perhaps a pragmatic answer is necessary.

The reality is this: there are 30,000 gun-related deaths per year by firearms, which is an undisputed fact. Now let’s equate that with the population of the United States of America, which is approximately 325 million people.

That means that 0.0925 percent of the nation’s population dies from gun related actions each year. Statistically speaking, this is small.

But that will not be enough for the hardened anti-gun lobby in this country. Their perspective on gun violence has little to do with facts and everything to do with distorted ideology. That ideology is what they want you to adhere to no matter what.

But for the pragmatic American, here is a breakdown of those 30,000 deaths in perspective to other causes of death:

  • Sixty-five percent of those deaths are by suicide, which would never be prevented by gun laws;
  • Seventeen percent are gun violence through criminal gang or drug-related activity or mentally ill persons;
  • Fifteen percent are justified shootings by law enforcement in the line of duty;
  • Three percent are accidental discharge deaths.

It can be said that “gun violence” is technically not 30,000 annually. It actually drops to 5,100 when applying the modifiers above

There is more to these statistics that is both revealing and eye-opening:

  • 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago, which has the nation’s strictest gun laws;
  • 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore;
  • 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit;
  • 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington D.C.

Twenty-five percent of all gun crime happens in just four U.S. cities. All four of those cities have strict gun laws, so it is not the lack of strict laws that is the root cause.

This leaves 3,825 gun crimes for the entire rest of the nation. That’s about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some states have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169, while Alabama had one.

Stricter gun laws need to be examined. California has the strictest by far. It is not the guns that are causing the problem. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal people residing in those cities and states.

The question is this: are 5,100 deaths per year out-of-control? Should this cause more restriction of guns to the law-abiding citizen where legal gun ownership is fairly easy?

Now compare gun deaths with other causes: robbery, rape, assault, and murder are all done by criminals. Does anyone think criminals will obey any written laws? Hardly! That is why they are called criminals.

Compare gun deaths stats with those from other causes:

  • Approximately 710,000 people die per year from heart disease;
  • Approximately 200,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors;
  • Approximately 40,000 people die per year from drug overdoses;
  • Approximately 36,000 people die per year from the flu;
  • Approximately 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities.

Why is the focus on gun control? A ten percent reduction in medical errors would be 66 percent of the total gun deaths or four times the number of criminal homicides.

The real answer is simple. Taking away guns gives “control” to governments. Which political party is constantly trying to take away the guns and always wants bigger government? The Founding Fathers did not wish to disarm the citizens. They knew the danger of a “controlled” populace.

The Second Amendment is an American’s right to bear arms. Criminals will always have guns from illegal sources. That’s why they are called criminals. Remember that the next time some anti-gun zealot screams to reduce your lawful right to bear arms.

Also remember the words of Noah Webster: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.” A military force at the command of Congress can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.

The operative word to concentrate on is not “gun.” It is “control.”

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.