Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Sociological Eye: CLUES TO MASS RAMPAGE KILLERS: DEEP BACKSTAGE, HIDDEN ARSENAL, CLANDESTINE EXCITEMENT

By Donald Sensing

The Sociological Eye: CLUES TO MASS RAMPAGE KILLERS: DEEP BACKSTAGE, HIDDEN ARSENAL, CLANDESTINE EXCITEMENT:

By Randall Collins, the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor in Sociology at the University of PennsylvaniaThis is an academic, but highly readable and very informative post written in September. One excerpt:

There are approximately 190 million firearms in the civilian population in America, in a population of 310 million. The vast majority of these guns are not used to kill people. Even if we focus on the total number of yearly homicides by gun (about 12,000), the percentage of guns that kill someone is about 12,000 / 190,000,000, or 1 in 16,000. Another way to put it: of approximately 44 million gun owners in the US, 99.97% of them do not murder anyone. It is not surprising that their owners resist being accused of abetting murder.
Do we actually know how many firearms there are in America? We j keep hearing or readingthat there are 300 million. Prof. Collins' essay is the first I have seen that specifies "civilian" firearms. For sure the US military has a lot of guns, but 110 million? Nope.

So is there any validity to the bandied-about figure of 300 million? I also usually read that there are 80 million households possessing at least one firearm, not 44 million as Prof. Collins says. Does anyone have a valid research citation for the figure?

Comments on.

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2 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

I'll just add to this fine quote that killed is not murder when it is self defense.

Consider also the events where firearms prevent violence, and I don't mean brandishing but appropriate instances where a gun is used as a defensive tool but not fired.

Where we live, firearms also keep us safe from wild animals. Many don't or won't consider this, but they live in the city.

Donald Sensing said...

Casey, this is much what I wrote here. Great minds think alike!