Largest Gun Control Study In History Completed–The NRA Is Gonna Be P*ssed

While Republicans and their NRA puppet masters refuse to acknowledge it, we have a gun violence problem in America today. Almost like clockwork, anytime there is a shooting the right twists themselves into pretzels to blame anything but the easy availability of guns to, shall we say, crazy people.

Each time, for instance, a “pro-gun” Republican shoots up a building, conservatives will fallaciously claim that he was a Black Lives Matter protester, or ignore their raving-mad right-wing rants and love of weapons, or claim the shooter was a “Progressive” because he was formerly employed by an insurance company by that name, or even say that a man who shot up a Planned Parenthood in an effort to stop abortion was a “transgendered leftist activist” who was trying to rob a bank. They spend so much time focusing on inventing stories that they completely miss the one trait all of these attacks share: the weapon used was a gun.

While they ignore the issues, the right bellows that the solution is more guns, not fewer. But a recent study — the largest of its kind to date — puts that assertion largely to rest. A research team reviewed 130 high-quality studies conducted in ten countries over six decades and found that the tyrannical attempts by those of us on the left who want to restrict crazy people’s access to guns because we are sick of seeing dead children on a daily basis, aren’t at all misguided, as conservatives often claim.

While researchers stopped short of saying they have proved conclusively that firearm restrictions reduce deaths, the study provides plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case.

“Across countries, instead of seeing an increase in the homicide rate, we saw a reduction,” lead researcher Julian Santaella-Tenorio from Columbia University told Vox. The study analyzed law changes in the United States, Australia, Austria, Brazil, South Africa, and other countries. No new data was collected. Instead, the researchers observed the “big picture” by taking a look at what the data says when all the studies are examined together. Santaella-Teonorio explained:

“The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths.”

The findings do not note one specific law that has caused gun violence to decrease like an assault weapon ban, or a ban on high-capacity magazines, because the diversity among countries makes this difficult. However, in countries that overhauled their firearm regulations broadly, the changes shared similar characteristics, according to the researcher:

  • Banning “weapons that are actually very powerful,” like automatic weapons.
  • “They all implemented background checks.”
  • “They all required permits and licenses for purchasing guns.”

South Africa’s Firearm Control Act of 2000, for example, contained all three of these measures, and a study of five South African cities found a 13.6 percent reduction in firearm homicides each year for the next five years. “Reductions in nonfirearm homicides were also observed,” the researchers say, “although not as pronounced as the ones observed for firearm homicides.”

To combat mass shootings, Australia passed similar legislation in 1996. Thanks to the new laws, firearm homicide rates decreased by 4.8 percent, and suicides by 9.9 percent. There have only been two mass shootings in the country in the two decades since.

But even the smallest changes, such as background check requirements and storage regulations, can have a huge impact. “Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g. background checks) and access to (e.g. safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively,” the researchers write.

Of course, the weakening of firearm laws can have an impact as well. Following Missouri’s decision to eliminate common-sense laws requiring people to have a permit to purchase a firearm, the state saw a homicide rate increase of 25 percent. No other changes in the law explain this increase. Stand Your Ground laws do nothing to reduce gun violence, but instead increase it (especially among white men):

“Stand your ground laws were associated with a 6.8% increase in homicide rates, mainly driven by increments (14.7%) in homicide rates among white males.”

While this can’t be considered conclusive evidence that gun control helps limit fatalities, the study certainly provides enough evidence to give any Republican who can manage to operate a toaster without an adult supervising the operation pause to consider that maybe, just maybe, laws limiting firearms to people who aren’t criminals, who aren’t insane, and who aren’t going to misuse them or act irresponsibly are in everyone’s best interest — even the most staunch Second Amendment supporter.

Featured image via QuickMeme