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Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America

NCJ Number
Society Dated: (March/April 1995) Pages: 63-68
J D Wright
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses 10 essential facts about guns in America that are not in dispute and considers the implications of each for how the problem of guns and gun violence perhaps should be approached.
The 10 facts that all parties in the gun control debate either do or should agree to are: (1) Half the households in the country own at least one gun; (2) There are approximately 200 million guns already in circulation in the United States; (3) Most of those 200 million guns are owned for socially innocuous sport and recreational purposes; (4) Many guns are also owned for self-defense against crime, and some are indeed used for that purpose; (5) The bad guys do not get their guns through customary retail channels; (6) The bad guys inhabit a violent world and a gun often makes a life-or-death difference to them; (7) Everything the bad guys do with their guns is already against the law; (8) Demand creates its own supply; (9) Guns are neither inherently good nor inherently evil; and (10) Guns are important elements of our history and culture. The article includes with each of these facts several implications for intervention strategies in the effort to deal with gun violence.