By Tom Quiner
Q. In analyzing mass shootings in the US over the past 50 years, how many were committed by card-carrying members of the NRA?
Q. Would a gun ban decrease homicides?
A. A gun ban was tried in Washington DC in 1976. Only the police were allowed to carry firearms. If you already owned guns, the law only allowed you to keep them if they were disassembled or trigger-locked.
The results: annual homicides rose from 188 in 1976; they increased to 364 in 1988. By 1993, they rose to 454.
The Supreme Court struck down the gun ban, after which homicides declined to 88 murders by 2012.
Q. Great Britain banned guns in 1996. Did that decrease homicides?
A. There has only been one year since the ban that the homicide rate was lower than prior to the ban.
Q. How about Australia? Didn’t they pass major gun control laws?
A. In laws passed in 1996 and 2002, the Australian government tightened up licensing, restricted certain types of weapons, and implemented a gun buy-back program. In all some 700,000 guns were surrendered to the government, an estimated 20% of all the guns in the country.
Homicide rates have fallen since the laws were implemented. Analysts note that homicide rates were already falling prior to 1996. Data show that non-firearm and firearm homicides fell by similar amounts, which suggests additional factors may be involved.
Q. Do gun-free zones decrease the risk of gun violence?
A. According to the Crime Research Prevention Center, nearly 99% of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in gun-free zones.
Q. How did the 1994 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act’s imposition of a five-day waiting period work out?
A. According The Journal of the American Medical Association:
“Our analyses provide no evidence that implementation of the Brady Act was associated with a reduction in homicide rates.”
Q. Does increased gun ownership increase gun violence?
A. The Centers for Disease Control said gun ownership rose by 56 between 1993 and 2003, but that gun violence decreased by 50% in the same period. The chart below shows that the inverse ratio has only grown since then:
Q. Are guns in the US used primarily for criminal uses?
A. There were 11,208 firearm homicides in 2013. In addition, there 414,562 non-fatal illegal incidents with guns. That same year, according to research conducted by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, as published by the Center for Disease Control, defensive gun uses ranged from 500,000 to 3 million incidents.