The current crisis is a mental health issue not a gun issue:
By the numbers, antidepressents are the third most common prescrition drug in America according to US Dept HHS and the CDC. The rate of use is the same across economic circustances. 14% of whites, 4% of blacks and 3% hispanics take antidepressants. Women are 2 1/2 more likely than men to take ADs. No one with depression has committed a mass murder, but they are far more likely to commit suicide. There were 38,000 suicides in 2010. 25% of adults have some form of mental illness. 50% will experience mental illness during their their lifetime. The most common are mood and anxiety disorders. 1 in 5 violent offenders identified as being mentally ill. 547,000 mentall ill people on probation in 2009. Those incarcerated and mentally ill were twice as likely to come from child abuse or substance abuse households. 30% of mentall ill incarcerated were women. DOJ statistics show13% of mentally ill state prisoners in 1998 committed murder, 12% sexual assault. Drugs and alcohol were a likely factor at the time of their arrest, and they were twice as likely to have been homeless during the 12 months prior to their arrest. 45 million adults had or reported mental illness in the US. Mental health is an issue for sufferers and their families, not rare potential victims.
Crime and Mental health are related:
in 2012, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2.3 million adults were in prison in the US, with nearly 5 million on probation. Though crime has declined by almost 30% nationwide, non-whites make up 70% of prison population. 52% of state prisoners held for violent crimes. 7.9% for federal. Mass killings like Newtown are nearly all perpetrated by non-hispanic whites, all without previous criminal history. A study in Quebec of stranger homicides revealed that 64% had never previously had treatement with antipsychotic medication, were previously homeless, and that such violence was extremely rare, much rarer than violence perpetrated by a family member or acquaintence. Many mass shootings begin with violence against a close family member. 2.2 million in the US suffer from Schizophrenia. Only 6% are incarcerated. 2.2 million have bipolar disorder. Only about 5% of all crime is attributed to psychoes. The vast majority of crime is committed by people without mental illness.
Every Household in Switzerland is required to have an automatic weapon:
This fiction by Glen Beck and others on the right comes as a shocking surprise to several of my Swiss friends who do not and would not own guns. The truth is, Switzerland does not have a standing army. Many men between 20 and 30 were conscripted into the militia and maintainED their weapons at home. It is noteworthy that Switzerland remained neutral during both World Wars.Swiss militia conscripts are freed from further service at the age of 30. The weapons and ammunition were strictly regulated and monitored. In 2007, the government ended the practice and required all ammunition be returned. After service, conscripts may keep their weapon, but only after the fully-automatic function has been removed. 29% of Swiss households have firearms in comparison to 43% in America. Gun sales are strictly controlled, including private sales, in which the seller and buyer must retain purchase records for 10 years. As part of the European Union, and the 2008 Schengen Treaty, additional restrictions were put in place.
Gun Regulations do not stoop gun crime.
Tracking gun homicides of police officer from 1913, showed that deaths jumped by 40% following the end of World War I and the introduction of automatic weapons, particularly the “Tommy” gun to Amwerica. That number remained high, almost 200 officers killed by gun homicides until legislation was enacted in 1934 and 1938, in which the death rates fell by nearly half. Dipping slightly at the outbreak of World War II, the rates remained constant until national legislation was enacted again in 1968. Each legislation has seen either a decline or levelling of gun violence. Despite efforts by the NRA and gun lobby to erode legislation, the overall murder rate in the US has declined year over year.
Home Invasions are common in the US:
In fact there are no reliable records regrding home invasions. They are relatively rare, despite the NRA’s hysteria. Published statistics on home invasions are by companies selling locks and burgular systems. Those numbers are unsubstantiated at best, and likely made up. By the NRAs own admission crime rates are falling, which would tend to negate their arguments that guns are necessary to keep America safer. Incidentally, the number of people who verifiably used a weapon to stop a crime remains just that, incidental. Far more are accidentally killed by weapons annually.
“Assault Weapon” is a media related term intended to demonize certain types of guns:
The terminology refers to weapons designed specifically for the characteristics of close combat, principally to kill a human enemy, with variable to poor long range capability. The Term Rifleman’s assault weapon was used by the American military during the 1970s. The German Army in the Second World War described a sturmgewehr, or “storm rifle.” The designs have been adapted for specific characteristics of combat. No self-respecting hunter would use or require a large magazine for hunting, or a bayonet or require a pistol grip mount. The shorter barrels and heavy rounds would do terrible damage to a catch. The overall inaccuracy of an assault weapon at regular hunting distances would make it a poor choice. And finally, the muzzle flash suppressor is meant for human prey. Animals would take note of the sound of the shot, not the muzzle flash.
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