Of the pro-gun memes and comments, the one you’re most likely to hear is along the lines of “If killers really want to kill, they’ll find a way – knives aren’t against the law.” And then, of course, there are all the statistics of how many people are killed in car accidents annually – as if a mode of transportation was in any way comparable to an instrument designed for killing – but that’s for a future article.
My contention is that, while knives are far more available than guns (in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single household that doesn’t possess a knife), the fact is that guns kill far more people annually than knives. If you remove guns from the equation, the number of knife killings would have to increase tenfold to equal the number of gun killings.
According to the “Futures Without Violence” organization (formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund), women who suffer from domestic violence are five times more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home. That’s a pretty striking statistic and flies in the face of claims that those who kill with guns would find another way to kill. In fact, that statistic almost makes it seem as though it’s the gun that’s creating the killer.
Since the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton Colorado, where 12 students and a teacher were killed, there have been an additional 25 publicized mass shootings (five or more people killed) in the United States, culminating with the most recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, made perhaps most horrific by the amount of very young victims – a total of 20 between the ages of six and seven.
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