Argument: Criminals will commit crimes with or without guns
- "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence", Don B. Kates and Gary A. Mauser, 2006 - "However unintentionally, the irrelevance of focus on weaponry is highlighted by the most common theme in more guns = more death arguments. Epitomizing this theme is a World Health Organization (WHO) report solemnly asserting, 'The easy availability of firearms has been associated with higher firearm mortality rates.'34 The authors apparently assume that (for instance) if denied firearms potential suicides will decide to live rather than turning to knives, poisons, hanging, jumping from great heights or the numerous other available suicide mechanisms. The evidence, however, indicates that all that is accomplished by the removal of one particular means from people who are motivated to suicide by social, economic, cultural or other circumstances is their killing themselves by some other means.35 Thus it is not just the murder rate in gun-less Russia that is four times higher than the American rate; the Russian suicide rate is also about four times higher than the American.(36) There is no social benefit in decreasing the availability of guns if the result is only to increase the use of other means of suicide and murder, resulting in more or less the same amount of death. Elementary as this point is, proponents of the more guns = more death mantra seem oblivious to it. One study solemnly asserts that Americans are more likely to be shot to death than people in the world’s other 35 'richest nations,'(35) While this is literally true, it is irrelevant – except, perhaps to people who are neurotically terrified not of death per se but just by gunshot. A fact of greater concern to normal people – but which the study fails to mention -- is that per capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the U.S. as in several of those other wealthy nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing and/or beating is much more frequent."