The President has to know that gun violence as a whole and murder by firearm rates are falling, not increasing; that while the amount of legal guns in the United States are at historically high levels, the acts of violence have declined.
In fact, according to FBI statistics, in 2014 (the most recent year of complete statistics) there were 11,961 total murders in the United States. Out of that number, 8,124 people were killed by a firearm of some kind. The U.S. population in 2014 was around 318.9 million. In 2014, that gave you a 1 in 39,254.06 chance of being murdered by a gun in that year. Not too comforting if you were that person, I know. But, considering those rates were much higher just 10 years earlier when the population was 292.8 million with 14,121 murdered, of which 9,326 were murdered by people using guns, giving you a 1 in 31,396.1 chance of being killed by a gun, it shows how far we’ve come — even with more guns in America.
Some of the biggest factors attributed to gun murders are socioeconomic in nature, and are typically related to inner cities, as most of the victims of murder are young city dwelling men. However, the president didn’t address these issues.
The largest numbers of gun related deaths come from suicide. Unlike homicide, which has fallen over the years, there has been a steady increase in suicides per year, pretty much ever since the millennium. Approximately half of all suicides in a given year are with a firearm. An often cited Johns Hopkins study suggested that gun control measures affected suicide rates. They were correct that it has an impact on gun suicides, however, the overall suicide rate remains the same as suicide by something other than a gun increases.
One thing is sure, the perception of gun violence increases with each new event, each loss of a life cut short. With round-the-clock coverage of the latest horrific occurrence, shooters get what they crave, national attention. It ultimately fuels the next inevitable mass murder, and amplifies the cry to rid our society of guns.
And here we are, with a teary-eyed president who thinks he can sell disingenuous information all to accomplish what he has always done, skirt the law to accomplish his goal, which is to make the citizens second to the government. I firmly feel he believes that government should dictate to the individual, not the other way around.
Like the war on drugs that is an absolute failure with more than 10,500 deaths per year from heroin overdoses (more than firearm related murder) alone, the president’s war on guns will result in an explosion in black market weapons. It also goes to further alienate the many law abiding citizens that will be affected — criminals will continue to get their weapons.
It comes down to this, the president has no constitutional authority to infringe upon any amendment through executive action, and it has been opined that the measures Obama has taken will be quickly repealed once a new president takes office.
However, the real problem with the executive orders is the precedent it sets and potential overreach by anti-gun bureaucrats who seek to further strip the right to keep and bear arms.
Writer’s Note: If the President really cared about gun control, perhaps he should ensure that existing laws are enforced. Please watch this wonderfully informative episode of Reality Check, by Ben Swann.