What If Only “Outlaws” Had Guns? Look at These Statistics

The gun lobby likes to say “outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns.” The fear mongering drives gun sales which is the NRA’s purpose. (Why else would Wayne LaPierre’s make $970,300 a year like the “elites” he rails against?)

But a quick look at England shows what really happens when only “outlaws” have guns. Handguns are illegal in England and police officers are not armed. Private citizens are limited to long guns for hunting which only shoot two bullets at a time. That means that in England, only “outlaws” have guns, though Brits hunt, collect guns and value marksmanship like we do.

Yet even though England has the same volatile mix of gangs, drugs and poverty that we do, England has 75 gun murders per year compared with 12,000 a year in the U.S. 11,925 more people are killed a year in the U.S. than in a place where only “outlaws” have guns. What is wrong with this picture?

Clearly, the people in the U.S. committing criminal acts with guns were “law abiding” until they weren’t. The good guy/bad guy, criminal/law-abiding duality created by NRA is a fiction to sell guns. The truth is, the U.S.’s legions of armed citizens who decide to gun down their boss and coworkers in the workplace or their girlfriend and wife at the spa, are previously good guys. When comparing our statistics to England’s, they account for 11,925 gun murders a year.

The previously “good guys” the NRA arms also take a huge toll on law enforcement personnel. 1,302 police officers were killed in the U.S. between 1990 and 2012, 87 percent by a firearm. This week that figure tragically jumped. In England, 45 police officers were killed and only 22 percent by a firearm during the same period. Since the U.S. population is five times that of England, if “only outlaws had guns” in the U.S., 50 police officers would have been killed by firearms from 1990 through 2012—not 1,302.

If the NRA did the math, it would see that 11,925 more people a year and 1,252 more police officers in 22 years, are killed in the U.S. than in a country where only “outlaws have guns.” But the only math the NRA does is the math of gun $ales.