Do We Know What Would Happen To The Public’s Safety In A Country Where Only The Criminals Had Guns? Yes We Do.
There is a country where only the criminal have guns—England. In England handguns have been outlawed. No one can own them. The only guns private citizens can own are long guns (the kind used for hunting) and they can only shoot 2 bullets at a time. Further, there are strict requirements for a private citizen to obtain a license for the long gun, including references, interviews with the applicant and people who know them. FIREARM LICENSES ARE NOT GRANTED FOR SELF DEFENSE, WHICH IS NOT CONSIDERED A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR OWNING A GUN. No one can have a gun that shoots more than 2 bullets at a time. However, the criminals illegally get all the guns they want. They can get hand guns that shoot 32 bullets at a time – in under 15 seconds—just like the Tucson murderer.
England is a country very similar to ours. They hunt, they collect guns, and marksmanship is a big sport. They have serious drug problems, poverty, gangs, immigration issues etc. Because this is a country where only criminals have guns, we would expect there to be rampant gun violence – huge numbers of gun homicides and gun crime assaults. After all, only the criminals have guns. Even the police don’t carry guns. England has 75 gun homicides per year.
As our population is 5 times that of England’s (300 million vs. 60 million) we should expect 5 times their gun homicides each year or 375. In fact we have 12,000 each year. But in our country, not only do criminals have all the guns they want*, but so do the law-abiding citizens.
There is only one explanation for these facts: It is the law-abiding citizens with guns, not the criminals, who are committing the majority of the gun homicides.
We would have a fraction of the gun homicides we have if only the criminals had guns. Criminals are interested in getting money, not in killing people. Over 50% of U.S. gun homicides are due to arguments not criminals. (FBI Annual Uniform Crime Reports).
* The NRA and gun lobby block any law that would make it harder for criminals to get guns. WHY?, Because sales to criminals represent 25% of the Gun Industry’s annual sales. (Source: Expert witness report filed as part of the 1999 NAACP lawsuit vs. the Gun Industry.) Then the NRA claims everyone needs to carry a gun at all times to protect themselves from armed criminals. This is very clever marketing— create the demand, then provide the supply.