Gunsense! on Gun Violence in the U.S.


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We've created this brief presentation to insert some sense & sensibility into the current Gun Control debate in the United States. We put facts forward comprehensively, and editorialize on the causes & solutions associated with Gun Violence.

GUNSENSE! is a volunteer organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah, dedicated to exposing the epidemic of lethal violence incurred by profit-driven, unregulated gun ownership.

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Gunsense! on Gun Violence in the U.S.

  1. 1.
  2. 2. www.gunsen.seU.S. Gun violenceIn PerspectiveSven Haynes & Ron Moleninfo@gunsen.seAction for Gun Violence Prevention
  3. 3. www.gunsen.seSome numbers.“A 2007 survey by the U.Ns Office on Drugs andCrime found that the United States, which has 5% ofthe worlds population, owns 50% of the worldsguns.”- CNN
  4. 4. www.gunsen.seTotal number of guns in globalcomparisonSource: University of Sydney http://www.gunpolicy.org2/12/13 Data Comparison from FactsCompare the United StatesNumber of Privately Owned FirearmsCitation for this chartAlpers, Philip and Marcus Wilson. 2013. Guns in the United States: Facts, Figures and Firearm Law.Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney., 30 January.Accessed 13 February 2013. at:
  5. 5. www.gunsen.seGLOBAL Number of Guns forevery 100 people2/12/13 Data Comparison from FactsCompare  the  United  StatesRate  of  Civilian  Firearm  Possession  per  100  PopulationCitation  for  this  chartAlpers,  Philip  and  Marcus  Wilson.  2013.  Guns  in  the  United  States:  Facts,  Figures  and  Firearm  Law.Sydney  School  of  Public  Health,  The  University  of  Sydney.,  30  January.Accessed  13  February  2013.  at:Source: University of Sydney
  6. 6. www.gunsen.seA Lot of Guns• The estimated total number of guns held bycivilians in the United States is 310 Million.• U.S. Military and Law Enforcement combined have4 Million.• 31,000Americans were killed by guns in 2010(40% Homicides & 60% Suicides).• 73,000Americans were injured by guns in 2010.Source: University of Sydney & CDC
  7. 7. www.gunsen.seU.S. Gun deaths in GLOBAL perspectiveCompare  the  United  StatesRate  of  All  Gun  Deaths  per  100,000  PeopleCitation  for  this  chartAlpers,  Philip  and  Marcus  Wilson.  2013.  Guns  in  the  United  States:  Facts,  Figures  and  Firearm  Law.Sydney  School  of  Public  Health,  The  University  of  Sydney.,  30  January.Source: University of Sydney
  8. 8. www.gunsen.seEconomic Cost of GunViolence in U.S.:$174 Billion Source:
  9. 9.$580,000 per Fatality.Source:
  10. 10. www.gunsen.seProfits.“Profitability of individual companies isclosely linked to marketing.”– From a Gun & Ammunition Industry analysisby Dunn & Bradstreet
  11. 11. www.gunsen.seThe Market• U.S. Gun Market: $11 Billion in Sales, $6 Billion in Revenue, $1 Billion inProfits annually, and rising.• Almost half of guns sold in U.S. are imported, mainly from Europe.• The Market is over 60% civilian.• WALMART is the largest gun seller in the United States.Source: The Washington Post
  12. 12.• 1/3 less householdsown guns then 40years ago.• 20% of the gun owners with themost firearms have about 65%of the nations guns.• The overall number of gun ownersis shrinking.• Hunting has been on a steadydecline for 30 years.• The market is shrinking – profitsare in danger.More guns in FEWER homesSource: CNN
  13. 13. www.gunsen.seMarketing the Products…
  14. 14. www.gunsen.seGuns, Ammo, andAccessories
  15. 15. www.gunsen.seMilitary Accessories are providinga new source of profits• Silencers – up 500% over thelast 4 years. 110,000 sold in2012. “Prevent hunter’shearing loss.”• Laser Sights.• 30 Round Clips.• Thermal Scopes.• Armor piercing and explodingammunition.• Weapons mimic or exceedmilitary issue equipment,popular with verterans. TheSUV craze in the 1990’s wassparked by the Humvee.Source:
  16. 16.….and Marketing theIdea of Gun Ownership
  17. 17. www.gunsen.seHow does one Market an Idea?• The NRA is the Marketing Arm of the Gun Industry, and spends $250Million annually.• The NRA is financed by the gun industry. For example, companies likeGlock have arrangements to donate $1 per gun sold.• The Gun Industry seized control of the NRA some 35 years ago.• The Gun Industry is extremely skilled at playing on the fears & paranoia ofpeople, and the political ideology of the right-wing political spectrum in theUnited States.• Together the Gun Industry and the NRA have created laws banning scientificinquiry on gun violence, forbidding higher insurance rates for gun owners,and creating some of the most permissive regulations for gun ownership inthe world.• The NRA prides itself on influencing public servants at all levels of theexecutive, judicial and legislative branches, both on the federal and statelevel.Source: The New York Times
  18. 18. www.gunsen.seThe Gun Industry’sMarketing Strategy• Turn the 2nd Amendment into anadvertising slogan.
  19. 19. www.gunsen.seGun Culture.“Without guns, Obama would becomeemperor and force everyone to gaymarry, but he cant because a guy inKentucky named Skeeter has a .22.” –Bill Maher, Comedian
  20. 20. www.gunsen.seWhat reasons do peoplegive for owning guns?• National Defense• Self-defense orproperty defense• Defend Civil Liberties• Sports & Hunting
  21. 21. www.gunsen.seCivilian Guns for National defense?• The U.S. spent 683.7 billion on it’s Military in 2011.• The U.S. has 2/3 of the world’s aircraft carriers, and the second largest nucleararsenal.• The United States is in the business of invading; not getting invaded.
  22. 22. www.gunsen.seSELF-DEFENSE (or “PROPERTY”DEFENSE)?Myth: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.• Fact: Owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental death by gun.• For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults / m urders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4accidents in a home.• 43% of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm.• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.Myth: Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer.• Fact: In 2011, nearly 10 times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime.• Guns brandished in self-defense or property defense involved the escalation of an argument in half the cases.• One study found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun.Myth: Guns make women safer.• Fact: In 2010, nearly 6 times more women were shot by husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners than murdered by malestrangers.• A womans chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than 7 times if he has access to a gun.Source:
  23. 23. www.gunsen.seMore guns make you less safe
  24. 24. www.gunsen.seMASS murders are always carried out by heavily armedpeople, but seldom prevented by ARMED PEOPLE.
  25. 25. www.gunsen.seSPORT & HUNTING?• At least 41% of gun owners explicitly say they DON’T use their gunsfor hunting (Gallup)• About 13.7 million people hunted in 2011, a drop of 400,000 from1991• 300 million guns for 13 million hunters, including Assault Rifles andPistols?Source: Bloomberg
  26. 26. www.gunsen.seCIVIL LIBERTIES – FOR WHOM?• Today, privately owned guns are concentrated overwhelmingly inthe hands of White, Male, Southerners who vote Republican.Source: Gallup / % Owning a FirearmTotal Households 42%Individuals 30%Male 47%Female 13%White 33%Nonwhite 18%Republican 41%Independent 27%Democrat 23%• This has not been a demographic with a strong track record of protectingcivil rights.
  27. 27. www.gunsen.seThe 2nd Amendment• In our brutal history, gun ownership has been one of many privilegesreserved for white males. The 2nd Amendment has always beenmeaningless for Native Americans, slaves and their descendants, andothers oppressed by this system.• Slaves were forbidden to own guns. After the Civil War, armed“disarmament posses” prevented black people from owning guns. Themost infamous of these disarmament posses was the Ku Klux Klan.• Governor Reagan, the NRA, and the Republican Party very quicklyrestricted California Law when the Black Panthers armed themselves todefend against police gun violence in 1968.• From the reservations & plantations, to the American Indian Movementand the Black Panthers, to Trayvon Martin, etc. – there is no history ofprivate gun ownership in the United States ever being used to protectcivil liberties. The opposite is true.Source: The Atlantic Magazine
  28. 28. www.gunsen.seDisarmament?• There’s concern in some quarters that governmentorganized disarmament is designed to suppress or preventopposition forces from rising.• Should the State have a monopoly on violence?• Regulation is NOT disarmament. It’s sensible safetystandards for lethal weapons.• Historically, insurrections & revolutions have beencarried out by people in societies where guns have beenheavily regulated – e.g. the American Revolution.• Relying on the State to guarantee the means ofinsurrection is naïve.
  29. 29. www.gunsen.seQ: Why is there a gunculture?A: For the same reasonwe used to have acigarette culture.
  30. 30. www.gunsen.seSolutions.
  31. 31. www.gunsen.seSOCIAL FACTORS DRIVINGviolence• Income inequality• Strength of the social welfare system• Social acceptability of violence• Availability of unregulated firearms• Political & Social Instability• It is the poor, the mentally ill or depressed, the working class whoare the victims of gun violence, who live in communities andneighborhoods brutalized and terrorized by gun violence.Access to guns escalates any violentconfrontation and increases the likelihood oflethality.
  32. 32. www.gunsen.seGUN CONTROL LAWS:permissive or restrictive?• Licensing laws that allow all but the prohibited categories of persons toacquire guns can be called permissive, since most people are able tomeet licensing requirements. Before an applicant can be denied a licenseor a firearm owners identification card, the administering agency mustshow that the applicant is a member of one of the prohibited groups.• Another approach to firearms control is restrictive licensing. Under sucha system a person seeking to buy a firearm, typically a handgun, mustprovide the licensing authority with evidence of good character and havea valid reason why he needs the firearm.• Most countries employ RESTRICTIVE laws.• The United States has PERMISSIVE laws.• Other countries have similar social problems. The biggest differencebetween the U.S. and other countries, when it comes to gun violence, arethe gun control laws.Source: University of Sydney
  33. 33. www.gunsen.seSOLUTIONS?• Short term solution in the United States is the implementation ofregulations, and moving from permissive access to restrictive access.• Some basic, mandatory controls over existing stockpiles must be putin place.• Gun owners must be held to much higher standards of safety andresponsibility.• The gun & ammunition industry must be regulated and preventedfrom pushing military weapons, ammunition and accessories tocivilians.• In order for this to happen, the gun industry will have to be exposedand it’s political apparatus dismantled.• Doing so will require a movement of millions.
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  35. 35. www.gunsen.seJOIN US!• It’s going to take a concerted effort of Tens-of-Thousands in Utah.• GUNSENSE! Is positioned to work broadly and swiftly.• WE NEED YOU!• We meet every 2 weeks locally at First Unitarian.• Drop us an e-mail, sign up for our mailing list:• Invite us to your circle to come and speak!• Like our Page on Facebook
  36. 36. www.gunsen.seAbout Us• Founded in Salt Lake City, UT in February 2013• Created artistic and cultural events• Created a social network of like-minded people• Campaigned against HB107• Joined city wide coalition of groups• Looking forward to rallying thousands