Some Distressing Statistics on the Firearms Front

Justifiable homicides by civilians using firearms in US, 2006-10 – FBI (not including Florida).

In states that passed Stand Your Ground in the period; 2006-2010, justifiable homicides went up significantly in every year, starting in 2006. The nearly 160 in 2010 virtually doubled the 80 or so in 2005 (the FBI graph does not give exact numbers). Among the states without Stand Your Ground, the numbers actually went down from what they were in 2001, 2002 and 2003, which were all over 80; in contrast, from 2006 through 2010, the total never reached 80 — the low was about 60 in 2008, in contrast to about 150 in the Stand Your Ground states. [1]

A similar graph done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for the years 2000-2011 — Stand Your Ground was passed in April 2006 — found that there were about 12 cases of justifiable homicide in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006. The numbers were about 15 in 2003 and 2005, with 2004 registering about 8; however, in all years 2007 through 2011, the number never dropped below 36 and spiked to about 46 in 2011. [2] 

Trend Lines of Firearms and Population Growth

In the United States in 1994, there were about 200 million firearms for a population of roughly 260 million. Since the rate of firearms growth  is steeper than the rate of population growth, by about 2016 the growth lines will intersect and by about 2022 there will be many more firearms than people. [3]

The NRA, Stolen Guns and Expanding Gun Rights

In response to calls by New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and other gun control advocates to stop straw buyer sales and close gun show loopholes, the NRA reached deep into its bag of tricky arguments to claim that such actions would make little difference, since most guns used to commit crimes are stolen — in fact, some 500,000 guns are stolen every year. [4] Yet, the NRA has not supported laws requiring gun owners to report when their weapons go missing. The NRA also does not support laws that seek to limit the sheer number of guns to be lost or stolen, as it fights hard to defeat proposed laws to limit gun sales to one customer per month.

The NRA can take some credit for the expansion of gun rights in very recent times. Oklahoma became the twenty-fifth state to allow people to carry guns openly and Virginia overturned its one-gun-a-month rule. USA Today reported in March 2012 that  a dozen states were considering  laws  that would eliminate requirements that residents obtain permits to carry concealed weapons. [5]


[1] “Up in Gunsmoke,” Mother Jones, July/August 2012.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Mark Follman, “One Nation Under the Gun,” Mother Jones, November/December 2012.

[4] Jarrett Murphy, “Fear: The NRA’s Real Firepower,” The Nation, September 10, 2012.

[5] Ibid.




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