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Old 01-30-2013, 02:38 AM   #39
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 10,043
Default Re: Rifles make up 4% of gun homicides...Handguns make up 72%

Originally Posted by -p.tiddy-

I saw this on CNN today...we are focusing our attention to the wrong guns, assault rifles, which are barely used at all in homicides, just the once a year school shooting that makes people think assault rifles are the problem.

Handguns are the real problem...and they aren't being addressed at all

anyway, homicide and violent crime is on the decline overall anyway, but I just thought this was interesting...our natural reaction is to ban assault rifles, but assault rifles aren't really an issue in the grand scheme of things...

I don't really have a stance on the issue, just a note. This graphic is fairly useless and terribly misleading...without knowing what percentage of guns rifles comprise, it's difficult to make that call.

This site cites this November 2012 Congressional Research Service report, noting that of the approximately 310 million firearms in the US as of 09, there were:

114 million handguns
110 million rifles
86 million shotguns

in addition to some number of assault weapons in private possession, approximately to 1.5 million in 94. There were around 275 million people in the country in that year as opposed a little over 307 million in 09, so let's assume the ownership of assault weapons scales proportionately with the population growth, to 1.67 million (not a huge difference); this gives us a total of 311.67 million weapons, with the following percentages:

36.5% handguns
35.3% rifles
27.6% shotguns
0.1% assault weapons.

We can't directly compare this with the pie chart due to the presence of the 'Unknown' category, but let's (perhaps haphazardly) assume that that 18% follows the same breakdown as the rest of the chart (also, let's identify 'Other' with assault weapons, which seems to be a assumption). The percentages then scale to:

87.8% handguns
4.9% rifles
4.9% shotguns
2.4% assault weapons.

Comparatively speaking, the percentage differences are:

+41.3% handguns
-30.4% rifles
-22.7% shotguns
+2.3% assault weapons

while in terms of ratios, we get:

2.4x handguns
0.1x rifles
0.2x shotguns

24x assault weapons.

So based on the above data and suppositions, a few simple calculations tell us that in homicides by-and-large, the most problematic of all (on a case-by-case basis) are assault weapons (assuming they comprise the 'Other' category in the pie chart), with a huge gap, followed by handguns. In terms of overall prevalence, handguns are the biggest culprit.
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