Rather than re-hash all the general arguments for and against gun control, I am interested in people's personal experiences/views about whether gun control laws would make them feel more or less safe.

Here are a couple of studies on the topic that I found interesting:

1) Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide?

Two example findings:

Murder rates in Russia (where firearms are banned) are higher than the US.
Murder rates in Norway (32% home gun ownership) are much lower than the US.

These findings lead to the hypothesis that other factors (e.g. culture) have an important part to play alongside gun control (seems to make sense).

2) Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United St...

Indicates that the strictness of firearm legislation in US states is negatively correlated with firearm fatalities, both for homicides and suicides.

This study is interesting because it is more of a like-for-like comparison. I understand that the states in America have their own "sub-culture" but it seems likely that they are more similar to each other
than America is to, say, Norway or Russia.

The issue is of course not straightforward but, as I say, I am interested in people's personal views of their own safety.

I live in the UK and I am personally in favour of gun control laws. I understand the argument that people who don't obey laws won't obey gun control laws either. Obviously whatever you do there will still be
people who get hold of guns. However I would not feel safer having more guns around generally. I have heard people say that once someone has trespassed on your land they are "fair game" but I wholeheartedly do not agree with this. They have certainly broken the law but I do not automatically consider them to then be a valid target for gunfire. If someone breaks into my house to steal my TV I will try my best to stop them but I absolutely do not want to shoot them for this. Without training I am highly likely to maim or kill them by hot-headedly firing off a gun. The thief may be just some 19 year old kid who's gone off the rails a bit rather than a hardened criminal.

I concede that I have always lived in an environment where crime is low and this may bias my view which is why I am interested in other's experiences. Maybe someone's story will affect my views on it.

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Good to see you back on the site Morgan :)

Thanks! Just thought I would stop by. :]

Not all semi-automatic weapons look like automatic weapons. Semi-automatic weapons come in all forms and sizes from riffles to handguns. This presentation makes a dubious conclusion from a flawed premise.

The number of murders in the U.S. in 2011 committed with rifles: 323.

The number involving handguns: 6,220.

source

And it's pretty easy to shoot yourself. When I was 16, another 16 year old accidentally fired a shot that missed two of us by inches. He was messin around with a 45 auto. Handguns just make it all  too easy, either by accident or on purpose.

Further illustrating the small role so-called assault weapons play in crime, FBI data shows that 323 murders were committed with rifles of any kind in 2011. In comparison, 496 murders were committed with hammers and clubs, and 1,694 murders were perpetrated with knives.

All else being equal, a gun that is common is more likely to be used for legal or illegal purposes than a gun that is rare. Outlawing guns that are popular today will only make different guns popular tomorrow.

The truth about assault weapons is that there is no such thing. So-called assault weapons are semi-automatic firearms—the guns most commonly used by millions of law-abiding Americans.

Furthermore, legislators had misjudged the popularity of so-called assault weapons. In his memoir, Bill Clinton wrote that Democrats lost control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections because of the AWB. Other Democrats have stated that the AWB may have cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election.

One could make the claim this is another reason why the dem's in Maryland just lost big time yesterday.

Banning firearms because of their cosmetic features is misguided.

Contact your legislators, and tell them the truth about assault weapons.

Literally speaking, an "assault weapon" is any weapon (from an UZI to a fireplace poker to a candlestick) that can be used to commit an assault.

If Americans dinged the Dems over the AWB in the past, it may not be due to them wanting the weapons, they may simply want the government to stop passing laws banning things. Americans seem to feel over-governed in many regards.

If the US had a Federal initiative process whereby the public could bypass the Federal legislature to propose laws, which can be done everywhere in the US on the state level on down, I'm sure a law requiring the repeal of two laws for every new on Congress passes would win in a landslide.

I'm with you on every word of that

Simon here's some interesting information about UK gun control that you easily fact check.

When it was decided to confiscate all legally owned handguns in the UK police were able to account for all but ONE firearm.

For the four or five years after hand guns were confiscated crimes with handguns rose to higher levels than ever in UK history.

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I'm a USMC veteran, and law enforcement officer until three months ago.  I own guns, plural. I have had to use them defensively as a marine, a policeman and a civilian,  I live in a very small quiet town in the midwest USA but travel quite a bit and always obey local gun laws.

When the debate begins on guns it seldom begins by making a distinction between LEGALLY possessed  weapons and ILLEGALLY possessed weapons.

ILLEGALLY possessed firearms are responsible for 97% of the gun crimes in the US and only make up 16% to 20% of the total guns in the US.

States and cities with the strictest laws on LEGALLY possessed firearms have higher crime rates than states and cities with lower restrictions on LEGALLY possessed firearms.

Just once I'd like to come up on a discussion about gun control that starts off about ways to control ILLEGALLY possessed firearms in order to cut out 97% of gun crimes.

So what's your idea for controlling illegal guns without potentially violating the 2nd or 4th amendment rights of legal gun owners?

I had thought of some kind of electronic trackability on newly manufactured guns, but they could inventory your gun cabinet without entering your house even if you are a legal gun owner.

Perhaps you can just make gun ownership a part of the school curriculum. Teach children responsible firearm usage, safety and storage and of course target practice and give them a gun when they graduate (along with their graduation cap and diploma). If everyone has a legal gun and is properly educated about it then Virgil's point about "most crime happening due to illegal gun use" will be moot. There won't be much illegal weapons if every single citizen has a legal gun.

Problem solved. Constitution upheld. Crime will go down.

Interestingly I have a Russian friend who grew up in Moscow in the 70s and he said that at his school they learned how to take care of guns, cleaning them, loading them, etc and it was considered a completely standard part of education.

If everyone has a legal gun and is properly educated about it then Virgil's point about "most crime happening due to illegal gun use" will be moot. There won't be much illegal weapons if every single citizen has a legal gun.

If I'm a potential armed robber, home invader, or burglar, what's in that for me, other than making sure I don't accidentally shoot myself or someone else when not committing crimes?

All guns will never under government management because crooks will always use guns which are outside the system.

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