Click here to check out this great article from the NY Times on the lack of gun research in the last 2 decades.
We also want your input. Do you think there needs to be more research on guns and violence?
The most interesting gun/violence research I have read is in "Freakonomics" co-authored by economist Steven Levitt and NYC journalist Stephen Dubner. If I recall correctly, they show that more kids die from backyard pools than guns!
We must protect our 2nd admendment rights.
Research if it is compiled by a fair and impartial panel would endorse the rights of all Americans to bear arms.
Guns do not kill – people do.
Ali, as a criminologist I can tell you more research about guns is a waste of time and money. Guns are inanimate objects. The focus of our research should be on criminality and criminal prevention. Yes, I said "criminal prevention." Quite frankly, we need to focus on growing better people, not on restricting their rights.
Research on Guns and Violence. . .one word. . .YES.. .do more research .. but even better, do something that aims to correct the problem rather than simply identify/identifiying it.
It's one thing to do a bunch of research, but then. . what the hell do you do with your findings.. . . .In order to make it work. . you do research in order to accomplish something with your knowledge and make a CHANGE because of what you've learned from it!
Hello dear ali
on agust 22nd of 2010 my son in law with 4 kids got killed with a crazy man with 15 gun shot fron of his apartment in south torrance california gun man was unblance yes gun violent pleas get gun out off crazy people hand thnx.
I strongly support research into the relationship between guns and violence. The different sides of the gun control issue have their opinions. But they are based on values rather than facts. Having empirical information (on anything) can help people make an informed decision. We should never be afraid of facts.
I think the abundance of guns lead to more violence. Without data, this is just my opinion. So, do good objective research and see which opinion the data supports.
We absolutely need more research on guns and violence. I want to know how many permits are currently in force for concealed weapons by state. Instead of having more and more guns for protection, we need to solve the underlying problem and figure out how to stop unstable people before they use a gun to harm others.
If guns are responsible for violence then pencils are responsible for misspelled words. The only way to get rid of misspelled words is to educate the pencil user.
HELL NO! It would be a complete waste of money. What possible difference would it make? The Supreme Court put the issue of the 2nd Amendment to bed once and for all. STOP trying to screw with it! You'll get my guns when you pull them from my cold dead hands! What we need is for people to recognize the lunatics out there who may be on the verge of doing something stupidly deadly and then act on it.
Hi Ali, it boggles the mind that the original intention by the writers of the Bill of Rights, is so misinterpreted today.
The Right to bear Arms, was referring to rifles available at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights. I very much doubt that todays multiple use of a variety of automatic, assault weapons was meant to be included.
Further, what is the age requirement to carry guns, if its any less than 21, the right to have a drink, then it should be thrown out!
Re: Ali Velshi
Mr. Velshi, you are one of my favorites on CNN. I have one request: please slow your speech a bit. Your rapid manner of speaking is tiring, and I don't want to stop watching and listening to you.
Ali, I live in Idaho and have hunted my whole life. I own guns to shoot game and feed my family. But what is by my bed, a can of bear spray. It has been proven to be more effective than a gun in protecting one at close range.
There should definitely be more research on guns, gun violence, and gun safety – if there is such a thing. I think many countries in Europe and around the world view the United States as a scary place because everyone is allowed to carry a gun. I understand Jay Dickey’s point about U.S. citizens having the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have. What I think that Mr. Dickey and many other people who rely on the Second Amendment to justify or rationalize the purchasing of guns is the amendment’s historical context. In 1791, we had recently liberated ourselves from England (1781-83). The country may have been fearful of further unrest and instability and wanted to ensure that citizens had the right to protect themselves. Times have changed somewhat and I don’t think that there is a great risk that England is going to come knocking on our door and invade our homes. They should stop referencing this dated amendment and allow researchers to analyze and report on the serious consequences of gun violence. If future gun policy decisions are a direct result of the research, the government should be given a lot of credit for its process in creating laws.
Actually there's been plenty of research, but anti-gun folks don't like the results so they dismiss it.
How about a common sense comparison between Washington D.C. and a more gun friendly city or state. It's a no brainer.
Oh, and by the way, instead of consulting the CDC on gun control, how about we consult the Constitution? Just a thought.
I'll be keeping my guns, thank you very much.
What we need is not Firearms Research, but research on Mentally ill people and how to create a database that is accessible to gun dealers and law enforcement. In this country, we have databases that any law enforcement can go into to find enough information for criminals. Our health system needs to establish a system for anyone who has been treated for mental illness or showing signs. The law must hold those dealer/s who failed to check the database before selling to anyone, especially if someone has been deemed incapacitated. The law must also require parents to alert the system if they thought that something of this nature was wrong with their child.
Out of the 10,000 gun laws only those of us(99%) who follow the laws are affected. I have over forty firearms and not one has ever been used in any crime and never will be! My truck is capable of 120mph and weighs 3 tons and is capable of killing many people if I did not respect your life! It is about time to focus on the individual rather than the object! But these laws have to be enforced or were just spitting in the wind. Here are the type of laws that need to be enforced! And leave my guns alone. Militia means we the people with military weapons not hunting firearms!
1. Anyone who commits a crime with a firearm require mandatory 45 year sentence. With no plea-bargaining.
2. Any drug abuser to include alcohol should be denied firearms.
3. All firearm purchases must have a background check. To included private sales which could be done for by mandating gun stores do the paper work for a fee of $10.00. These fees cost up to $75.00 now.
4. All mental health problems that would preclude ownership must be place in the background check.
When ever a lager organization like the NRA, tries to stifle or prevent the flow of information on a topic of importance, then there is definitely something worth researching, studying and informing the public with more non-basis information on such a topic. Knowledge is power, good or bad we can make informed decisions when more information is published on the topic, especially a topic where the intended product is meant to kill or seriously injure another human being.
Although slavery is not mentioned, it is referred to in the constitution so we had to amend the constitution to abolish it because at the time when the constitution was drafted in 1787 it was the prevalent and accepted thinking of the time. The right to bear arms was also the prevalent and accepted thinking of the time, but the world has changed and so has guns. The country has evolved but the reasons for how and why we would want to be constitutionally permitted to kill or own a weapon of destruction has not in over 200 years.
I conclude that some people like violence; they wish for it, they prepare for it, they look for it, and nothing will change that, but more information on the topic might help the rest of us who are more informed and more evolved to make an educated decision.
As a Criminal Justicde Instructor, Father, former Military member, former Law Enforcement Officer, and U.S. Citizen, I am always taken back by the freedoms bestowed upon us by our founding fathers. I believe the media, including Mr. Turner's, :) has a profound affect on the opinions regarding guns and safety. Why are the stories never covered when firearms protect lives? I don't believe demonizing inanimate objects in the media solve anything. Why do we produce vehicles that go over 75 M.P.H.? When a driver kills a child we don't blame the vehicle manufacturor do we? Driving is a priveledge not a right! The second Ammendment is and states....." shall not be infringed upon"..... What does that mean to you? I know what it means to me.
Guns don't need research, people do! Researching guns would be like researching matches for a rash of arson crimes..fire and guns are similar. They are both dangerous elements but fire can heat your home and cook your food, or burn down your house, depending upon how it is used. As has been said–it is not the gun that kills, it is the person holding it. Take away guns, and criminals will just use something else..and we will not be able to adequately defend ourselves. The reason for these shootings is because unstable minds are on the street. We made a mistake giving the mentally ill their 'rights' when they need to be institutionalized, not wandering among planning and committing mayhem with guns, bombs, knives, or whatever weapon they choose.
No there doesn't need to be more research, that is just a waste of money, there just needs to be laws made about what guns/ammunition can be bought/sold! We all know that people have the constitutional right to bear arms, but shouldn't there be rules about what kind? There is NO good reason to have high caliber, high round ammo to be available to people other than law enforcement and military.
Not only has there been a lack in "gun and violence" research throughout the past two decades, there has been a lack in security as well. I think that the taboo topic throughout the U.S. is the fact that gun violence is increasing and nearly surpassing security efforts. I say taboo because sooner or later we (the people) will have to realistically examine the second amendment and decide whether or not it is worth living in fear of random acts of gun violence.
My favorite quote is from Joseph Satlin,"Idea's are more powerful than guns.We don't let our enemies have guns,we sure aren't going to let them have idea's".
Lets keep this research simple.
No guns, nobody gets shot.
Lots of guns, lots of people get shot.
Now that we know the research result, what are we going to do about it.
The N.R.A will tell you we are the greatest, free country in the world because we can 'pack' heat. Think of it people, we need to carry a weapon under or over our attire to protect ourself from our neighbour! , and this makes us the greatest country in the world! I think not.
The majority of these studies all make the same statement. "Firearms should be banned." Yet there are no studies that state cars should be banned due to the abuse by drunken drivers. Many more people die from drunken driving than the criminal use of firearms.
Firearms do not beget violence. Violence is an independent action that will use any item available, fist, rock, stick, knife, firearm.
Personal responsibility and accounting for the lack of such responsibility is required. Gun laws affect only the law abiding. Those disposed to ignore the laws are not affected by the passage of law.
I think it should be as hard to get a gun as it is a college education. One could only have a gun once completed certificate or degree program in "Guns and Violence". With education this would not only help with continual research in gun control and violence, but would hopefully put the gun owner in an educated catagory compared to the opposition.
Saying an object defines a persons persona is absurd. The attribute of violence comes from how someone is raised. If guns cause violence then prisons should be filled with flowers, teddy bears, and puppy dogs for violent inmate rehabilitation.
Ali the reality is no one on either side of the extreme viewpoints wants to discuss guns in America rationally. The facts are we have a national gun registry for fully automatic weapons, thousands of which are in the hands of American citizens as we speak. The crimes that have been committed with these registered full auto weapons, which range from silenced mac-11 submachine pistols to belt fed .50caliber machine guns, can be counted on your fingers.
The facts are that the mexican cartels have grenades, rocket launchers and high explosives not available at any gunshow, and if we can't stop them from bringing in tons of narcotics to criminals in America how can we stop those same people from dealing in banned weapons if draconian gun laws are passed?
More Research?? More money to spend that we have in short supply these days. NRA says we have enough gun control laws on the books already. Problem is they are not enforced – no money for enforcement. My point: Why should MY tax-money be used to enforce the gun control laws so Joe Schmoe can buy a 30-round clip for his weapon? An economical solution: REMOVE the clips from the market OR make them so darn expensive most crazies won't be able to buy them.
To complete my earlier comment, No there has been ample research after the Columbine trajedy. People, not firearms, kill people....... Put the research into identifying characteristics in people who should not have access to firearms.
I'll try to keep my reply short, but I could write plenty about this. During the Clinton admin, the 'take back America ' folks led by Newt Gingrich deleted funding for research on gun violence in the US. It had previously been identified as a health problem and the CDC in Atlanta had begun a program to collect gun violence data uniformly from all states. The opposition party squelched it.
The only good source for gun violence data is the Canadian Dept of Justice. They collected data from many industrialized countries and published a thorough report around 1997-1998. The data was used as the basis for subsequent revisions of gun laws in Canada. I sifted through that data and concluded that gun violence is DIRECTLY proportional to the prevalence of guns in the population. Statistically, the data indicates that the non-gun-homicide rate in industrialized nations is about 3 per 100,000 population (per year). Now if we add the presence of guns in these countries, the gun homicide rate increases in proportion to the number of guns in the population. The USA has a homicide rate of over 6 per 100,000 population. If you factor out the gun homicide rate, the homicide rate not surprisingly drops to 3 per 100,000. That's the same as homicide rate in European Countries & Australia, and Japan. Conclusion: Guns are taking 10,000 lives a year in the USA. Continued suppression of research into this problem is a national disgrace. The second amendment wasn't meant to allow private persons to own weapons whose lethality is many times greater than our founding fathers could have ever imagined. Shame on those who would support this continued delusion.
I think there have been plenty of gun violence studies. What should be studied is how to advance "emotional maturity" and how to handle conflict without resorting to violence.
The research has already been done. Look at the crime statistics for Washington D.C., Chicago and other cities with strict gun laws and compare them to those without. Gun laws empower criminals.
The one thing no one mentioned was this: The more guns in the hands of more people increases the probability that a nutcase will find one of those guns in his hands and that it will be used for something bad. It's all about statistics and probability and that's ALL it's about.
There is a perfect study on guns in violence in place! Juarez Mexico, where guns are outlawed and mandatory prison terms, is among the most dangerous cities in the world. 100 yards away in El Paso Texas, gun laws are quite liberal, after all, this is the old West, and El Paso is listed as the safest city in the United States! El Paso had 5 murders in 2010, Juarez averaged more than 8 per day in 2010!
The illusion that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is just that: an illusion. With no access to guns no people can actually be killed by guns. That's common sense. There's a reason why gun related violence in the US is higher than in any other western country.
Consider this: Since 1776 a total of 580,000 US troops have been killed in action, including the Civil War. In the last 4 decades 1,300,000 (yes, that's one point three million) non-military people were killed by firearms inside the US.
"The Right to bear Arms, was referring to rifles available at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights. I very much doubt that todays multiple use of a variety of automatic, assault weapons was meant to be included."
Wow Melinda what school did you attend?
At the time of the American revolution the British were armed with the "Brown Bess" musket an unrifled weapon designed for the battle field of the time.
The American soldiers, regular and militia were armed with a variety of weapons including hunting arms that were rifled giving the Americans a distinct advantage.
The very concept of the second amendment dictates the citizens right to own any weapon he sees fit, and history validates the neccesity of that right.
hi Americans, sometimes we from Africa don't have to deal with shoot-outs. Why? its because most people don't have assess to guns. On the other hand, where there was wars and its just the same. Compare and reason with these facts.
The human body always react and require some measure of control. Irrespective of your strongness and greatness you still struggles to deal with the problem of guns and violence which doesn't happen in Africa.
When a child is nurtured with computers, he grows and live with it so as for guns. The more people have guns they turned to be a bit of power in the hands. Thanks.
Sure, more needs to be done regarding guns and violence. But get to the point - the problem is men and armed violence. If a woman breaks up with her boyfriend, she doesn't go on a shooting spree and then kill herself. Women don't commit the brunt of armed crimes. I don't know the solution, but perhaps we should really take a look at who uses guns incorrectly.
This recent resurgence of interest in guns/no guns is obviously triggered by the Tucson shootings and Loughner's mental state. If he were already deemed unsuitable by the Army recruiters and had a series of complaints filed by the campus security, why is there no unified data base for all law enforcement people to access? I agree that normal everyday people should be allowed to own firearms for personal protection. I do not understand why the NRA or any group would not want to exclude the wrong people by supporting a routine background check for anyone purchasing a firearm. This would not end gun violence, but it would put it in proper focus of illegal sales, false identities and separate it from the everyday citizen. There was a recent article comparing gun permits in NYC to the safest neighborhoods. Apparently the criminals know where to avoid because of higher levels of guns in the home. There is plenty of gun related data already available for analysis – more research is a waste of money.
I see that we need the studies, education and the emotional maturity. Not one or the other, but all of the above. I live in a hunting community. Most people use their guns to hunt. These people are taught as children to respect a firearm as well as eat the game they kill. They are taught not to kill just to kill. Yet I know this is not true of all. I don't have a gun myself. Just sharing what I have seen growing up here. Most murders of people that take place where I live are with knives. Go figure?
I have lived in this blessed country since 1958 and i am shocked that the American public does not wake up from the deep slumber and say enough is enough, learned our lesson, time to stop guns from being treated as if we buy bread. Shame on us Americans for having our heads in the sand.
OMG, what's to research? Have proper screening in place in order to purchase any firearm. Reseach will result in another unneeded expense to the taxpayers.
I believe that the availability of guns kill people. So many children find guns and kill each other. Also our guns feed the violence in Mexico. There is no reason for a citizen to own automatic weapons in this country. In our city, we have had a serious increase in gang violence and murder with the use of automatic weapons in the last 10 years. We need to back up these incidents with solid research vs. saying guns don't kill people, people kill people.
just what are guns for–killing. Our country is the only developed nation that has abnormal fixation on playing John Wayne. There is too much money invested to producing guns. If it is a right to own a gun then get a license just like you do for driving a car. Register guns. Limit production and do away with importing them. grow up America Roy Rogers is dead
(Tongue in cheek)
Guns don't kill people. Bullets kill people. There's no constitutional right to bear bullets (as far as I can tell). We need to outlaw bullets!
The bottom line is that the Constitution gaurantees our right to bear arms. It doesn't say muskets of the time as some stipulate, just arms which would be as the framers of the Constitution intended. The Constitution was meant to be able to be applied over the ages and fit our nation regardless of how long it has been in existence.
We must learn to punish behaviors rather than take away items that have the potential to be misused. More cars, knives, and other objects kill than do guns.
If one looks at crime statistics from the justice department, one can see that the states with the most liberal gun carry laws have less crime than those that are more restrictive. No new studies are needed when the data is unchanged. What has changed is the permissiveness in soceity in forgiving crime and the expecatation that the government is responsible for our lives instead of individuals taking responsibility for what happens to them and around them.
I have carried a friearm for 20 years and have yet to misuse it. However, it has saved my life and property on 4 occasions without taking a single other life.
"Those who would give up a measure of freedom for a measure of security deserve neither freedom nor security", Benjamin Franklin.
The problem is guns being obtained illegally. Those are the guns that are in most gun violence crimes, not the legal ones.
Guns are not the problem! Do we ban water because it is used as torture but some? what about trees,since clubs can be made of wood? Use common sense on these issuses, the problem is in the MORAL state that our kids are in or exposed to.
We also need to stop protecting and cuddling criminals. Take away thier Lasana and big screen TV's. Maybe we should go back to some public hangings to send msg's to the "bad".
As if all guns can be kept out of all hands of all mentally ill, drug addicts, alcoholics, terrorists, children, etc. NRA & gun owners don't want to hear the real possibility that our forefathers claim to "our right to bear arms" was meant for foreign enemies such as the British. The U.S. has the highest rate of gun violence on the planet. WHY?
I own a few nice guns and I did two combat tours overseas. But, the simple truth is that gun possession brings personal responsibilities and judgment issues that many people are incapable of dealing with at a 100% succeess rate which is what gun ownership absolutely requires. The statistics pretty much say it all.
Annual murder rates per 100,000:
U.S. – 5.28
Canada – 0.47
Britain – 0.06
Australia – 0.07
Based on the above, either Americans are simply too nutty to justify easy access to gun ownership or, more likely, human nature dictates that ready access to such weapons has always been a recipe for tragedy.
Whether there needs to be more gun research or not diverts attention from the problem at hand. The problem in Tucson was the result of not having a local mental facility. We used to have a local 'facility' in every county across the country and that is where people were 'kept' who weren't quite right and posed a risk to themselves or the surrounding community. Politicians closed those facilities a generation ago to avoid tax increases. This put residents of asylums (or those that should be!) out on our streets – aka the homeless!
In another time, the shooter in Tucson would likely have been incarcerated and not running around loose. Until we pick up the slack on dealing with the root cause (those individuals that may be harmful to themselves or the community), this kind of problem will not go away. Additional legislation of guns won't solve the problem!
No we don't need silly research. There are facts that we simply don't wish to confront.
Fact 1: Guns make it easier to kill people and from longer distances.
Fact 2: Larger magazines make it easier to fire more bullets in shorter time causing more destruction.
Fact 3: There are millions of gun owners in the US and with that large number we don't have hundreds or thousands of gunfights each day.
Fact 4: Article Two of the Bill of Rights is being interpreted literally by today's attorneys and courts. In the late 1700's guns fired one bullet at a time and took nearly a minute to reload. Absolutely no one was on record as wanting to ban guns and none of the founders could anticipate the weaponry available today nor did they picture the population growth and full expansion of the United States. They were however leery of ceding all power to a Federal Government and wanted States to have the right to have militias of their own.
I saw research on countries who have strict guns laws. Now compare our crimes done with guns and theirs. Yes, people kill, they pull the triggers but do private citizens need guns that shoot 30 rounds? Or assault rifles that our police don't have. I bet if we check on the weapon that that was used to kill two St. Petersburg, fl officers this week it was an assault weapon. We need to check people who are buying guns, not allow gun shows and make it harder to buy guns. If you want a gun to hunt, it's totally available to you and if you are a law abiding citizen you will be able to get one. The right to bear arms was given to a people who had muskets to shoot from a new country that had no real formal military. Every citizen was essentially part of the armed forces. We have a huge military now, there is no need for the citizenry to be armed like members of the military.
I find it troubling when people (like Ari's guest today) advocate violating our constitutional rights a little bit, just enough so we will be safer. The second amendment is no less important to a free society than the first, and it is one of the checks on tyranny. Our country is strong and vital because of our constitution. The freedoms we enjoy are not to be taken lightly, and they must not be abridged.
Ali, that was a balanced discussion with your co-host. Maybe mayor Bloomberg should do the research on guns! I am sure It would be as balanced as your discussion. I'll never watch your show again! Keep pushing cnn's agenda.
The people who claim that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," are right. Guns don't kill people, and fishing poles don't catch fish, and hammers don't build houses. However, I'd rather use a hammer to build a house than my bare hands because it makes it a whole lot easier. When we equate guns to drunks with cars, let's keep something in mind; cars have a purpose other than violence. Even knives and explosives have uses outside of violence. A gun is unique in that its singular purpose, even when used properly, is to kill. I see that the problem with guns in this country is in the very fact that anyone would want to defend their right to have guns. The problem is in our culture, our love for guns. The issue of whether or not to ban guns shouldn't even be neccessary, and the fact that it is means we've already lost.
Let me give you some history about this subject: In the 20th century 56million people gave up there guns around the world in several communist block countries. Uganda being the last in '56. 14m died there because they could not defend them selves. The reason that the Japan did not invade the U. S. is because we have guns in our homes, Hittler new this also. Germany in there U boats sat off the eastern coast several times durring the war, but they did nothing because we are armed!! the problem with guns as a whole is education, not control! People who are educated about guns very rarely commit violent acts. Most of these act are spur of the moment, heat of passion,but in the case of the shooting in AZ, that was purly a case of a mental laps, as are most shootings. Even a robbery is (what it is at the time), In Arizona you can't just go out and purchase a fire arm, the law abiding citizen goes thru a 6wk waiting period, unless you buy on the street. Education is the key, at least I think so.
Absolutely there needs to be more research, stricter laws, and effective enforcement of the law. More importantly the research is required to inform the policies and laws that would govern communities. As a mother who has lost two sons to gun violence and who works with other mothers who have experiences the same plight here in NYC and Newark, Philadelphia and Chicago, gun violence must be considered a public health epidemic that requires solutions which are based on empirical data as well as the grassroots efforts like Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E..
Jackie Rowe Adams,
Harlem Mothers Stop Another Violent End, Inc. (S.A.V.E.)
I don,t thank control of guns is the answer,except maybe semi-automatic with clips.Research and work needs to be done on- in schools and street as well as gangs. No one seems to think that a crimnal or someone with mental problem,either already has a gun,borrowed one,or stole one,or bought one to use in their plan to shoot people. So many ways as from an individual or dealer
In your coverage of guns and gun violence, please include a look at how many laws are already on the books and the status of enforcement. Don't allow the pols the easy out of passing another high-sounding cluster of gun laws that they then fail to fund for enforcement. Let's see where enforcement of the current body of laws would get us before we add new ones.
Research results can be made to say anything! More people die in DUI related crashes than gun violence so why don't we ban alcohol or cars? As an invistegator, I've seen suicides carried out by knives, ropes, towles, bed sheets, vehicles, guns, pills,and numerous other means. So why is there no "control" laws on the other non-gun items? If some one descides to commit an act of violence, that act will be done. It won't matter if there is access to a gun or not. PEOPLE committ crimes, not the tools they use to carry out the deed.
Those who would abolish the right to keep and bear arms are guilty of what I call " Wouldn't it be nice if -thinking" Wouldn't it be nice if crack and heroin and alcohol had never been invented/discovered. Maybe it would, but that is not reality. Guns have been invented and they cannot be uninvented. Every other "NO" law that we have passed has not worked but has ushered in consequences worse than the problem proposed to solve. ie..." Prohibition" and "The War on Drugs".
All that happens is a black market is created with all the attendant criminal activity it inspires. The Government, with support of the Media needs to concentrate on solutions that work rather than mindless legislation intended to make some people feel good at another's expense. I am tired of politicians concocting laws that reflect a lack of even a shred of forethought. It has been said that "He who trades essential liberties for temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety".
Be careful what you give up, you just might need it someday.
Click here to access transcripts from recent shows.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 23,828 other followers