When Michael Bloomberg pushes his gun control agenda, he lumps together suicides and murders to inflate “illegal gun” statistics.
For example, during his April 16th appearance on Today, Bloomberg said, “31,000 Americans either get murdered or commit suicide with illegal guns [each year].”
The figure, “31,000,” is a gross conflation of the approximate 8,500 murders with firearms during a given year and the approximate 19,000 suicides with a firearm during a given year.
Equally important is the fact that gun control does not lower suicide rates anyway. For instance, a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy shows that Russia’s suicide rate far surpasses that of the U.S., although Russia has very stringent gun control:
The evidence… indicates that denying one particular means to people who are motivated to commit suicide by social, economic, cultural, or other circumstances simply pushes them to other means. Thus, it is not just the murder rate in gun-less Russia that is four times higher than the American rate; the Russian suicide rate is also about four times higher than the American rate.
In addition to these things, Bloomberg paints with a broad brush in attributing annual gun-related deaths to “illegal guns.” He does not define the term, leaving his audience to presume that an “illegal gun” is a gun purchased without a background check.
But the problem with this is that guns bought secondhand are often not required to have a background check, and have not required a background check since 1791.
Except for states or districts which have passed universal background check requirements, there is absolutely nothing “illegal” about a law-abiding citizen buying a used firearm without a background check.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.