Guns In America
Guns In America
Paul Helmke (President, The Brady Campaign) gives expert video advice on: Why don't we know the accurate number of guns in the US?; Do gun buybacks work?; What percentage of guns are registered?
Why don't we know the accurate number of guns in the US?
There've been a number of estimates of the number of guns out there. The standard figure that people seem to be using is anywhere from 200 million to 270 million guns. Because we don't register guns in this country, because we don't keep records of who has guns or where those guns are, it's guess work. A lot of these numbers are based on surveys, polling that's done from people but that's a lot of weapons out there. That's a 270 million weapons in a country with 300 million people you are talking. You are talking a lot of guns.
Do gun buybacks work?
I think gun buybacks do help the situation. It's not clear whether they help reduce crime significantly. But certainly, any way to get unwanted, unneeded, excess guns out of the homes, out of the basements, out of the attics and destroyed means that that's one less gun that's likely to be found by a child, go off accidentally, used in a suicide, stolen and used by a gang member. So anything that gets these guns that people aren't really using for their hunting purposes, or for self protection purposes, or collection purposes is a good thing. A lot of people I talk to, they'll have a gun that had been their father's or their grandfather's. They don't know what to do with it. They're almost afraid to do anything with it. When there's a gun buyback in a community, that usually encourages them to take the gun down to the police department and get rid of the gun.