Talk:Gun control

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International arms control info in this article[edit]

The first three sections of this article - Terminology and context, Global distribution of small arms, and Regulation of civilian firearms - includes a lot of material that does not belong here as it is WP:OR and WP:SYNTH comparing/conflating international arms control efforts with national and state gun control. Suggest editors of this article review the Arms control article as well. Lightbreather (talk) 05:06, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Miscategorisation of Research?[edit]

At present the article Reads

Studies by Arthur Kellermann and Matthew Miller found that keeping a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of suicide.[40] Other studies, however, found no association between gun ownership and suicide.[41][42][43][44]

Which suggests that the majority of research finds no connection. However, research 41 (Miller, M. (1978). "Geriatric Suicide: The Arizona Study". The Gerontologist 18 (5 Part 1): 488–495. doi:10.1093/geront/18.5_Part_1.488.) notes that "Suicide victims were more likely than controls to show the following risk factors: active substance abuse, comorbid major depression, suicidal ideation within the past week, family history of depression and substance abuse, legal problems and presence of a handgun in the home." and study 44 (Conwell, Y. et al. (2002). "Access to Firearms and Risk for Suicide in Middle-Aged and Older Adults". The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 10 (4): 407–416. doi:10.1097/00019442-200207000-00007. PMID 12095900.) relates that "Presence of a firearm in the home was associated with increased risk for suicide, even after controlling for psychiatric illness. Elevated risk was accounted for by access to handguns rather than long guns and was more pronounced in men than women." So I suggest that this sentence be reworded as Some studies have found that keeping a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of suicide.[40][41][44] Other studies, however, found no association between gun ownership and suicide.[42][43] Which suggests, conversely, that the majority of studies demonstrate a link. --Timtak (talk) 01:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

"[...] that the majority of studies demonstrate a link". But is that in fact the case? Is it a majority of studies or a minority? As currently written, the sentence is neutral in that it states that some studies do, and some studies don't. Furthermore, all studies cited are explicitly concerning america; is this the case worldwide? (hint: it isn't). Before switching the emphasis from a neutral statement to one claiming majority, it has to be demonstrated that in fact it is a majority - and not just for the US, since this is a global article. Anastrophe (talk) 01:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There seems nothing to cite a summation "majority of studies". I think the categorization as 'found no association' is asking for less than 'found' does, so 'no association' could be appropriately conveying the result of the study if it was either negative or below randomness or so far below & mixed with the substance abuse, depression, etcetera that the study is really saying it's not worth mention. These seem each a tiny study on specific section of population and country so there's not going to be any broadly applicable result, but it would be more faithful to the cite if the lines had conveyed the relative importance or certainty in the findings. Markbassett (talk) 23:57, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Preserve international/arms control related material[edit]

A little of this may belong in this gun control article, but a lot of it is more appropriate for the Arms control article.

Terminology and context[edit]

Laws pertaining to Gun control are a subset of a more general class of laws which deal with more general weapons, usually called arms control.[1][2]

Main article: Arms control

In the context of this article, the concept of gun control is in reference to various means of a firearm restriction, use, transport, and possession. Specifically with regard to the class of weapons referred to as small arms. On a global scale this context is sometimes expanded to include light weapons; also known in the arms trade as SALW.[3]

Main article: Small arms

From the perspective of military small arms, this encompasses: revolvers, pistols, submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, battle rifles, multiple barrel firearms, sniper rifles, squad automatic weapons, light machine guns, and sometimes hand grenades, general-purpose machine guns, medium machine guns, and grenade launchers may be considered small arms or as support weapons, depending on the particular armed forces. Other groups utilizing these types of arms may also include non-military personnel such as law enforcement agencies.[4][5][6][7]

From a civilian (meaning via private, individual ownership) perspective and varying via legislation from country to country this encompasses a subset of the above list. Usually limited to: revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, assault rifles, sub-machine guns and light machine guns.[5]

Global distribution of small arms[edit]

It is estimated that there are in total 875 million small arms distributed amongst civilians, law enforcement agencies and armed forces, globally.[a][8] Of these firearms 650 million, or 75 per cent, are held by civilians worldwide.[8] U.S. civilians alone account for 270 million of this total.[8] A further 200 million are controlled by state military forces.[9] Law enforcement agencies have some 26 million small arms.[9] Non-state armed groups[b] have about 1.4 million firearms.[c][9] Finally, gang members hold between 2 and 10 million small arms.[9] Together, the small arms arsenals of non-state armed groups and gangs account for, at most, 1.4 per cent of the global total.[10]

International and regional civilian firearm regulation[edit]

At the international and regional level, diplomatic attention has tended to focus on the cross-border illegal trade in small arms as an area of particular concern rather than the regulation of civilian-held firearms.[12] During the mid-1990s, however, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a series of resolutions relating to the civilian ownership of small arms.[12] These called for an exchange of data on national systems of firearm regulation and for the initiation of an international study of the issue.[12] In July 1997, ECOSOC issued a resolution that underlined the responsibility of UN member states to competently regulate civilian ownership of small arms and which urged them to ensure that their regulatory frameworks encompassed the following aspects: firearm safety and storage; penalties for the unlawful possession and misuse of firearms; a licensing system to prevent undesirable persons from owning firearms; exemption from criminal liability to promote the surrender by citizens of illegal, unsafe or unwanted guns; and, a record-keeping system to track civilian firearms.[12] In 1997, the UN published a study based on member state survey data titled the United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation which was updated in 1999.[d][12] This study was meant to initiate the establishment of a database on civilian firearm regulations which would be run by the Centre for International Crime Prevention, located in Vienna. who were to report on national systems of civilian firearm regulation every two years.[12] These plans never reached fruition and further UN-led efforts to establish international norms for the regulation of civilian-held firearms were stymied.[13] Responding to pressure from the U.S. government,[e][15] any mention of the regulation of civilian ownership of small arms was removed from the draft proposals for the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.[12]

Although the issue is no longer part of the UN policy debate, since 1991 there have been eight regional agreements involving 110 countries concerning aspects of civilian firearm possession.[12] The Bamako Declaration,[f] was adopted in Bamako, Mali, on 1 December 2000 by the representatives of the member states of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).[16] The provisions of this declaration recommend that the signatories would establish the illegal possession of small arms and light weapons as a criminal offence under national law in their respective countries.[17]

  1. ^ "Gun Control". Almanac of Policy Issues. http://www.policyalmanac.org. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  2. ^ James D. Agresti and Reid K. Smith (22 January 2012). "Gun Control Facts". Just Facts. Just Facts. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapon". unodc.org. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. February 25, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "General and Complete Disarmament: Small Arms". un.org. United Nations. August 27, 1997. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Small Arms Survey: Definitions". smallarmssurvey.org. Small Arms Survey. April 15, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: Small arms". www.dtic.mil. U.S. Department of Defense. September 14, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Inventory Management Asset and Transaction Reporting System". www.apd.army.mil. Army Publishing Directorate. September 3, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d Karp 2007, p. 39.
  9. ^ a b c d Karp 2010, p. 102
  10. ^ a b Karp 2010, p. 101
  11. ^ Karp 2010, p. 121
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Parker 2011, p. 3
  13. ^ Parker 2011, pp. 3-4
  14. ^ Alley 2004, p. 54
  15. ^ Alley 2004, pp. 53-54
  16. ^ a b Juma 2006, p. 39
  17. ^ Parker 2011, p. 4

--Lightbreather (talk) 06:02, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Germany section[edit]

I think there should be *something* in the Germany section. I know that Andy has strong feelings about this. @Andy: Could you possibly be intrigued into writing it? This would satisfy your concerns about the content, while still allowing *something* to be in there. Is that possible? It might put the issue to rest once and for all. I know you have strong opinions on it, but even so, I am also pretty secure in your ability to write some neutral content. Please? --Sue Rangell 22:29, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Please provide the relevant academic sources that demonstrate that in a general discussion of the subject of gun control globally, the specific instance of 1930s Germany is considered of particular significance. Without such sources, there is no reason to include such content - and very good reasons to exclude it, given the repeated efforts by now topic-banned/blocked contributors to abuse Wikipedia to present a pseudohistorical fringe perspective on the subject. We don't include content because 'we think there should be something on it' - we include it because the sources we use make it clear that it is relevant.
Personally, I see no reason why this article should include any of the 'history' sections. This article is supposed to be an overview, and such material is better suited to individual per-nation articles. We clearly can't cover the gun-control history of every country here, and I have seen no evidence that the countries we do cover are seen as of particular relevance to a general discussion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:43, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I totally agree with you, at least about the history sections. If we remove those, I see no reason to include a Germany section either. Perhaps this is a reasonable compromise? --Sue Rangell 00:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
That would seem logical - I suggest that you remove them (or I will if you prefer), and we then ask anyone wishing to restore them to provide the necessary justification for inclusion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:05, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the history section should be removed. There is nothing in the topic that makes it obvious that Japan, the UK, U.S. and Australia, or Germany for that matter should be discussed, but not the other nations of the world. TFD (talk) 03:17, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Since nobody else has commented, I've removed the 'history' section, per the above discussion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Looks good! I would also like to re-visit the "See also" section. There seem to be links in there that have nothing to do with gun control, such as "defensive gun use", while articles that one might expect are not to be found, such as various gun ban articles. Any thoughts? --Sue Rangell 03:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Lacking input, I went ahead and removed a couple of entries that seemed off-topic to me, and replaced them with entries that seemed to make more sense, such as links to articles that are actually about Gun Control. --Sue Rangell 22:57, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


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