Following the tragedies in Aurora, Colo. and Newtown, Conn. last year, the national rhetoric revolved around controlling the types of firearms Americans should be legally allowed to own. But a recently highlighted study shows that controlling firearms is actually counterproductive.
In a study published by Harvard University, researchers Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser reviewed the gun laws in several European countries to see if banning firearms would decrease murders and suicides. They found that countries with higher firearm ownership had lower murder rates.
The researchers looked at Russia, which has strict firearm control measure, as a similar country to the United States in murder rates in the 1960s and 70s. However, Russia’s murder rates have drastically increased in the years since.
“While American rates stabilized and then steeply declined, however, Russian murder increased so drastically that by the early 1990s the Russian rate was three times higher than that of the United States,” the study says. “Between 1998-2004 (the latest figure available for Russia), Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates.”
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