We have a few peripheral questions about gun control.
- Are more people accidentally killed by doctors than accidentally killed by guns and traffic combined?
- Are there more guns in America than people?
- Is it, in some parts of the U.S., easier to get a rifle than to register to vote?
But the major one is:
Despite having 20 upvotes, 4 upvoted answers and 1000 views, I think this question is sub-par, and needs some work.
The main problem is that the question is too broad. There is no simple, single definitive answer.
One measure of being too broad is that books have been written on the topic. This is worse. For example, this book was written on this subject, and Wikipedia lists a large number of subsequent studies that supported and rejected the arguments made.
There are also a vast number of gun control legislations, different gun cultures in different countries and US States, different outcomes (homicode, suicide, violent crime, accidental shootings), issues of substitution (will knives be used instead?), death versus injury, illegal ownership, etc.
I see the existing answers suffering from this problem: any studies they reference are necessarily cherry-picking, because there is insufficient space to include all of the conflicting studies. We're not seeing meta-analyses published. None of the answers is particularly compelling.
Basically, we have a very, very large question that is impossible to properly answer.
A recent question was closed as a duplicate of this bigger question: Are lax gun laws responsible for the high rate of handgun violence in the United States?
Closing other questions because they overlap with this overly-broad unanswerable question seems to be perpetuating the problem.
I would like to see the large question closed as unanswerable or reduced in scope (although this will invalidate existing answers). I would like to (eventually) see instead a pool of smaller questions addressing individual claims people have made.
It would be terrific if we could give a definitive answer to the over-all question about whether gun-control is a good thing in a 250-word post, but that's not practical.