The unrestrained proliferation of firearms leads to an escalation of violence: fear leads to arming which breeds violence which leads to insecurity which leads to further arming. Firearms undermine long term efforts to build civil society by fuelling internal arms races, whether in war zones or inner cities.
Firearms are a matter of global concern from a number of perspectives: (a) they are a major cause of death: 30 countries in a UN study reported more than 200,000 deaths per year in murder, accidents and suicide. Many of these deaths are preventable; (b) the cost among children and youth is particularly high; (c) firearms are used in crime and firearm thefts fuel other crimes; (d) firearms significantly increase the lethalness of suicide attempts; (e) in many countries, guns figure prominently in the cycle of violence against women; (f) it is estimated that small arms, including firearms, account for as many as 90% of the deaths in armed conflict. A growing number of victims are children both as combatants and victims; and (g) the unrestrained proliferation of firearms undermines peacebuilding, governance and civil society.
2. Guns don't kill people. People do.
3. Many people live where government cannot, or will not, enforce its proper monopoly on the use of force. Given this failure, or abdication, by government, it is discrimination that the safe majority deny the endangered minority the handguns needed for self-help. When the police enforce the law in the ghettos and other crime infested areas, then guns should be outlawed.