Posts Tagged ‘gun rights’

Gun rights advocates say there are 2.5 million defensive gun uses a year. That’s 6,849 times a day. That’s how they justify ignoring the mass shootings of children.

To give their numbers context, let’s look at crime statistics:

In 2016, the FBI recorded 95,730 rapes. That’s 262 rapes a day.

The bureau recorded 17,250 murders. That’s about 47 murders per day.

There were 332,198 robberies nationwide in 2016. That’s 910 per day.

There were 803,007 aggravated assaults in 2016. That’s 2,200 per day.

If you add all these up, gun owners claimed to have stopped almost twice as many of the biggest crimes the FBI recorded actually happening in 2016. And if you consider that only about a third of American households have guns, you must come to the conclusion that the overwhelming amount of U.S. crime is actually being perpetuated against gun owners–in such vast amounts that if I were them, I would be afraid to leave the house.

There’s an easy way to avoid that paradox: They can admit their numbers are fraudulent. They are, in fact, 20 years old and based on a phone survey of Floridians whose stories were not externally validated by the study’s author. The reason gun owners tout these figures is a miscible concoction of fear, folk wisdom, peer approval and inherent trust in family members. In other words, the same qualities Bernie Madoff preyed upon.

If this were an insurance scam, it would work the same way: The unethical salesperson exaggerates the risk of failure, sells you a product that is actually riskier, then tells you to share that risk with others by telling them to buy it too. The problem with gun rights advocates, even if their hearts are in the right place, is that they have asked non-gun-owning two thirds of Americans to share risk that the unethical salesperson has laden them with (the heightened risk of getting shot), and help them participate in a demonstrable fraud.

Incidentally, there is a real number of defensive gun uses, and there’s little reason to believe it’s much higher than toddlers shooting themselves. It is easily canceled out by murders many times over. There are common sense physics reasons that guns are very limited as defensive weapons, but if you can’t understand that, I doubt you read this far. And if that’s the case, you’ll never know that the monster at the end of this story was you.

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A new Yahoo story today shows that gun sales have spiked after last week’s shooting massacre in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater.

I’m sure I don’t have to state the obvious … well, yes I do. Lots of gun nuts out have over the past couple of years scrounged up the counterintuitive argument that massacres like these could be prevented if more people were armed. That means, if tons of guns were dropped in a crime-ridden inner-city area like Detroit, crime rates would drop. It would mean that if guns were airlifted to a war zone like Syria and dropped down to both sides, violence would stop.

We’ve already been through this obscenely stupid argument before. When Gabrielle Giffords was shot, along with several others, in a Tucson, Ariz. parking lot early last year, one of the people to rush to the scene was the armed Joe Zamudio. He came with his gun drawn to the scene with the safety off and caught sight of a man with another gun. This was not the shooter. But Zamudio didn’t figure that out immediately and pushed the man up against the wall. Luckily he had the presence of mind not to shoot, but things could have spun out of control. He also knew, according to Slate, that if he pulled his gun out he might be confused as the shooter.

Common sense tells us that when everybody is armed, situations easily defused could turn into life and death emergencies. People who feel threatened are oftentimes mistaken, or even if they aren’t, they aren’t likely to judge whether they are really in mortal danger. Guns give people a false sense of power, when the power they won’t really ever have–unless they are criminals–is that of surprise. And that is always left to a hostile person with a weapon. For this person, the right wing is willing to fight tooth and nail, because a schizophrenic’s access to firepower as a key assumption of their own liberty, a supposed bedrock of their own Rousseauian natural rights.

This is one of those diminishing return arguments–it goes nowhere, but gun fanatics will argue it because they know you are too afraid to fight it to its dead end–nonsense.

The more untenable their arguments, and the more grisly statistics about gun deaths give them the lie, gun rights advocates grow more ruddy faced and extreme about their conviction and engage in the most childish forms of projection: It’s not guns that are bad. It’s got to be anything else. Everything else.

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What are we blaming the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting on, other than lax gun laws:

–*The Batman movie

–*Tough Ph.D. programs

–*Lax prescription drug laws

–*Poor parenting

–*The right to peaceably assemble

–*Red hair dye

–*People’s lack of access to full body armor

–*Tear gas

–*Too-long movie ads

–*Liberals. Because just saying that word makes certain neanderthals pee blood.

–*Government control of our grammar structure

–*Government control of Social Security

–*Government control of the post office

–*Government control of reserve currency

–*Yo Gabba Gabba went off the air

–*The health care bill

–*Abortion rights

–*Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, I tell you

–*Mexican immigrants taking all the jobs

–*Anything other than guns because we have a Second Amendment people and that means if you restrict schizophrenics from acquiring assault rifles, you’re limiting my personal freedom.

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