A study published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine is being touted by “gun control” supporters in and out of “legitimate media” as conclusive proof that, rather than making people safer, gun ownership actually places them at greater risk for suicide and homicide.
As is typical with such publications, it only looks at (less than) half of the equation, disregarding the substantial number of defensive gun uses that occur each year. Without comparing that, the number of people who didn’t die because they had a gun is excluded from the totals. Much could also be made of suicide numbers, including documentation that police are at much higher risk than the general population, and disregarding that gun-free Japan has a suicide rate that dwarfs that in the U.S.
That said, there is one other important issue that is not clear and never seems to be, and that is a clarification of negative consequences affecting gun possessors vs. gun owners. A criminal can possess a gun that he does not own, especially if it has been stolen from another. Ownership is a moral and legal concept, and implies the possessor is law-abiding (principled civil disobedience exempted), especially as felons are prohibited by law from having a gun.
Using that as a filter, any meaningful study would then have to look at the likelihood that criminal gun possessors will be involved in illegal and risky behaviors beyond those of the general population, and associating with similar characters posing varying degrees of elevated danger. It also stands to reason that women who elect to partner with such persons would be at higher risk for domestic violence, including with guns. Add to this mix a higher propensity for substance abuse, along with depressing economic, health, moral, spiritual and emotional consequences of living such a criminal lifestyle, and it’s hardly surprising that people who do not control themselves and the basic responsibility aspects of their lives are immersed in destructive behaviors to their detriment, and to the detriment of children being raised in their environments.
That makes it awful tough to distill everything down and blame guns, particularly without comparing lethal outcomes in the criminal population with lethal outcomes in households that do not engage in abusive conduct. After all, if the problem is truly guns, one would expect the five million members of the NRA, arguably the most heavily-armed civilian population on the planet, would be shrinking in ranks instead of growing.
Perhaps the anti-gunners could isolate that peaceable and responsible segment of the population and report back on its rates of “gun violence” as compared to the total population of gun possessors, and maybe see if it’s fair and accurate to pool them in with people whose lifestyle risks don’t reflect theirs. It shouldn’t be hard for anti-gun researchers to do -- after all, they confidently go about telling the media and all who will listen what percentage of NRA members support universal background checks, ending private sales and “assault weapon” bans, so if they truly know those numbers, putting "NRA Killers" statistics together ought to not only be a cinch -- one would think it would be a Holy Grail goal.
That is, unless they’re making things up.
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