In their continued push to pass more restrictions on American’s civil rights, a recent article on the notoriously left leaning, quite ironically named “Think Progress” (since they seem to lack both thought or progress) touted that “The Number Of People Who Use A Gun In Self-Defense Is Pretty Much Negligible.” In fact, they felt that so strongly, that is what they titled the article. As a conservative, and very pro-gun guy, I am used to being called callous and uncaring by the left, but the whole premise of this article screams of hypocrisy. It appears all the more callous when you look at the actual number of times they consider to be “negligible”, even if you were only to consider the incorrect numbers that they provide.
Also, somewhat noteworthy, this entire article is based around a “timely study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC).” If you are not already aware, the VPC is “an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control.” So, they are clearly an unbiased organization with no agenda…
Before I begin to correct their figures and attack their illogical conclusions, I will first and foremost point out just how callous and hypocritical these anti-gun zealots are being. The anti-gun left constantly proclaims that “if it would save just one life, then ___[insert proposed new gun restriction]___ should be put in place”. But wait, what about those 263 lives that were clearly saved by the use of a firearm? Do those lives not count? Who determines which lives count and which do not? I am pretty sure that those 263 people, and their families, do not feel so “negligible.”
Now to clear up their incorrect numbers, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, there were 8,855 homicides using a firearm in 2012 (the year they are using – which by the way, that total also includes LEO’s shot and killed that year). Since they are looking at criminal homicides, we must subtract all justifiable homicides from that number, of which there were 263 non-LEO justifiable homicides with a firearm (not 259 like they claim) and 423 LEO. That brings the total number of criminal homicides, with a firearm to 8169. Please note; that is not the 8,342 that they claim.
Now, if we are going to just consider non-LEO uses of firearms, as they suggest, that would bring the number to ratio to 31-1 instead of the 33-1 they claim. However, logically speaking, since LEO’s are included in the total number of homicides, then their justifiable homicides using a firearm should also be included. It we include those uses, then the ratio changes to 12-1, which is a significant change.
Finally, I will address their faulty logic.
1) Both the author of this piece and the people at the VPC (not to mention the vast array of other anti-gun organizations) consistently fail to account for is the number of times that a firearm is employed in self-defense, yet the suspect is not killed let alone the number of times the gun is not even fired.
2) If 259, or 263 using the corrected number, or 686 (arguably the number that should be considered) lives are “negligible,” then why do 9 (Charleston, 2015) lives, or 12 lives (Aurora, 2012), or even 26 lives (Sandy Hook, 2012) count so much that they are used to justify restricting all American’s rights? What number is negligible?
3) There are an estimated 100 million legal gun owners in the United States. The percentage of them who use their legally owned gun in a crime (all crimes, not just homicides) annually is 0.07%. If you want to talk about “negligible,” then we should talk about that. In actuality, the overwhelming majority of guns used in crimes, including homicides, were obtained illegally and most times those guns are employed by persons who are legally prohibited from possessing guns. In other words, new gun laws will not have any effect on the criminals who already use them.
The anti-gun crowd and the left in general, especially left leaning politicians and pundits, love to paint the NRA and gun owners in general as heartless, uncaring, blood thirsty people. Oddly enough, the opposite is true. The difference is that we realize that the human being is the predator, and that the best way for anyone, no matter their gender or their size, to even the odds in a self-defense situation is for them to be armed, and to know how to use it. There is a damn good reason cops carry guns, and that is for self-defense.
As a career cop, who more often than anyone should have to, sees firsthand the consequences of “gun violence”, just like most other cops, I realize that the problem is not the gun. The problem, the true problem, is the violent person with no regard for human life who is using the gun. It is time for the left to stop blaming the tool and for them to face some cold hard facts; violent humans are the real problem. How about we stop all this noise and start addressing the problem?