“It’s natural in the event of a horrific crime to look for a way that it could have been prevented,” centralmaine.com‘s editorial board opines, “and it doesn’t get much more horrific than last week’s brutal, and seemingly random, assault of an elderly Waterville woman.” A sexual assault in her own home, I might add. [Perp above.] “But in the wake of the attack, Joe Massey, the city’s police chief, came to the wrong conclusion” . . .
“It’s one of those cases where you could make a good argument for citizens arming themselves,” Massey said four days after the assault. “Someone said, ‘A gun in hand is better than someone on the phone telling you police are on their way.’ In cases like this, you wish the homeowner had a weapon and was capable of defending themselves.”
That way of thinking may satisfy a very real human need to feel protected, and appeal to a certain sense of justice, but it also puts more people in danger.
And there it is. And here we go . . .
People may buy a weapon to protect themselves and their families against assaults, home invasions, or public mass shootings, but in reality — and thankfully — only a very small percentage of Americans will ever come face-to-face with those tragedies.
More likely, the presence of a gun in a household will make that household less safe.
I don’t need research to tell me that people who own guns are more likely to “die by firearm” or commit suicide with a gun than people without guns — in the same sense that I don’t need a study to prove that people who own cars are more likely to die in a car accident than people who don’t own cars.
I would like to read a study that lays out the odds of successfully using a gun for self-defense. The lowest estimate of defensive gun uses (DGUs) in the U.S. is 55k per year. If we define failure as the defender’s death, how many DGU’s fail? That stat would offer a far better indication of the risks of using a gun for self-defense (noting that the individual right to keep and bear arms does not depend on any risk calculation, personal or societal).
Here’s what’s really important: who were those people in these studies who “die by firearm” and are they like me?
There are subsets of gun owners, ranging from highly responsible, mentally balanced, well-adjusted gun owners all the way to completely irresponsible, mentally ill gun owners. Lumping all of them together, “spreading” the risk factor throughout the entire gun-owning population, and then asserting that everyone is at the same level of risk is entirely misleading. In fact, it’s a lie.
Gun owners get it. Sensibly enough, they say/think, “You’re not talking about me. I exercise my right to keep and bear arms without endangering myself or my family.” The anti-gun rights jihadis have a simple answer to this obvious disconnect between anti-gun rights statistical manipulation and gun owners’ personal experience: you’re in denial! Sure, you think you’re a responsible mentally balanced gun owner, they say, but . . .
. . . in most cases, gun owners are responsible until they are not, and it only takes a momentarily lapse to allow a child to pick up an unsecured gun and do themselves or others harm. Accidents happen, and when they happen around a firearm, they are often tragic.
It could happen to you! Or worse, a child! An innocent child! So we, the caring
statists intellectuals at centralmaine.com, gently recommend that you don’t own a gun, despite the horrific [we’re not going to say sexual] assault on an unarmed elderly woman, chosen randomly. Like this:
But when an act of violence leads a police chief to say more people should be armed, it is important to point out that a weapon is more likely to be used against one’s own family than an intruder.
There’s your Big Lie (a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”): a self-defense gun is a liability, not an asset. Of course a firearm can be a liability, just as a kitchen knife can be a liability. But depending on personal circumstance, firearms ownership’s positive benefits far outweigh the potential dangers. Which is why so many Americans own them, despite the antis’ sanctimonious, transparent lies and distortions.