The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the firearms industry lobby group – have released their most recent survey of firearms injuries and fatalities. Click here for a farrago of charts and graphics, all leading to one inescapable conclusion: guns aren’t dangerous, relatively speaking. Poisoning, for example, accounts for half of all unintentional fatalities in the home. Negligent discharges? Easily rounded down to zero (.06%). In terms of overall accidental deaths, firearms rate just below machinery-related fatalities, accounting for 0.5 percent of the total. Again, effectively zero. That said . . .
The number of Americans who die from negligent firearms discharges, 591, is more than one-a-day. That’s a tragic toll and plenty of grist for the gun control advocates’ always-grinding mill.
To that point, the mainstream media isn’t going to report that 99.5 percent of gun owners didn’t shoot themselves on any given day. They’re going to highlight the fatal negligent discharges – especially those involving children. As does Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which never fails to Facebook the fatalities.
Bottom line: even though negligent discharges are a low frequency event, they’re a high visibility occurence. One that scares the bejesus out of the gun muggles and, thus, helps promote gun control. To counter this effect, pro-gun advocates must work to limit firearms “accidents.” More than that, they must be seen to be doing so.
We’ll have some news on that front next week.