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By Rob Morse

It’s hard to fool an honest man or woman who wants to know the truth. Unfortunately, many of us depend on the media to bring us much of our news, and lying to us — or withholding key parts of the story — today makes it easier to fool us tomorrow.

Most of us feel horrible when we see news stories about violent crime. Beyond the emotional shock of the story, though, we are seldom told what the story means. Is that newsworthy event a common problem or is it rare? Are there good solutions that make us safer most of the time?

Besides the violence shown in movies and TV dramas, it’s almost as if the news deliberately keeps us in the dark about real violence and its causes. We can’t make good choices unless we have perspective. For a minute, let’s shed some light on the reality of armed citizens and guns.

We’re told that guns cause crime. That’s odd because a lot of criminals didn’t seem to have gotten the memo. Only one out of twelve violent crimes are committed with a firearm. If someone says they need to disarm honest people in order to stop violent crime, they are going to leave about 92 percent of those violent crimes untouched. No wonder gun control laws don’t make us any safer.

If guns cause crime, then honest gun owners haven’t gotten the message either. Ordinary citizens like us own a lot of guns. About 40 percent of Americans live with a gun in our homes and we own hundreds of millions of firearms that are never used in crimes.

These are the guns you never seem to hear about. The news media don’t want to admit that firearms are ordinary tools that a huge portion of Americans lawfully own and use on a daily basis.

Gun ownership makes a significant difference in our lives. The news media almost never mention it beyond discreet instances, but armed self-defense by lawful gun owners is incredibly common. We use firearms in legally justified self-defense about 4500 times a day.

Report after report from academic researchers to the US Centers for Disease Control have reported the same thing. Those self-defense events are as significant as an ordinary citizen being in the right place at the right time to stop a mass murder to something as common as a neighbor scaring away an intruder who broke in through her back door.

Before anyone says that breaking-and-entering is insignificant, remember that two-thirds of sexual assaults begin with a home invasion. Millions of us use a firearm to protect ourselves and those we love each year, most of the time without ever pulling a trigger.

We’re told — by all the smartest people — that if our neighbors are armed then they would turn the world into the wild west with indiscriminate shootings on the streets every day. Yet that isn’t what we see. The fact is that our neighbors are armed and have been for decades.

We know that about 20 million of us have concealed carry permits and half of the states don’t require a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. About 17 million adults — about one in twelve of us — are armed in public every day.

Where we have records, we find that these armed citizens are more law-abiding than the police. They are also less likely to shoot the wrong person than the the typical cop on the beat. That’s another seldom-reported fact that doesn’t play well when your message is that only highly trained police officers should own and carry guns.

We are told that armed citizens are all too eager to engage in gunfights like something out of the OK Corral. We have to remember, though, that Hollywood dramas aren’t real. The truth is our armed neighbors are wonderfully reluctant to take a life. Lawful gun owners face millions of criminals a year yet they kill only a few hundred dangerous attackers in order to save themselves and other innocent lives.

In a strange coincidence, armed citizens and the police use lethal force to kill attackers almost exactly the same number of times each year. The great news is that criminals don’t want to be shot and they tend to run away about 80 percent of the time when they meet resistance from an armed victim. Our neighbors tend to stop shooting as soon as that happens. They then call the police and ask for help.

We’re told that we have to do something to stop the “epidemic of gun-violence” that is sweeping our country today. We are not told the murder rate was falling to a two decade low until the Covid lockdowns threw people out of work. But news media don’t mention that violence is highly localized and that most counties won’t have a single murder this year.

The breathless politicians don’t mention that violence is largely confined to our failed big cities. Or that two percent of our counties will account for half the murders in the United States.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Politicians use firearms and civilian gun ownership as excuses to paper over their failed policies and unkept political promises. But the mainstream media never mentions that. And they usually help them promote that narrative because they agree that Americans shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.

Most of us would never use a firearm in commission of a crime. If “gun violence” is an epidemic, then most of us are immune to it. The epidemic is misnamed and its virulence highly exaggerated. It is, in fact, criminals who spread violence, not honest gun owners.

We’re told that more gun control laws will stop these criminals from unlawfully using their illegally possessed guns. That almost makes sense the first time you hear it. Then you think about it for a few seconds and realize that gun control is a very old idea that’s failed time and time again.

We have over 23,000 firearms regulations on the books already — another thing you won’t hear about in the news — in this country and criminals break those laws every minute of every day. One of the reasons that gun control laws don’t work is that gun control only disarms law-abiding good guys, leaving the bad guys who break those laws pretty much alone. We have yet to see a county, a state, or a country make itself peaceful by disarming the good guys.

And fewer lawful gun owners will result in fewer instances of lawful defensive gun uses. That means more people victimized by criminals without the ability to defend themselves. When was the last time you heard about that outcome of more gun control laws in a news report?

It takes perspective to make good decisions. We need the news media to tell us about the lives that we save as well as the lives that criminals take with firearms. We need to know the whole story to understand if gun owner licensing, mandatory waiting periods, or “assault weapons” bans would do any good.

Will criminals obey “gun-free” zones or submit to background checks? Is a person who is having a mental health crisis still at risk after we take away her guns with “red flag” laws? Life is more complex than a Hollywood movie. The facts are out there. I’ve shared a few of them today. As we learn more about the whole story, we recognize when the news media is only telling us only half the truth.


This article originally appeared at Slow Facts and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. “We use firearms in legally justified self-defense about 4500 times a day.”

    Yeah, but that’s the low number of 1.67 million per year.

    As explained in the linked data…

    “The authors note that this number could be conservative and the real estimate might be closer to 2.8 million defensive gun incidents per year. This range is due to a few assumptions in their methodology (such as gun ownership rate and years people have owned a gun) which might be artificially reducing the incidents in the 1.67 million estimate.”

  2. “The fact is that our neighbors are armed and have been for decades.”

    I suspect my neighborhood is very much like the neighborhoods of other participants on this forum: heavily armed and well supplied with ammunition. There is no violence in my neighborhood. No murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries or anything else, and there hasn’t been for years. Any perp intent on evil intruding into our peaceful yet heavily-armed enclave would be dead in less than ten seconds.

    Dear God, I love this country.

    • With the record numbers of guns sold thanks to the unbelievable stupidity of the fascist left every neighborhood in America is heavily armed.

      When violence continues to happen in blue cities it has nothing to do with guns. Everything to do with the type of people that support the fascist left.

  3. “Politicians use firearms and civilian gun ownership as excuses to paper over their failed policies and unkept political promises.”

    Uh … no. Politicians want to disarm us so they can take away all of our rights and property. The fact they don’t do anything about crime is not a failure on their part. It is intentional. They want us to be victimized thinking we’ll be open to “solutions” from the government, “solutions” that usually involve taking away our rights and emptying our wallets.

    Cynical?? If you think so, you haven’t been paying attention.

    • How else is Supreme Commissar Dacian going to oversee the construction of the Great Lakes to Seattle canal if the workforce can resist?

  4. You can do whatever you want to do. I will not live in fear.

    You listen to the talking heads in the media and you will be lied to. You follow the Democrat party and you will be lead over a cliff. Spend too much time on social media and you will be driven insane.

    When it comes to guns, pay attention to people that actually know something about them. Otherwise it’s all pointless.

  5. Tell it Johnny! The un small arms treaty is all about control. They have to disarm us before they can institute a New World Order. Think it’s coincidence they are hiring 87,000 new IRS agents while trying to figure out how to go to a programmable digital dollar? Work hard so the government or your employer can tell you what you need!

  6. Oh they tell 100% of the story.
    It’s no accident that newsrooms of every network are increasingly being staffed by CIA, NSA and FBI assets. They brag about their Intel sector hires like we’re supposed to be impressed and find those credentials trustworthy.

    The stories are written and vetted by the same people who overthrow nations, bankrupt currencies and instigate wars.

    30% trusting the media is still too high a number. The anchor, the reporter, the banker and the politician are all lying to you for their own personal benefit. If they ever happen to let the truth slip it is only because for that moment in time the truth just happens to align with their prospects.

    It’s all a sell.

  7. Politicians with laws never stop bad guys with guns.
    They only control the good guys, which is their true agenda.

    . “That is why our masters in Washington are so anxious to disarm us. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of a populace which cannot be subdued by tyrants. ” – late Col Jeff Cooper.

  8. Picked up a Tee at NRA Convention in Houston….
    “With over 300,000,000 guns, and
    Over 1,000,000,000,000 rounds of ammo,
    if we were the problem
    you’d know it.

    This free student debt transfer to Productive Citizens might oughta change that….

    Taxes and repaying others’ bad college debt decisions are the penalties for being Productive Citizens.

    First American Revolution over taxation without representation.
    Second American Revolution over taxation BY representation….. and a plethora of other tyranny.

    Went to NRA Convention in Houston, leaving my guns (save EDCs…) and ammo “home alone.” Expected to find blood skid plate deep in the street upon return. To my surprise, not a drop of blood, not a single body in the street, not a single “lung blown out.”
    Guess my guns are just lazy under achievers……please, please don’t let them be Free Shit Addicted Government Plantation Dwellers……..come to think of it they never buy their own ammo……whoa is me…..

  9. As a 73 year old man, I have used firearms SEVEN times in my lifetime and never have had to fire a shot, all starting when I was 16 years of age. In four incidents I chased off trespassers trying to find a way into my home. One incident was halting a gang attack on an individual I know. One incident was making a squatter leave my garage. And the last incident was that same squatter attempting to attack me with a knife.when I caught him squatting in my garage a second time. This last one, the perp was arrested when found in a stolen car about 20 miles from my home. The gang attack was inner city, one attempted entry was in the suburbs and all the rest were in rural areas, like where I live now. Yes, I keep defensive firearms handy.

    • I wish all my times had been like yours where they all basically ran away, if they run away when you employ DGU that’s a good thing. I’ve had a few of those where they run away, but for several events I’ve had no other choice and no other way out but to actually fire.

  10. I believe it was Mark Twain that said if you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are mis-informed.

    • I realized the media were lying about guns since the late 80s when my interest went beyond mere historical and technical.

      When not out-and-out lying, the media is certainly exaggerating, distorting, or omitting when it suits their purpose and interests.

  11. We’ve had several days of rain here. Some dumbass was out snooping around the neighborhood last night early. Right before dark. Since we are out on a dirt track township road, and the only farmstead on the mile, there is no reason to park a 1/4 mile from the driveway and sneak through the fence, cross a swollen creek, and try to approach from behind the barns. Dogs treed the fool, and I kept him in the tree with the revolver I normally carry. Sherrif’s Deputy finally showed up and removed him. No shot fired, but the Deputy did find a little .380 in his pocket. Felon with a weapon charge and his vehicle was towed.
    Why anyone would be out in the rain snooping around so far from town, I don’t know nor care.
    Would this be a defensive gun use, or an ornery farm dog use?

  12. It’s never “this person killed another person with a gun.”
    It’s “the gun killed someone.”

    I have yet to see a gun sprout legs and start murdering on its own.

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