Gun control advocates love to talk about ‘gun deaths.’ As if those malicious guns somehow decide to kill innocent boys and girls in the prime of their young lives. In reality, the majority of so-called gun deaths aren’t homicides or murders. Instead, the dirty little not-so-secret truth is much less ominous: they are suicides.
Gun grabbers never mention how many millions of times each year that guns thwart violent crime. From the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE):
Guns Prevent Thousands of Crimes Every Day, Research Shows
It never fails. A split-second after a mass shooting occurs, grandstanders and ideologues issue statements demanding new gun controls—even if the laws already on the books failed or the laws they want would have made no difference. Case in point: the tragic incidents in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in early August 2019.
The message is clear: Guns cause violence. Tax them, take them, ban them, regulate them. Do something, maybe anything! Such knee-jerk, emotional responses are dangerous, writes Charles W. Cooke in National Review, “for when a nation sets up a direct pipeline between its emotions and its laws, it does not keep its liberty for long.”
Guns Don’t Kill People, They Save Them
Liberty isn’t the only thing likely to be lost when gun laws are passed to appease emotions over reason, evidence, logic, and rights. Lives will most assuredly be lost, too. Lots of them.
This raises a point amplified in another context almost two centuries ago by Frederic Bastiat in his famous essay with a title that sums it up, “That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen.”
How many lives are actually saved by gun ownership? This is a supremely important question that the grandstanders and ideologues usually—and conveniently—ignore. It’s a matter that came immediately to my mind when I learned of an incident here in my own town of Newnan, Georgia, a few days ago. The headline in the Newnan Times-Herald read, “Man Hospitalized After Being Shot Outside Bar.”
Not only do gun control advocates ignore crimes thwarted and lives saved, they also misrepresent the nature of the vast majority of firearm-related deaths. But once in a while the truth sneaks out from the legacy media.
From the Bellevue Reporter:
Report: 70 percent of gun deaths in Washington are attributable to suicide
Research done at The Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center suggest three policy solutions to help reduce rates of firearm injury and suicide.
Recent reports from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 39,000 people died from firearm injuries in the U.S. in 2018, including 24,432 by gun suicide.
Dr. Frederick P. Rivara, author of the study, said 70 percent of firearm deaths in Washington state are due to suicide.
Rivara’s study examined three means of intervention that allow for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis to separate themselves from their firearm and in turn create a safer environment for themselves and their family.
How many of us have known strong and independent people with age- or disease-related quality-of-life issues who choose to end their lives on their terms rather than linger for months or possibly years alone in a nursing home? I certainly do. You probably do as well.
The Bellevue Reporter story covers ways in which gun control advocates love to promote the prevention of suicides including temporary storage by others, voluntary “do not sell” lists and red flag orders.
It’s no secret that most firearm-related deaths in the US are suicides, not homicides. That’s been the case for decades.
Some will say that if we only regulated firearm ownership more closely or banned guns altogether, suicides would fall dramatically. In reality, Japan has very few guns in civilian ownership yet their suicide rate exceed that of us gun-toting Americans by a wide margin.
Maybe it’s not the guns that are the problem. And don’t forget that guns certainly do save far more innocent lives than they take.