Leave it to the mega-minds at the Violence Policy Center to look at an incident in which nine defenseless people were slaughtered and come away with another spurious argument for more gun control. In this case, it’s the NRA’s fault. Oh, and don’t forget to save some blame for GLOCK, too. Remember, since Dylann Roof chose one of Smyrna’s finest to commit his heinous act, Americans’ right to armed self defense needs to be curtailed. Or something like that. Anyway, make the jump for their latest email blast . . .
Dear Violence Policy Center Supporter,
The horrific, racially motivated shooting in Charleston that killed nine innocent people was only the latest tragedy in our national gun violence epidemic. South Carolina’s decision to take down the Confederate flag was long overdue, but it also isn’t nearly enough. Nationwide, weak gun laws and easy access to increasingly lethal firearms have made it inevitable that similar events will keep happening, over and over again. The only way to prevent such tragedies is to take action.
In the wake of this tragedy, the Violence Policy Center is educating the public about gun violence and advocating for stronger gun laws. If you are able to do so, I hope you will support our work by making a donation to the VPC now.
Here’s one more reason to be outraged. Right after the shooting, an NRA board member, Charles Cotton, made the shocking claim that one of the victims was to blame for his own death. He claimed that because the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney had worked as a state legislator to limit the carrying of concealed handguns, the victims “might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church.”
The NRA board member’s claim is outrageous and unconscionable — and as VPC research shows, it is also very wrong.
The morning before the shooting, the VPC released a new study destroying the NRA myth that private citizens often use guns in self-defense. In the study, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, we found that this gun lobby propaganda simply has no basis in reality.
The study found that for private citizens, the use of guns in lethal self-defense is extremely rare. In 2012, there were only 259 justifiable homicides by a private citizen using a firearm, compared to 8,342 criminal homicides. That means for every civilian justifiable homicide in the United States there were 32 criminal homicides.
We also detailed how uncommon it is for private citizens to brandish a gun in self-defense. Over a five-year period, less than one percent of the victims of attempted or completed violent crime used a gun in self-defense. Only one-tenth of one percent of the victims of attempted or completed property crime used a gun in self-defense.
The NRA would like us to believe that by arming ourselves in our churches, schools, and other public places, we will successfully defend ourselves from mass shootings. The facts tell us otherwise: The way to reduce gun violence is to reduce access to firearms, not buy more of them.
Following the shooting, our study on guns and self-defense was cited in prominent news outlets across the country including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Yahoo! News, and many more. I hope you’ll share our fact sheet on the study with your friends and colleagues so that together, we can continue to fight NRA myths with reality.
The VPC also released a separate study to educate the public on the Glock semiautomatic pistol reportedly used in the Charleston attack. Glock pistols have been used in some of the most notorious mass shootings of recent years, including Virginia Tech and Aurora. The Charleston attack is just the latest horrific example of the price we pay for the gun industry’s relentless push to sell increasingly lethal semiautomatic weapons equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines: the common thread that runs through virtually all mass shootings. In addition, we released a backgrounderon black homicide victimization in South Carolina.
Each year, tens of thousands of American lives are cut short by gun violence. If you have the means to do so, please consider a donation to the VPC and help us continue our important work to end this public health crisis.
And thank you, as always, for your continued support.