By Rob Morse
Facts are important, but knowledge is even better. Thousands of people die each year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs. Perspective tells us that at the same time, modern medicines save millions of lives.
It is a piece of the puzzle to know that we have over 30 thousand fatal car crashes each year. But we need to see the whole picture to understand we’d live in a vastly different society and be at greater risk if we were riding horses or walking to work every day.
Likewise, we see criminals and crazy people use firearms to hurt others. What we are not shown nearly as often (for some reason) is when honest citizens use firearms in self-defense and to stop mass murder.
I want to look at the whole picture rather than just the twisted images we are fed by the mainstream media. Of course shock and outrage sell advertising, but we need to know how often guns are used to save lives in America.
Violent crime is real and we are at risk. In order to understand how often we defend ourselves with a gun, you first have to see how much violent crime happens every day. We saw criminals commit about 1.2 million violent crimes in 2019, and as many as 4.5 million in 2020. That’s over 12,000 violent crimes each day. Violent crime includes aggravated assault, robbery, rape, non-negligent manslaughter, and murder. Recent data shows that criminals used a firearm in a violent crime over a third of a million times each year.
Taking all the guns away from criminals wouldn’t stop violent crime. Only eight percent of violent crimes involve the criminal using a firearm. That means if we somehow disarm every criminal and all the honest citizens, most violent crime would still continue as before. The difference is, more of the victims would be disarmed. We aren’t told how few criminals use a gun by the FBI or by the news media. Instead, we believe what we see from Hollywood where every bad guy has a machine gun
Many honest citizens own firearms. About 4-in-10 of us live in a home where someone owns a firearm. If you don’t have a firearm in your home, then your neighbor probably does. It horrifies people like Gavin Newsom, Kathy Hochul and Phil Murphy, but that’s true even in rabidly anti-gun states like California, New York, and New Jersey.
Self-defense is common, too. We defend ourselves with a firearm more than 4,300 times a day. That is a conservative number and some researchers have put the average closer to 6,800 times a day. That is good news, but the better news is we don’t have to press the trigger very often. Usually we shout that we have a gun and the burglar runs away. We only pull the trigger in one out of five defensive uses of a gun. The number of criminals who were killed by gun owners is almost exactly the same number of criminals who were shot and killed by the police. That’s less than a thousand a year. Gun owners stop a lot of crimes and save a lot of lives while showing a great deal of restraint. I wonder why we don’t hear much about these self-defense stories every day since armed citizens are so virtuous.
The news distorts our picture of the world. We read about armed criminals robbing a convenience store. The news shows us when a crazy person commits mass murder to get their face and their manifesto on the news. In contrast, we have to dig to find a story where guns save lives. In fact, armed defense is several times more common than the criminal uses of a firearm. Given how often they happen, the media over-report the criminal uses and vastly under-report lawful armed self-defense. The distortion isn’t a few percent, but over a thousand fold. No wonder we don’t have a clear picture of gun use in the United States.
You may think that gun control laws would stop some violent criminals from using a gun That’s because you and I follow society’s rules. We work and plan so that we don’t hurt other people. Criminals hurt people every day. They plan to hurt their victims and they want to do it easily and reliably. They commit robbery, assault, rape and murder and they don’t care if a law says they can’t have a gun in their hand or in their car as they drive away from the scene of the crime. We already have over 23,000 firearms regulations on the books. If gun control stopped criminals from breaking he law, we’d already live in the utopia civilian disarmament advocates dream of. Sadly, some of those laws actually do more harm than good.
We have not found a way to disarm criminals without also disarming honest citizens. Looking at the data, it appears that making more disarmed victims actually makes it easier for violent criminals to commit crimes and victimize them. For each criminal who uses a gun in the commission of a violent crime, there are about a dozen violent criminals who did not. If we disarmed all the violent criminals who use guns, then the other criminals would still continue to go about their criminal business. We wouldn’t reduce crime much at all. Perversely, what gun control has actually done is to leave many honest citizens disarmed. Putting up more procedural and financial hurdles to owning and carrying a gun discourages people from owner them. Armed self-defense is so frequent that disarming more of the good guys means more good people will be victimized or injured.
What is true of common street crime is even more applicable when we look at mass murder and celebrity murder. Many of our gun control laws have made mass murder easier for killers. We know that most mass murderers aren’t afraid to die, but they are afraid of failing. Creating “gun-free zones” means creating spaces where aspiring mass murderers know their intended victims will be disarmed and easy to kill. It turns out that thin plastic “No Guns” signs protect the property owner, but they don’t protect the customers. “No-guns allowed” signs stop lawsuits, but they don’t stop bullets. Mass murderers look for so-called “gun-free” zones 98 percent of the time. That’s far too often to be a coincidence.
If we want to fine gun manufacturers because a criminal used a gun, we should also fine politicians who created the “gun-free” zones where criminals hunt us.
Fortunately, we know what stops mass murderers. About one of every twelve adults are legally armed in public today. These honest citizens have stopped more than half of the mass-murders — before police can get there — where potential victims were allowed to go armed. Honest gun owners stop violence in public just as they stop violence in their homes.
As we already know the M.S. Media uses terms like Gunned Down and get all liberal and emotional they interview the useful idiots who surrender their guns and pose for the 6:00 News and after just about every mass shooting they want t o ban and confiscate guns not do a thing the keep violent felons off the streets their liberal media bias reaches the gutter level
Actually, “Stop and Frisk” did, but the left valued the Constitutional rights of criminals over the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of taxpaying citizens. In the world of gun control, SOMEONE’S rights are going to be violated. I prefer it be the criminal’s, not mine.
Absolutely. This extends to prosecutors and judges that let violent criminals go free. Put a little liability on THEIR plates and see how “humane” they are.
This is a concise distillation of Democrat competence. The release criminals from jail, refuse prosecute violent crimes and make it nearly impossible for law abiding citizens to defend themselves. Crime is rampant and in Democrat districts, taxpayers are nothing but potential and eventual victims. Anyone that accepts that as a way of life (by voting for and supporting these hypocrites) is as stupid as stupid can be.