Yesterday, via email, I received the latest edition of a monthly newsletter from the National Rifle Association (NRA) called the “NRA ARMED CITIZEN -- True stories of your right to self-defense in action.” The newsletter reported 17 incidents of individuals successfully using guns either at home or their place of business to thwart intruders or burglars. The first of the incidents was dated July 8, 2013; the last one was dated August 10, 2013 -- a period of 34 days.
However, the NRA ARMED CITIZEN didn’t mention that during the same 34-day period, based on average numbers, 2,856 Americans were killed by a gun, and another 6,562 were wounded by one. So for each “good” use of a gun during those 34 days, there were 554 “bad” uses of a gun. Granted, the NRA might not have reported or been aware of all the “true stories of self-defense in action” that occurred during that 34-day period, but I doubt they missed 537 of them in order for the “good” numbers to at least equal the “bad” ones.
The newsletter also failed to mention that if there is a gun in a home, it is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure a member of the gun-owner’s family (due to domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting) than to be used in self-defense (source: www.bradycampaign.org).
I don’t know anyone who would go out shopping for their family and buy a product that was 554 times as likely to hurt rather than help the general population. Or 22 times more likely to hurt rather than help a family member.
Yet, when it comes to those little hand-held killing machines we call guns, too many Americans are willing to suspend rational thinking. That’s good for the NRA and other such gun-rights groups and their lobbyists. And it’s good for the gun and ammo manufactures and their well-paid executives. But it’s not so good for the 100,000 or so Americans either killed or wounded by guns every single year.
Want to help reduce this carnage? Call, write, email, or FAX your representatives in Washington, D.C. and tell them to support common sense gun control. Do it today. And do it again next week. And do it again every week after that until they get the message.
You’ll find contact information here: