Thursday, October 29, 2015
The New York Times' Pitiful Anti-Gun Propaganda
The New York Times is out with its latest anti-gun screed of an editorial. This one is about the supposed “fantasy” that carrying a concealed weapon makes you safer. “This foolhardy notion of quick-draw resistance … is dramatically contradicted by a research project showing that, since 2007, at least 763 people have been killed in 579 shootings that did not involve self-defense,” the Times editorial board (mis)informs us. “Tellingly, the vast majority of these concealed-carry, licensed shooters killed themselves or others rather than taking down a perpetrator. The death toll includes 29 mass killings of three or more people by concealed carry shooters who took 139 lives; 17 police officers shot to death, and — in the ultimate contradiction of concealed carry as a personal safety factor — 223 suicides. Compared with the 579 non-self-defense, concealed-carry shootings, there were only 21 cases in which self-defense was determined to be a factor.”
The “research” was conducted by the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a vehemently anti-gun group masquerading as a serious policy organization. (Beware anti-gun leftists wielding statistics on guns.) Even the Times acknowledges that VPC’s research is “necessarily incomplete” — but blames the “gun lobby.”
What’s incomplete is the analysis. First, suicides should be considered separately. Second, the study had to cover a period of seven years to get numbers that sounded scary enough. Third, given the millions of concealed carry permit holders in the country, we’d be surprised if the murder rate was higher than that of the general population. According to the FBI’s crime stats — which the VPC says it uses — nearly as many people were killed by hands and feet in one year as by concealed carriers over seven years. Fourth, would the VPC be satisfied if there were more deadly defensive gun uses? They don’t seem concerned with the number of incidents in which the mere presence or brandishing of a firearm is enough to deter the crime, or the number of times the good guys simply wounded the bad ones. Finally, how would the Times explain the 30% drop in all gun-related deaths over the last two decades coinciding with a huge increase in the number of people who concealed carry?
The Times is correct that “concealed carry does not transform ordinary citizens into superheroes,” but that’s a false choice. Carrying a firearm does give ordinary citizens a fighting chance — unless they’re in a Times-approved “gun free zone.” More to the point, the Second Amendment is the “palladium of liberties” and isn’t rendered moot by crime statistics.