And it won’t help you to stop a shooting in progress.
Trent Franks is the latest to join in on a tired, old, easily disprovable refrain by claiming that what America needs in order to stop gun violence is more guns. He said, “I wish there had been one more gun there that day in the hands of a responsible person, that’s all I have to say”.
Let’s review the facts.
- For every ten US citizens there are nine guns, making the US the most heavily armed nation in the world.
- 40 – 50% of all US households own a firearm.
- There were 13,636 murders in America in 2009. 68% of those murders were committed using firearms.
I couldn’t find statistics on how many crimes are stopped annually by armed citizens, but I can tell you that after two hours of searching, I found a whopping six examples over the past two years. That was after combing every whackadodle pro-gun site I could find. They celebrate those six miracles in perpetuity and hold them up as examples of why America needs to be more heavily armed.
I refer to those cases as miracles because they’re so fucking rare, relative to the gun statistics above, that they may as well be immaculate conceptions. And I’m fairly certain that I now have more tangible examples of an armed citizen mitigating a gun crime than any asshat that makes that claim.
I actually found more examples of shootings being stopped by an unarmed civilian, as we saw in the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.
In a state where a permit is not required to carry a concealed weapon, a 61 year old unarmed woman went after the shooter. Where were all of the gun toting tough guys? Why do they never seem to be around when you need them? This shooting happened at a fucking Safeway, so you can’t say that the place was exclusively filled with democratic pussies. Where were the John Waynes?
The heroes in this shooting were a 61 year old unarmed woman and a gay Latino. Suck on that, Trent Franks.
It always feels to me like NRA members have batshit crazy opinions about guns in America. Probably because the NRA draws batshit crazy lines in the sand. It turns out that Wayne LaPierre (head of the NRA) is a minority nutjob, representing people that aren’t so nutty.
Frank Luntz was commissioned by Mike Bloomberg to do a poll of NRA members last year. He got some fascinating results.
- 82% of NRA members and 86% of non-NRA gun owners support prohibiting suspected terrorists from being able to buy guns.
- 69% of NRA members and 85% of all non-NRA gun owners support background checks at gun shows.
Here’s the one where they lost me, but the numbers aren’t as bad as I would have thought them to be;
58% of all NRA members and 36% of non-NRA gun owners oppose a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
That one is a little nutty since the only use for an automatic or semi-automatic weapon, is to kill a lot of people very quickly. But the good news is that the NRA only has four million members so most gun owners in America are not NRA members and they’re not crazy.
Most Americans are for banning semi-automatic and automatic weapons. If Clinton’s ban were still in place, Loughner would not have been able to walk into Walmart and buy a clip with 33 rounds in it. He would have had to follow Sarah Palin’s advice and reload after firing off 10 shots. Does anyone besides Wayne LaPierre actually think that the ban wouldn’t have saved lives in this situation?
Sadly, I suspect that this will be another situation where most Americans overwhelmingly agree on something, but a lone asshole like Wayne LaPierre will override the will of the American people.
Someone needs to start an organization to represent non-extremist gun owners and non-gun owners alike.