Jenny Price in the Washington Post is critical of anti-freedom lobbying groups for “thinking small“:
…what troubles me most is that the gun control lobby is pouring its
resources into battles that probably won’t save many lives — and we’re
losing even those.
The real problem is not that handguns aren’t safe or well-regulated
enough, or that you can’t sue and try to bankrupt a corrupt
manufacturer after someone you love has been killed. The problem is
that 65 million people in the United States own handguns.
And if the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which leads the gun
control crusade, continues to assure us that it won’t try to outlaw
Wouldn’t it make more sense to define the ultimate battle as one for a
national ban on handguns — the sole gun-control measure that promises
to save tens of thousands of lives? With an endgame that can actually
achieve the ultimate goal, perhaps we’d acquire the logical and moral
authority to win more of the smaller battles.
First off, I am extremely sorry for the tragic loss of her
brother to a someone using a gun. But it wasn’t a gun that killed him,
it was someone using a gun. That someone could have used a car, fire,
or a kitchen knife to do the same evil. It’s the user, not the tool,
that is evil.
Going on to the more important points it is she, Ms. Price, that is
guilty of “thinking small.” She has an extremely poor source of
information when she claims:
Of the 12,000 guns used to kill people every year, 160 are used in legitimate self-defense.
Ignoring that she confuses the number of guns used to kill people with
the number of people killed with guns (the same gun is often used to
kill several people) I suspect she got her number from the number of
initial charges of murder that were later dropped, or perhaps mixed up
the number of self-defenses in some small geographical area or short
time period and compared that to the number of people killed in the
entire nation during a year. In any case even the most casual of researchers
can find far more than 160 cases of legitimate self-defense in a year.
The real number, according to numerous studies, is somewhere between
one and three million per year–most of which don’t result in a shot
being fired and never make it into the news.
Hence, her error of “thinking small” has to do with her use of a very
small number for legitimate self-defense uses of firearms. Many
of the other numbers she uses are distorted or misleading as well.
Add to that Just One Question
which puts to rest the false promise of banning weapons to improve
public safety and I think Ms. Price should have sufficient material to
expand her thinking on the issue before she writes another opinion