Pistol-Whipped

. . . A common refrain from gun proponents after a deadly mass shooting is that if only somebody at the scene had been armed, lives would have been saved. This idea, which underpins most gun marketing efforts, overlooks two important points: that guns in the home are more likely to be used against their owners than against invaders; and that without sufficient training and practice, citizens should not expect to be able to defend themselves with a gun.

In many states, the requirements for a concealed carry permit do not go far enough to establish whether the applicant knows how to operate a firearm in a high-pressure situation. Combined with gun-industry-backed statutes like “stand your ground” laws, it’s a recipe for more gun violence.

The battle over guns should not be between gun owners and nonowners; it should be between a gun industry that wants to promote gun sales at all costs, and an American public that acknowledges that there are legitimate, public-health reasons to regulate the purchase and use of firearms.

A balance can be struck between protecting the individual right to bear arms and the individual need to be safe. Part of that work involves determining what policies are in the public interest, rather than in the gun industry’s interest.

via Diana Wueger for Democracy Journal: Pistol-Whipped.

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11 thoughts on “Pistol-Whipped

  1. A common refrain from gun proponents after a deadly mass shooting is that if only somebody at the scene had been armed, lives would have been saved

    That is a refrain said from experience; New Hope Church in Colorado, Pearl High School in Pearl Mississippi, Appalachian Law school, the mall in Utah…over and over again we’ve seen where the presence of a legally carried firearm has reduced the death toll.

    This idea, which underpins most gun marketing efforts, overlooks two important points: that guns in the home are more likely to be used against their owners than against invaders;

    Help me understand this; at least 35,000,000 households with firearms in them. Given that firearm related fatalities, including suicides, run around 30,000 a year. Suicides account for nearly 60% of those death. Research, time and time again has shown firearms are used to stop crime at rates greater than fatalities or even injuries (less than 90,000 per year). At a minimum, the National Crime Victim Survey found approximately 108,000 defensive gun uses. Kleck and Gertz found approximately 2.5 MILLION defensive gun uses.

    So just how are firearms being used against the owners more than invaders?

    that without sufficient training and practice, citizens should not expect to be able to defend themselves with a gun.

    Maybe someone needs to tell the citizens that. It seems they are doing a great job. Firearm related homicides, trending down, Firearm related violent crime, trending down. Firearm related fatalities, trending down, Firearm related injuries, trending down.
    Gun ownership, increasing. Number of people carrying firearm in public; increasing.

    Combined with gun-industry-backed statutes like “stand your ground” laws, it’s a recipe for more gun violence.

    Really? See earlier stats. Just not happening.

    The battle over guns should not be between gun owners and nonowners; it should be between a gun industry that wants to promote gun sales at all costs, and an American public that acknowledges that there are legitimate, public-health reasons to regulate the purchase and use of firearms.

    We already do regulate the purchase and use of firearms. Are the current laws not sufficient?
    And if they aren’t; what changes can be made to them that will increase public safety?

  2. Is that your opinion “would not make the USA a safer place” or do you have statistical data to back that up?

    And does the exercise of a specifically enumerated, constitutionally protected right depend on an increase in safety?

    As far as the ABC “study” — that is a rigged game that really doesn’t prove a darn thing.
    Just some of the examples of how they rigged it.

    1.) the students practiced without gloves but had to wear gloves during the scenario
    2.) the students ‘practiced’ with the holster outside of clothing but wore their shirts covering holster during the scenario.
    3.) the clothing picked for the scenario does not reflect what is commonly used by those who carry concealed.
    4.) the ‘aggressor’ knew where the student was sitting every time –it was the same location each test.
    5.) the ‘aggressor’ targeted the student exclusively each time instead of firing at people randomly.

    Given the information I mentioned previously –108,000 to 2,500,000 Defensive gun uses per year; how can you say that people carrying isn’t making the country safer?

    Violent crimes have been decreasing year after year generally. So have firearm related homicides and injuries.

    • No, 3boxesofbs, you aren’t missing something. I try to post articles on a range of issues, from domestic violence to mental health and more. Guns are just one of many topics that fall within our “sphere” of advocating non-violence. We are not a political organization and I try to remain as politically neutral as possible, though gun articles seem to raise some concern. Maybe I won’t post any more gun articles–I’ll have to think about that.

  3. We are not a political organization and I try to remain as politically neutral as possible, though gun articles seem to raise some concern.

    Not sure how anything I said could be “political” — I’m trying to address the issue of how to combat violence. Maybe my concerns about actually protecting civil liberties while doing so is considered political here?

    If you disagree with the data presented, I’ll be happy to discuss that. Because isn’t that what this post was about ? Using data (or the appearance of data) to justify additional gun control laws?

    an American public that acknowledges that there are legitimate, public-health reasons to regulate the purchase and use of firearms.

    • I do not wish to get into a gun control debate. Guns are fine with me. Though I don’t own one now, I used to enjoy sharpshooting when I was a Boy Scout. And I was trained in how to safely handle and use a firearm, then, before I was even allowed to touch a weapon. So maybe that is why I chose to reprint this article, because it makes a point about safety and that the public interest needs to be considered along with the individuals 2nd Amendment rights.

    • Color me confused — you reprint an article that calls for additional restrictions on our rights, that attacks ‘stand your ground laws’, slanders an industry as wanting to “to promote gun sales at all costs” but you don’t want to get into a gun control debate??

      And I was trained in how to safely handle and use a firearm, then, before I was even allowed to touch a weapon.

      I agree and think safety should be part of every person’s up bringing. Heck, let’s make it a part of the school curriculum — if we can teach global warming, sex education, stranger danger in school; surely we can teach kids how to safely handle firearms?

      This is exactly the debate, the conversation we need to have in this country.
      Don’t run away from it. I’m trying understand how articles like this further your goals of reducing violence.

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