A recent editorial in The New York Times unmasks the NRA’s fanatical anti-gun control position for what it really is: a dangerous, even murderous stance that is all about profit and not protection. There can no longer be any doubt that more guns means more deaths, not fewer deaths. And that includes avoidable, criminal, even deranged shootings. The NRA has always claimed that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, and that more guns means a safer America. These claims, it turns out, are bald-faced lies. The Times editorial cites a new report issued by the Violence Policy Center which compiles data on gun-related deaths. The study found that “…in research involving 722 deaths in 544 concealed-carry shootings in 36 states and the District of Columbia, only 16 cases were eventually ruled lawful self-defense — even though this has been a major gun rights selling point for the new laws. More gravely, the study found that the fatalities included 17 law enforcement officers shot by people with legal permits along with 705 slain civilians. There were 28 mass shootings (involving three or more victims) in which 136 people were killed — even though concealed carry has also been sold as a defense against massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn. In studying the 544 shootings, the center found 177 cases where people with gun licenses were ultimately convicted of crimes, including homicides, and 218 cases where the permit holder used the gun to commit suicide. There were 44 total lives taken by licensed individuals who first murdered others, then committed suicide.”
The Times editorial adds that, “The full death toll attributable to concealed carry is undoubtedly larger because the center’s study did not cover all 50 states. Lawmakers dare not allow a national tally, so badly needed, to be kept by the government. No one is sure how many citizens now legally carry guns, but estimates run beyond 11 million nationally with many statehouse agendas pursuing even more permits.”
This is just more proof of what sane people already know: an NRA-loving, right-wing, white Christian male with a gun is a dangerous animal, and it is best to avoid the species at all costs.