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Fact checking some of the gun lobby's favorite arguments shows they're full of holes.

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10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down

Fact checking some of the gun lobby's favorite arguments shows they're full of holes.

| Thu Jan. 31, 2013 3:01 AM PST

By cutting off federal funding for research and stymieing data collection and sharing, the National Rifle Association has tried to do to the study of gun violence what climate deniers have done to the science of global warming. No wonder: When it comes to hard numbers, some of the gun lobby's favorite arguments are full of holes.

Myth #1: They're coming for your guns.
Fact-check: No one knows the exact number of guns in America, but it's clear there's no practical way to round them all up (never mind that no one in Washington is proposing this). Yet if you fantasize about rifle-toting citizens facing down the government, you'll rest easy knowing that America's roughly 80 million gun owners already have the feds and cops outgunned by a factor of around 79 to 1.

Sources: Congressional Research Service (PDF), Small Arms Survey

Myth #2: Guns don't kill people—people kill people.
Fact-check: People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates. Also, gun death rates tend to be higher in states with higher rates of gun ownership.

Sources: PediatricsCenters for Disease Control

Myth #3: An armed society is a polite society.
Fact-check: Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively.
• Among Texans convicted of serious crimes, those with concealed-handgun licenses were sentenced for threatening someone with a firearm 4.8 times more than those without.
• In states with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, those policies have been linked to a 7 to 10% increase in homicides.

Myth #4: More good guys with guns can stop rampaging bad guys.
Fact-check: Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years: 0
• Chances that a shooting at an ER involves guns taken from guards: 1 in 5

Myth #5: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.
Fact-check: Owning a gun has been linked to higher risk of homicidesuicide, and accidental death by gun. 
• For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home. 
• 43% of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm. 
• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.

Myth #6: Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer.
Fact-check: In 2011, nearly 10 times more people were shot and killed in arguments than bycivilians trying to stop a crime.
• In one survey, nearly 1% of Americans reported using guns to defend themselves or their property. However, a closer look at their claims found that more than 50% involved using guns in an aggressive manner, such as escalating an argument.
• A Philadelphia study found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun. His odds of being killed were 4.2 times greater.

Myth #7: Guns make women safer.
Fact-check: In 2010, nearly 6 times more women were shot by husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners than murdered by male strangers.
• A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than 7 times if he has access to a gun.
• One study found that women in states with higher gun ownership rates were 4.9 times more likely to be murdered by a gun that women in states with lower gun ownership rates.

Myth #8: "Vicious, violent video games" deserve more blame than guns.
Fact-check: So said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre after Newtown. So what's up with Japan?

 United StatesJapan
Per capita spending 
on video games
$44$55
Civilian firearms 
per 100 people
880.6
Gun homicides 
in 2008
11,03011

Sources: PricewaterhouseCoopersSmall Arms Survey (PDF), UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Myth #9: More and more Americans are becoming gun owners. 
Fact-check: More guns are being sold, but they're owned by a shrinking portion of the population. 
• About 50% of Americans said they had a gun in their homes in 1973. Today, about 45% say they do. Overall, 35% of Americans personally own a gun.
• Around 80% of gun owners are men. On average they own 7.9 guns each.

Myth #10: We don't need more gun laws—we just need to enforce the ones we have.
Fact-check:
 Weak laws and loopholes backed by the gun lobby make it easier to get guns illegally.
• Around 40% of all legal gun sales involve private sellers and don't require background checks. 40% of prison inmates who used guns in their crimes got them this way.
• An investigation found 62% of online gun sellers were willing to sell to buyers who said they couldn't pass a background check.
• 20% of licensed California gun dealers agreed to sell handguns to researchers posing as illegal "straw" buyers.
• The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has not had a permanent directorfor 6 years, due to an NRA-backed requirement that the Senate approve nominees.

Icons in gun ownership chart: Handgun designed by Simon Child, rifle designed by Nadav Barkan, shotgun designed by Ammar Ceker, all from the Noun Project

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Replies (11-20):
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:14 AM
5 moms liked this

but... but, if only the children were properly schooled, they would know better than to touch a gun ... *sarcasm*


Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:18 AM
9 moms liked this

I agree.

I am often baffled by the accounts that some give about the number of situations they've been in where the gun came in handy. 

As an example, G Zimmerman who appears to have escalated a benign situation to murder because he was armed.

Quoting katy_kay08:

This fact I found particularly interesting as it appears to support a personal observation and something I've said many times before.  Often times it appears people with carry skip common conflict resolution steps and go straight for pulling their gun.  

I had a friend who often talked about the number of times he has escalated a road rage incident that ended with him and the other person pulling their guns on each other.  My feeling on hearing these stories wasn't that there were more angry drivers, but rather he had a tendency to skip the rational response to someone cutting you off on the freeway because he felt powerful carrying a weapon.     

I've heard similar stories from other concealed weapons carriers.  

Quote:

Myth #3: An armed society is a polite society.
Fact-check: Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively.
• Among Texans convicted of serious crimes, those with concealed-handgun licenses were sentenced for threatening someone with a firearm 4.8 times more than those without.
• In states with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, those policies have been linked to a 7 to 10% increase in homicides.


NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM
2 moms liked this

I am not anti-gun and I agree with all of this....My family has always hunted and wild game has been a large part of our diets. It is much better for the environment and for our health than getting our protein sources through agri-business.

It is the zealots, the gun-hoarders, militia wanna be's, the super paranoid and Ted Nugents of our culture that needs to be addressed.  This part is amazing, but not surprising:

Myth #9: More and more Americans are becoming gun owners. 
Fact-check: More guns are being sold, but they're owned by a shrinking portion of the population. 
• About 50% of Americans said they had a gun in their homes in 1973. Today, about 45% say they do. Overall, 35% of Americans personally own a gun.
• Around 80% of gun owners are men. On average they own 7.9 guns each.


North West Passage

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:22 AM
1 mom liked this

Even it that were true, there will be children who visit the house who may not be as "informed" and manage to shoot themselves....And I have heard folks on CM say the dead child's parents are at fault in that instance because they did not share the same perspective about fire arms in the house.....And in the same thread say they would lie or avoid the question if asked if they had a gun in their home before a play date because it wasn't any of their business.

Quoting Sekirei:

but... but, if only the children were properly schooled, they would know better than to touch a gun ... *sarcasm*



North West Passage

OneDay.
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:23 AM

bump 

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:24 AM
1 mom liked this

Makes me wonder if I should let my son go to other children's homes.

Quoting NWP:

Even it that were true, there will be children who visit the house who may not be as "informed" and manage to shoot themselves....And I have heard folks on CM say the dead child's parents are at fault in that instance because they did not share the same perspective about fire arms in the house.....And in the same thread say they would lie or avoid the question if asked if they had a gun in their home before a play date because it wasn't any of their business.

Quoting Sekirei:

but... but, if only the children were properly schooled, they would know better than to touch a gun ... *sarcasm*




NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Then there is this:

Sick Of The Constant Gun Control Talk? Give This Chart 8 Seconds To Change Your Mind.

Every day a nation waits before talking about gun control substantially lowers the likelihood that any progress will be made. Since we couldn't make any sweeping changes after the Gifford shooting, Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Aurora, I suspect the only way forward is through consistent action. No, we can not wait to discuss the politics of a mass shooting. If we do that we substantially lower our chances of doing anything.
Rollie Williams More from Rollie »
This graph shows the spike in the amount of times gun control is discussed after a tragedy. It also shows just how quickly talk of gun control fades in the aftermath. Could this phenomenon account for the lack of gun control legislation over the past 12 years?

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:28 AM
1 mom liked this

Yeah....I have repeatedly told my children to NEVER touch a gun if they come across one, and it one of their buddies brings one out to leave the room immediately and tell an adult...But for CHRIST sake! They are KIDS! AS this part of the article points out:

• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.

Quoting Sekirei:

Makes me wonder if I should let my son go to other children's homes.

Quoting NWP:

Even it that were true, there will be children who visit the house who may not be as "informed" and manage to shoot themselves....And I have heard folks on CM say the dead child's parents are at fault in that instance because they did not share the same perspective about fire arms in the house.....And in the same thread say they would lie or avoid the question if asked if they had a gun in their home before a play date because it wasn't any of their business.

Quoting Sekirei:

but... but, if only the children were properly schooled, they would know better than to touch a gun ... *sarcasm*





North West Passage

Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM

My dad was always completely honest about where his  guns were and the fact that he kept them loaded. Granted, that meant some of my friends weren't allowed over, but, all of the parent's appreciated his honesty. 

My sister and I never touched them. They were all hunting rifles (one or two were WWI or from the Russo-Turkish war, so those were never fired.) 

With Kaelan, he knows not to touch, but, he is also very impressionable and I am not sure that he would actually say anything to an adult until after the damage was done. 

Quoting NWP:

Yeah....I have repeatedly told my children to NEVER touch a gun if they come across one, and it one of their buddies brings one out to leave the room immediately and tell an adult...But for CHRIST sake! They are KIDS! AS this part of the article points out:

• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.

Quoting Sekirei:

Makes me wonder if I should let my son go to other children's homes.

Quoting NWP:

Even it that were true, there will be children who visit the house who may not be as "informed" and manage to shoot themselves....And I have heard folks on CM say the dead child's parents are at fault in that instance because they did not share the same perspective about fire arms in the house.....And in the same thread say they would lie or avoid the question if asked if they had a gun in their home before a play date because it wasn't any of their business.

Quoting Sekirei:

but... but, if only the children were properly schooled, they would know better than to touch a gun ... *sarcasm*






LadyBugMom09
by Silver Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this
So if people/government don't want to ban guns some day in the distant future, what is the point of this post?? Is it trying to discourage people from buying guns? Is it to prove we shouldn't have guns??

I don't just take statistics without an explanation. I would like a breakdown on the circumstances surrounding the numbers.

I don't own a gun, BTW, and don't want to. But the constitution protects the right to own them. Period.
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