Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Monday, March 2, 2015

Risk of death from legally owned firearms

Yes, it has been over a month since my last post. Surgery on my back and other issues has been part of the reason. Today, however, I read on another blog of the fear fostered by those who hate firearms, wherein such hoplophobes (people who are afraid of weapons) claim ridiculous, lying statistics about how many people die from firearms each year in America.

A quick search at the CDC - the Center for Disease Control, a federally funded organization which studies diseases such as the bubonic plague, ebola, and other infectious diseases - indicates that only 505 accidental deaths were caused by forearms in 2013 (the last date that data for such deaths was available on their own web site.* It should be noted that the CDC is not funded to do research on the number of gun injuries or deaths that occur. Their mandate is research concerning infectious diseases only. Their publication of statistics concerning guns is a strictly political move encouraged and allowed by the presidential administrations in control at the time. * ). The number is - of course - higher if you include intentional deaths due to firearms - such as gang-related criminal shootings, police shootings of innocent people, and suicides. Even then, the number is lower than 5000, with the majority of those being criminal shootings.

Years ago, the haters who got together to create the Brady Center for Handgun Control (which changed its name once or twice to hide what it was doing), and other leftist groups trying to make the possession of firearms illegal in our country, published completely fake, made-up, statistics for handgun injuries in the home. They claimed that handguns kept in the home were four times as likely to cause injury or death as in homes where there was no handgun present. Simple study and research proved that this statistic was a lie, that the numbers were grossly inflated by this group, in an attempt to make everyone believe their lie.

If we accept and permit the use of the number 5000 (per the CDC) as to how many deaths there were (either that year, or each year on average) due to the misuse of firearms - from either criminal misuse, police misuse (as in the shooting of innocent people), or suicide (as opposed to deaths from guns in the home, which were far fewer), we discover an interesting fact: it is either 0.125% or 0.25% the number of deaths due to medical misadventure - deaths due to mistakes made by doctors, medical staff, or hospitals. 5000 deaths as opposed to either 200,000 or 400,000, depending upon whether you accept the higher or lower figure provided by those seeking an accurate answer versus the "politically correct" answer. So, medical deaths were sat least four times more likely to kill you than a gun in the home. The exact opposite of what the Bradley cretins were claiming.

Someone - Sam Clemens (Mark Twain), was it? - said there are "lies, damned lies, and statistics". So many so-called "statistics" are made-up, totally false numbers, that quoting them almost immediately brands you as a liar, as someone trying to mislead you from the truth. Instead, let us simply say that a very small fraction of gun deaths are due to guns in the home or guns in the hands of legal gun owners. Not that even a small number is desirable, at least, but neither are deaths from any other kinds of accidents. Cars in the home kill far more people that guns in the home, by a very wide margin.

So, whether or not you like guns, own a gun, or carry a gun, it is demonstrably wrong to believe the fools who insist that they are unsafe, or responsible for so many deaths. Cars are far more likely to kill, yet they are no more inherently unsafe than guns. In fact, there are certainly far more cars unsafe due to poor maintenance than guns due to poor maintenance or construction. Even the misuse of guns is less likely to cause death than the misuse of an automobile. Consider how many more vehicles there are than guns, and how many more times cars are used than guns, and that assertion proves itself.

Training in the proper handling and use of a gun is as important as driver education. Cars being so much more dangerous than guns, and certainly responsible for far more deaths, it might be suggested that driver education should be mandatory in our high schools, and that such training be required before a driver's license can be issued. Although it is certainly encouraged and offered in many, it is not mandatory in most schools, even though most states do require passing a test demonstrating a small amount of competency in driving.

Education in the proper and safe handling of guns - especially handguns - is indeed mandatory in most states which allow concealed carry of firearms. Most states require training before they will issue a permit for concealed carry, followed by testing to indicate - again, only a small amount of - competency in use. Many states also demand training before a person can get a hunting license permitting the use of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun for hunting.

Much training in the use of either a vehicle or a firearm is often administered by a parent. Some firearm training is given by a sibling, or a friend familiar with the proper handling and use of a gun. This is as it should be. When the government gets involved in such things, the training is all too often administered by someone who is often missing the demonstrated experience that should be present. How many teachers, in any school from Kindergarten to post-doctorate college classes, has had experience in the field they teach? From math through engineering, from medicine to nuclear physics, how many professors or instructors have real-world experience in their area? It should be a requirement - if such training is a requirement for graduation with any sort of degree or diploma in the subject.

While it is probably true that many folks who own firearms do not have as much training, experience, or practice in the use of their weapon as they should, many of us who own and carry firearms daily have indeed taken the time - and paid the cost - to get training. Many of us have a good deal of experience, whether it be in safely carrying and using when hunting or practicing on a range, or through having worked in security or law enforcement positions, as peace officers, game wardens, and security personnel.

Both logic and demonstrated fact indicate that the risk of injury and death from firearms is a tiny fraction of what is claimed by anti-gun zealots. Those hoplophobes are ready and willing to lie their a**es off about the safety of owning and carrying a firearm.The risk of death is quite low, and almost non-existent if the gun owner has any training whatsoever. Especially if that gun owner has passed on his knowledge of the safe use and keeping of firearms to his wife and children.

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Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.