States United to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun-control organization, set up a fake gun store in New York City to shock prospective gun purchasers by attempting to sell them firearms that had been involved in crimes and tragic accidents.
The group filmed the whole stunt in an effort to remind the public that “Every gun has a history.”
During the video, one female buyer is told by the clerk, “[This] is the easiest gun we have to use. It’s our most popular one… It’s also a gun that 5-year-old found in his parents bedroom, went down and shot his 9-month-old baby brother with it.”
When another customer enters the store, the clerk displays a 9mm pistol. After saying it is “a very handy gun” and it’s “easy to use,” the salesman says, “It’s a great gun to carry in your purse, like that gal from the Walmart, her two-year-old son reaches into her pocketbook, pulls it out, shoots her.”
Yeah, so, you get the idea. Another lame attempt to demonize firearms, to convince people that an inanimate tool is evil personified.
What’s shocking is that it actually worked on a few people. It appears they let their emotions cloud their reason and judgment. Sure, every gun has a history. But that history is defined by people, not by the gun. The gun doesn’t have free will. The gun isn’t a living organism. So, in other words, the same gun that was used in a mass shooting could save the lives of a single mother and her two children. The same gun that a child picked up and accidentally fired could be used by a sexual assault victim to kill a serial rapist.
To state the obvious, guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
There’s also the fact that guns are used more often to prevent crime than they are to perpetrate it. As a 2013 Centers for Disease Control study found, “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
To put that another way, guns are more often used by good guys than they are by bad guys — which would mean that in any used gun store one would have an easier time finding a gun with a positive history than a negative one. But again, humans are the ones who write history. Not the firearm.