KORWIN: The Guns-Are-Dangerous Myth

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Alan Korwin, visit his website GunLaws.com.

Alan Korwin, visit his website GunLaws.com.

“I wouldn’t want a gun in my house,” said the nervous frail suburban housewife, speaking to her daughter’s grade school teacher, who was nodding vigorous agreement. “It’s dangerous.”

This widely believed myth has kept more people gunless and defenseless, removed from the protection and safety that 60 million armed households enjoy, than any other myth cataloged so far in this series.

Like so many of these myths, it is enormously appealing because it has that subtle and seductive error of logic that on first glance grabs hold (the fallacy of selective evidence). Fortunately, on a cool, clear-minded second look, the shimmering deception unravels and inner truth reveals itself.

Of course having a gun in your home is dangerous. It’s supposed to be dangerous. That’s why so many American homes safely keep their homes armed. Keeping firearms in the grand American tradition wouldn’t be any good, wouldn’t serve it’s intended purpose, if firearms weren’t deadly dangerous. That’s the whole point. That’s why you keep a dangerous stove. Because it has value.

Have we so lost sight of our roots and values that this isn’t immediately evident to any person who thinks themselves a citizen? Guns are dangerous so they can provide immediate protection from danger and evil.

Guns are dangerous? Knives are dangerous. Going about terrified that guns are dangerous is like going about terrified that knives are sharp. Of course they’re sharp, the more dangerously sharp the better. Same for guns. Guns are safe. Guns are for safety. Knives are for kitchens.

Multiple choice test:

If knives and knife owners were government registered because they’re so sharp and deadly dangerous, accidents would drop, stabbings would drop, crime would drop.

Yes. No. Don’t know.

A government knife registry has a crime fighting component.

Yes. No. Don’t know.

Background checks and waiting/cooling-off periods for knives would reduce stabbings and knife-wielding muggings.

Yes. No. Don’t know.

Repeat for guns.

You’re an adult, or at least you’re supposed to be, and act like one, as a functioning member of civil society. That level of competency was expected when the nation was founded, as a needed part of self governance. You’re expected to be sufficiently adult to handle all sorts of powerful and dangerous things, most of them much more often than guns, or voting.

If you can’t, then maybe you shouldn’t be left out on your own. Think of all the harm you can do with kitchen knives. The enemies of Israel are showing that to us. Poison, cars, power tools, flammable liquids, matches in a forest. Maybe you’ve read lists of how exposed this nation is to attack by people without guns.

Hey, before guns existed personal physical harm was done with blades of some sort. The world was a lot more bloody, ugly and dangerous in times of Caesar, Khan and Xena the Warrior Princess. Guns have actually tamed things down, for the average domestic street.

It Can Be Measured

Statistical arguments are frustrating. Both sides have numbers, they’re all developed from impeccable sources with Ph.D.s behind them—and they don’t match. In fact, if I tell you a stat is from Brady or the NRA, you already know what the numbers will show, and your beliefs about them are already in place.

That said, no one disagrees that guns are used defensively without being fired far more often than with shots fired. A gun is mentioned, or presented, and a confrontation ends. There is general consensus that a gun is fired in only about 2% percent of self-defense incidents. Yet some people believe and fear guns are totally deadly. In self defense, 98% of the time guns are not deadly at all. Read that sentence again. Defensive gun uses (DGUs) occur between 700,000 and 2.5 million times annually (depending on whose figures you use).

The final nail in the coffin on the dangerous-gun myth is that most people shot don’t die. I know, that’s a shocker, and terrible, and I’m not saying woundings are good by any stretch. Puhleeeze. It’s just that some people believe and fear America’s 300 million guns are completely and constantly deadly. Most people who suffer gunshots survive.

You’ll start noticing it in “news” reports by listening closely to body counts (reported with abandon, which is abominable). Reporters continue to glorify the murderers with gratuitous and repetitious images and name recognition. That needs to end.

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More articles in this series:

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Alan Korwin’s website features plain-English books on state and federal gun laws for the public, and more common sense like you just read. He invites you to write to him or see his work, at GunLaws.com, where you can get his 14 books, like After You Shoot, and DVDs that help keep you safe.

Alan Korwin, Publisher, Bloomfield Press, “We publish the gun laws.”

4848 E. Cactus, #505-440, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020 Phone, 602-494-0679 Fax, 1-800-707-4020 Orders
http://www.gunlaws.com, alan@gunlaws.com
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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Just1Spark June 3, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Well said.

    Make no mistake. The Media is the 4th branch of the govt.

  • Herm June 3, 2016, 12:01 pm

    The reason that most people believe gun violence is increasing while government statistics show it has decreased greatly over the last 30 years, is that the airtime that gun crimes and anti-gun rhetoric get is vastly exaggerated in relation to the time other (good) events generally get. If there is a bloody gun crime it will get plenty of airtime. If the NRA gives gun safety classes to kids, it definitely won’t make the news. The media generally only give airtime to events which fit their agenda, and their agenda is to disarm the citizens.

  • Steve G June 3, 2016, 9:44 am

    Another great article Alan. I especially appreciate the somewhat tangential point at the end about the gratuitous reporting of tragic shootings by the shamefully biased mainstream media. By making infamy instantly available to any mentally unstable thug, the mainstream media are enablers of mass shootings. They should be ashamed, but of course they are slaves to the bottom line instead. The reporter in Natural Born Killers pretty much represents the same attitude these “journalists” possess. For them it’s about capturing eyeballs and getting ratings. As to the fact they contribute to that particular type of violence, well, they just look the other way. It would be great to see you write a full article on this phenomenon Alan.

  • Tom Horn June 3, 2016, 9:05 am

    “Have we so lost sight of our roots and values…?” This, so, hits the nail on the head. The values, social norms, and customs that we embraced as Americans when I was growing up in the 1960’s, are completely lost to the majority of Americans today. I suppose every generation complains about change to some extent, but we will soon be living in a politically correct cesspool, if we are not already.

    Forget your roots? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

    • Tom Horn June 3, 2016, 10:05 am

      P.S.
      I didn’t learn about the 2nd Amendment at home. At home it was just a given. I learned about the 2A in public school, taught by (for the most part) Kennedy/Johnson Democrats. And, they taught us the correct reason our Forefathers enacted the 2A into law: to protect U.S. citizens from a tyrannical government. My point being, at one time in the not to distant past, all Americans believed in the 2A, and all it represents. Somewhere in the last 30-40 years the reason has been lost, and minds have been corrupted, brainwashed, and bastardized by the liberal media, and those with an agenda to disarm America. Ask yourself, why?

      If you forget tyranny, and how to defend against it, there is always a bully waiting in the wings to give you a taste of it. Always has been, always will be.

  • Chris June 3, 2016, 8:28 am

    Don’t forget Conan. The Hyborean age – now there was a time undreamed of!

    Great article.

  • The Old, Fat, White Guy June 3, 2016, 6:46 am

    In every monarchy of Europe it was illegal for a common citizen to posses a sword, war axe or spear. That is why the 2A sets our culture apart from all of those that have come before. And, we are flirting with the idea of repealing that most fundamental human right to self defense, and delegate our own self defense to da gubment, really?

  • bobtheaxolotl June 3, 2016, 6:41 am

    The numbers don’t support this argument. Having a gun in your home increases your chance of dying. This isn’t just from conflicts with criminals, which is the obvious thing being addressed here, but also from suicide. Having an easy and sure way of offing one’s self makes it far more likely that when you are faced with hard times, you’ll actually go through with it. Yes, there are other methods of killing yourself, but they’re generally less reliable, and more painful.

    However, regardless of these numbers, I am not in favor of gun bans, for the same reason that I’m not in favor of fireworks bans, or drug/alcohol bans, or banning Bucky Balls because kids ate them. Just because someone else is irresponsible with something, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be allowed to own or use that thing. Meanwhile, bans are generally ineffectual, and generate crime. Think back to prohibition, when we banned the “evil” of alcohol. What did it result in? Huge amounts of crime and death from rival groups of gangsters trying to provide a product in demand. The solution was far worse than the problem.

    Now guns aren’t quite as easily brewed up at home as cheap liquors, but this is at best a temporary situation. With the advent of 3d printers becoming more and more sophisticated, being able to use better and better materials, and becoming cheaper with each passing day, it will soon be entirely impossible to have any control at all over the flow of firearms. You can already print up working firearms, even with this technology being in its infancy. Yeah, they’re not very good, yet, but soon enough they will be.

    I’d much prefer us preparing people for the reality of gun ownership via education on gun safety and the like. It’s a far more rational path to increased safety.

    • ExNuke June 5, 2016, 9:31 am

      Having a gun in the home doesn’t have any effect on your chance of dying. It has always been and will always be 100%. Surviving birth is a guarantee that you are going to die. Nothing is ever going to change that. Worrying about the possibility of suicide is totally useless. Whether or not someone has a gun does not control their own decision to end their life.

      The current Repressive campaign for “safe guns” is just their attempt to INCREASE accidental shootings. Falling rates of accidents, crime and violence are taking away their “crisis” so just like “Fast and Furious” they need to pump up the numbers so they can exploit them. Yes, I fully believe “safe guns” are more dangerous than normal “dangerous guns”. No one with 2 working brain cells “plays” with a loaded gun. Why would anyone want a gun that was “safe” enough to leave unattended for children or Regressive adults to play with?

  • Will Drider June 2, 2016, 5:45 pm

    One would assume that adults making claims guns are dangerous have drivers licenses and hurl themselves and loved ones down the highway at 75 mph. They had to have displayed basic skill and knowledge of applicable Laws to do so. If they would direct an equal amount of time and effort towards firearm safe handling and usage: they would eliminate their “Fear”. The issue is not that all dangerous things need to be avoided or restricted, just the thing they fear. Ask any anti gun proponent if they ever touched a firearm, then address their fear. Even anti gun LE understand a guns purpose, they just don’t want you to have it.

  • DRAINO June 2, 2016, 9:31 am

    EXCELLENT Article!! Using facts from both sides…it’s still hard to argue against this article. I know…some folks will argue no matter what. But this is good stuff. Well presented. I especially liked the end and believe that there needs to be action taken on the “media” and how their glorifying of murder and shootings needs to end. Don’t get me wrong….I’m all about 1A as much as I am 2A…..reporting facts is one thing…..to embellish or glorify a killing or a murder IS WRONG. The media and politicians have gotten away with free use of lies for WAY TOO LONG!!!

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