New Yorker Video: ‘The Ravaging Infection of American Guns’

Do you ever watch something that pisses you off so much that your teeth actually hurt? Take a look at the video below, narrated and written by the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.

There are at least two points in the video that sent me up the wall.  The first is Gopnik’s sweeping dismissal of defensive gun uses (DGU) and the second is the way he plays it fast and loose with statistics on gun violence.

With respect to DGU, as you know, these are instances where good guys use guns to stop or thwart crime.  The gun does not actually need to be fired for it to be considered a DGU; brandishing it, showing it or drawing it also counts.  In fact, in the vast majority of DGU, no shots are fired.  The open presence of the gun is enough to send bad guys running.

While the exact number of defensive gun uses is a subject of debate, there is no question that thousands, probably tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses happen each year.  Heck, GunsAmerica usually covers a minimum of one high-profile DGU story every week!  We would cover more, but there are so many that we just don’t have the time or the resources to cover them all. Plus, truth be told, they’re not always that newsworthy when compared to the many other developments that happen week-in and week-out on the gun beat.

Anyways, check out this story we published on Aug. 10, 2017: Mother Fatally Shoots Five-Time Felon: ‘He shouldn’t have brought his a** into my house’ 

Yet, Gopnik flat out rejects the notion that Americans use guns every day in this country to defend themselves from thieves, thugs, and killers.

“Guns, however, have an almost entirely symbolic function.  No lives are saved.  No intruders are repelled,” says Gopnik in the video.  “The dense and hysterical mythology of gun love has been refuted again and again.”

Say whaaaat? No lives are saved… No intruders are repelledNot one?  Zero?  Zip?  Zilch? Is he crazy?

While the mainstream media does a piss-poor job reporting DGU, local news outlets generally will cover them.  All Gopnik has to do is to pay attention to his local media.  Or, if that’s too difficult, he can simply do a Google search under the “News” tab with words like “self-defense” and “shooting” and “gun” which will yield numerous stories.  Several pro-gun outlets also do a good job of tracking DGUs, but I don’t suspect Gopnik would trust their reporting.

That’s, of course, assuming that Gopnik doesn’t know about the daily occurrences of DGU.  What’s more probable is that he does know about them, he just chooses to ignore them.  So, when he waxes on about the mythology of DGU he’s actually telling a bald-faced lie. He knows that thousands of Americans use guns each year to protect themselves, their families and their property, but acknowledging that undermines his call for civil disarmament — which, let’s face it, that’s exactly what this video was.  A not-so-subtle push to repeal the 2A as we know it today.

Gopnik’s lying is not limited to instances of defensive gun use. As mentioned, he also misleads the viewer when discussing gun violence and youths.

“More than 2,500 teens and children die annually from gun violence in the United States,” says Gopnik.” The overwhelming majority of those children would be saved with effective gun control.”

A June 2017 study in the Journal of Pediatrics, entitled “Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States” tells a different story.  “On average, from 2012 to 2014, nearly 1300 children (N = 1297) died each year in the United States from a firearm-related injury,” according to researchers.  To be clear, “children” includes those between the age of 0-17.

I don’t know where Gopnik pulled his data from (I’m sure you have some ideas), but the number is 1,297.  Not 2,500.  Maybe he included 18, and 19-year-olds too.  But then we’re talking about men and women.  Not children or young people.

New Yorker Video: 'The Ravaging Infection of American Guns'

A breakdown of the stats on gun-related deaths of children aged 0-17.

Researchers also noted in the study that “unintentional firearm deaths among children declined from 2002 to 2014” and “firearm homicides declined from 2007 to 2014,” and “firearm suicides decreased between 2002 and 2007 and then showed a significant upward trend from 2007 to 2014.”

In talking about the “ravaging infectious disease of gun violence” Gopnik points to tougher gun control as the solution, the antidote to this “epidemic.”  He says the vast majority of those children would be saved with effective gun control.

That’s an assumption with no basis in reality. This country has never been more armed (there are now more than 15 million concealed carry permit holders) nor has it ever been easier to purchase a wide array of semi-automatic firearms, everything from a polymer pistol to an AR-15, and with exception of suicides things are getting better, not worse for that demographic.

What’s more is that while gun laws have become less restrictive over the years this country as a whole has become a safer place.  Crime is down by every measurable statistic since the golden age of gun control, the Clinton years when there was a federal ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

The following observation is from a 2013 Pew Study.  While it only covers 1993 to 2010, the crime trend continues downward beyond 2010 to present day.

“Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49 percent lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew,” stated the authors of the study. “The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75 percent lower in 2011 than in 1993.”

What all this data points to is that gun ownership in this country is not a ravaging disease.  It’s not what is killing our children.  What kills our children is a combination of bad parenting (or no parenting), drugs, gangs and mental illness (With respect to drugs, do you know that heroin alone kills more people each year than people with guns do? Last time I checked, dope was heavily controlled, i.e. illegal, right?)  The disease we suffer from when it comes to violence and young people is a disease of denial.  We’re not willing to address the real causes because we’re all too happy with the current scapegoat: guns.

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  • DBM August 29, 2017, 5:49 pm

    May Gopnik be the victim of a violent crime committed by a thug with an illegal gun.

  • Glenn61 August 27, 2017, 7:18 am

    I’m alive today because I was armed on the day I could have died.

  • Steve Douglas August 26, 2017, 10:03 am

    Cars have lately become the terrorist weapon of choice. Deal with the issue without a hidden agenda you anti-American traitors!

  • Jeffrey GIBBERMAN August 26, 2017, 3:02 am

    You started driving a car in your 40s? You equate smoking, driving and firearms rights in the same sentence. You really don’t know what your talking about. I’m a licenced to carry a firearm citizen in Texas. My gun never shot anyone. Has your firearm shot anyone? The statistics you state are derived mostly from inner city shootings especially African American vs AA. That needs to get fixed not my right to carry a firearm.
    God bless.

  • Mike Watkins August 25, 2017, 11:07 pm

    Truly amazing that anyone can be as ignorant as this Gopnik character. Maybe it’s not ignorance. Maybe he’s simply mentally ill. Or maybe he has destroyed his brain by using illegal drugs.

    One thing for sure, there seems to be an epidemic of either mental illness or drug use that destroys brains. The publishers who give this Gopnik a public forum are also obviously victims.

    Perhaps before President Trump’s first term is over, he can get increased funding for long-term psychiatric hospitals, and we can lock up guys like Gopnik and the publishers of The New Yorker so they get the help they obviously need.

  • Frank August 25, 2017, 4:11 pm

    Obviously this guy is a leftest, therefore his opinion about firearms are going to be negative. If the question was about saving our precious commodity then lets regulate our use of cell phone usage. I truly believe that more children are killed because of Texting along with other distracting issues while operating a motor vehicle.
    Fact: More children are killed by motor vehicles in America then by any other means, including firearms not to mention abortion.

  • robert coe August 25, 2017, 3:47 pm

    “His road is paved with good intentions”. Unfortunately he is clueless. Gun control can only succeed in a lawful, compliant society. And there has yet to be one since the beginning of mankind. That said, go back to your comfortable office….leave the real world up to the Sheepdogs for your protection. As for me? I am that Sheepdog.

  • Pam August 25, 2017, 1:02 pm

    “What kills our children is a combination of bad parenting (or no parenting), drugs, gangs and mental illness (With respect to drugs, do you know that heroin alone kills more people each year than people with guns do?”
    The author has forgotten about or intentionally not included, the number one killer of children…abortion.
    Approximately 926,200 U.S. abortions were performed in 2014.
    An estimated 908,000 U.S. abortions took place in 2015.
    While I cannot say for certain that Adam Gopnik is pro-death as it relates to abortion, I think it would be a safe bet. The hypocrisy of people like Gopnik is truly astounding. They care not a wit for children. The deaths of children by guns is used by them as an emotional tool to enact laws in as many states as possible and on the federal level to make it as hard and as expensive as possible for law abiding people to own guns.

  • E R August 25, 2017, 1:01 pm

    Your focus on Guns is misguided. The focus is the “Evil” that you want to deal with “after” taking the guns. You see Evil will always find away to try to inflict the the damage that it wants. You take that gun from evil and he won’t use a “pen knife”, Evil will use a truck or a bomb or an airplane. That is the reality of what is going on around the world.

  • Douglas Riding August 25, 2017, 10:13 am

    The very first lie, that I picked up on, was that no lives are saved, and no intruders repelled…
    What the HELL has this guy been smoking ???
    Perhaps a guy – in his 5th decade – who has just recently realized that a car can get you across Montana, a whole lot better than a bike can, shouldn’t be the one to ‘educate’ me on weather or not a pistol might be OK for self-defense at the 7-11, and an AR might be a good thing for a home invasion..
    He doesn’t have any right to tell me I have to ride a bike when I haul a cow to the Auction, ( which, as I understand it, IS NOT spelled out in the Constitution ) & he sure as SHOOT, doesn’t have the right to tell me when, and what kind of firearm to carry !
    The sad thing is; Is that good people, weak-minded people, believe this ‘smooth’ form of Bullshit as the truth !!!

    ~ Doug Riding, St. George, Utah

    • SteveG August 28, 2017, 9:43 am

      Preach it. Take a friend to a gun range, teach a kid gun safety, spread the “disease” for future generations to appreciate.

  • G. Wilson August 25, 2017, 9:00 am

    Hey New Yorker, Adam Gopnik, just one word for you, Chicago

  • Mister Ronald August 25, 2017, 8:50 am

    FIRST === If this guy don’t like our American way of life by citizens owning firearms he can go back to where ever he came from.
    SECOND ==== He said guns have not stopped any crimes Etc. This is one totally “WRONG”” statement. It is just when a law abiding citizen does stop a crime by using a legal firearm, The New Yorker or not many other news media will report it.
    I’m starting to think the foreigners are here to take over our country and want America to be like the cesspools they left because they hated the old country they came from.

  • Dr Motown August 25, 2017, 8:35 am

    “A cost so grave?” Well, I’m sure he swallowed the politicized CDC/Obama figures of “33,000 violent gun deaths each year” with not one bit of rational analysis…

  • Todd Jaffe August 25, 2017, 8:19 am

    The article is flawed as so many anti-gunners are. To say children die of gun violence, and they don’t die of gun violence in Europe is misleading. If you exclude the 5 largest gun control cities (New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Newark), where the death rate of “children” by gun is actually 90% death in gang and drug related activity by illegally owned guns, the death rate by guns in the US is remarkably low. The death rate by suicide or gang violence in Europe is actually higher. If we balance the death rate with the “save” rate, where a legal gun owner prevents a gun related crime, you actually come in to a positive rate. The FBI’s own statistics show that if concealed carry were to be allowed with rigid background checks, and profiling allowed (which was restricted under Obama and allowed the Pulse Nightclub tragedy), the incidence of violent crime in this country would be reduced by up to 37%. In addition, as evidenced now by Antifa and the BLM movements, the potential for anarchy and in Democrat controlled cities where some Mayors have ordered police to not be present, the potential for serious violence, or even the prelude to an attempt to overthrow the legally elected government, REQUIRES a well ARMED MILITIA. That means the citizenry owning and being capable of using firearms of all types. It is what this country was built upon, the citizenry being the stopgap for a government gone mad. When the Mainstream Media stops reporting truthfully, and takes up causes that they push with twisted statistics, the DUTY of the public is to take up arms and oppose the attempt at oppression.

  • Infidel762x51 August 25, 2017, 7:58 am

    If it wasn’t full of lies and deception it would not be in the New Yorker.

  • Jay August 25, 2017, 7:56 am

    The cold war is going Hot real soon folks just be prepared! Sooner or latter the sleeping dragon will be awaken just as he has been awaken before!

  • robert August 25, 2017, 7:31 am

    As others have said, I’m really tired of New Yorkers, who live in a specially supported plastic bubble of their own choosing, dictating to the rest of us what we should or shouldn’t be doing — or believing, for that matter. It’s also sad that otherwise intelligent humans could so blatantly disregard the truth for their own ends. I hate to see it on any side of a fence, but in this case in particular, it does indeed need to be pointed out, and those who choose to believe in something other than the truth should be held accountable, particularly when life and liberty are at stake. What part of the Constitution don’t they get? What part of being an American don’t they get? If it doesn’t work for them, then maybe they should go elsewhere, because it isn’t as though we suddenly decided to have a Constitution just yesterday! At attempts at control or confiscation must be resisted and exposed for the misguided shams that they are.

  • MAS August 25, 2017, 6:50 am

    The real problem is the ravaging infection of Anti-American Americans in this country.

  • roger August 25, 2017, 5:48 am

    The guy is anti-car and very anti-gun. Adam Gopnik says Trump has Derangement Syndrome. He supported anti-gun Hillary.
    Why put this BS here to push the socialist liberals agenda? I sent my opinion direct to him.

  • AsgardBeast August 25, 2017, 2:44 am

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    • Davron August 25, 2017, 4:51 am

      You and me both. Lets put in all the words that he didn’t say in his opening, “I’m a superior New Yorker that has lived on Manhatten Island for the past 4 decades of my life. I’ve never had to abase myself with the incivility of driving during any of that time. I recently did so to see what the common miscreants do and found it to be very freeing, even though I’ve constantly castigated people for not just riding bicycles no matter where they live given that I’m obviously an expert on the matter, since I have taken it upon myself to suffer the terrible duress of walking 3 blocks to a government subsidized subway and then ride my bicycle another 4 blocks to my office building once I leave it. I don’t really think anyone needs a car, but it was fun to get to drive one that that I’m in my 50s, though I would never use it every day because that would just be crass and all of you should admit that I’m right on that. Anyway, since I did learn to drive and was right about it being an egotistical activity, but that it did provide some benefit, I want to share with you some other thoughts. Guns are bad. Nobody that is good has guns, and they can’t be used to protect yourself or others. I mean… really, you ignorant buffoons. The fact that the cinema in Aurora was shot up proves this fact. Oh please just ignore the fact that it was a “no gun zone”. That just means I’m right. Because only gun owners would break a rule of a “no gun zone”. As usual, you gun owners that participate in the NRA which is obviously trodding upon my sensibility, despite the fact that it is often ineffectual and the source of many of the worst defeats in gun legislation, are selfish. You should know that I’m obviously the most informed person on the topic, as I’ve listened to Hillary Clinton speak on the matter and she promised that she was right on it. Now obviously, since the government should be controlled by MY people that are superior to you, it is perfectly fine for it to have guns. And since people that are in MY government can’t make any mistakes, you won’t have to worry about it. Now hand over any rights you have that I disagree with and please be quiet. You aren’t worth any more time.”

      I think that basically gives all the words he was trying to say more succinctly.

      • - August 25, 2017, 6:56 pm

        Man that was hilarious! I especially liked, “I don’t really think anyone needs a car, but it was fun to get to drive one that that I’m in my 50s, though I would never use it every day because that would just be crass and all of you should admit that I’m right on that.” Thanks

  • BJ Snodgrass Jr. August 21, 2017, 4:42 pm

    As so often these type of individuals refuse to address the real problem, which is called EVIL. There never has been one firearm that has moved itself and fired on its own. You cannot legislate evil and you will not take away our constitutional right to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government and evil people. The author of this video needs to “fact check” his information before he puts something out for the public to review. I appreciate the excellent review that was presented here in response to the ridiculous video that was put out by the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik.

    • Rock Dude August 25, 2017, 8:07 am

      The only problem is with your first line of “EVIL”, is that he is probably an atheist and therefore, if there is no God that is good, there is also no such thing as evil. These types only believe that the government is good and the rest are subjects to them. And, because he is superior to the rest of us in his thinking and moral judgements, again back to the government is the God.

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