On January 25, Slate magazine ran a column to disprove once and for all NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s talk about the need for Americans to arm themselves for self-defense.
They claim LaPierre’s central message is that the world is dangerous, and “owning a gun is the solution.” Then they counter this by trying to show that guns are actually the problem.
According to Slate, LaPierre likes to paint a picture that “bad guys are everywhere threatening you and your family, and the only thing they’re afraid of is the gun in your hands.” Slate is dismayed that so many people agree with LaPierre; they admit that “67 percent of men polled and 58 percent of women [do].”
However, those who agree are “woefully misguided.”
They claim “positive relationships” between gun ownership and homicide and try to support their position by quoting a 2006 study, the abstract of which says, “Although causal inference is not warranted on the basis of this study alone, our findings suggest that the household may be an important source of firearms used to kill men, women, and children in the United States.”
Slate claims that gun rights proponents “[prey] on our fear” by saying things like, “Suppose a criminal has just broken into your house brandishing a firearm. You need to protect yourself and your family. Wouldn’t anyone [in that position] feel safer owning a gun?” In reality, Slate says, there is nothing from which to protect yourself. The magazine quotes the blogspot Almost Diamonds to claim that “the total annual per capita risk of death during robbery during home invasion … [is] 0.0000002.”
In other words, not only is LaPierre’s “good guys with a gun” mantra a myth, but it’s an idea that’s also unnecessary because the chance for death during a home invasion is “for all intents and purposes, zero.”
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