Gun control activist David Hogg suggests efforts to declare a “national emergency” regarding border security could be better spent with action against “gun violence.”
Hogg’s gun control push comes in response to President Trump’s continued focus on the possibility of declaring a “national emergency” in order to get the wall built on the U.S./Mexico border.
David Hogg responded to Trump via a CNN interview and The Hill quoted him saying, “If we really want to start talking about the national emergency like the president likes to talk about, 40,000 Americans dying annually from gun violence is a pretty damn good one to start off with,”
To be clear, 40,000 Americans do not die annually “from gun violence.” On average, approximately 33,000 Americans die a death that is firearm related but 66 percent of those deaths are suicides. Roughly 11,000 are due to “gun violence.” Lumping suicides in with homicides then reporting the sum as if all were homicides is a tactic the left has been using for years.
For example, during the 2016 presidential campaign Breitbart News reported that Hillary Clinton swelled “gun violence” numbers by 66 percent during a speech in New York.
But where does David Hogg get the figure of 40,000 deaths? One of the most recent releases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there were 39,773 firearm-related deaths in the U.S. in 2017. Hogg is rounding that number up to 40,000 then reporting it as “gun violence.” In reality, the increase in gun-related deaths is due to a sharp increase in suicides.
Moreover, the increase in suicides was even higher for non-firearm related incidents, but that information is not helpful to Hogg.
The fact that suicides in general drove the numbers higher led the Chicago Tribune to opine that gun control is not the solution for growing death numbers. The Tribune noted that popular gun control pushes–“assault weapons” bans, “high capacity” magazine bans, etc.–would do nothing to slow suicides as none of those bans would get rid of things necessary to take one’s own life.
Additionally, the Tribune pointed to Japan, which ha some of the most stringent gun control laws on the planet yet also has a suicide rate much higher than the rate in the U.S.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange