Moms Demand Action are gun bullies. They lie and purposely engage in deceit to try to push their gun control agenda. One of their standard playbook lies is to conflate suicides with homicides and make it seem like crime is a bigger problem than it is. Now they have been caught with blood on their hands, stating they actually don’t care about suicides.
It isn’t being dishonest to say that gun control policy has absolutely nothing to do with suicides. It’s iron-clad fact. No one disputes that 20,000 people a year commit suicide with guns in the United States, or that this is roughly half of approximately 40,000 total suicides. What is dishonest is when a crime like a mass shooting happens and gunbullies like Moms Demand Action grandstand on the graves of the dead, citing the public health problem of “gun violence” that they claim takes 30,000 lives per year, when 20,000 of these deaths are self-inflicted suicides and not a crime. This is further compounded when you publicly state suicides are not your problem to tackle. It is disingenuous at best & a purposeful, outright lie intended to deceive at worst. To make this claim is to pretend that banning so-called “assault rifles”, or restricting magazine capacity, or getting stores like Starbucks or Staples to ban guns at their premises is somehow connected to reducing these 20,000 suicides.
How many suicides, happen with so-called “assault rifles” with 100-round magazines at a Starbucks? Try zero.
While suicide may happen with a rifle or shotgun, it makes most logical sense that handguns would be used most often because of ease of maneuverability. Most firearm homicides are done hand guns, not rifles (6,371 handgun homicides and just 322 rifle homicides out of nearly13,000 homicides in 2012). The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Non-Vital Statistics Report from 2009 (Tables 10 and 18) reported 31,347 total firearm deaths in 2009, but of those, 18,735 were suicide by firearm deaths. There were 554 deaths from “accidental discharge of firearms.” The CDC statistics are very similar for 2010, showing “Intentional self-harm (suicide) by discharge of firearms” resulting in 19,392 deaths out of a total of 38,364 suicide deaths (table 10, p.23).
And yet, Moms Demand Action routinely cites 30,000 gun deaths, and routinely states that people are likely to use a gun to suicide vs defend themselves. They are happy to exploit the deaths of the hurting who have committed suicide to push their inane agenda (seriously, how is getting Starbucks, Staples, or McDonalds to make their stores “gun free zones” making anyone safer – especially when one considers that so many high-profile mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones, like Aurora, Colorado, Sandy Hook Elementary, Virginia Tech, etc.?), but they don’t promote policy that would help reduce suicides. In the following screen shots, Moms Demand Action cites suicides five different times as a big problem, 30,000 “gun deaths”, and so on.
Furthermore, Moms Demand Action was caught outright stating that suicide was not their problem because they have too much on their hands trying to get “gun reform”(the new term they use when they mean “gun control”, which they avoid using because they know gun control has negative connotations). In this screen shot, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts is telling a member suicides aren’t their “mission”. The message is clear: Moms Demand Action will quote suicide figures to scare members about the “gun violence” problem, but aren’t willing to do anything about it.
The tweet on the Moms Demand accout is a straight up lie; there are vastly more defensive gun uses than there are suicides, period. The tweet on the Shannon Watts account isn’t a straight up lie, but is purposefully deceitful. It is based on the following graph that was attached to the tweet. The graph compares justifiable homicides versus suicides. The problem: most defensive gun uses don’t result in “killing” the bad guy to “fend them off”. According to the CDC, there are 500,000 to 3 million defense gun uses per year. Contrast this with the 20,000 gun suicides the CDC cites, and the 9,000 gun homicides the FBI states, and even the 120,000 instances of non-fatal violent crime committed with a gun according to the Deartment of Justice, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it’s clear that people lawfully defend themselves with guns more than all crime with guns, homicides and suicides – combined.
Academic peer-reviewed research in Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide” by Dr Don Kates and Gary Mauser shows that gun availability and ownership rates have no correlation whatsoever with suicides. The study looks at 36 developed nations – virtually all with much stronger gun laws than the United States has –. and found many developed nations with higher suicide rates than the U.S. The authors state, “The mantra more equals more deaths and fewer guns equals fewer deaths is also used to argue that ‘limiting access to firearms could prevent many suicides’. This assertion is directly contradicted by the studies of 36 nations, which find no… relationship”. Dr’s Kates and Mauser go on to say “There is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership. In the absence of firearms, people who are inclined to commit suicide kill themselves some other way.”
The fact that guns don’t cause suicides is evident in the U.S. by two facts: one, gun sales have been steadily climbing, and setting records in 2012, and then again in 2013; and two, the suicide rate in the U.S. has been declining for decades. Gun rights advocates are all for honesty in the so-called gun debate. It would be refreshing to see some from the other side. We have yet to see it. Dr’s Kates and Mauser also state that while guns don’t cause crime, what does drive crime are socio-cultural and economic factors. No one is addressing root causes of violence: gangs (which the FBI states is responsible for an “average of 48% of violent crime in most jurisdictions” and up to 90% in some jurisdictions), drug abuse (the single greatest predictor of violence – with or without mental illness – according to psychiatrists), poverty, particularly urban poverty, and mental illness. If we want to really reduce violence and crime – not just control people and push meaningless cosmetic policies – then we need to address the causes.
By Matt MacBradaigh. Matt is a Christian, Husband, Father, Patriot, and Conservative from the Pacific Northwest. Matt writes about the Second Amendment, Gun Control, Gun Rights, and Gun Policy issues and is published on The Bell Towers, The Brenner Brief, PolicyMic. TavernKeepers, and Vocativ.
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