Published: Sunday, 04 January 2004 23:22
John Lott has written another fine article, Why People Fear Guns. Read it. It's good.
... If these events [Defensive Gun Use] were really happening, wouldn't we hear about them on the news? Many people tell me that they have never heard of an incident of defensive gun use. There is a good reason for their confusion. In 2001, the three major television networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ran 190,000 words' worth of gun-crime stories on their morning and evening national news broadcasts. But they ran not a single story mentioning a private citizen using a gun to stop a crime.
There is an actual phobia for the abnormal, irrational fear of guns, Hoplophobia.
Guns are power over life and death. As with all such powers, they are a final and irrevocable power. A lot of people are not prepared to make those kind of choices. They haven't had the experience in their lives to even think about such a decision.
Even for those people who have done the work and resolved themselves to take a life that threatens them or their family, it isn't as easily shaken off as they do in the action movies. PTSD can occur. While that is the bad news, the good news is you're still alive.
Over 2,000,000 crimes are prevented every year by armed citizens. You don't hear about 99% of them because nobody got hurt. Bad guy threatens, good guy shows firearm, bad guy runs away. Not a very exciting news report. That's why you only hear of the ones where somebody (usually the criminal) gets killed. As they say in the newspaper business, "If it bleeds, it leads." And when they do get reported, it's usually a small blurb on the back of the A section of the newspaper.
Defensive gun use makes the TV news only when it crosses into the spectacular. Here in Memphis last summer, we had a burglar running rampant in the city. It led the evening news whenever a new burglary was reported. He had over 20 homes to his credit when he finally broke into the home of an armed citizen who shot him dead. That led the TV news, but only because it had already been making the news for a couple of weeks. If (and I mean if) the TV news carries a regular DGU, it's a 15 second blurb after the weather. While gun murders lead the news. Too bad it can't be the other way around.
The two publications of the NRA, American Rifleman and American Sportsman, Each present a page of "The Armed Citizen," filled with a dozen or so DGU's every month. Most of them are small blurbs of only a couple of sentences long.
Of course, the blatant Liberal bias against guns doesn't help either. The rank-and-file Liberal has a solid case of hoplophobia and thinks everybody should not have a gun. The leaders of the anti-gun movement just don't want you to have a gun. They have a socialist agenda and the first step in order to institute it is the disarming of America. The Second Amendment was put there specifically so the citizen has the power to resist an overbearing government. But I digress.
Defensive gun uses are prevalent, and for the vast majority of incidents, non-violent. That doesn't mean you can't be prepared to kill to defend your life and the lives of your family. It took me several months to answer that question before I applied for my CCW license. It wasn't easy, let me tell you.
If you decide to arm yourself in whatever way for self defense, make sure you can pull that trigger before you buy the gun. Otherwise it will be taken away from you, with all of the negative results possible.