Okay. How about some facts that are actually factual?
- In the United States, the government is responsible for protecting the nation. It does not have a duty to protect individuals. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales 545 U.S. 748 (2005).
- One of the core rights of every American citizen is self-defense. It is held to be of equal importance to the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mentioned in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. See multiple Supreme Court decisions affirming that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.
- “Gun violence” is not increasing in the United States. As a matter of fact, based on reports from both the FBI and the CDC, both total homicides and firearm-related homicides are down significantly over the past ten years, compared to earlier ten-year periods. According to the FBI’s data, the murder rate in 2014 was the lowest reported since 1957.
- “Gun violence” figures for the U.S. include suicides. For some reason, they are never added to the rates of other countries to which the U.S. is popularly compared. This produces a distortion. If the rates of suicide and homicide are combined, Belgium actually has a higher “violence” rate than the U.S. Firearms are employed in only about half of all suicides, so a focus on guns actually has a negative effect on addressing the problem of suicide. This is especially true for the alarming growth in the number of suicides committed by women, who use a gun in only about a third of suicides.
- CDC reports indicate that guns are involved in 6.5% of all violence-related injuries and deaths.
- Analysis of available data indicates that the attempt to control violence by attempting to control the availability of guns through normal channels of commerce is both fruitless and misguided. Background checks have never shown to be able to deliver on the promises made for them, including a promised reduction in mass shootings. A nationwide weapon ban failed to make any measurable impact on violence. In fact, homicides committed with the previously banned rifles declined after the ban expired. The assumptions used to justify calls for limits on magazine capacities do not appear to be justified by any real-world experience.
- Red flag laws do not appear to deliver on the promises made for them. In California and Connecticut, two states which have enacted such laws, the overall suicide rate continued to climb as a reduction in the use of guns was accompanied by a significant increase in suicides by suffocation, usually by suspension strangulation. If the goal is suicide prevention, red flag laws do not appear to be an answer. In addition, red flag laws potentially violate a citizen’s civil rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Since Ms. Dhir was previously with the American Civil Liberties Union, I find it difficult to believe she has failed to do proper research. This appears to be another example of making passionate claims and hoping nobody checks facts. This may work while preaching to the choir, but it makes outreach quite hazardous.