Our Most Dangerous Myth: The Good Guy with a Gun

The myth, nourished and cherished by the NRA and Second Amendment enthusiasts, is that the good guy with the guncan save himself, his family and the friend. The truth is very different.

  • On February 27, a 3-year-old in Houston Texas, died after he shot himself in the neck while playing with a gun at home. His mother was in the next room when she heard the shot go off.
  • On March 1, 4-year-old Codrick McCall, Jr. in Harris County, Texas shot and killed himself with a gun he found at a relative’s house. The boy, who was being watched by a babysitter at the time, had been placed at the home by Child Protective Services.
  • On March 3, a 5-year-old fatally shot his 6-year-old brother at their house. The boys’ uncle, Thomas Gray, told the Houston Chronicle the children’s parents were generally very careful about keeping their guns safe. He added that it’s possible the boys mistook the gun for a toy.

A study from October 2013 analyzed data from 27 developed nations to examine the impact of firearm prevalence on the mortality rate in those nations. It found an extremely strong direct relationship between the number of firearms and firearm deaths. The paper concludes: “The current study debunks the widely quoted hypothesis that guns make a nation safer.”

  • A 5-year-old son of a deputy in North Carolina is recovering after he shot himself with his father’s service weapon over the weekend.
  • A 4-year-old boy was fatally shot while holding his parents’ gun at his home in Merrillville, Indiana, police said. Police said the boy found the gun in his parents’ bedroom Saturday morning in the 6400 block of Cleveland Street and brought the gun back to his room.
  • A man is dead after his 6-year-old grandson accidentally pulled the trigger of his uncle’s unattended rifle during a barbecue at the family’s home. Martinez Sr.’s grandson grabbed a rifle and pulled the trigger which struck the grandfather in the right side of the chest.

This finding confirms several previous studies that have revealed a significant link between gun ownership and firearm-related deaths. This international comparison is especially harrowing for women and children, who die from gun violence in America at far higher rates than in other countries.

  • Lucas Heagren, 3, was killed last Memorial Day at his Ohio home by a .45 caliber that had been temporarily hidden under the couch by his father.  Lucas found it and shot himself through the right eye. “It’s bad,” his mother told the 911 dispatcher. “It’s really bad.”
  • A few days later in Georgia, Cassie Culpepper, 11, was riding in the back of a pickup with her 12-year-old brother and two other children. Her brother started playing with a pistol his father had lent him to scare coyotes. Believing he had removed all the bullets, he pointed the pistol at his sister and squeezed the trigger. It fired killing his sister.
  • Earlier that same spring, in Houston, a group of kids found a Glock pistol in an apartment closet while searching for snack money. A 15-year-old boy was handling the gun when it went off. Alex Whitfield, who had just turned 11, was struck. A relative found the bullet in his ashes from the funeral home.

Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes writing in Slate reported:

The most recent study examining the relationship between firearms and homicide rates on a state level, published last April, found a significant positive relationship between gun ownership and overall homicide levels. Using data from 1981–2010 and the best firearm ownership proxy to date, the study found that for every 1 percent increase in gun ownership, there was a 1.1 percent increase in the firearm homicide rate and a 0.7 percent increase in the total homicide rate. This was after controlling for factors such as poverty, unemployment, income inequality, alcohol consumption, and nonhomicide violent crime.

You’d run out of patience long before WC ran out of little kids killed by firearms in the last year. Yet Wayne LaPierre, very highly paid liar and flack for the NRA, thinks more firearms are the solution. LaPierre’s core message: Owning a gun is the solution. The world is a scary place. There are bad guys everywhere threatening you and your family, and the only thing they’re afraid of is a gun in your hands.

It’s a lie.

One last tragedy, all too close to home.

  • A 7-year-old boy from the Northwest Alaska village of Shungnak died early Thursday after he was accidentally shot by another child, according to Alaska State Troopers. Stanley Custer and other children were playing unsupervised in a home when they discovered a pistol. They thought it was a toy, according to trooper dispatch posted online Friday. One child unintentionally fired the pistol. A bullet struck Custer in the head.

The NRA is a creature of the firearms industry. The industry makes money by scaring you into buying a firearm. Wayne LaPierre is paid to trick you into exposing yourself to more danger, not less. WC hopes there is a special place in the Christian Hell he doesn’t believe in for kid-killing slugs like LaPierre.


6 thoughts on “Our Most Dangerous Myth: The Good Guy with a Gun

  1. Sometimes I just want to weep from the shame I feel as an American. So much stupid, too little time.

  2. “The myth, nourished and cherished by the NRA and Second Amendment enthusiasts, is that the good guy with the guncan save himself, his family and the friend. The truth is very different.”

    The real truth is that Americans use firearms every minute to save lives and property and in the vast majority of incidents the gun is never fired. Most often people let the bad guy know they have a means to defend themselves and the bad guys decide to go somewhere else. Something like 13 major studies have shown this again and again. Anyone who says differently is either ignorant of the facts, or a dedicated liar.

    • Then provide WC with citations to peer-reviewed studies supporting your claim. Before you engage in insults. WC has had any number of Second Amendment enthusiasts tell WC hims there are [X] (the number seems to vary) studies supporting their position. But never a citation. Not an NRA article; a peer-reviewed study in a professional journal.

      WC looks forward to your data.


  3. “WC”? Could stand for “Water Closer,” a polite name for a toilet. I don’t argue with idiots anymore. Dr. Gary Kleck.

    • You mean “water closet,” not “water closer,” don’t you? How very clever of you to see and almost describe the pun in WC’s name.

      It’s too bad you can’t muster the studies you describe though; it means you surrender the argument and have only name-calling as a feeble response.


  4. When I think of the supposed data that pertains to research on guns, I can’t help but recall the success of the NRA and gun worshipers in suppressing information. The gun lobby has had successes in what amounts to prior restraint of protected (free speech) activity such as doctors’ interacting with patients to try to assess health risks, including firearms in the home that are not secured. Recall during the recent measles and ebola controversies that we found ourselves without a Senate-confirmed nominee for Surgeon General because of the nominee’s views about firearms and public health risk assessment. It seems that the unfortunate reality is that studies and publications or any scholarly work is impeded by the success of the suppression of information and data by those who cannot tolerate any view but their own dogmatic positions.
    Paul Eaglin

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