My new piece
begins this way:
The Supreme Court may have confirmed that Americans have the right to own guns for protection, but the gun debate is hardly over. The District of Columbia, whose handgun ban was struck down by the Supreme Court, is still planning on banning most handguns. And the court decision has spurred the media into overdrive to paint guns as dangerous to their owners.
No one who has taken even a quick glance at the crime data can seriously argue that the DC gun ban lowered murder or violent crime rates. The concerns being raised are not the threat from criminals, but that guns poise a risk to their owners. In particular, buying a gun and having it in your home is said to increase the likelihood of suicide.
Mike Stobbe for the Associated Press emphasized the problem by pointing out that the majority of gun deaths are suicides. He also noticed that Supreme Court Justice Breyer mentioned his concerns about gun suicides 14 times in his dissent. By contrast, he mentioned accidental gun deaths rated only three times. That is not surprising given that the accidental death rate from guns is so low, not only absolutely but in comparison to other common household items.
A nationally syndicated article by Shankar Vedantam, a Washington Post columnist, has a similar concern. . . .
Labels: GunControl, op-ed