One in three American households owns a gun. That statistic has been brought to us courtesy Gallup by the gun-rights lobby as an indication that guns really aren’t as prevalent in American society as the liberal media would have us believe.
OK, I’ll bite. One in three households own a gun. That means two in three don’t. Wonder what that might mean?
Not to say that everyone among the two in three that don’t own a gun by definition are automatically in favor of strict gun control, but let’s just say this – there’s a reason those folks have enacted their own strict household gun-control policy.
Maybe they’ve decided that the statistics that show that those who live in households with guns are more likely to be victims of gun-related injuries is enough reason to keep guns out of their home.
Or maybe they’ve already been the victim of gun violence in their homes as a result of having had a gun in a home in the past.
That would be the case in my own personal situation. My wife lost her twin sister at age 15 to a suicide with a gun that was in the home “for protection.” There are surely many ways to attempt suicide, but using a gun makes one that much more successful in the attempt, to the lifelong lament of those who lose a beloved.
Maybe, more simply, more fundamentally, they just don’t want a gun in their home.
Whatever the case, those folks don’t own guns. Two in three. As the TV commercial says, two is more than one, but the one in three have been effectively dictating to us for 40 years how the two in three should live our lives.
They tell us that responsible gun owners would never use guns to kill people, that only madmen would use guns to shoot up a mall or movie theater or first-grade classroom, when in fact the perpetrators in the dozens of mass shootings that have occurred in recent years didn’t have criminal records and either legally owned guns themselves or had easy access to guns owned by others.
They respond to the horrific tragedy with 20 first-graders gunned down in a Connecticut school by going out in record numbers to gun shops and gun shows to stockpile weapons, cynically making the .223 assault rifle used to efficiently mow down 6- and 7-year-olds a top seller in the aftermath.
The one in three dismiss the two in three as whiny liberals who would be better off packing heat themselves to be able to engage in firefights with the next mass shooter, to the point that even Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is suggesting that teachers should be armed as part of a strategy to prevent the next Sandy Hook.
More guns to combat more guns. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
How about the converse – less guns to combat less guns? That’s how Britain responded to its own 1990s school tragedy, enacting strict gun-control laws that have resulted in a massive dropoff in gun-related injuries and deaths.
Our response to the first spate of 1990s mass shootings was more guns to combat more guns.
As Sandy Hook demonstrates, that’s worked out real well.
Maybe the two in three will one day come to realize that there are more of them that there are of the one in three.
Maybe that day is today. We can only hope.