House of Cards.
National Rifle Association tells Americans that you need to buy a gun to defend your home. They tell you there are 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 “defensive gun uses” a year. The implication is that these events happen at homes. America is suffering a "Grand Theft Auto" crime wave, a full on societal breakdown.
As an ordinary citizen you know there are accidents and suicides and civilian homicides. But NRA tells you that having a home defense gun is more important. Gun defenses aren't mainly an artifact of small retail businesses with cash registers. You need a gun at home to survive. The NRA line is one lie after another:
-- Calling "911" is useless.
-- You're an amateur at violent crime, but you do not need law enforcement officers.
-- You can handle violent criminals.
Their version of things is absurd. "Home defense" gun advertising is similar to Republican claims that Obamacare is a "government takeover of health care" and a tool for "Death Panels."
FBI and CDC tell a very different story. The Bureau collects reports and compiles consolidated statistics by state and for the whole country. The incident reports come in from every law enforcement agency and coroner. These data consolidate directly by category with the CDC medical data.
Put aside fantasy. Here is the ultimate, permanent core of what "home defense" guns are used for:
"Bad" deaths: 28,853. "Good" defensive deaths: 258. In the detail at incident report level, the number of justifiable homicides at homes: 84.Gun murders for 2012: 8,855 from FBI
Gun suicides for 2010: 19,392 from CDC
Gun accidental deaths for 2010: 606 from CDCCivilian justifiable homicides with gun for 2012: 258 from FBI
Civilian justifiable homicides at residences for 2012: 84 from FBI
UPDATE: of the 84 CJH's, only 29 are readily identifiable as killing "intruders." And another 8 are "unknown." That makes it 37 defensive killings at residences and it's arguably an intruder.
28,853 deaths divided by 84 deaths defines the highest-stakes cost-to-benefit ratio related to acquiring a firearm as a "home defense" tool:
UPDATE: 26,853 deaths divided by 37 deaths gets the ratio out even crazier, if that's at all meaningful.343:1 Negative Pay-out
28,853 / 37 = 780:1 for the Kill Or Get Killed inverse ratio. Utter madness.
Keep a live hand grenade sitting on your kitchen table ??? That might could generate cost-and-benefit numbers that turn out worse. I doubt it. Somebody would tape up the firing pin or epoxy it in there permanently.
Here's worse for you. The gun suicides fall heavily on the 10-14 and 15-24 age groups and most heavily on the 25-34 age group on a per capita basis. The people who buy the guns do not form a majority of the people who commit suicide. This surprised me as there are thousands of people who buy a new gun for the very purpose of suicide.
CDC statistics clarify the risks. CDC reports far and away more of these gun suicides than gun accidents, even in those early age groups.
On balance, a few crimes are stopped cold. Hunting with guns is a popular hobby. Same for target shooting. Thing is, guns bought solely for hunting are rarely used for homicide or suicide. "Home defense" is what leads to problems. The 28,853 deaths from guns are accompanied by non-fatal woundings, also into the tens of thousands.
This is the real world.
Of course there is an alternative fantasy world available. That is the Right Wing's "Grand Theft Auto" lookalike world, the stuff of propaganda media from Fox News to Limbaugh. Police are impotent. Home invasions abound. People would not dare call "911" in an emergency. You need guns just like in the video game.
Thing is, facts are those "stubborn things" referred to by John Adams in the years before the American Revolution. Take home a gun and you're risking 28,853 "bad" deaths on the chance that you will be one of 84 lucky homeowners who get to kill somebody. [UPDATE: Or the 37 who get to kill an "intruder."] And the families with guns have 270% the risk of someone getting shot compared to non-gun owning homes.
That's a crazy-bad bet.
From NRA: guns are good for you, similar to cigarettes and the lead in your paint and gasoline.
"Stand Your Ground" laws have increased the numbers of justifiable homicides in the southern states. This "bad"-to-"good" ratio [for killings are residences] fell from 350:1 to 343:1 over the last two years. It's not more home invasions. It's more of using guns instead of calling police for help. "Justified" has been expanded.
From recent email: here's a take on "the only way to win at this game is not to play!" -- What's the highest pay-off from having a "home defense" gun, especially a pistol? Wrap it up, put it in a box, and give it to your worst enemy. For a shotgun or a rifle, give/sell it to a hunter.
Links and a bit more below the orange bun:
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THANK YOU for the Recommended tag !!
CDC Causes of Death, United States 2010 -- with the SEARCH set to return all categories.
Of course this is a government cover-up, a plot, a scheme to steal White men's guns. The G-Men are out to pollute White people's precious bodily fluids.
And the college drop outs -- Limbaugh, Hannity, et.al. -- are smarter than any Ph.D.
The whole of modern statistics, operations research, medical science, professional law enforcement are to be ignored so that right wing Whites can maintain solidarity opposing abortion, loving Ronald Reagan, and clinging to their beloved self-pity.
Understand the concept "House of Cards" ???
You can hook up with NetFlix and watch Kevin Spacey do a remarkable series of television programs with that title. He plays a House of Representatives whip. Interesting writing and helluva plot line.
Well, NRA and the gun industry and Republicans have their own house of cards going. They have sold the lie that "defensive gun uses" justify the risks that go with having guns in our homes. They get away with it because corporate media treat rational appraisal of guns as a taboo.
Republicans love it. They're selling paranoia, so NRA Roulette is right up their alley.
MSM never, ever question the NRA claim of "1,000,000 to 2,500,000" home defenses. Despite that this is an absurd lie.
We know that the NRA claim of 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 "defensive gun uses" is an invention. The claim was based, first, on a single 1993 telephone survey and then on support using unconfirmed summaries of "911" emergency calls. Exaggeration in these self-reports has been repeated over the years with ever increasing advertising budgets.
28,853 is not 84.
[UPDATE: 28,853 is not 37.]
Nobody sensible takes an action that costs $28,853 to get to jack somebody else out of $84. That's what is happening. American families are paying 28,853 lives a year, so they can take 84 lives and likely fewer than half of those are intruders. [Half would be 42. item level follow ups got it to 29 + 8 = 37.]
Justifiable homicides are at least 50:50 killings of friends and family. 40% involve alcohol. That's not "home defense" in the NRA fantasy model.
So yes, this NRA house of cards can collapse. We can shake the table. We can topple it. What we know is what's real.
Gravity never loses.