I remember an interview with a police officer, talking about gun control. He was speaking against making it easier to carry concealed firearms. As I remember he said, “Look. It used to be that if we were called to shooting, we could assume that the guy with the gun was the bad guy.”
That is a precise summary of what will happen if guns proliferate. It almost came to pass in Tucson, when a young man by the name of Joseph Zamudio rushed to the scene with his 9mm pistol.
He saw people wrestling, including one man with the gun. “I kind of assumed he was the shooter,” said Zamudio in an interview with MSNBC. Then, “everyone said, ‘no, no — it’s this guy,’” said Zamudio.
But we do not have to rely on this one notorious incident. There are a lot of guns out there, and a lot of violence involving guns.
At least two recent studies show that more guns equals more carnage to innocents. One survey by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that guns did not protect those who had them from being shot in an assault — just the opposite. Epidemiologists at Penn looked at hundreds of muggings and assaults. What they found was that those with guns were four times more likely to be shot when confronted by an armed assailant than those without guns. The unarmed person, in other words, is safer.
Other studies have found that states with the highest rates of gun ownership have much greater gun death rates than those where only a small percentage of the population is armed. So, Hawaii, where only 9.7 percent of residents own guns, has the lowest gun death rate in the country, while Louisiana, where 45 percent of the public is armed, has the highest.
Will this matter to the debate? Not in the slightest.
Facts and studies are for wimps. Manly types want to carry their guns and they’re not going to let a few facts stand in the way.
When I hold you in my arms
And I feel my finger on your trigger
I know no one can do me no harm
Because happiness is a warm gun
Yes it is.
“Happiness is a warm gun” by John Lennon, who died by a warm gun, 8 December 1980