I honestly believe that, on some level, the American political left loves mass shootings. It provides a veritable smorgasbord of opportunities for them to trot out their favorite tropes, especially gun control. They can push their agenda, even when they lack any real punch, in part because they’re enabled by a complicit media.

However, they invariably say some incredibly stupid things during the aftermath. Kind of like this guy:

MSNBC contributor and Princeton professor Eddie Glaude said Thursday that mass shootings are the result of “toxic masculinity” that teaches people to think they can protect themselves.

Glaude said mass shootings such as the one in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday come from America’s “ongoing obsession with guns” that can partly be blamed on the complicity of politicians, business interests, and Americans’ cowardice. He then said the larger problem is the “myth” that citizens can protect themselves instead of relying on the government for security.

“There is a toxic masculinity at the heart of this gun, this gun culture, rooted in a myth about who we take ourselves to be,” he said. “Americans, rugged individualism—the government is not going to protect you, we can protect ourselves, right?”

First, let’s just say that “toxic masculinity” here is the myth. It’s a way to pretend that anything considered masculine historically is somehow bad, like the idea of self-defense. But to say that self-defense is a myth is to prove you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.

Let’s use some numbers to illustrate this. I’m not even going to use numbers that folks here use. I’m going to use the kind of numbers people like Mr. Glaude use. At least at first.

First, let’s look at the number of firearm-related deaths each year. That’s around 36,000 with two-thirds of those being suicides. Now, for the sake of argument, I’m going to leave those suicides in there.

Now, let’s look at the number of incidents of using a firearm in self-defense. There aren’t many hard numbers for this, mostly because many self-defense uses are never reported. The numbers vary wildly, but the lowest estimate I’ve seen is 100,000 or so self-defense uses of a firearm annually.

With that established, we’re going to get into a bit of math. Granted, it’s kindergarten math, but it’s math.

36,000 < 100,000

In fact, it’s more than two and a half times greater. That means a firearm is used to defend oneself far more often than it’s used to take a life.

If we take out suicides, which are the result of an individual’s decision to harm himself and something they’ll still attempt even without a firearm, the difference grows even more significantly.

And keep in mind that these 100,000 cases of self-defense each year is a low estimate. It’s nowhere near the 2.5 million defensive uses of a firearm found by Gary Kleck and company, of course, but other estimates fall somewhere in between. If we split the difference, we have roughly 1.25 million defensive uses of a firearm.

Regardless of which numbers you want to use here, the fact remains that a whole lot of people use a firearm for self-defense every year. That means it’s no myth. Being able to protect one’s self is a real, viable thing that everyone should embrace. Otherwise, we create an entire culture of victims who simply embrace that as a reality.

All that does is empower criminals and murderers.

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