AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File
Perhaps the most annoying part of the anti-gun narrative is the claim that gun manufacturers who rarely sell directly to any customers are somehow responsible for how their guns are used. It’s something that doesn’t exist in any other industry you care to name. No one blames Ford or Toyota for DUI fatalities. No one blamed Ryder for the Oklahoma City attack.
So when an op-ed claimed that gun companies were “killing their best customers,” I had to take notice [emphasis mine]:
Death-by-gun is a public health crisis in America. I have been saying it for years, but only because of the overwhelming evidence.
The mass shooting problem in our country is obvious and internationally unique. There is no escaping it for any meaningful amount of time. We no longer have time to do much healing between them anymore. Virginia Beach is this week’s reminder. Twelve innocent people, mostly city employees, were gunned down by another last week for no immediately apparent reason.
We should want to know all we can about every other type of gun death suffered by our country men and women too.
Now, before all of the usual objectors start crafting their rage-responses to my transparent ploy to impede their right to buy an AR-15 with no waiting, background check, or to have it delivered promptly to the shooter’s home like a pizza, read on please.
Legitimate gun owners, the distinguished “good guys with guns,” are the ones dying more than any other demographic in our country through the use of the very product they so adamantly defend. That’s right, gun manufacturers’ most loyal customers are buying guns and then using them to kill themselves at an alarming rate.
Nice effort, but there are more holes in that statement–and every other part of his argument–than a block of Swiss cheese.
First, there’s no evidence that regular gun buyers are killing themselves at any statistically significant rate. Instead, the claim stems from demographic similarities in who commits suicide and who he perceives as buying guns.
But that’s enough for an anti-gun columnist in this day and age to make such a claim. That’s the evidentiary hurdle that he felt he’d cleared sufficiently for making that statement and it having it appear in headlines.
Why, though? Why make such a claim?
The goal is simple. He wants to scare us into backing his brand of gun control. He needs us to be afraid for ourselves and our gun-owning friends who might commit suicide at any given moment.
However, it’s just not the case.
Neither is it somehow the gun industry’s fault. If it would make him feel better, the gun manufacturers could include a warning on the box to not point the gun at yourself and pull the trigger. Would that be enough to absolve them?
What about gun dealers? Should they have a sign up not to use their products for suicide?
The truth of the matter is that people commit suicide for a number of reasons and not a damn one of them has anything to do with having a gun. Suicide is a mental health issue, one we should be striving to work on as a whole rather than trying to punish the non-suicidal for the actions of a few.