Gun Rights Advocates Aren't To Blame From Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor’s death is an absolute tragedy. Perhaps even more of a tragedy is how there hasn’t been anything that looks like a real investigation into what happened to her.

For those who don’t remember, Taylor was shot during a police raid. Officers executed a no-knock warrant on Taylor’s home because of a prior relationship with a suspected drug dealer.

However, Taylor’s boyfriend was someone else. He had a firearm and used it to repel what he thought was a home invasion. During the firefight, Taylor was shot eight times. She died shortly afterward.

The suspected drug dealer lived 10 miles away from Taylor.

Now, though, it seems Taylor’s death is our fault.

The tragic death of Breonna Taylor is a result of the faulty assertion by gun advocates that having a firearm in the house makes one safer.

I fully acknowledge the part that law enforcement and the judicial system played in Breonna’s unfortunate death. There is no excuse for their failures. They must be held accountable and punished for their actions.

I don’t think he means it.

After all, just wait a little while and you’ll see what I mean.

The United States has approximately 5% of the world’s population and, according to a recent Small Arms Survey, 46% of the world’s civilian firearms. The Brookings Institution writes in July that there are more guns than people in the United States (400 million are in circulation for a population of 330 million). That is more than enough weapons in this country for every man, woman and child to tuck under their pillows at night. Yet 80,000 to 100,000 more are sold every day. By this logic, we should all be safer.

But that is not the case. The Giffords Law Center writes that deaths by firearm are reaching almost 40,000 per year in the U.S.  America accounts for nearly 51% of global yearly firearm deaths, and  1.3% of these deaths and 18% of all gun injuries were preventable, accidental or related to self-defense.  Other numbers: 61% were suicides and 35% were homicides. Only 2.7% of all firearm deaths in this country were related to legal intervention or were of undetermined origin. We are less safe than they want us to believe.

Not actually true.

You see, the problem here is looking at the wrong numbers. Yes, more people are murdered than are killed in self-defense. That’s absolutely true and I won’t dispute it.

Where the argument breaks down, though, is that many orders of magnitude more cases exist where the attacker is merely wounded or simply runs off the moment they’re met with armed resistance. The lowest estimated counts of defensive gun uses is around 100,000. This is an incredibly low-ball estimate, but for the sake of argument, let’s run with it.

Now, 100,000 defensive gun uses works out to 2.5 times the 40,000 gun deaths per year cited above. Further, since more than 60 percent of those deaths are suicides, they really shouldn’t be counted at all. After all, suicide can be committed with other methods and some are pretty much as effective as a gun. So, that leaves us with somewhere around 14,000 homicides.

Even with that low-ball estimate of defensive gun uses, we see a huge difference.

Yet, again, that 100,000 is a low estimate. The more likely estimate is somewhere around a million defensive gun uses every single year. There’s nowhere near that many homicides, which suggests that gun ownership works.

In other words, the writer doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Yet he finishes up with:

I can imagine a different outcome for Breonna Taylor. I can envision a house without a gun. I can picture Breonna being “scared to death” by intruders. But that is seldom fatal in itself.


Uh uh, no. You don’t get to make that claim. You don’t get to make that claim.

Yeah, it’s easy to plan Monday morning quarterback now, but Breonna Taylor’s death was the result of police executing a no-knock warrant on a house where they had little reason to be. No-knock raids often mimic home invasions by criminals. That’s where the problem is and it’s why several places have moved to ban the practice.

You don’t get to pretend that someone acting in self-defense–and a law-abiding citizen trying to fight back against a home invasion is self-defense–is somehow responsible for what happens. I thought victim-blaming was out of fashion. I guess not.

Yet even if you made that case, what about the myriad of other people who have managed to defend themselves and their families? Should they have been left to die because it somehow offends your sensibilities that they had guns?

No, they shouldn’t.

Breonna Taylor’s death is a tragedy, but don’t make it worse by causing more tragedies in response.