Writer admits ignorance, then pretends to be gun authority

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Most journalists don’t know much about guns. Those of us who do know a thing or two tend to gravitate toward the Second Amendment media, though not all do. For most, they know what they read from their equally ignorant colleagues.

Then some decide to write on the topic themselves, and at that point, it can get comical.

Take this op-ed, for example.

After a report two weeks ago that a mother in my neighborhood discovered semi-automatic weapons under her son’s bed, I got a crash course in the laws surrounding assault weapons. What’s the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and an assault rifle and which ones are New Yorkers permitted to own? What is a magazine?

I knew that New York State had some of the toughest gun laws in the country but was surprised to learn that it is legal for adults over the age of 21 to purchase and own semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic pistols with 10 round magazines. New York State law only allows magazines to hold 10 rounds and you can only have a maximum of 7 rounds loaded into the magazine unless you are at a gun range, when you can fill the entire 10 rounds into the magazine.

Now, here the writer basically admits that she’s ignorant of what’s allowed and what isn’t in her state.

That’s not a crime. Many don’t know their state laws on guns and they don’t care. They’re not interested in exercising their Second Amendment rights so it’s not really an issue for them. That, too, is their right.

The problem is that the author then goes on to try and write authoritatively about the danger posed.

So the long and short of it is that the vast majority of New Yorkers can legally purchase powerful weapons, that pose a risk to themselves, their families and their neighbors. According to Brady, in 2019, more than 60% of gun deaths, for a total of 23,941 fatalities, were due to suicide. And Everytown for Gun Safety says, “Access to a firearm significantly increases the risk of death by suicide, domestic dispute, homicide, and unintentional gunshot.”

The numbers show that owning guns and storing them at home poses the greatest risk to the gun owner themselves and their families. Though people claim to need guns to protect themselves, in fact owning the gun only increases the chance that they will themselves be the victim when the gun is fired.

If you don’t know anything about guns, then maybe you should do a lot more research than just looking at what two gun control groups claim.

You see, both of those groups love to refer to a study that found you’re more likely to die by gunshot if you have a gun in the house, but there are problems with that study.

First, there are those who purchase a gun just to kill themselves with it. That’s going to skew the numbers up a bit.

Even taking that out of the equation, though, the numbers are still bad.

You see, the study in question didn’t bother to differentiate between lawfully owned guns and unlawfully owned firearms. That’s a big difference.

Criminals have guns in their homes, much like how you or I have guns. The difference is that they also tend to be involved in activities that increase their risk of being shot in the first place.

The study didn’t look at that, nor at how often the gun in the home was used to shoot the individual. As a result, a criminal with a handgun in the nightstand would be counted if he was shot by a homeowner he was trying to burglarize.

Is that nearly the same thing as a law-abiding homeowner being shot with their own gun somehow?

Not even remotely.

Plus, while it’s easy to provide statistics that make it look scary, the odds of a law-abiding person being shot are ridiculously low. The vast majority of shooting victims tend to be people who are involved in some kind of criminal activity, usually associated with gangs.

But we can’t expect the writer to know that because she’s ignorant about firearms. Not knowing the gun laws in her own home state, she can’t possibly know the nuances of how studies get manipulated to put out an anti-gun message.

Nor does she likely want to know. She was pretty proud of her ignorance to start with, and I suspect she’ll go right back to it.