Hochul says good guy with a gun "theory" is over

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

That’s something we’ve been saying for ages. When a rampaging shooter tears through a grocery store or a school, about the only thing that stops them is being confronted by someone with a gun of their own. They rarely just fizzle out and call it a day.

But New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says the “theory” of a good guy with a gun is done and gone.

“We don’t need guns on our streets. We don’t need people carrying guns in our subways. We don’t need people carrying guns in our schools. We don’t need people carrying in our places of worship. We don’t need them carrying them into bars or restaurants. Because that only makes people less safe,” Hochul said.

Hochul then said the proof is that New York is currently the fifth-lowest in the nation when it comes to the rate of firearm-related deaths, according to CDC data.

“This whole concept that a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guys with a gun, it doesn’t hold up. And the data bears this out, so that theory is over.”

Except, the data doesn’t show any such thing.

Yes, CDC data shows that New York has relatively low firearm-related deaths, but that’s not how you need to look at something like this. You have to look at how many homicides you’re looking at in total. Just because a bad guy doesn’t use a gun, it doesn’t make the innocent life taken somehow less important.

For example, New York is eighth in the total number of homicides in the US. Of course, New York has a high population, so that could skew things entirely all on its own. This is why we use per capita.

That doesn’t help Hochul’s case, either, though. After all, the CDC shows 16 states with a lower rate per capita than New York for total homicides. That includes some pretty pro-gun states like Utah, Idaho, and New Hampshire, just to name a few.

If anything, it tells us that the issue is far more complex than just gun laws. It also shows us that looking at just firearm homicides tells us absolutely nothing about homicides in general. Such data is held up to make a point, but it’s a perfect example of lying with statistics.

Further, what that CDC data doesn’t show are the instances when a good guy with a gun stops a homicide from taking place.

Estimates vary widely, of course, with as few as 100,000 defensive gun uses on the low end to 2.5 million on the higher end. We know Hochul would reject the high end of that spectrum on general principle, but even on the low end, that’s more than five times the total number of homicides we see annually.

That tells us a good guy with a gun stops a murder from taking place far more often than they actually succeed in killing someone.

And that’s at a minimum.

The actual number is likely to be far, far higher than any 100,000 defensive gun uses per year, and I believe Hochul knows this. I can’t believe no one provided her any data on defensive gun uses at any point before.

So why claim that the “theory” of the good guy with a gun is over?

Because she wants it to be. That’s all there is to it. She wants it to be, so she and her fellow lawmakers have crafted laws in New York to make it as impossible as they can for anyone to be the good guy with a gun.

Yet she can’t change reality. She can’t change the fact that bad people do bad things and good people need to be able to defend themselves.

Unfortunately, politics is about perception, not reality, so she’ll claim the idea of a good guy with a gun stopping bad people is a myth, push more gun control into effect until she can make it look like a myth in her state, then say she was right the whole time.

Meanwhile, violent crime in New York City will continue to soar as the rest of the state–the people whose own politics are overshadowed by the big city’s–will bring that rate down for the rest of the state so Hochul can live in her own delusion.