Anti-Gun Editorial Ignores Key Facts About 'Gun Deaths'

AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File

I read a lot of editorials in my day-to-day life. It's kind of a job requirement. I only write about the anti-gun ones and not all of those. Sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.


Other times, there are, especially when whoever writes the editorial is missing important facts, either by accident or intention.

That happens a lot more than it should, and not because column inches are in too short of a supply to really delve into the issue as deeply as one should. No, a lot of times it's simply because either they didn't think to look for these facts or because they didn't want to.

Take this editorial out of Mississippi, for example. The editor--it seems there's not an editorial board at work on this fiasco--seems to want to lay out why Mississippi is wrong to embrace gun rights as they do.

At the same time, liberal or “progressive” entities supporting limits on Second Amendment rights label Mississippi as having the worst gun laws in the country. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence – named for gun violence victim former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona – describes Mississippi’s gun laws as follows: “Mississippi has the weakest gun laws in the country and the highest gun death rate…(the state) passed a dangerous permitless carry law in 2016 which allows almost anyone to carry hidden, loaded guns in public without a background check or law enforcement oversight.”

Let's also remember that just because a biased organization like Giffords calls the laws in a given state "bad" or "weak," it doesn't make them so.


Giffords is also notorious for failing to note that "gun deaths" includes suicides. Gun control is a terrible solution to suicides because, at best, it prompts people to just use another method for taking their life. While guns might be the most effective method for doing so, there are other methods for such a thing that are nearly as effective. That means you're not going to solve suicides with gun control.

Yet that debate never seems to happen and Giffords never acknowledges that their push for things like assault weapon bans--for which they often use "gun death" statistics--won't have any impact on suicides at all.

From across the political spectrum in the gun law debate, there is ample hyperbole and alarmist rhetoric. But the fact is that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked Mississippi as having the highest rate of gun deaths in the country at 29.6 per 100,000 residents. That’s just over double the national rate of 14.2 gun deaths per 100,000 residents.

Again, gun deaths include suicides.

The CDC's overall homicide mortality rate is 20.7. Considering the division of how gun deaths break down coming later, this is important because this makes it clear that many of these homicides are carried out with some weapon other than a gun.


That's because homicides are the issue, not guns.

Last year, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Surgery found that firearm deaths are more likely in small rural towns than in major urban centers. Data from the CDC showed that politically-red states had the highest firearm mortality rates while the politically-blue states had lower firearm mortality rates.

In Mississippi, 2020 research showed that of gun deaths, 47% were suicides and 47% were homicides. That compared with 61% suicides and 36% homicides nationally that year.

From a practical political standpoint, legislation restricting Second Amendment rights is a non-starter at the Mississippi State Capitol. But Mississippi’s increasingly consistent rank as the state with the highest rate of gun deaths should concern conservatives and liberals alike.

Sure, but let's look at some other statistics that got ignored.

For example, US News & World Report ranks Mississippi 38th in K-12 education, and 35th for education overall. It also has the highest poverty rate in the nation. It ranks 41st in mental health. All of these are contributing factors to both violent crime and suicides. Somehow, however, the editor of this particular publication either decided to ignore them or just didn't realize that was a thing.


And that doesn't even touch on how the heat influences violence, and here in the Deep South, it gets as hot as Hades.

See, when you're trying to sell the idea that guns are the problem and that people should be tripping over themselves to do something about them, anything that might suggest an alternative cannot be included.

I'm not saying this particular editor is trying to do that. He may well have been influenced by the plethora of other pieces pushing that narrative and he simply shaped his own editorial similarly. Either way, there's a lot going on that doesn't get mentioned in the media, either national or local. It's not as simple as the anti-gunners want you to believe because if you realize that, you might not support their cause.

That's what it's all about.

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