Culture, Science & Faith

Message From the Left: If You Buy a Gun, You Will Kill Yourself

Another anti-gun study gives fodder for leftists but let's don't take our eye off the ball.

Jan. 24, 2014

Leave it to our “friends” on the Left to draw exactly the wrong conclusions from a given set of facts. Take gun control, for example. In Leftspeak, “gun control” – harsh restrictions on gun ownership – makes the world safe by removing guns “from our streets.” However, notwithstanding the dirty little secret that the Entitlement Class currently controlling the levers of U.S. political power wants to disarm the public en route to its ultimate goal of statist tyranny, scholarly studies like those published in economist John Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime” have conclusively shown that implementation of gun control laws is directly correlated – and strongly, at that – with violent crime rates. Further – as the title of Lott’s book also suggests – per capita rates of gun ownership are inversely correlated, again strongly, with crime rates. As another data point: The NRA notes that gun ownership is at an all-time high at exactly the same time the nation’s murder rate is approaching an all-time low.

But never mind the facts. Leftists have never let those pesky things get in the way of a good yarn. Fortunately for them, the halls of Pollyanna-academia are filled with mush-heads who stand ready to “refute” these inconvenient truths. The latest effort was recently published in the otherwise-reputable Annals of Internal Medicine. Now why, one might ask, would a journal of internal medicine focus on a political issue like gun control? Great question; we can’t answer it. The gist of the study is the “conclusive” finding that having a gun inside one’s home makes one more likely to successfully attempt suicide.

Of course, the authors of this brilliant study ask us to check our brains at the Left-think door before we critically examine their findings. As Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine notes, these researchers would like us to put aside the fact that someone contemplating suicide might actually have the malice aforethought to go out and buy a gun; or that “the same personality traits or circumstances that increase their risk of suicide also make gun ownership more attractive.” Sullum further asks, “In how many cases, if any, did an abusive husband disarm his wife and use the gun she bought for self-defense against her? Were the people who committed suicide determined enough that if a gun had not been available they would have killed themselves anyway?” Who knows? No one bothered to investigate these obvious questions.

The problem is that no analysis beyond a first-order glance at the data was made during the study. The pre-biased authors had a conclusion in search of research data to support it, as is often the case with such “studies.” Without knowing the details of each death, the study – though full of facts – is wholly worthless because so many other independent variables which bear directly on the results were not even considered, let alone evaluated. Not to worry, however: For the ideologically driven, facts that don’t support the forgone conclusion may be readily discarded.

However, in debunking the latest leftist gun-control tripe, let’s not forget to keep our eye on the ball: At issue here is not “how safe” we feel with or without guns. The real issue is whether we, as U.S. citizens, have the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment – period. The Constitution’s answer is, “Yes.” Setting aside the buffoonery that renders this study worthless, even if its claims were accurate, its findings would have no impact on our constitutional rights.

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