Second Amendment Advocates Must Show Guns Also Save Lives by Tom Reynolds
Self-defense expert Massad Ayoob* makes the argument that 2A advocates need to be more vocal in talking about the lives that are saved by guns. The gun grabbing Left is always on the offense and, thus, we are on the defense. We need to go on the offense!
Those who advocate for gun control, usually through the passing of additional laws, have controlled the narrative for too long. It is time to “use the emotional element on our side as well.” He acknowledged that several thousand people are killed with guns every year. But he said gun control activists focus almost exclusively on the tragic number of deaths while ignoring the millions of lives saved by guns.
According to the 2021 National Firearms Survey published by Georgetown University, there were an estimated 1.67 million instances in which a person used a firearm in defense of self or others. According to the survey, a little over 25 percent of these incidents occurred in the gun owner’s home, and more than half, 53 percent, happened outside their home but on their property. About 9.1 percent of defensive gun uses were in public, and 4.8 percent occurred at work.
Most importantly, in 81.9 percent of the cases, no shots were fired, the study reads. Yet gun control advocates, and their complicit media sources, ignore, downplay or deny the “good guy with a gun” narrative.
Other studies have shown similar results. Gary Kleck used Center for Disease Control (CDC) unpublished surveys and found 1 million annual defensive uses of a gun.
Using Kleck’s lower number of 1 million defensive gun uses, if only 1 percent of them would have resulted in a murder, that is 10,000 lives saved. If only 1 percent would have resulted in a rape, that is 10,000 rapes prevented.
The focus is always on the killers and their victims. The faces of the two Columbine, Colorado shooters appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek. This type of media attention drives copycat killers to seek attention they can’t get any other way. Mr. Ayoob said the attention should be on the people who take the role of defenders.
Mr. Ayoob points out that another killer had a similar plan for a church, also in Colorado. But it turned out very differently. On Dec. 9, 2007, a gunman opened fire in the parking lot of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (He had killed two other people the night before.) He shot four people in the parking lot, two of whom died. As he entered the church foyer, he shot and wounded one man and was confronted by volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam. The former police officer was holding a 9 mm handgun and was able to stop the killer before he could hurt anyone else.
According to Mr. Ayoob, it’s a travesty that Columbine is a catchphrase for gun control, while New Life Church is virtually forgotten.
*Massad F. Ayoob (born July 20, 1948) is an American firearms, self-defense instructor and Security advisor. He has taught police techniques and civilian self-defense to both law enforcement officers and private citizens since 1974. He was the director of the Lethal Force Institute in Concord, New Hampshire, from 1981 to 2009, and now operates his own company. Ayoob has authored several books and more than 1,000 articles on firearms, combat techniques, self-defense, and legal issues, and has served in an editorial capacity for Guns Magazine, American Handgunner, Gun Week, Guns & Ammo and Combat Handguns. On September 30, 2020, Ayoob was named president of the Second Amendment Foundation.