Thomas Sowell

Similarly illogical reasoning has been used by counting how many intruders were killed by homeowners with guns and comparing that with the number of family members killed with those guns. But this is a nonsense comparison because most people who keep guns in their homes do not do so in hopes of killing intruders.

Most uses of guns in self-defense -- whether in the home or elsewhere -- do not involve actually pulling the trigger. When the intended victim turns out to have a gun in his hand, the attacker usually has enough brains to back off. But the lives saved this way do not get counted.

People killed at home by family members are highly atypical. The great majority of these victims have had to call the police to their homes before, because of domestic violence, and just over half have had the cops out several times. These are not just ordinary people who happened to lose their temper when a gun was at hand.

Neither are most "children" who are killed by guns just toddlers who happened to find a loaded weapon lying around. More of those "children" are members of teenage criminal gangs who kill each other deliberately.

Some small children do in fact get accidentally killed by guns in the home -- but fewer than drown in bathtubs. Is anyone for banning bathtubs? Moreover, the number of fatal gun accidents fell, over the years, while the number of guns was increasing by tens of millions. None of this supports the assumption that more guns mean more fatal accidents. Most of the gun controllers' arguments are a house of cards.

No wonder they don't want any hard facts coming near them.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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