Debunking Myths About Gun Rights in Philadelphia

More than 100 people have been shot on the city’s streets in the last month. Why?

In the end, Philadelphia police officer Moses Walker Jr. died Saturday morning not just because the city’s streets are filled with bad men—though, surely, that is true—but because of a theory. An ideology. A fantasy, actually, that more guns are better, that more guns make us safer, that the solution to gun violence is more guns.

Those ideas are belied by the facts in Philadelphia, a city so beset with gun violence that there’s a website—run by a few heroic journalists—dedicated to tracking the single topic. But it’s still worth examining them a little more closely, just to see how at odds they are with reality.

The reality is that two-thirds of all homicides in the United States are committed with guns. The reality is that guns are a big factor in why somebody in Philadelphia is murdered nearly every single day. The theories can’t compare, can they?

Let’s look:

Theory: Guns are needed and useful for self-defense.

Reality: The cases of guns being used to successfully defend against assaults in America are few and far between—one study suggested that guns are used by victims to defend themselves in less than 1 percent of all violent crimes. “Firearm self-defense,” the study’s authors noted drily, “is rare compared with gun crimes.” And there’s little evidence that the crime rate has changed in states that adopt “concealed carry” laws.

One reason that stories go viral when old geezers get the drop on criminals is because those cases are so rare. But ask yourself this: What story do you hear more often? The one about the gun being fired legitimately in self-defense? Or the story about a young children getting hit by stray bullets?

It’s not really close, is it?

Theory: We need guns to help us defend our God-given rights.

Reality: A variation on that theory was probably on the mind of Floyd Corkins II, an activist for gay causes, when he walked into the headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council last week and shot a guard there in the arm. Funny thing: Corkins’ actions didn’t actually do anything to advance the political cause of gay marriage in this country. (More than 25 gay rights groups, not incidentally, banded together to condemn the shooting.) And the Virginia Republicans who suggested that “armed revolution” might be needed if President Obama wins re-election? Nobody thinks they’re real patriots.

Listen: The last real revolution in this country happened more than 200 years ago. We’ve been through all kinds of upheavals since then, but it’s never been guns that persuaded Americans and their government to move in the direction of greater freedom. Guns didn’t win women the vote; guns didn’t end Jim Crow; guns didn’t even persuade anybody to lower marginal tax rates. The truth is, you don’t want to live in a nation where citizens actually decide to take up arms against their government. In the meantime, there are lots of people dying now in order that some folks can be prepared for a revolution that may never come.

Theory: The Founding Fathers built gun rights into the Second Amendment.

Reality: That’s debatable—there’s an argument to be made they were attaching that right to the raising of “well-regulated militias”—but even so, consider how far today’s Second Amendment fundamentalists are willing to say that vision extends: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the amendment just might offer the right for individual citizens to possess anti-aircraft missiles.

That’s insane. And if it should somehow be proven that that was the Founders’ vision—let’s be skeptical on that count—well, we shouldn’t overly revere the Founders then, because that idea would still be insane.

I always pause when writing critiques of Second Amendment fundamentalism; I grew up in Kansas among good, conservative folks—many of whom were good, responsible gun-owners who take the responsibilities of gun ownership seriously, and who take seriously those theories behind gun ownership. I’m not interested in taking away their guns, and the politics of guns in America wouldn’t allow for it anyway.

But they don’t live in Philadelphia, or any other big city plagued with gun violence. They don’t live where five people can be shot to death in a single weekend. They don’t live in a town where—as the folks at GunCrisis.org pointed out last week—more than 100 people have been shot in the weeks since the Aurora massacre. They don’t live in a town where an off-duty cop, Moses Walker Jr., wasn’t even safe enough to avoid being murdered walking through town.

The Second Amendment is a good idea … in theory. In reality—in Philadelphia—gun culture is a culture of death.

  • mykola1

    Joel, I will have to disagree with you on just about every point. First, I will say that I do belong to the NRA and I do believe in gun rights, but I am not one of these people that will say everyone should own a gun. What I do believe is that people with a non-violent background who can pass a standard psychological test should have every right to buy a firearm if they so wish. Now the psychological test is not standard practice in obtaining a firearm but I do believe it should be, but back to your story. I do not feel your opinion is objective. Officer Walker, Jr. did not lose his life to a person who legally obtained his or her firearm. He did not lose his life because there are more guns on the street. Officer Walker, Jr. lost his life because someone saw an opportunity to do him harm and took advantage of it. I also believe he realized too late that he was in trouble. Law enforcement personnel are trained to understand their surroundings and unfortunately he mave have let his guard down somewhat because he wasn’t in a good part of town. So most likely, he was gunned down because criminals will always have weapons that are as good if not better than the law enforcement community (that they do NOT ontain legally) and they want to show everyone how tough they are. They will target the innocent and they will not care about collateral damage nor their families who will suffer from the after effects. Going back to the point, do you have proof of legal gun totting citizens (and I am not talking about the crazy lunatics who decide to take the world with them) killing policemen or for that matter innocent civilians? I doubt you do and I am willing to bet there are as many homicides using knives, vehicles, explosives and other items that be considered weapons. Should we then ban cars, knives, ropes, etc. because they kill people? The problem isn’t the firearms, knives, or other weapons. It’s the criminals who know they will be put into jail with little to no retribution outside of incarceration. They will be fed, they will be clothed and they will be surrounded by their peers. Some of them even prefer being back in jail to being on the streets. There is no direct precedent on legal owned firearms and the homicidal cirminal. The problem is the penalty is not severe enough for the person committing the crime. Change that and maybe they will think twice before they obtain a firearm ILLEGALLY to commit a murder and or crime. My prayers an thoughts go out to Officer Walker, Jr.’s family. I am sure he was a good man and upstanding police officer. May his killer be caught or better may he or she suffer the same fate. That fate would befit the crime.

  • http://joelmathis.blogspot.com/ Joel Mathis

    There’s a lot going on here, mykola1, but there’s one particular point you make that is simply and demonstrably wrong:

    “I am willing to bet there are as many homicides using knives, vehicles, explosives and other items that be considered weapons. Should we then ban cars, knives, ropes, etc. because they kill people? ”

    Actually, guns are involved in two-thirds of all American homicides. From The Guardian: ” In 2010 – the latest year for which detailed statistics are available – there were 12,996 murders in the US. Of those, 8,775 were caused by firearms.” So knives, vehicles, explosives, etc. didn’t come close to doing the damage done by guns.

    And that makes sense, because–as I’ve written about before–guns have a single purpose: To injure or kill the living thing that they’re aimed at. That’s it. Knives can be used to cut your dinner potato into smaller pieces, cars get you where you’re going. Of all the implements you describe, the gun is the only one that, when used properly, is intended to result in death and injury when activated. So that makes guns different.

    You’ll notice, I didn’t call for a ban on firearms. The truth is, I didn’t really offer much in the way of solutions. (I am suitably chastened.) Some of my readers who are also in Twitter offered a number of ideas, though, and the folks at GunCrisis.org offered some non-gun-ban solutions to the problem:

    http://guncrisis.org/2012/08/08/guncrisis-solution-of-the-day-focus-on-the-small-number-of-most-violent-individuals/

    http://guncrisis.org/2012/08/01/seeking-solutions-guncrisis-roundtable-with-the-philadlephia-city-council/

  • barryg1

    And how many of those shootings were committed with weapons that are already illegal? This piece says nothing about the gun crisis in Philly at all, complete fluff. If we want to tackle gun violence in Philly we need to better enforce the gun laws already on the books and address the culture that encourages illegal gun ownership and violent solutions to disputes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darren.baker.982845 Darren

    Chas says:

    Joel’s misshapen head must be caused by having it up his rectum for so long.

    Levi B says:

    Would think “journalists” would know how to use Google by now. I mean, it works better than searching on the Brady Campaign’s site and seems to be the most research any of them are willing to do to begin with.

    uncommon_sense says:

    Various sources claim that there might be as many as 8 million people with concealed carry permits — or who are interested in carrying in states like Vermont that do not require a concealed carry permit. Let’s assume that half of all concealed carriers are actually carrying at any given time. That means about 4 million people are armed wherever they may happen to be. And the U.S. population is about 310 million. So, about 1.3% of the U.S. population is carrying at any given moment.

    So yes … I would say that it is very realistic that victims defend themselves with a firearm in about 1% of violent crimes … since that is about how many people have firearms on their person when they would be attacked!

    uncommon_sense says:

    Here is another reasons that explains why it is very realistic that even less than 1% of victims of violent crime used firearms to defend themselves.

    Many people who go about their business armed have much more of a safety mindset. That means they avoid dangerous places as much as possible. And they scan for potential violent situations wherever they go … quite possibly avoiding several violent crimes. Thus the safety mindset minimizes exposure to violent crimes in the subset of the population who are armed relative to the general population.

    V.McCann says:

    Hi I’m Joel Mathis. I get paid to lie unapologetically.

    I think this article was just a paid advertisement for the Brady Campaign.

    Silver says:

    Wow, what an utter failure of logic. Even if the numbers were that low, and even if that mattered, it still doesn’t make sense.

    If only 3 percent (a hopeful estimation of people who carry semi-regularly) of the population wore seatbelts, and thus a miniscule amount of lives were saved by seat belts in car accidents…would you say that seatbelts don’t work, or that more people should wear their bloody seatbelts?

    I wonder sometimes how the anti mind can function on a daily basis.

    John Arizona says:

    I have “shown” a Gun 2 time in self defence, first in NC I was in military and a perp. came up to my car at a drive in restraunt with a baseball bat. “If you drive away I gona smash yo winsield” . Pulling the slide back and pointing the 22 cal. at him sent him running.
    Second time another Driver at a stop light, out of vehicle, came up to my car and threatened to pull me out of my vehicle and beat the ($#!+) out of me. I stuck the same 22 cal. in his face and he said “If I had my Gun there would be a shoot out” I said “Yeah but you dont”. He left.

    Kelly in GA says:

    Considering that only maybe 2-3% of people carry regularly, and this guys number is likely significantly deflated, I’m not surprised at the low number of successful DGU’s compared to overall assaults. Add to it that we tend to remove ourselves from bad situations before they happen, i.e., avoiding sketchy people and areas, and maybe we really do a good job making good things happen in bad situations.

    Tommy says:

    Does it really matter what percentage is used for self defense. If there was only one person who defended themselves with a gun, that’s enough for me.

    Daniel says:

    “one study suggested that guns are used by victims to defend themselves in less than 1 percent of all violent crimes.”

    …and? That’s a good thing, right?

    GS650G says:

    If you’re one of the 1% it’s a very good thing. But they don’t think about that living in their safe neighborhoods

    jwm says:

    another one of those handwringing ” i couldn’t imagine myself manning up and defending myself or my loved ones so i’m going to devote myself to making sure no one else gets the chance” chuds. speaking of chuds, and ot as though that’s ever mattered here. anybody else hear that rosie o’donnel had a heart attack. i didn’t think ms. low class had a heart.

    LeftShooter says:

    Here’s a problem I see: his data that showed the percentage of DGUs came from a study of the 1987-1990 period. I’d submit that the number of CCW citizens has advanced greatly since 1990 and would likely show a much different number of DGUs today.

    Mike Taylor says:

    Very inventive twist of opinion for Mr. Mathis. I just wish he knew what the hell he was talking about.

  • parks207

    An Aside: I wanted to point out the elephant in the room. Philly, Houston, DC, Chicago, etc, etc, etc and many other Urban centers are plagued with all manner of violent crime. Why is it that 13% of the population is responsible for approx 60% of the homicides and violence crimes? That is beyond epidemic. For the stats please see: (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/tables/oracetab.cfm) Also, Joel your choice for your stats hints at your bias. Try using John Lott’s research next time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darren.baker.982845 Darren

    Joel Says”

    “The reality is that two-thirds of all homicides in the United States are committed with guns. The reality is that guns are a big factor in why somebody in Philadelphia is murdered nearly every single day.”

    By that logic you could just change the message you said above to.

    “The reality is that most of all homicides in the United States are committed with black people. The reality is that black people are a big factor in why somebody in Philadelphia is murdered nearly every single day.”

    So what do you propose Joel? Black people control?? just like you propose Gun Control?

    No that would not make sense. Instead focus your efforts on writing about how police should focus more on gang activities and street crime. Focusing all your efforts on disarming law abiding citizens makes as much sense as banning all cars because some people choose to be reckless with cars.

  • http://joelmathis.blogspot.com/ Joel Mathis

    “So what do you propose Joel? Black people control?? just like you propose Gun Control?”

    The funny thing is, I didn’t actually propose gun control in this piece. I’m guilty of not offering some sort of solution, it’s true, and I guess I can see how one might assume I’m for gun control. But I’ll say it again like I said in the actual column: I’m not for taking away people’s guns. So chill.

    Rather than get deep in the racial weeds with you–it’s a provocative comment, and I don’t intend to be provoked–I’ll focus on your other analogy: “Focusing all your efforts on disarming law abiding citizens makes as much sense as banning all cars because some people choose to be reckless with cars.”

    The whole “cars kill people too” argument is something of a canard, I think: cars transport people from place to place, death and injury is a byproduct of their use, yes, but not the intent of their use. Guns? Their function, when activated, is to injure, kill, or in some way damage the thing they’re aimed at. Death isn’t an accidental byproduct of gun use; it’s the whole point. That makes guns qualitatively different.

    That said, there are non-gun control ways of addressing this problem. The folks at GunCrisis.org are focusing on those alternatives, and I intend to highlight those solutions in the near future.

  • g-n-sd1

    Check out http://www.gunsinselfdefense.com

    Posting up 30+ articles a week of current self defense uses of guns.

    Joel,
    The reason your facts and opinions are skewed is that only one side ever makes the national news. No one reads about them and they are not part of the political agenda. NRA members get to read about 5-8 a month posted in their magazines.

    Secondly the statistics on guns in self defense are very misleading. There are no accurate (oxymoron) statistics on how many defensive situation happen where the person draws a gun and never fires. Many of these situations never get reported.

  • teebonicus1

    Joel, the very monniker “GunCrisis” is wrong-headed. The crisis isn’t guns, it is criminals.

    If you expect us to believe that an organization with such a monnkier is not dedicated to curtailing gun ownership, you must have a low opinion of our intelligence.

    There is no other way to put this – the crisis isn’t guns, it is certain humans behaving badly. Not all of them, just some of them. Therefore, any suggestion that inhibits those who do not behave badly in the exercise of their rights because of those who do is a non sequitur, and will be duly regarded as such.

  • http://joelmathis.blogspot.com/ Joel Mathis

    Teebonicus: I mean, you don’t have to take my word for it. Go check it out. I think it’s fair to say the folks there see guns at the root of the crisis, but don’t expect to root out guns. So they’re trying to figure out alternative ways of fixing it. You don’t have to agree with the diagnosis, I guess, but if you care about what you *say* you care about, maybe you’re a little too quick to throw out their proposed treatments.

    On the other hand, there’s something weird about the conversation here. If it’s true that liberals like myself put too much emphasis on the guns and not on the criminals–and yes, that’s probably a weakness–it’s equally weird that gun rights folks who are weighing in here see the problems completely in terms of people being bad and *not at all* in terms of what easy access to guns (tools that are exclusively implements for killing, really) might facilitate that. That seems to me to be the triumph of ideology over fact, and that too, will be duly regarded as such.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    So explain to everyone again how the US government acknowledges that career crimnals, gang members, and suiciders commit over 92% of illegal deaths by use of a firearm, yet the root cause of all that violence is the law abiding gun owners?

    Explain again how an inanimate object can be the root cause of violence, you know, those acts committed by sentient beings who are driven by lust, greed, drug abuse, etc, etc, etc, etc all those lovely vices and crap that make us humans? The FBI only recorded say in 2008, 381,000 out of 1.38 mil violent crimes reported, uh if guns are the root cause of violence, uh why werent guns involved in every crime eh? (not including the 70% or 4.8 mil violent crimes the government acknowledges as not being reported each year , USDOJ National Victimization report 2008)

    Or do you really believe that an inanimate object has supernatural powers to load, aim and fire itself (Fetishism).

    Or the advanced version of this mental warble where one believes that just being in close proximity to said inanimate object, it can use its esp or voices to command said person to commit a violent act. You do realize that people who believe this, are for the most part locked up as a danger to the public and themselves for being the loveable schizophrenics they are.

    Then you have the Loughners & Holmes of this world. A sheriff had 4 or 5 opportunities to press charges on Loughner before the Giffords shooting, but hey, death threats arent serious charges right? A psychiatrist and board of safety at CU had the opportunity to report Holmes to the system but didnt.

    Such a common trend, government or those in charge, failing to do their duty.

    Speaking of failure, lets review how the existing background checks are enforced.

    BATF since 1994, has prosecuted less than 1% of the 1 mil plus felons caught attempting to buy from a licensed source. Since the hiearcht of crimes does not apply here for charges being brought, explain why the BATF did not pursue or followup charges on these people obviously in the databse?

    BATF since 1994 has let over 830,000 others rejected, which includes the crazies, not prosecuting any of these.

    BATF a GAO Congressional review sent agents into 5 states, and using fake identifications, everyone passed the abckground check, CBS Report 3/2001.

    BATF 95% of felons dont even attempt to buy from a licensed source to begin with.

    USDOJ Background Check & Firearm Transfer report 2008
    DOJ Firearms use by Offenders Nov 2001

    Yeah that total lack of enforcement is the law abiding gun owners fault how again?

    Hey what about the reporting function to NICS implemented at the end of 2007? As NICS records from 1994 to July 2012 show only 1.7 mil records of mentally ill people in the database. Mental health professional agreee an average of 7% of the civilian population (312 mil = 21.8 mil severely mentally ill) has severe mental health issues.

    Since the government acknowledges with mental health professionals that 50% of the 2.7 mil prisoners have severe mental health issues, are 1.35 mil of those records in the database felons or not? How is it those records arent being input, oh thats right, the state government havent budgeted moneys or resources to do so. Uh how is that the law abiding gun owners fault?

    But hey, all those laws that apply to felons, oh geez, havent read Haynes vs US 390, 85, 1968 or Freed vs US 401, 1971 have you. Seems that the 5th amendment was upheld that felons are not legally liable to obey a law that requires them to violate their 5th amendemnt right of no self incrimination, making oh 85% of the existing 20,000 gun control laws not applicable. Yeha, them there laws really apply to the felons, NOT!

    You do realize that using government data only, we can prove firearms are not used to kill 99.68% of the time they are used! But if they are not used to kill, what are they doing? You infer firearms are used to kill every single time they are pulled from their holster, shots are fired, and a death for every bullet fired right? Are you stating killing to defend onesself is illegal or immoral? Funny, why does the FBI UCR doument justifiable homicides then eh?

    Then of course we have reams of data from cities, states, and countries showing whence the date they implemented strict gun control to a later date, there has never been a reduction in violence.

    Good example, England began keeping crim data in 1898, had a 1.0 murder rate per 100k people and no strict gun control.

    2010 England had a murder rate of 1.3 per 100k people and strict gun control.

    Uh thought gun control reduced violence, geez, never does, such a common recurring trend.

    See thats how sane people do a proper comparison and will duly be regarded as such

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    Yeah, sad how the antis treatments/solutions are all predicated on the law abiding giving up more rights, or being infringed upon some more.

    All while the antis give up what, oh nothing as usual.

    Care to review the anti gun extremists organizations and review their 990 tax forms to see how much of their funding is actually spent on activities that reduce violence as they have proven legislation doesnt do didley?

    Who here wants to bet that not more than 3% of their revenue goes towards job training, gang intervention, forcing the BATF to actually enforce the existing laws, putting protective measures in the places where they disarm victims in their gun free zones, better schooling, legalizing illicit drugs to remove the cartels and gangs power base, the massive revenues from illicit drugs. Just like what happened to the mob when prohibition was repealed.

    You could then use the DEA who wouldnt need over $50 billion in funding and use them as the tax revenue collectors and control for the legalized drug market as reality is, mankind has been getting high since the dawn of time and a portion of the population always will.

    Heck you could even use some of that funding to start working on a standardized mental health system, much less a reporting function to the NICS.

    You would then free up a significant portion of space in the prison system as 30-40% of the 2.7 mil prisoners are there on drug charges. Which would then open up room to put all those 1 mil felons who the BATF did not prosecute behind bars.

    But the cartels, DEA, people in charge of the prisons, and those who supply the prisons needs at $41,000 a prisoner per year wont want their piece of the pie cut so they will resist. Such greed, such corruption when they could do something to reduce the violence significantly with just the one action, legalizing illicit drugs.

    Yeah, the anti gun organizations wouldnt want legalization to occur either as such a reduction in violence would further reduce the only platform they have to trumpet their lie that gun control reduces violence, the ability of the antis to dance in the blood of the innocents. Its all they have left.

    So please save your platitudes that the anti gun extremists actually care about reducing violence as they would be cutting their own financial throats were they to do so.

  • bill k

    There are guns for hunting. There are guns for target practice. There are guns for personal protection and defense of the home. But anyone who wants a semi automatic or an automatic is a sick **** and should not have any guns. I’ve read many variations of the “guns don’t kill people, people do” here and it is all crap. Carrying guns on city streets causes way more problems than it will ever solve. “Got a barrel that is blue and gold. It ain’t good for nothing but put a man six feet in a hole!”

  • peter1

    You gun nuts are laughable. Most of you are so entrenched in your ideas that you refuse to even admit that there could be a problem, and strangely believe that your gun is more likely going to be used to defend you, your life or your possessions than it is to kill you or someone you love, or be the reason that you are killed.

    1. No one is coming for your guns. There are way too many guns in this country for that.

    2. Not sure if you’ve figured out a way to shoot with your feet yet, but I’m guessing not. In which case you really don’t need more than two guns. And if your problem can’t be solved with twp guns, then you’ve got a bigger problem than guns can handle.

    3. The government isn’t “coming for you and your guns” unless you’ve done something seriously wrong in 99.9% of cases. In which case, you probably aren’t a “responsible” gun owner.

    4. How are all of these illegal guns out there? They were acquired illegally though various means, but my guess is they once were sold legally and either lost by their rightful owners, sold illegally to someone else by a supposedly “responsible” owner, or stolen by a criminal, in which case, that gun really didn’t do you a lot of good, and you obviously weren’t responsible enough to hide it well.

    Most gun nuts I’ve met are either too stupid to talk their way out of a problem or too much of a sissy to handle things with their own two hands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    Speaking of self defense working, lets review some of the bigger gun free victim disarmament zone shootings and see the results difference between ones where people are killed like lambs to slaughter, or where people didnt wait for the nanny state government to get there just in time to draw chalk lines around the bodies.

    Lets review the following 14 mass shootings, and note what the body counts were where resistance occurred versus no resistance.

    October 16, 1991, Luby’s Cafeteria, Killeen, TX, “Gun-Free”: 1 gunman, 23 murdered, 20 injured.
    April 20, 1999, Columbine, “Gun-Free”: 2 gunmen, 13 murdered, 24 injured. Many were murdered AFTER the police were “on scene”.
    April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech, “Gun-Free”: 1 gunman, 32 murdered, 25 injured. Most were murdered AFTER the police were “on scene”.
    Feb 14,2008 Northern Illinois University, 1 gunman, 5 dead, 18 injured, gunman kills self long before police arrive to engage.
    Nov 5 ,2009 Ft Hood Texas, 1 gunman, 13 dead, 30 wounded. Military personnel on base are BANNED from having a weapon, but the shooter did, and it was almost 9 minutes before police responded
    July 2012 Aurora CO, 1 gunman, 13 dead, 70 wounded
    Aug 2012 Oak Creek WI, 1 gunman, 6 dead, 4 wounded

    Gun Free Zone 7 incidents

    Defenseless victims murdered: 105
    Defenseless victims injured: 191

    December 17, 1991 Shoney’s Family Restaurant, Anniston, AL: 3 gunmen, 20 hostages, one ARMED customer (Thomas Glenn Terry). Police finally arrived to find one dead robber, one wounded robber and the third had fled when the shooting started. NO INJURED INNOCENTS.
    October 1, 1997, Pearl High School: 1 gunman, 2 murdered, 7 injured: Stopped by ARMED vice principal.
    January 16, 2002, Virginia Appalachian School of Law: 1 gunman, 3 murdered, 3 injured. Killer was stopped when confronted by two ARMED students.
    Nov 20, 2005 Tacoma WA, 20 yr old juvenile delinquent shoots 4 (1 non gun shot wounded) then exchanges shots with an armed civilian wounding him, but then takes 4 hostages and holes up before surrendering to police.
    Feb 12, 2007 Trolley Mall Salt Lake Utah 1 gunman, 4 killed, 5 wounded before on scene off duty policeman shot and killed the heavily armed killer. Hundreds of people still in mall when shooting ended before on duty police arrived.
    Dec 9 2007, Colorado Springs, New Life Church, 1 gunman 2 murdered, 3 injured, gunman stopped when armed woman shoots gunman, who then turns gun on self and commits suicide, while 100 other church members are in church.
    May 4th, College Station Georgia 2 gunman, 10 victims, 1 dead gunman, 1 victim wounded. The 2 thugs robbing a party begin discussing if they have enough bullets to do the job. One man retrieves his firearm, kills one thug, chases the other off.

    Where murderers encountered ARMED resistance 7 incidents

    murdered: 11
    Where murderers encountered ARMED resistance; injured: 24

    296/35 = 8.45

    Wow, where no resistance occurred 8.45 plus times higher body count.

    Yep, a higher body count is morally superior to a lower body count based on your irrelevant beliefs.

    Now lets go to the garden variety self defense incidents. The following are just from one website, “Keep & Bear Arms”, oldest incident dated 6/1/2012.

    • Homeowner Shoots Late Night Home Invader Who Threatened His Wife (TX)
    • Man Who Tried to Force His Way Into Home is Shot, Killed by 66 Year Old Veteran With .357 Magnum (OR)
    • 87 Year Old NC Woman Uses 9mm Handgun to Scare Off 2 Home Invaders (NC)
    • Las Vegas Dairy Queen Clerk Shoots, Kills Sword Wielding Masked Robber (NV)
    • Armed Homeowner Scares Teens Trying To Steal Entire Safe (CO)
    • Suspected Burglar Shot In Neck; Drives Self To Hospital (CA)
    • Defensive Guns Use of the Day: No One Needs More Than Ten Rounds, Vol II Edition (KS)
    • Caretaker at Dayton apostolic temple shoots burglar (OH)
    • Alabama woman shoots home invader to protect ax and knife wielding daughters (AL)
    • Houston, TX Homeowner Shoots 1 of 3 Men Burglarizing His Neighbor’s Home (TX)
    • Macon store employee shoots car burglar in Academy Sports parking lot (GA)
    • Homeowner Shoots Would Be Home Invader (KY)
    • Elderly FL Homeowner Shoots and Kills Knife Wielding Home Invader (FL)
    • Shotgun Wielding Street Robber Shot by Concealed Carrying Victim (TX)
    • Bystanders help stabbing victim (TX)
    • Armed Robber Foiled by Gun-Owning Store Clerk (VA)
    • Minnesota Man Fights for His Life in Brutal Deer Attack, Shoots Crazed Buck
    • Grocery Store Clerk Shoots At, Scares Off Armed Robber (VA)
    • Store Clerk Fires 3 Shots At Armed Robber – Firefight Caught on Security Camera (FL)
    • Gun Shop Owner Shoots All 3 Men Who Drove a Car Into His Shop to Rob It (SC)
    • Homeowner Shoots 1 of 2 Home Invaders in Buttocks (NV)
    • Homeowner Shoots and Kills 1 of 2 Home Invaders as 12 Year Old Family Member Sleeps (FL)
    • Concealed Carrier Shoots and Kills Man Waving Gun Around Inside Home (FL)
    • Intruder shot dead at Oakland grow house (CA)
    • Texas Man Shoots Home Invader in Self-Defense! (TX)
    • 65 Year Old CA Woman Shoots and Fights Off FIVE Armed Robbers (CA)
    • 66 Year Old Kansas City, MO Shop Owner Shoots 1 of 2 Burglars He Caught Looting His Shop (MO)
    • Intruder is Shot At and Held at Gunpoint by Two Different Homeowners (FL)
    • Self-defense eyed in downtown killing (MA)
    • Authorities say man shot neighbor in face in self defense (SC)
    • 67 Year Old CT Homeowner Shoots Naked Home Invader Who Tried To Bite Him (CT)
    • Paraplegic man kills intruder during Johnstown home break-in (OH)
    • Homeowner Shoots and Kills 1 of 2 Early Morning Burglars (PA)
    • Homeowner Fires Shot Through Door After Intruder Tries to Break In (WA)
    • 73 Year Old Detroit Man Shoots and Kills 1 of 2 Home Invaders With Derringer (MI)
    • Tacoma homeowner shoots man trying to break into home (WA)
    • Alleged burglar shot in left leg (TX)
    • Taos County Sheriff’s Office reports shooting following intrusion (NM)
    • 66 Year Old Michigan Woman Shoots Home Invader Twice (MI)
    • Pizza Delivery Driver Fires Shots At 2 Would-Be Armed Robbers (OH)
    • Pennsylvania Gun Owner Claims Self-Defense in Fatal Shooting (PA)
    • Charges unlikely against man who shot robbers (FL)
    • Topeka, KS Homeowner Shoots and Kills 1 of at Least 2 Home Invaders (KS)
    • Woman Fires Shots At Man Who Was Breaking Into Her Office (FL)
    • Arrest made in burglary where suspect was shot (FL)
    • Woman Fires Shot At Burglar During Power Blackout (OH)
    • Homeowner Shoots Naked Intruder With a .22 (ID)
    • Woman Shoots Man She Has Restraining Order Against When He Attempted To Break In (NC)
    • Homeowner Detains Burglar at Gunpoint (TX)
    • Texan Shoots Drunk Man in Self-Defense (TX)
    • Woman accused of shooting at intruder (OH)
    • Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Virginian Standoff Edition (VA)
    • Suspect Shot In Tulsa Home Invasion (OK)
    • Woman shot by owner of Georgetown flea market (KY)
    • Unidentified Man, 20, Burglary Suspect Shot By Owner, Bayou Body Count No. 91 (TX)
    • Home intrusion leads to shooting in Arcata (CA)
    • Neighbors react to would-be intruder killed by homeowner (GA)
    • Store Clerk Fires at Two Armed Robbers, Hits One in the Chest (PA)
    • Homeowner Shoots 1 of 3 Home Invaders Who Was Armed With an AK Style Rifle (TX)
    • Would-be robber gets ambulance ride but no cash (TX)
    • Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Don’t Bring a Hatchet to a Gunfight Edition (WA)
    • Woman Shoots Intruder After He Tries To Break In For Second Time (WV)
    • Homeowner Shoots 1 of 3 Teenage Home Invaders (KY)
    • Police: Pharr tenant shoots 1 burglar, holds 2nd at gunpoint; 3rd arrested after manhunt (TX)
    • Bend homeowner shoots and kills intruder (OR)
    • Man holds teen burglary suspect at gunpoint in Santa Rosa (CA)
    • Georgia Tech Student Shoots Intruder (GA)
    • Athens, GA Gun Carrier Saves Woman From Violent Attack by Career Criminal (GA)
    • Man With Permit to Carry Stops Restaurant Robbery (CA)
    • 11-Year-Old Boy Heroically Stabs Mom’s Abusive Boyfriend as He Chokes Her (NY)
    • 14-year-old Phoenix boy shoots, nearly kills armed intruder (AZ)
    • Homeowner Shoots At Suspected Burglar (TX)
    • Gold Store Owner Shoots Armed Robber (FL)
    • Man Shoots To Frighten Dogs Attacking Woman (OH)
    • Lima jury finds gunman acted in self-defense (OH)

    There are other websites, KC3, Armed Citizen, American Rifleman, Guns save Lives…and when collated, more than 80 documented incidents per month. Since these are police and media reported, any claim of bias is the wail of the village idiot.

    Funny how the government acknowledges in only 15% of times a firearm is used are shots fired, only 15% of the times do the shots hit their target. So if one looks at the GOVERNMENT data (DOJ Firearms use by Offenders Nov 2001, POlice firearm discharge reports, USDOJ National Victimization report 2008, CDC & FBI UCR data, all showing that self defense does indeed occur way more than the anti gun extremists will ever admit.

    Oh wait, here is a HARVARD study, from a somewhat ANTI GUN university helping prove that suicides are not such an IMPULSIVE thing.

    Four out of five people who commit suicide have attempted to kill themselves at least once previously.

    Joiner, Thomas. 2005. Why People Die by Suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    The acne medication isotretinoin (Acutane) has been linked to a possible increase risk of suicide. The FDA requires Acutane to include a label warning that the product may be linked to suicide, depression, and psychosis.b

    b Evans, Glen, et. al. 2003. The Encyclopedia of Suicide. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc.

    Dang ZITS, yet more evidence of doctors prescribing death.

    Yeah, all the antis want to do is wail and cry about the bad, and never report the good, then again, antis are supporting the pahtological lie that gun control reduces violence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    All these crimes would not occur if guns were not available and the numbers killed would be less, ROTFLMFAO.

    Lets look at other incidents.

    The 2010 Chinese school attacks were a series of uncoordina­ted mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People’s Republic of China beginning in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 21 dead and some 90 injured.”

    The Nanping school massacre (福建南平校园惨案) occurred at Nanping City Experimental Elementary School in the city of Nanping, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China, in which a man used a knife to kill eight children and seriously wound five others.[1] The incident occurred on March 23, 2010, around 7:20 am local time (UTC+8 ).[2] It was the first of the 2010 Chinese school attacks

    Just a few hours after the execution of Zheng Minsheng in neighborin­g Fujian Province, in Leizhou, Guangdong another knife-wiel­ding man named Chen Kangbing, 33 at Hongfu Primary School wounded 16 students and a teacher.

    An attacker named Wu Huanming, 48, killed seven children and two adults and injured 11 other persons with a cleaver at a kindergart­en in Hanzhong, Shaanxi on May 12, 2010

    On 4 August 2010, 26-year-ol­d Fang Jiantang slashed more than 20 children and staff with a 60cm knife, killing 3 children and 1 teacher, at a kindergart­en in Zibo, Shandong province.

    Aug 2, 2012 A teenager has been arrested after killing nine people and wounding four others in a knife attack in northeast China, state media reported Thursday. The 17-year-old, who was identified only by his surname Li, barged into the home of his girlfriend armed with a knife following an argument and killed two relatives of the girl, the Legal Daily said. As he left his girlfriend’s home in Liaoning province’s Xinbin county, he stabbed six more people to death and wounded five, it said.
One of the injured died Thursday in hospital, the paper said. Li was arrested near the scene of the attack, late on Wednesday night, and was taken into custody, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

    The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, which killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself; at least 58 people were injured. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age [1]) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history and the third-deadliest massacre in U.S. history, behind the Oklahoma City bombing and the September 11 attacks.

    The Osaka School Massacre took place on June 8, 2001, at Ikeda Elementary School, an elite primary school affiliated with Osaka Kyoiku University in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. At 10:15 that morning, 37-year-old former janitor Mamoru Takuma entered the school armed with a kitchen knife and began stabbing numerous school children and teachers. He killed eight children, mostly between the ages of seven and eight, and seriously wounded thirteen other children and two teachers.

    The Akihabara massacre (秋葉原通り魔事件 Akihabara Tōrima Jiken?, lit. “Akihabara random attacker incident”) was an incident of mass murder that took place on Sunday, June 8, 2008, in the Akihabara shopping quarter for electronics, video games and comics in Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan.
    At 12:33 p.m. JST, a man hit a crowd with a truck, eventually killing three people and injuring two; he then stabbed at least 12 people using a dagger (initially reported as a survival knife[1]), killing four people and injuring eight.

    The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It would remain the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6 and injured more than 680 people.

    Wow that there gun control really reduced violence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    Fetishism, is a belief that an inanimate object has the supernatural powers to load, aim, and fire itself.

    The advanced symptoms of this mental illness is where one actually believes an inanimate object has the ability to use its voice or esp to command a person in close proximity to commit a violent act.

    Luckily, the majority of these loveable and violent schizophrenics are locked up for public safety, but then the Loughners and Holmes get through.

    Mostly because a sheriff refused to press charges 4 or 5 times against Loughner before the Giffords shooting as death threats arent a felony charge when your family is politcially connected. Or Holmes who the doctor and the risk board claim innocence of not reporting him to authorities as he had “dropped out of school”. Cho, the VA Tech killer doctor not reporting him, the 9 Army officers disciplined in a military tribunal for not acting and followng procedures in place that if done, would have removed the Major who shot all those unarmed military personnel in the gun free victim disarmament zone of a military base at FT Hood. Such a recurring trend.

    Then again, since the government refuses to do anything about a standardized mental health system and as noted previously, the states refuse to fund the mental health reporting function to the NICS system, explain again how the law abiding gun owners are repsonsible for over 19 million records of people with severe mental health issues not being in the NICS system?

    Oh so much more government data and facts showing the governments failures to enforce the existing laws, that the law abiding gun owners are not the problem, etc, etc, etc, etc….

    So you thirsty for more data you cant refute?

  • http://joelmathis.blogspot.com/ Joel Mathis

    This morning’s report: Multiple people dead around the Empire State Building, shot to death by an unknown assailant.

    Please, keep telling me how awesome guns are.

    The ultimate argument, as I understand from reading the comments here, are: We need to have easy access to guns because bad guys have easy access to guns. We have to be able to use gun violence to defend ourselves against gun violence.

    That makes sense, I guess, but it’s also kind of insane. I’m not coming for your guns, folks, but it’s not “fetishism” to say that a proliferation of weapons makes it much more easy and likely that those weapons will be used.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    Boy that there gun control really stopped that nut job from going on a bender, oh wait, police with FIREARMS stopped the nutjob.

    Wait, you should be scolding and castigating the police for failing to use less lethal means to stop this killer when he was shooting at people, how unevolved!

    Insane is the fixation that blaming the massive majority of innocent gun owners as being responsible will fix the problem.

    We have been trying that method of preventing crime for 5 decades, doesnt work.

    This country is built on the basic premise THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

    If you dont want to be prepared, WE DONT CARE that is your choice.

    As noted above, we understand the police cant, and will not be there to protect us so we prepare, we dont want to open a donut shop, or carry a police officer around, too heavy.

    Have you changed all those court rulings to make the police liable to protect everyone or all those 85% of gun control laws apply to felons, uh no.

    Have you increased taxes to make the US a police nanny state to protect everyone, uh no.

    NYC w 36,000 officers, the largest metropolitan police force in the world, with roughly 1 on duty patrolman for every 1/4 square mile and they cant prevent violence.

    Do you have life, car, home or medical insurance Joel as being prepared is insane right.

    Funny, initial reports are more than a few of the injured are from errant police firearm discharges, so much for their being SAFE.

    Until such time we see solutions that actually would affect the felons and the crazies, explain why any sane person would consider your argument as anything less than fantasy?

    Solutions:

    1) Force the BATF to enforce the existing laws, no legal reason not to do so.
    2) Legalize illicit drugs, worked to destroy the power and corruptive influence the mob had from the massive revenues of illict alcohol, will do the same to the cartels. Mankind has been getting high since the day we began walking this earth so save us the morality rant. Tax the stuff, use the DEA to run that program. It will save 30-40% of the prison population that is in for drug offences. Use that $50 bil in annual DEA funds to set that up. The space freed up by 30-40% reduction in people is where you will put all the bad guys in prison for weapons crimes.

    Use some of those funds to finance the mental health reporting function to the NICS to get the 19 mil plus with severe mental illness who arent in the system put in.

    Force the BATF to open the NICS to civilians access. The amount of funds and resoruces are minimal as they already have the system on line for ffl’s. Not recreating the wheel, just a little programing to remove the inputs and data not needed by civilians and you copy (I have written a commercial database, it isnt difficult or expensive as writing a completely new program).

    Here are some solutions that affect the felons and not the law abiding gun owners

    Funny, didnt read all the facts above did you.

    How is it that we have ALL THOSE NEW FIREARMS being added to civilian hands, yet the violent crime rate and murder coounts just keep dropping, and dropping, and dropping?

    Guess you didnt look at all those murders and crimes committed with knives and bombs so save everyone the melodrama whine about ease of doing enything.

    Get a clue and quit focusing on the law abiding gun owner as the problem much less any solution that doesnt do DIDLEY to the felons and whack-a-loons (love George Carlin).

    The gun genie is out of the box for over 4 centuries, it isnt going back in the bottle like the fantasy I Dream of Genie (Barbara Eden, man what a looker).

    Does fantasy fix problems in the real world, no it never does.

    Get back to us when you have some real world solutions that effect the actual root causes of violence, greed, poverty, 1 parent families with 9 kids and 9 different daddies, gangs, schooling…..

    Dont be upset if we dont believe you will even try something so logical as addressing the actual causes of violence.

  • http://joelmathis.blogspot.com/ Joel Mathis

    “Boy that there gun control really stopped that nut job from going on a bender, oh wait, police with FIREARMS stopped the nutjob.”

    AP is reporting that all 9 “innocent bystanders” who were shot caught police bullets.

    I’m not entirely certain *what* that proves. But it doesn’t impress me in the ongoing discussion of guns keeping anybody safer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rlee.emerysgt Rlee

    Did the police, you know, someone with a firearm stop the bad guy, yes or no?

    Thought the 800k police were supposed to be perfect, trained and incapable of making mistakes like this? When in fact they are more dangerous than the 10 mil civilians who are licensed to carry firearms.

    One of the lame inferences the anti’s like to make, your all untrained, we cant trust you as we dont trust untrained people carrying firearms.

    Guess that the 800k police average of 11 times more likely to shoot the wrong person than law abiding civilian gun owners just went up.

    Guess there is no logical reason to trust the police as they are obviously careless and dangerous in public.

    Your lack of any facts and relevance to an actual solution to reduce violence impress us even less.

    You done nitpicking or are you ever going to provide a solution that affects felons and crazies instead of only affecting the law abiding gun owner, yes or no?

  • Vjean Warren

    Wow. I am an Air Force Veteran, living in Philadelphia. Like you I am saddened by the lost of so many innocent lives in Philadelphia and across or great nation. However, I have served my country to protect the rights of our citizens; including the second amendment. The second ammendment gives us as citizens; the right to choose. I was born and raised in Philadelphia.I’ve been married for well over twenty years, my husband and I raised two sons. Neither of which, at the ages of twenty-one and twenty-four, has ever had any encounters with the judicial system. We are good, God fearing citizens…but if you threaten our lives, I will send you back to our Creator, say a prayer for your soul and as the kids say, “keep it moving”.
    Remember your life is a gift from GOD…don’t let anyone steal it.

  • fullmetalbasket

    The truth is that last year nearly a million times Americans used guns to defend themselves from Criminal Attacks !

    The author would have the entire USA ruled by violent criminals like Killadelphia, the District of Communism,
    Oakland Ca, Detroit and San Fransicko. All with strict gun control laws, and lax treatment of criminals.

    I dont carry a pistol, and in my 61 years I have been robbed five tiimes at gunpoint. NONE OF THOSE CRIMINALS WERE EVER APPREHENDED.

    The only reason I am alive is because I begged for my life.

    Those criminals have gone on to rob and kill people, thanks
    to a government that ELEVATES the rights of CRIMINALS
    above LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS.

    Thje Police are only 30 minutes away but you only got 2 !.