Who can refute this libelous firearm-related statement the fastest?


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Durandal
June 30, 2009, 02:55 PM
I read Slate habitually, and I take the good articles with the bad. I usually like Emily Yoffe's "Dear Prudence" section but today she reprinted something that had me flipping my keyboard in disgust.

http://www.slate.com/id/2221790/pagenum/3

My husband and I own two handguns and three shotguns, no ammo is in the house and all have gun locks. We have taken a safety course (mandated in our state) to get our license, and it was taught by a career soldier and sharpshooter who said anyone who doesn't treat his or her guns this way, if there is any chance anyone but the gun owner him or herself can get to them, is a fool. If the father-in-law places his "convenience" in having guns easily accessible above the life of his grandchild, forget visiting him. (And the gun course instructor also told us that 99 percent of the time, people who have guns for "self defense" end up shooting themselves or loved ones or having intruders take the gun away from them. People seem to think it is easy to wake up in the middle of the night and whip out your gun and accurately shoot an intruder. Nonsense—even police shoot the wrong people because of adrenaline, fear, confusion and they are trained and ready for it.)


My first impression upon reading that first sentence was "What the flippin' hell do you have five firearms for in that case, are you running a museum?!".

The statements of the gun instructor similarly had me scratching my head in disbelief. I can't recall the statistic but I do seem to recall that the amount of "accidental discharges of a firearm" were much lower than 99%.

Similarly, the final statement "Nonsense—even police shoot the wrong people because of adrenaline, fear, confusion and they are trained and ready for it.". Really? Every time? How do they keep it out of the news so well?! Why haven't we done something about this already and disarmed them?!

Emily Yoffe's only reply was "Hear hear for responsible gun ownership." I'd like to think I'm a responsible fellow, but no ammunition, plus gunlocks in my opinion is not "responsible gun ownership". It's a very expensive paperweight. (Presumably this lovely couple would wield said shotguns like clubs and pistol-whip with their handguns if the situation ever called for that?)

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natman
June 30, 2009, 02:58 PM
First it's not libelous - no one's reputation was sullied, except maybe the author's. It's just not true.

The 99% quote is of course ridiculous.

Justin
June 30, 2009, 03:00 PM
I know this is going to come as a shock, but sometimes people will post things on the internet that are untrue. In this case, claiming that an instructor told them to keep all guns locked up or that 99% of the time people will shoot themselves, or even that they attended a safety class or own guns.

Durandal
June 30, 2009, 03:04 PM
First it's not libelous - no one's reputation was sullied, except maybe the author's. It's just not true.


Good to know, I'll cancel the civil suit I had pending.

I know this is going to come as a shock, but sometimes people will post things on the internet that are untrue.


And sometimes it's just hyperbole. It was easy for me to scream "BULL****" at the computer, but for some reason this one annoyed me so much I had to post it.

CoRoMo
June 30, 2009, 03:47 PM
And the gun course instructor also told us that 99 percent of the time, people who have guns for "self defense" end up shooting themselves or loved ones or having intruders take the gun away from them.

Either he's a complete moron, or I'm in the 99th percentile of gun owners. I'll accept both to be true.

TexasRifleman
June 30, 2009, 03:48 PM
I've just come to the conclusion that a good portion of humanity is just plain stupid.

Guy de Loimbard
June 30, 2009, 03:56 PM
99% eh? I'd say 99% of people I know who own guns haven't shot themselves. I only know one person who has (shot himself in the foot, literally) , and I'll bet he won't do that again. Among the people I know who own guns, noone has had an intruder take the gun away from them and use it against them, either.

As far as the statement about shooting in the middle of the night, I shoot accurately when I'm awake. I CAN wake up easily in the middle of the night. Occasionally it happens, usually to something making a noise that I'm not used to hearing in the middle of the night. This morning I woke up (wide awake, not groggy) at 6:00 on the dot even though the alarm did not go off (set incorrectly). What the author of this piece needs to realize is that not everybody is as clumsy, overparanoid, and as heavy of a sleeper as she is.

ClickClickD'oh
June 30, 2009, 03:59 PM
Hmmm... 99% of 100,000,000 fireams would be... 99,000,000 accidental gun deaths... just a wee bit higher than the 30,000 total gun deaths, much less the actual 700ish.

chris in va
June 30, 2009, 04:09 PM
Let's not forget most SD scenerios don't involve pulling the trigger.

Titan6
June 30, 2009, 04:29 PM
People put stuff on the internet that isn't true? That's it I am calling Al Gore!

Detachment Charlie
June 30, 2009, 05:12 PM
Did you know that 87.3% of ALL statistics are made-up on the spot?:rolleyes:

divemedic
June 30, 2009, 05:48 PM
If there is a 99% chance that a person can take a gun away from its owner and use it against them, I don't need guns. When I am confronted by an assailant, I will simply disarm him and shoot him.

Rockwell1
June 30, 2009, 07:42 PM
What makes you think Prudie (or whoever is ghostwriting the column these days) didn't write that letter herself just to push her agenda?

cchris
June 30, 2009, 07:52 PM
99 people out of a group of 100 strategically selected people who have guns for home defense have shot themselves or a loved one on accident.

That means 99% of people who have guns for home defense do more damage than good!!!

By that logic, 99% of guns* are used to commit crimes.





*"99%" refers to guns whose serial numbers were connected to drive-by shootings.

Shung
June 30, 2009, 07:54 PM
Your husband and yourself should find another hobby then..

hanno
June 30, 2009, 07:56 PM
Don't allow yourself to be put on the defensive with made up crap like the 99% fairy dust.

When you see a number like that ask the proponent to show you their data that backs up the 99% figure. Unless they do with a reputable peer reviewed study, it means nothing.

Superpsy
June 30, 2009, 08:18 PM
Did you know that 87.3% of ALL statistics are made-up on the spot?

ha! you beat me to it Charlie.

Readyrod
June 30, 2009, 08:45 PM
If that 99% statistic is true then we should arm all the criminals and they can shoot themselves accidentally. Crime problem solved.

Vern Humphrey
June 30, 2009, 08:46 PM
"Slate" is a left-wing production whose writers apparently average about 12 years old -- and are a bit behind their contemporaries in maturity.:rolleyes:

Gamera
June 30, 2009, 09:36 PM
If there is a 99% chance that a person can take a gun away from its owner and use it against them, I don't need guns. When I am confronted by an assailant, I will simply disarm him and shoot him.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA sorry, that was great :)

HKUSP45C
June 30, 2009, 11:00 PM
I had a bleeding heart tell me, after finding out I carried a pistol, that "some big bad guy is just gonna take it from you and use it against you" to which I replied "well, if it's so easy to take a gun from someone who's attempting to shoot you I'll just take it back from him, maybe he'll take it from me again but I'll just take it back once more ... we can just sit there passing it back and forth until the cops show up or he gives up trying to shoot me in disgust."

I got the idea for that argument from right here on THR (Thanks gang!)

He just looked at me like I was stupid and left the room and, handily, the conversation.

Honestly, if I'm intent on shooting you there may well be a universe in which you might wrestle the gun away from me but (you know this old saw) you're gonna have to BEAT me to death with it because I will just have expended all available ammo in it try desperately to perforate you.

ETA: Is it just me or do all of the bliss-ninny "they're gonna take it from you" crowd only watch the gangster movies where all handguns are used against the intended taget at less than arms length. Am I the only one that remebers that the WHOLE POINT of a gun is to propel a projectile FARTHER than you would normally be able to throw it? I was trained that distance was a primary objective in a firefight but, that's obviously a flawed strategy since they never do that in the movies.

2RCO
July 1, 2009, 12:13 AM
The only thing I can possibly agree with on this article is that if you have small children in the house or visiting you should secure your weapons out of the reach of the little monkeys. Young kids are quick, sneaky, trouble magnets. I have one that roams around Casa 2RCo and all guns are secured when she's around. The easiest way to do this and still keep one available for defense is to carry concealed.

Dimis
July 1, 2009, 12:37 AM
hk if there in that close its knife distance anyway lol

im with you on the fact that guns are meant for ranged attacks/defenses

Sunray
July 1, 2009, 02:54 AM
"...99 percent of the time, people who have guns for "self defense" end up shooting themselves or loved ones or having intruders take the gun away from them..." Document the stats.
"...a career soldier and sharpshooter..." That doesn't make a good CCW instructor.

Vern Humphrey
July 1, 2009, 10:36 AM
I had a bleeding heart tell me, after finding out I carried a pistol, that "some big bad guy is just gonna take it from you and use it against you"
My respons would be, "Let's try an experiment. You take a gun away from me. But first write out a suicide note explaining what happened."

KenWP
July 1, 2009, 10:49 AM
The only way somebody would loose control of his firearm is if he forgets the 12 foot rule and lets somebody get to close. Thats why we own guns so we don't have to walk over and club something.

TOTC
July 1, 2009, 11:40 AM
Read Clayton Cramer's self defense gun blog, then have them reply to most people shooting a loved one or having the gun taken away from them.

John Wayne
July 1, 2009, 11:47 AM
To play the devil's advocate,

There are reasons other than self-defense to own a firearm. Collecting guns is a popular hobby and sound investment, sport shooting is fun, and some guns used for hunting are poorly suited for close-range self defense.

Not having any ammo in the house is not very smart unless you're strictly a collector (even then you could have collectable ammo!). It should be stored seperately from the guns per the NRA guidelines if you're worried about unauthorized access.

I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with keeping a loaded firearm accessable for self defense, as I do it myself. I agree that the statistics in this article are flawed, but I do applaud the author for acknowledging the fact that if you are not comfortable enough to be using your gun for self defense, you should not do it---these are the cases where it's likely to be taken away, used against you, or end up with you shooting the wrong person. It is far better to realize your limitations and wait until you have trained and are comfortable with the gun and its use than to assume you're well protected because of that one range trip three years ago.

Carl N. Brown
July 1, 2009, 11:51 AM
I know at least four instances where women used guns in self-defense: all were chase-offs of the men threatening-assaulting them, no one least of all the defender shooting themselves, etc. Yeah, four ancedotes dont equal data, but the "data" behind that "99% of the time defenders shoot themselves" is bogus. Four real life cases trump made-up stats any day.

eye5600
July 1, 2009, 12:19 PM
Yes, the instructor was an idiot, and yes, the letter-writer was not half as smart as she was smug, and yes, Slate would not have printed the letter if they didn't have an anti-gun bias, and yes, the statistics on guns injuring residents of the house are distorted by the inclusion of suicides...

But...

There is a strain of thinking on THR and other pro-gun forums that favors a very active style of defense, i.e. carrying at all times, carrying multiple guns, having multiple guns around the home, etc. I'm not going to say that this is wrong, but I will say that a lot of these people underestimate - often to the point of flat denial - the possibility of a bad result.

Besides which, if you have relatives whom you want to entertain, you have a responsibility to make them psychologically comfortable. For example, you might put your pet python back in its cage for the duration of the visit, or you might refrain from playing hip-hop.

Parents are not rational about the safety of their children.

Titan6
July 1, 2009, 12:36 PM
It is all good. I figure the Southern Poverty Law Center will quote that figure in their next "report" and then the DOJ will use it in their next "report".

HKUSP45C
July 1, 2009, 12:39 PM
Besides which, if you have relatives whom you want to entertain, you have a responsibility to make them psychologically comfortable. For example, you might put your pet python back in its cage for the duration of the visit, or you might refrain from playing hip-hop.

Hogwash .... responsibilties my left foot.

There isn't a person in this world that I want to entertain so badly that I cease to act and think the way I normally do when they are not around for the duration of their presence in my own home.

Anyone coming into into my home already knows me well enough to know that I may or may not disagree with them on many, many different viewpoints of life. They should also know that when they come into my house there may well be a gun laying out in the open and that gun is definately loaded. This is part and parcel of the way I choose to live my life. They can either accept that or leave.

I refuse to allow children below the age of reason into my home and require that minors above the age of reason are supervised by the the people bringing them in.

If there were someone I knew well enough to invite past my threshold who was so diametrically opposed to my viewpoints or lifestyle that they were intolerant to the point of me having to change to make them comfortable I'd probably just ask them to kindly un-arse themselves from my couch and toddle on down the road to someplace that more suits their delicate sensibilities.

That goes for my choices in beer, food and music too.

Responsibilties .... jeeze

Vern Humphrey
July 1, 2009, 12:50 PM
This is an example of the Dan Rather School of Journalism -- repeat a lie told by someone else and that makes it true.

Officers'Wife
July 1, 2009, 01:10 PM
It kind of reminds me of the old joke that 95% of all percentages are made up at the spur of the moment.

eye5600
July 1, 2009, 02:07 PM
There isn't a person in this world that I want to entertain so badly that I cease to act and think the way I normally do when they are not around for the duration of their presence in my own home.

Having denied the first part of my assertion (having someone you wish to entertain), there is no point in complaining about the second (treating them in a civilized manner)..

HKUSP45C
July 1, 2009, 02:24 PM
There isn't a person in this world that I want to entertain so badly that I cease to act and think the way I normally do when they are not around for the duration of their presence in my own home.

Having denied the first part of my assertion (having someone you wish to entertain), there is no point in complaining about the second (treating them in a civilized manner)..

Read what I wrote a little more carefully, please. There are, literally, dozens of people I enjoy entertaining on a freuquent (and in some case infrequent) basis. I never asserted that I didn't wish to entertain anyone at all.

What I said was that there wasn't anyone I wished to entertain so badly that I would concern myself with a silly notion like my "responsibility to make them psycologically comfortable."

Those are separate ideas that really shouldn't be lumped together if we're going to be intellectually honest throughout the discussion.

Further, "civilized" is a very, very subjective word. Let's not pretend that "civilized" doesn't cover a wide, vast swath of behaviors depending entirely on to whom you are speaking.

So, now that we've sorted that out, can you explain where this "responsibility" to ensure those around me are psycologically comfortable comes from? Particularly when we're discussing activities that have no objective impact on the person who is "subjected" to them? Such as an inanimate object laying on a table or strapped to my waist or my taste in music, beer or food. It isn't as if we're discussing anything even resembling "deviant" behavior by any objective definition I can find.

D94R
July 1, 2009, 03:46 PM
I've just come to the conclusion that a good portion of humanity is just plain stupid.

Which leads to one hell of a catch-.22.

On the one hand we all advocate for the individual and keep governmental intrusion to a limit.

But then we look at how stupid people really are, see they are barely capable of tying their shoes in the morning, expect them to be able to keep themselves afloat in the real world, and expect them to make competent decisions that affect EVERYONE.


I generally have the thought though that the person is smart, a crowd is stupid.

Jim K
July 1, 2009, 07:45 PM
When you want to lie, don't do it directly; make up an authoritative sounding source, like "a government official", or "many experts", or "a firearms instructor."

Jim

colorado_handgunner
July 1, 2009, 11:00 PM
I've just come to the conclusion that a good portion of humanity is just plain stupid.

Just realizing it now, TexasR. ? I have know this for years!;)

jakemccoy
July 2, 2009, 05:05 PM
I found this on the same site:

http://www.slate.com/id/2221790/
Louisville, Ky.: Hi, Prudence!

I have an in-law problem that I really need advice on. First, my father-in-law (I'll call him Paul) is a big gun nut. He loves his weapons. Paul and my mother-in-law really want to our pre-school twins over to spend time with them. I've asked about making sure that the guns are all locked up, and have been assured that all the weapons are in the basement, where the kids aren't allowed to go. My husband says that although Paul's a nice guy, he doesn't trust him not to have loaded weapons somewhere. And, knowing my boys, they can and will go anywhere in an instant. My in-laws refuse to lock up the basement because of the cats. They swear they can keep the boys away from the guns. But they've promised things and failed to follow up on them before. What do I do?

Emily Yoffe: Curious boys, distracted grandparents, and loaded guns. Need one say any more other than, "calling the Lifetime channel." You need to tell your in-laws that of course you want them to have a great relationship with your children. And you want to feel calm and comfortable when you leave your kids with them. That's why they need to invest in a gun safe and promise that every weapon will be unloaded and locked in the safe before the kids visit. Tell them unless they agree—and show you that the firearms are completely secured—then they are welcome to come see the kids at your house, but the kids will not be visiting theirs.

I'd say the kids need gun education or granpa needs to lock up the guns when the grandkids are around.

divenutt
July 2, 2009, 08:19 PM
divemedic - that's a great way to start a new collection and get "evil" guns off of the street. Let's all go out for a walk and start disarming all of our gun-toting criminals.

The Annoyed Man
July 2, 2009, 08:49 PM
(And the gun course instructor also told us that 99 percent of the time, people who have guns for "self defense" end up shooting themselves or loved ones or having intruders take the gun away from them....)
What the heck has she been smoking, and is it legal?

I know TONS of people who own guns for self defense, and not a single one of them has EVER A) shot themselves or a loved one; or B) had their gun taken away by an intruder. Statistics simply don't support this most stupid of assertions.

Good grief!

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