The anti-gun argument is always built solely upon emotional excess. It’s all about “feelings” and “fears” and almost never built on any facts or reality. In another example of the kind of hand-wringing, excessive, faux compassion that ignores the real statistics we are so used to, the Charlotte Observer has given space to one of their propagandists… I mean writers… to vent against the evil gun, once again.

The Observer’s Dannye Romine-Powell (God save us from another hyphenated named, female liberal) gets all amush over the “unruffled thinking” of her gun hating husband and tries her hand at citing statistics to such poor effect that it is embarrassing. But her empty argument very much embodies that which lies at the heart of the anti-Constitutional crowd.

Romine-Powell begins her screed wondering if she might want a gun to protect her home and family. But she claims that her husband told her they didn’t need a gun if they wanted to keep safe the lives of their grandchildren who he thought might be unlucky enough to find the gun in their grandparent’s home. His supposed fear was that they might play with the gun, accidentally injuring or killing themselves. One wonders, of course, why these supposedly intelligent, caring grandparents would leave such a thing laying around where a child could so easily get to it, so with that admission of neglect it makes one glad they have decided not to get one.

Romine-Powell waxes poetic about all those who die “innocently” by guns as if the number is so outrageous that we cannot ignore the “cost,” but, as is typical of such empty moralizing as Romine-Powell’s, the truth of the number when compared to other causes of accidental deaths seems practically insignificant. Other causes of death so outweigh those caused by firearms that the focus on firearms by these people is entirely absurd.

Now to Romine-Powell’s absurd, yet so common, use of statistics.

About 200 people in the United States kill someone each year in self-defense.

But how many die each year — innocently — from guns?

Let me tell you.

In the 10 years ending in 2006, 486 children under age 18 in North Carolina, alone, died from gun-related injuries.

First of all, it is misleading to make it seem like the “200 people” each year who use their firearms in self-defense is such a low number when compared with the supposed “486 children under 18” who died from “gun-related injuries.” After all, Romine-Powell uses one year of pro-gun statistics and matches that up with 10 years of anti-gun statistics. Not a very fair comparison there. By simple extension, her stats for 10 years of guns being used to save a life would be somewhere near 2,000 compared to only 486 instances of misused firearms. Suddenly the numbers don’t seem as far out of whack when looked at it that way.

Additionally, she does not use the statistics of many thousands of people who use guns to protect themselves where that use doesn’t result in the thing being fired. This is another common and dishonest convention of the anti-gun nuts in their attempt to skew the numbers to their favor.

But, even that academic exercise pales when more numbers are reviewed.

According to the CDC between 2000 and 2002, there were only 542 accidental gun deaths of children under 19 years of age in the USA. Naturally, we mourn the accidental loss of each and every one of those children and, should such an accident have happened to your own child, that loss is 100%. Compassion makes each and every one of us feel bad about these accidents.

But, bad “feelings” aside, it must be remembered that these are just accidents. Accidental loss is horrifying, of course, but the numbers of people accidentally harmed by guns is a fraction of that from other causes.

Let’s look at the CDC’s stats on a variety of accidents:

  • Car accidents- 23,487
  • Drowning- 3,653
  • Run over by cars- 2,987
  • House fires- 1,736
  • Poisoning- 1,530
  • Falling- 567
  • Accidental gun deaths- 542
  • Machinery- 107
  • Cut/pierced- 22

See how low on that list accidental gun deaths are?

Now, one of the arguments that anti-gun propagandists make is that guns deaths are “preventable,” and shouldn’t we, they ask, try to prevent them? Well, yes, of course we should is the sensible answer there. But the logical follow up to that reasoning would be to apply it to the other causes of accidental deaths of children long before that caused by guns is focused upon. That logic would sooner apply to eliminating swimming pools with a far more urgent focus than eliminating guns, for instance. After all, many thousands more children die a year by drowning than die by gun misuse as the CDC’s numbers show. For that matter, many, many thousands more die by misuse of automobiles. Shouldn’t such compassionate people who are against guns want to eliminate houses since the CDC shows us that well over one thousand more children die from accidental house fires than accidental gunfire?

Yet, these people focus on guns instead and it seems rather hypocritical of them if the lives and safety of children is truly their concern. When the actual numbers are considered, the anti-gun argument falls to the level of silliness.

The most absurd line in her entire piece is the last one:

Defenseless is better than discovering someone we love dead.

One wonders how Connecticut Doctor William Petit, Jr., who was attacked by home invaders and lost his wife and 2 daughters in the attack, might feel about that issue?

One last thing: Our Mrs. Romine-Powell fancies herself a poet with a few Poetic tomes having been published here and there in her past. Consequently, the style of this piece seems the result of that predilection all too much. With short, single lines, she seems to have been going for some sort of lyrical style that completely fails here.

But…

Let’s just say this:

I didn’t like it.

The sentences were too short.

And I don’t want my grandchildren exposed to such simple-minded writing as hers.

In my house, we’ll remain free of Romine-Powell’s work.

Free of her work is better than discovering someone I love dead because they listened to her.

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