NY Times: “Fantasy” That Guns Can Be Used for Self Defense

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The latest anti-gun rant from The New York Times editorial board is a perfect example of how far this once-respected rag has fallen. The editorial, which barely exceeds 300 words, reads as though it were written on the back of a napkin by a bored employee who had time to kill on the subway. It’s ostensibly arguing against the concept of national concealed carry reciprocity, but it skips the thorny questions of federalism in favor of another lazy essay concluding that GUNS ARE BAD!

“Republican lawmakers, ever enthusiastic about the gun lobby’s agenda, will control both houses of Congress next year when Mr. Trump assumes the presidency,” the board writes. “His campaign celebrated the N.R.A.’s fantasy that citizens can stand up to gunmen by shooting it out. Research refutes this idea; it is far more likely that guns are used to harm the owners or other innocent people than to stop a crime.”

To quote Trump: “Wrong.”

The editorial board isn’t “wrong” to say that guns are frequently used against their owners; they are wrong to make the ridiculous claim that “research refutes” the FACT that guns can be used as a tool of self-defense. It doesn’t matter if they are only successfully used as self-defense once a week, once a year, or once a century. Our constitutional right to bear arms isn’t dependent on statistics.

“The N.R.A. goal in the Trump administration is to pass an expansive national law that would require states to recognize concealed-carry permits issued by other states,” the board says.

True enough. On the campaign trail, Trump himself criticized the current situation, where otherwise law-abiding gun owners can be thrown in jail for crossing state lines.

“The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway,” Trump said in a position paper. “That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.”

But the editorial board at The New York Times isn’t interested in debating rights, privileges, or any other complicated constitutional questions.

“Since 2007, concealed-carry permit holders have been responsible for at least 898 deaths not involving self-defense, according to the Violence Policy Center, a gun safety group,” they write. “The self-defense myth of concealed carry nevertheless carries on, at the expense of public safety.”

Uh-huh. Now, these guys tell us that what, 30,000 people every year die from gun violence? So…do a little math…carry the one…that would be approximately 300,000 people since 2007, right? And of that number, only 898 of the responsible parties were concealed-carry permit holders? That’s…a tiny, tiny fraction. And we can safely assume that even within that number, many of the perpetrators were not actually exercising their concealed-carry right at the time of the shooting. “Nonsense” doesn’t even begin to describe this argument. It’s propaganda and nothing more.

There are reasonable, coherent, constitutional arguments against a national reciprocity law, just as there are compelling arguments for it.

Don’t expect to see either from the New York Times.