Gun Statistics Can Be Misleading
Editor, Times-Dispatch: Michael Paul Williams, in his column, "Patron With Gun Won -- That Time," has succeeded in misrepresenting the number of instances of self-defense by citizens using a gun that occur in the U.S. He has done so by his failure to do basic research into the matter and then compounded his mistake by relying on the notorious gun-ban organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Its statement that no more than 100 or 200 instances of self-defense by citizens occur in the U.S. each year (its Web site and various references to that statistic in public speeches by the Brady people vary according to its audience) is incorrect.
Several studies by reputable researchers have estimated that from 800,000 to more than 1 million assaults, rapes, robberies, carjackings, and other attempted violent crimes are ended by the presence of an armed citizen. While the Brady Campaign statistic refers to instances when the perpetrator is killed, what usually happens is that the intended victim of a violent predator merely lets the predator know that he or she is armed, which almost invariably ends the episode.
For Williams to rely on such obvious misinformation from only one side of this issue is a violation of journalistic integrity. The Brady Campaign from its inception was incorporated as the Brady Center to Ban Handguns but changed its name to reflect the softer, more reasonable-sounding Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Make no mistake about it, though, the Brady bunch will misrepresent facts to suit its agenda. It will also use horrendous events like the Virginia Tech murders to advance its agenda. Every time there has been gun violence in this country the Brady bunch has been there with its call for draconian measures to strip citizens of their natural right to self-defense.
Williams should be ashamed of himself. Even in an opinion piece the writer should be aware of the facts available to him from all sides.