These self reported incidents are often people who get themselves into arguments, then brandish their firearm because the person didn’t wander off meekly when first accosted.
You’ve made a lot of good points.
Michael Davey

I reject this assertion. It’s just a garbage claim. The Gun Violence Archive has links to every verified incident.

I just clicked this link at random.

And this one…

I have better things to do than go through them individually, but you’re welcome to. Making such a bold blanket statement like that, you could probably use a dose of reality instead of the biased information you’ve been receiving.

Now, as for the rest of your points.

Yep, I completely agree, fear and adrenaline significantly alter one’s ability to be a proficient shot. I have no retort or rebuttal to that. It’s a hard and known fact.

However, you are casually glossing over the fact that these gunmen perpetrating these heinous crimes would also be at least somewhat effected by someone shooting at them. Maybe not, but maybe so. The North Hollywood Shootout guys took phenobarbital before the robbery to calm their nerves, which is why (in addition to their crazy homemade body armor) they were able to stay so cool through the whole thing.

My point is just that you never know. Maybe just ducking around a corner and firing blindly in the direction of the gunman would be enough to save some lives. Maybe it wouldn’t, but it doesn’t necessarily make matters worse. (I’ve never been in a mass shooting, so I can’t say with certainty how it works, but what I picture is the gunman in a position where the people are in front of him, so he can’t be blindsided, and the people I would assume are trying to move away, leaving a bubble of empty space around him. That’s just my assumption.) I believe that most everyday gun carriers are reasonable enough to try to the best of their ability to avoid friendly fire. Could it still happen? Sure, anything’s possible. But if 50 more lives were on the line, isn’t it worth the risk? (I’m a Utilitarian when it comes to ethics, the greatest good for the greatest number of people.)

Now, your next point about the numbers has a few major flaws in it. Darn near every murder, suicide, and accidental shooting gets reported (unless it’s more a missing persons thing where the body doesn’t turn up). The numbers I presented (with the sole intention of proving that defensive gun uses are not mythical, as the other article claimed) were sourced from a credible organization, who includes only “reported and verified” incidents in their statistics. That makes me think that the numbers they have represent a fraction (how big or small, I can’t say, but just not 100%) of the actual number of defensive uses. So that does effect your mathematical comparisons somehow.

The seatbelt/airbag analogy… I just… No.

You want to talk about cars… Cars are habitually treated negligently. From texting and driving to having bald tires. These things cost people their lives just the same as negligent gun ownership does. (At a higher rate too, Considering accidental shootings represent a very small percentage of gun deaths, whereas the vast majority of automotive deaths are accidents.) It all needs to stop. The question is, how do you legislate it? And before you answer, like it or not, the second amendment is still in place, as are decades of relevant court decisions. So the trick is to find the solution that works within that framework rather than just throwing it all out the window.

The major hurdle is simply the same as with kids and household chemicals, and good people committing a crime of passion. Before it happens there doesn’t seem to be much to worry about. But if it does happen, it’s too late. I don’t have the answer for that, maybe it’s just uncontrollable.

Let’s see what else… Mandatory safety training… The NRA (the old NRA) literally wrote the book of firearms safety. The NRA is the main body that certifies instructors and safety courses. People seek out courses affiliated with the NRA because they’re the real deal. Are they mandatory? No. Should they be? Meh… here’s the thing. On a fairly regular basis you hear about a police officer having a negligent discharge or other gun related accident. As you said yourself, they are well trained, and all that. Accidents can happen to anyone. All it takes is just that one ill-timed distraction or whatever. I believe that it is good to try to mitigate accidents. I believe that most American gun owners that are not actively living a criminal lifestyle have a very firm grasp on gun safety from either taking a class (I had to take a gun safety class in middle school, that’s the easiest way to get mandatory safety training to the public.) or learning from family members.

But no matter what, there will still be some accidents. You just can’t get perfection.

I know I’m forgetting points here, sorry, I’m using the mobile app and it’s a pain to have to jump back and forth to your post for reference…

Let me just sum up my feelings.

I believe that when you break down all the numbers and get to the point where by our best guess, about 1 out of 20,000 guns in America will end a life this year. To me, that’s okay. We can and should try to do better, always strive for betterment. And I don’t want it to sound like I’m discounting anyone life or well-being, I’m not. The fact is some things are just beyond our control. Losing life is what makes living the amazing thing it is. I could accidentally shoot myself and die later today, or the tornado that passed by last night could’ve got me, or my heart could give out because I’ve got a family history of heart disease… There’s nothing we can do to guarantee our safety. Ever.

We can try, we can take steps. But they always end up with diminishing returns. 1 in 20,000 guns will end a life. How much lower can that realistically get? And at what point have we done enough?

There are over 300,000,000 guns in this country. There are around 10,000,000 AR-15's.

Comparing those numbers to the number of shootings and deaths (all measured in tens of thousands or lower) and it seems perfectly clear that most Americans are not negligent with their guns. Most Americans are not killing people with their guns.

I don’t think America has a gun problem, at least not enough of one that the entire gun owning population should be punished for it.

America has a crime problem. America has a murder problem. America has a suicide problem. The guns are footnotes to those, a side effect or symptom, not the cause.

Because if guns were the cause… dear lord there wouldn’t be anybody left.

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