5 Common Gun Control Myths

If you've ever talked about guns or concealed carry with a group of people, you've probably encountered that one person who tried to convince everyone that guns are evil and do more harm than good.

Typically, it's someone who doesn't own a gun, has never shot a gun, and knows next to nothing about guns outside of what they've seen in movies and TV shows. The myths they've come to believe are not just incorrect, but wildly wrong and almost always originate with professional gun control fanatics.

Here are some of the most common gun control myths people will try to use against you and the corresponding facts courtesy of Gun Facts, compiled and written by Guy Smith.

Myth 1: Private ownership of guns is not effective in preventing crime.

Fact: Every year, people in the United States use guns to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. Of these instances, 15.7% of the people using firearms defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so.

Fact: Even the government's estimate suggests people defend themselves 235,700 times each year with guns.

Fact: The number of times per year an American uses a firearm to deter a home invasion alone is 498,000.

Fact: In 83.5% (2,087,500) of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first, proving that guns are very well suited for self-defense.

Myth 2: The availability of guns causes crime.

availability of gunsFact: Though the number of firearms owned by private citizens has been increasing steadily since 1970, the overall rate of homicides and suicides has not risen. As the chart shows, there is no correlation between the availability of firearms and the rates of homicide and suicide in America.

Fact: Internationally speaking, "There's no clear relationship between more guns and higher levels of violence."

Myth 3: 30,000 people are killed with guns every year.

Fact: 61% of these deaths are suicides. Numerous studies have shown that the presence or absence of a firearm does not change the overall (i.e., gun plus non-gun) suicide rate. This 30,000 number also includes justifiable homicides (self-defense) and accidents.

Myth 4: Accidental gun fatalities are a serious problem.

Fact: Firearm misuse causes only a small number of accidental deaths in the U.S. For example, compared to being accidentally killed by a firearm, you are:

  • Five times more likely to burn to death
  • Five times more likely to drown
  • 17 times more likely to be poisoned
  • 17 times more likely to fall to your death
  • And 68 times more likely to die in an automobile accident

Myth 5: Gun owners are a tiny minority.

Fact: The Federal government once estimated that there were well over 65 million gun owners in the U.S. and more than 50% were handgun owners. This number is generally considered low due to the reluctance of many to admit to a government agency that they own a gun. Other estimates indicate that between 41% and 49% of U.S. households are gun-owning households.

Fact: 43% of Americans claim that they own a gun.

Bonus Myth: The Second Amendment is outdated. It's only about "militias," not individuals.

If a gun control advocate can't trip you up with any other myth, they're likely to pull out this golden oldie and try to convince you that the Second Amendment doesn't apply any longer because it's outdated, only about militias, only about state defense, written for muskets only, and so on.

Even without getting into the historical references about what the Founding Fathers thought about guns or the legal rulings from the Supreme Court, this myth is wrong on its face if you just look at the words of the Second Amendment.

It's written in two parts: A "justification clause" and a "rights clause."

Justification clause: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State,"

Rights clause: "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

According to Eugene Volokh, UCLA Professor of Law, the justification clause does not modify, restrict, or deny the rights clause. Case closed.

These examples just barely skim the surface of the tons of myths floating around out there. We encourage you to read more from Gun Facts. It's one of the best resources available for debunking erroneous ideas about guns, violent crime, and self defense.