FAMILY AND LOVED ONES AS VICTIMS

2/13/99
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Gun control advocates push the idea that the victims of gun homicide and gun suicide are typically or predominantly loved ones, family members and (especially) children of people "just like us."  They push the idea that, in some situation in which an average person is depressed for one reason or another, or enraged because of an argument with a loved one, the person grabs a gun just because it's there and uses it to kill himself/herself or that "loved one."  Some even try to say that the presence of a gun makes the "person like us" violent.

Gun control advocates use government identification of victims and assailants as "acquaintances" or "known by"—but misrepresent it as "friends, family and loved ones."  Their point is to make normal people fear having a gun around, and they try to keep the discussion on an emotional level by using children.

It is true that a small portion of homicides and suicides are committed in what looks from the outside like "normal" families.  But the huge majorities of both homicide and suicide occur amongst people who are far from typical.

As Dr. Edgar Suter put it, in relation to homicides, "Almost all the 'relatives' killed each year are the very same men, well-known to the police, that have been brutalizing their wives, girlfriends, and childred for years—those men are killed in self-defense."  As law professor Don Kates put it, "Far from being ordinary, otherwise law-abiding citizens, those who commit murders, as every study of homicide shows, are real criminals with long histories of violence against the people around them... . Indicative of this are FBI statistics showing that 74.7% of persons arrested for murder had been arrested previously for a violent felony or burglary."

In the real world, that "normal" person who kills a family member or intimate partner had been violent and out of control numerous times, and had multiple encounters with authorities, before the killing.  Over three-quarters of murderers have long histories of violence against not only their enemies and other "acquaintances," but also against their relatives.

Gun control advocates are either dishonest in pushing the idea that murders are perpetrated by "people like us and the victims are people like our friends, families and loved ones," or those advocates are, themselves, people with deep-seated violent tendencies that they think are normal.

To be sure, normal people get murdered.  But, not by other normal people.  People who find themselves involved with violent people need to get away and get help—especially if the violent people have guns.  Some threatened people, like those routinely subjected to physical abuse or stalking, have also helped themselves—if they were able to develop the mindset not to meekly be a victim—by acquiring a gun and ending the criminal's career the next time he/she threatened.  Violent people should not have guns and are rarely able to legally acquire guns, because of the criminal records they usually develop.

The situation is similar in relation to suicides.  Disturbed people should not be allowed access to firearms.  But, suicides are committed by people who are very disturbed because of the circumstances they are in or because they are disfunctional.  People who really love their loved ones will be paying attention to them and helping them rather than thinking everything is fine because there are no guns in the home.

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