The media and popular culture believe a lot of myths related to guns and gun owners. Following are some facts and fictions regarding gun use, safety, and statistics.
Myth: Guns can go off if you drop them
Readers ask this question more often than not. The truth is that most guns don’t work that way. Guns manufacturers must submit their guns to strict “drop-safety” tests. True, the tests aren’t foolproof. However, 99.9 percent of the time, the gun won’t go off when dropped.
Myth: Every year 30,000 people are killed by guns
Fact: True and false, depending on your perspective. Experts rarely tell the whole story. The number is true but 54percent of those deaths are suicides. Numerous reports show that owning a gun is not the primary factor in suicide.
Myth: All bullets are the same
That is not even close to being true. I’m not going to go into specifics, but different bullets are designed to do different things. You choose bullets based on your gun and their purpose.
Myth: Using a weapon for self-defense increases your likelihood of injury or death
Victims are more likely to survive an assault if a gun is used for self-defense. Statistics for injury/death during a robbery are:
Resisting with a weapon: 6%
Doing nothing: 25%
Resisted with a knife: 40%
Non-violent resistance: 45%
Myth: Assault weapons are a major problem in the United States
“Assault weapons” or fully automatic guns, including those that classified incorrectly, are used in less than 1 percent of homicides.
Myth: Gun owners like to kill things
Hunters certainly kill things, but that doesn’t make them zealots or unstable. The number of hunters has decreased over the past decade. A recent study shows:
In the 1990s, about 50 percent of gun-owners used their guns for hunting; 25 percent used them for protection. Currently, approximately 50 percent of gun owners use firearms for personal protection.
Myth: Shotguns are always on target
Shotguns are recommended for home protection mostly because of the ease of use. The myth is that firing a shotgun takes little or no skill. You only have to fire in the general direction.
Shotguns do have a wider spread than a handgun, but the shooter still has to aim.
Myth: Semi-automatics are the same as fully-automatic guns
Semi-automatic weapons and fully-automatic weapons are as different as night and day. The main difference is that a semi-automatic weapon fires one round shot each time you squeeze the trigger. A fully-automatic gun fires continuously while the trigger is depressed.
Myth: Gun owners are middle-aged rednecks, white, evangelical Christians, militant, and racist.
The truth is that gun owners are as diverse as the citizens in the U.S., cover all socio-economic classes and age brackets.
Myth: People who carry concealed are violent.
Crime statistics show that those with concealed carry permits are more law-abiding than the average person.
The next time someone tries to school you on the facts, check this list or use a search engine to get factual information.