Talking gun control without talking gun control

As students across America prepare for the March 4 Our Lives on March 24, 2018, the NRA will greet them with talking points which may sound reasonable but are really circular arguments that cannot be won. This meme is one of them.

Let’s parse it: If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and spoons make people fat. The point of this argument is that guns, pencils, cars, spoons are inert objects that can’t do anything by themselves. Only the person wielding the object determines if it’s used responsibly or irresponsibly, for good or ill.

This “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” premise falls apart quickly when you consider the following statistics based on years of gun violence research.

A gun in the home increases the chance of being killed by firearms 72%.

A gun in the home is responsible for a vast majority of children killed by firearms.

A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a suicide, homicide or accident than to be used for self-defense.

A gun in the home triples the risk of homicide.

A gun in the home increases the likelihood of suicide five-fold.

An abused woman is 6 times more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home.