Yesterday I received an email from a good friend who wanted to know my thoughts about a group – Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership – which claims to be a group of gun owners that wants to “take the lead to promote safe gun ownership and sensible laws and regulations.”

              When the NRA began to collapse following its brief honeymoon with Donald Trump, a whole bunch of gun organizations started to get some attention, most of them being groups that were more vociferous about their gun ‘rights’ than the boys from Fairfax, but there were also several groups which claimed to be interested in finding a ‘middle way’ between the pro-gun and anti-gun extremes. This group is in that latter camp.

              According to their website, their commitment to the 2nd Amendment goes hand in hand with a desire to promote “gun safety” through comprehensive background checks and secure storage of guns. They also partner with the gun-research group at the University of Michigan as well as a foundation that distributes free gun locks in Oregon public schools.

              Promoting academic gun research, safe storage and universal background checks happen to be priorities of all the gun-control groups. So, the fact that this group is committed to the same agenda but is made up of gun owners needs to be taken as perhaps an important straw blowing in the wind.

              The only problem (and here Mike the Gun Guy™ is going to do what he usually does to piss everyone off) is that the wind happens to be blowing the wrong way. You can call safe storage and universal background checks whatever you want to call them – responsible, accountable – I don’t care. The truth is that we do not suffer from gun-violence rates that are 7 to 20 times higher (thank you David Hemenway) than any other economically-advanced country because we don’t have universal background checks or because many gun owners don’t keep their guns locked away.

              We endure and suffer from more than 125,000 intentional and unintentional gun injuries every year for one, simple reason, which is that we are – ready? – the one country in the entire world which allows its residents to purchase, own and carry on their persons guns that are designed only to injure and kill human beings.

              Several years ago, our friends at The Trace published an inventory of more than 9,000 guns picked up by the cops connected to crimes throughout the United States. I took the trouble to analyze this entire listing and you can download and read my analysis of the data right here.

              On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend any time gorging your brain on my faultless prose, I’ll summarize this information by saying that we may own somewhere between 300 and 400 million guns, but most of those guns don’t have anything to do with gun violence at all.

              I couldn’t find one, single ‘crime’ gun on this entire list manufactured by such long-time manufacturers as Remington, Mossberg, Winchester, Browning, Marlin, or Savage Arms, which together have certainly produced more than 100 million of the guns privately owned.

              What are the guns that turn up again and again in the daily shootings which create our extraordinary gun-violence rates? Try Glock, Sig, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Colt, and all the cheapie lookalike wanabees (Taurus, Kahr Arms) that are floating around.

              Now, the idea that such guns are considered ‘sporting’ arms by Gun-nut Nation just because they don’t fire in full-auto mode only goes to show you how far from reality the gun debate in this country remains.

              But the fact is that the gun-control groups buy into the same nonsense. They also want comprehensive background checks and safe storage of guns. The fact that there has never been one, single piece of published research which shows any connection between gun safety or background checks and gun violence rates, so what?

              Matter of fact, Colorado instituted universal background checks in 2013, a year when the overall gun violence rate was 11.44.  In 2019, the rate was 14.45. Gee, that’s only an increase in gun violence of 25 percent. No biggie, right?

              Want to reduce gun violence? It’s very simple. Get rid of the guns which are used to commit that violence. There’s simply no other way, no matter how ‘safe’ or ‘responsible’ we hope everyone will behave with their guns.