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Grabber Gun Trauma
How the Marching Moms and Other Grabbers Victimize a Million Children

by Sean Oberle
(Distribution permitted and encouraged. Please mention that you heard about it first on

The Million Mom Foundation (Bell Campaign’s new name since teaming up with MMM) is urging the media to use the term “gun trauma” instead of “gun violence.” The group doesn’t exactly put it this way, but “gun violence” doesn’t evoke enough fear since, in most people’s minds, it includes only criminal acts.

You see, faced with rates of gun-related homicide and other violence that are declining at breathtaking paces, it is getting harder for the grabbers to whip up fear about guns – or at least to convince people that “something needs to be done to turn the tide” as they often put it a few years ago.

In fact, the tide has turned – years ago – and the grabbers are left exaggerating the problem by repeating old, disproved predictions (gun deaths surpassing car deaths) or citing a single years’ stats, isolated from the trends. If they do use updated figures (they prefer outdated, higher figures), they write something like, “According to the latest data from CDC, 11,798 people were victims of gun homicide in 1998. This proves we need gun control!”

The first sentence is factual enough as far as it goes, but the whole truth is more like, “According to CDC data, 11,798 people were victims of gun-related homicides in 1998 – a 38% decrease in the rate of such deaths in just five years (7.08 to 4.36). Moreover, preliminary 1999 figures show a likely rate under 4.00, meaning a 44% reduction in six years. If the trend continues through 2000 (and it shows every indication of doing so), we will meet or surpass a 50% reduction in just seven years. Our efforts to curb gun-related violence are working.”

The grabbers know this, and they know that Americans – even passive, believe-anything, couch-potato Americans – are getting harder and harder to scare, even with body-bag journalism. And since grabber success depends on such fear, I expect to see them increase focus on gun-related suicides, which provide larger numbers.

But this too is a losing tactic for the grabbers because gun related suicide rates are down nearly 12% from 1993 to 1998 (7.35 to 6.45), while non-gun suicides actually are up 3% over that period (4.72 to 4.87). In fact, if these two trends hold, in a few years, more suicides will be by non-gun means than by guns, and the overall rate will increase even as the gun rate decreases, undermining any claims that suicide rates depend upon gun availability.

These tactical problems for the grabbers bring us to the following faulty reasoning in the MMF’s plea that the media adopt the term “gun trauma”:

“Even those who have never encountered a gun are aware of the widespread presence of guns in our communities, witness news reports of gun-related crime, domestic murders, and high profile shootings at schools, churches and other public places. The ever-present fear that someone we love might be killed or injured is another form of gun trauma.” (See

OK, I’ll pause while you push down your last meal. Better, now? Good.

My first reaction to that bit of bleeding-heart sophistry is to respond with my own sophistry – If “an ever-present fear” is a type of gun trauma, then the Marching Moms, HCI, VPC and all the other gun grabber groups are the main perpetrators, having worked to whip up such “ever-present fear” beyond any basis in reality while consciously trying to downplay any improvements and draw attention away from solutions that don’t fit their political agenda.

But two sophistries make no one right, and the more I think about it, the angrier I become as I realize their actions point toward their caring more about gun control than about saving lives.

Despite what they’d have us believe, we’ve found solutions. Gun-related violence and crime are going down. Gun-related suicide is going down. Yet the grabbers want us to ignore what did this and seek gun control.

Why? What laws could we add that would speed the decreasing rates? Moreover, why should we invest billions of dollars, millions of man-hours and tens-of-thousands of people in enforcing gun controls that have no certainty of working? Why should we risk undermining what is working to save lives – today – to experiment?

How dare they. How dare they risk increasing real gun trauma with experiments that would suck resources away from what works.

(data from CDC’s on-line injury database at

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