An article in the National Rifle Association's magazine suggested that several factors -- including being a woman who chooses to wear Spandex at night, having PTSD, or being dependent on drugs or alcohol -- increases a person's "Vulnerability Index," before suggesting that people can significantly reduce their vulnerability by buying a gun.
Contrary to the NRA's claim about gun ownership reducing risk, research has indicated time and time again that gun ownership does not increase a household's safety; rather it increases the risk of death due to homicide, suicide, or accident.
A February 18 article in the NRA's magazine America's 1st Freedom discussed the concept of a "Vulnerability Index" -- a way for people to examine how vulnerable they are to a violent attack so they can consider "doing something about it."
The article included a litany of ways that people supposedly make themselves more vulnerable, before assigning point values to things that they can do to reduce their vulnerability. The article posited that gun ownership reduces vulnerability far more than any other listed factor.
Some of the premises for gun ownership offered by the NRA article, however, were bizarre.
Discussing risks "wrought by the daily choices we make" the NRA article imagined, "You're a woman carrying groceries to your car. In both hands. At night. Returning from the gym. In Spandex":
While events ratchet risk levels up or down, those changes are dwarfed by those wrought by the daily choices we make. For example:
- You're a woman carrying groceries to your car. In both hands. At night. Returning from the gym. In Spandex. You're on the phone. Hello? Hello?
The article also lists having PTSD or "nagging chemical dependencies such as nicotine, alcohol and drugs" as other factors that increase vulnerability. (Under federal law, people who are addicted to controlled substances are legally prohibited from buying guns.)
Unsurprisingly, the article places gun ownership at the top of the list during an exercise in reducing one's "Vulnerability Index," assigning firearm ownership -100 points, while being a daily exerciser earns -10 points, owning a dog -5 points, and living in a gated community -25 points.