From the July 12 edition of C-SPAN’s U.S. Senate:
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): But in the wake of another tragedy, Mr. President, I wanted to come down to the floor for a short period of time, I know my colleagues are waiting to speak, to talk about some of the very irresponsible rhetoric that gets tossed around when it comes to this debate over the future of gun policy in this country. And I want to take five or 10 minutes to talk about what is the biggest lie used by the gun lobby in this debate. And it’s this: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This isn’t true. It has never been true. It will never be true. It is quite simply an invention designed by the gun industry to sell more guns, to convince Americans that laws and rules cannot protect them. That the only thing that can keep them safe from being shot is to buy expensive weapons and expensive ammunition that pad the profits of the big gun companies. So it’s time that we call this lie what it is. It’s a marketing gimmick for gun companies, plain and simple.
MURPHY: If you are buying a weapon because you think that owning one makes you less likely to be killed by a gun, then you’re wrong. And if you are standing in the way of policies that crack down on illegal or dangerous weapons on our street because you believe in some kind of gun control Darwinism, a world in which the good guys with guns eventually shoot all the bad guys with guns, well then you have it backwards. Because that’s not how it works. You know how I know this? Because study after study tells us that owning a gun makes you more likely to be killed by that gun than to use it to kill someone who threatens you. And studies show that in countries and states with more guns, there are generally not less gun deaths, but more gun deaths. Like the study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed that a gun in your house doesn’t make you less likely to be killed, it isn’t even risk neutral, having a gun in your home actually increases your chance of getting killed by a gun by anywhere from 40 percent to 170 percent. Or how about the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology that showed that people living in a house with a gun are 90 percent more likely to die from a homicide than people who live in a house without a gun? Or what about the study from the Violence Policy Center that instances of guns being used in self-defense are so rare that on average there are 44 criminal homicides with guns for every time a gun is used for protection in a justifiable homicide? Or how about one more from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center which showed that in states and communities with greater gun availability, gun homicide rates were higher, not lower, than communities and states with lower gun availability.