The Center for American Progress – a leftist think tank with intimate ties to the White House– recently published a fact sheet about gun violence in Maine. The sheet is true propaganda that omits important contextual information about gun deaths in Maine in order to advance an ideological agenda — namely, that more than 90 percent of gun-related deaths in Maine are self-inflicted.
The Center states the following:
“In Maine, 113 people were killed in gun-related violence in 2010, or one every three days.”
True. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 113 Mainers died in firearm-related incidents. What the Left doesn’t want you to know is 95 of those deaths were suicides; only 13 were considered homicides. By ignoring vital contextual facts, the Left manipulates statistics to give the impression that murders by gun in Maine occur nearly 900 percent more than they actually do.
The Center adds:
“Gun deaths in Maine numbered 1,054 over ten years (2001-2010), just 653 less than the number of US combat deaths over the course of the war in Afghanistan.”
Again, true. However, context is important. According to the CDC, 914 of Maine’s 1,054 firearm-related fatalities from 2001-2010 were suicides; only 110 were homicides (and 14 of those were “legal interventions,” i.e. criminals shot by cops). But again, the Left ignores the context to create the impression that gun-wielders are murdering Mainers nearly 1,000 percent more often than is actually the case.
While we’re poking around the CDC database, let’s look at other ways Mainers die and see if guns are really the problem. For starters, it’s worth noting that, according to CDC records, 118 people lost their lives to non-firearm related homicide in the state from 2001-2010. In that same period, 1,632 Mainers died from poisoning and 1,764 died motor vehicle traffic-related incidents.
In light of these facts, it would seem the Left might better direct its energies toward suicide prevention, poison control, and traffic regulation — if, that is, safety is really their aim. Not one of the gun-control bills Maine Democrats are pushing – not magazine limits, not concealed carry regulations and not expanded background checks – would have prevented the vast, vast majority of Maine’s gun-related deaths. (No one needs thirty rounds to kill themselves.)
But then again, gun control is not about preventing violence or death; gun control is about control.
By S.E. Robinson