WASHINGTON, DC�In response to the reported spike in handgun sales since
the September 11th attacks, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released
Unintended Consequences: Pro-Handgun
Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice For Self-Defense.
The 90-page study demonstrates through the writings of pro-gun experts
the ineffectiveness and dangers of handguns as alleged self-defense tools.
"While the gun industry has greedily hawked its wares in the aftermath
of the September 11th tragedy, they have worked even harder to keep hidden
from the American public a secret they readily share among themselves�handguns
pose grave dangers to their owners and families," states Tom Diaz, author
of Unintended Consequences
and VPC Senior Policy Analyst. "This study is comprised substantially
of writings from pro-gun experts who readily admit handguns are
basically impossible to use effectively in self-defense."
For example, Massad Ayoob, a legendary firearms instructor and respected
pro-gun author has cautioned, "The uninitiated tend to make two kinds
of mistakes with firearms: they either use guns when they shouldn't, or
do not use them properly in the rare circumstances when they should."
Ayoob has pointed out that, "The average American has more misconceptions
about lethal force in the home than in any other self-defense situation.
He not only has little understanding of his legal position under these
circumstances; he has no idea of how to conduct himself if, by infinitesimal
chance, the day comes when his home actually is turned into a battleground
he must defend against armed criminals."
In fact, in 1998, for every time that a civilian used a handgun to kill
in self-defense, 51 people lost their lives in handgun homicides alone.
Yet, there have been an increasing number of news reports that women are
a prime target for the gun industry as first-time handgun buyers. Left
out of those reports is the fact that in 1999 for every one time a woman
used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 120 women were murdered with handguns.
Handguns in the real world�as opposed to the industry's fantasy world
of virtuous defensive gun use�make people who own them much less safe.
The study reveals that according to leading pro-gun experts the
overwhelming majority of people who own handguns: