Lawsuits Against Gun Manufacturers

May 12, 1999

Mayors in Chicago and New Orleans have filed lawsuits on behalf of their cities against the gun industry, and two similar lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of private citizens. The premise behind these lawsuits is similar to the previous lawsuits against tobacco companies. The assumption is that guns, like tobacco, are harmful to society.

A recent study by the National Center for Policy and Analysis challenges that premise. The study documents that unlike tobacco, guns produce tangible social benefits. Sterling Burnett says, "Cities have it backwards; guns are used more often by law-abiding citizens to prevent crimes than they are used to commit crimes."

Consider just a few key facts from his study. Women faced with assault are 2.5 times less likely to suffer serious injury if they respond with a firearm rather than try to defend themselves with a less effective weapon or offer no resistance.

Only one-fifth of victims of violent crimes who defended themselves with firearms suffered injury, compared to almost half who defended themselves using other types of weapons or no weapon at all.

The study documents that about 3000 criminals are lawfully killed each year by armed civilians, a number that's more than three times the number killed by police. As many as 17,000 additional criminals are wounded by civilians each year.

Whatever you might believe about gun control and the Second Amendment, I suggest you look at this study by the National Center for Policy and Analysis located in Dallas, Texas. The facts, figures, and statistics challenge many of the assumptions many of us make about guns. And they certainly challenge the very premise behind these recent lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Guns are not tobacco, and this recent study demonstrates that in many different ways.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.