Lies have become such a part of our politics that our attitudes and conversations about gun safety have become awash in them. The Gun Violence Archives (GVA) reported 19,411 gun deaths in 2022 as of Christmas Day, up from 12,418 in 2014, the first year reported by the GVA. 5,141 of those deaths were children under the age of 18. While we support the Second Amendment, we also support sensible laws regulating gun access, as provided for by the first phrase of that Amendment.

Yet Congress, driven by apparent fear of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its grading system for members, refuses to take action to protect our population. Nor will the courts step in, thanks to the 2008 Heller decision providing virtually unlimited access to firearms based on the lie that the Second Amendment prohibits regulation or pertains to service in a state militia (currently the National Guard).

But this is not the only lie used to justify America’s rampant gun violence. It has taken a series of lies to get us to this level of immortality. We must accept the lies that only criminals commit gun violence, that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun, and that all acts of violence committed with guns would have been committed without guns.

First is the lie that regulating guns at the point of purchase by applying background checks to ALL transfers of firearms, including those within families or friends, would not impact gun violence because only criminals use guns violently. This lie ignores the fact that gun violence most frequently involves domestic conflicts or suicides. In fact, suicides occur at a rate almost double other forms of gun violence combined (

We see more and more states allowing guns to be carried concealed, some without even requiring training or registering, based on the lie that a population filled with good guys with guns will keep our streets, businesses, churches, and family gatherings safe because either criminals will not be willing to chance dying, or that if a criminal pulls a gun, the “good guy” will immediately step in and prevent the gun violence.

In fact, pulling a gun to resolve a conflict (with or without guns) will only cloud the issue as arriving first responders will have no way to tell good guys from bad guys. And the repeated training necessary to competently engage a “bad guy with a gun” with a firearm is not required by a single ”carry and conceal” state, which includes both Kansas and Missouri (

Finally, there is the lie that victims of gun violence would be victims of violence regardless of the availability of guns. Again, we look to the prevalence of suicide by gun in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that for the first time since it began tracking, the rate of suicide by gun for women was higher than any other method, matching those for men. And the rate of suicide by gun continues to increase for both men and women. Pulling a trigger when a gun is available is too easy for those suffering from depression. It is also more reliably lethal than most other forms of suicide.

Guns also make it easier for people to commit violence against others simply because they allow violence from a distance (sometimes a long distance) unlike knives or other hand-held weapons (including tools). Also, guns, particularly those with high-capacity magazines, allow people to shoot many rounds rapidly, increasing the violence of each attack. Stephen Paddock could not have killed a single person attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas from his 32nd floor hotel room without a gun. Yet, thanks to America’s lax gun laws, he was able to shoot 473 people, killing 60.

If we were honest in our politics, we would honor our Founding Fathers and their wisdom when they wrote the Second Amendment saying “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” At the same time, we would provide for a “well regulated” culture that would allow for individuals to “keep and bear Arms” while still living up to the words of the Constitution’s Preamble that says “promote the general welfare” by reducing the rate of gun violence through reasonable regulation.

To this end, we support the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Psychiatric Association in adopting the following laws to reduce gun violence in America:

Label violence caused by the use of guns as a national public health epidemic.

Fund appropriate research as part of the federal budget.

Establish constitutionally appropriate restrictions on the manufacturing and sale, for civilian use, of large-capacity magazines and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity.

Please join us in demanding action from our elected officials at all levels, but particularly members of Congress. All Americans deserve the “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” promised to us in the Declaration of Independence.

Jim Calvert is a retired English teacher, and Bob Grover is Professor Emeritus, Emporia State University.

(3) comments


At last: a logical and truthful explanation of the amendment the NRA has exploited, misinterpreted, and lied about for decades! (For one thing if you need to hunt with an assault rifle you aren't a hunter you are a cowardly butcher.: no one NEEDS an assault rifle!)

Like most people with a modicum of faith in my government I thought surely--after Coumbine--someone would recognize what was in the wind and do something!

When the Sandy Hook parents went to Congress to ask for protection for other families and children, Congress did nothing.

I am so tired of the talk -- the evasion, the "Oh well -- what can we do? it's just the way things are". Take a look at what should be! All of us safe in our homes, on the streets. at school, anywhere we want to go. We don't have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness anymore. We have fear of being shot down because some one has an assault rifle, a shotgun, a pistol, a weapon of death accurate to thousands of yards! Why? Because our lawmakers don't or won't act on our behalf. How many more have to die before our lawmakers at any level do anything?

Thank you, Dr. Grover, and Mr.Calvert for your courage and action!

by Phyllida Porter (The Gilson Family)


The World Economic Forum approves this message.


The state of Illinois just passed laws to ban assault style weapons. That gives people of Reason hope. The second amendment is outdated and is in need of revision to regulate weapons of the modern times. We no longer require militias as we did when we were a new nation. We now have the National Guard and the US Military. Assault style weapons serve only one purpose and that is to kill and kill in volume. There is no reasonable reason for civilians to own them. With Illinois as an example, Reason will prevail over lies. Lies whose only purpose is too fool the gullible and keep us in harms way.

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